To celebrate today’s vinyl release of the record, Matt and Riz having shared their tour diary from their trek stateside, sharing many dates with Soft Kill and Choir Boy.
The intimate, down to earth, and unpretentious journal entries are penned by Matt, with most accompanying photos courtesy of Riz’s eye for brilliant absurdity.
See all the tour diary entries below:
3/12 – Los Angeles, CA
I often think things that start really badly are going to go really well. Like, bad final rehearsal = good gig. Well I hope that’s the case, cause today my Uber dropped me off at the ‘wrong’ 1234 South La Brea Ave. It’s meant to be an Enterprise rent-a-car, but the guy at the smoke shop tells me there’s no such thing around. When I looked it up again on my (now dying) phone I see that yep, it’s 7 miles away. Get Uber. Phone don’t die please.
3/13, 3/14 – Somewhere, USA
OK so we got the van. Now we’re driving, driving, driving to Austin for SXSW. This is our first full tour with our new live drummer, John. John is very strong, very tall, a very good drummer and enjoys huge breakfasts and fine podcasts. We also have a tour manager, Chris. Chris is young, energetic, and has a likable habit of quoting old school Simpsons.
3/14 – SXSW BD Riley’s
We’re here and it’s utter chaos. So many bands, so many….bands. Tonight we played in an Irish Pub, on a riser where we all faced different directions. Somehow we got herded by a cop into an area where we had to load all our gear from about 7 blocks from the venue. BUT, it was actually a kinda cool show and if we can make this one good, then the rest should be easy. Also after our set got to watch LA’s French Vanilla who are fucking great, wicked energy.
3/15 – SXSW Aussie BBQ
Today was fun – daytime show, backyard at Australia House for the Aussie BBQ. For those non-Australians, the Aussie BBQ is a bit of an Australian music institution, we were very pleased to play it. Got to play and hang with Death Bells who we’re pretty excited about, and Gang of Youths. Bonus points, we got mentioned as one of the best Aussie SXSW acts by AuReview.
3/16 – SXSW Warp Magazine Showcase
We love Warp Magazine, they have been very supportive of us for a while now, they are a great publication and we had a very fine time tonight. Zombies in Miami are such a cool act, glad to discover them. For our part, it feels like the shows are getting better, we’re playing better every night and it’s feeling more natural now.
3/19 – Atlanta GA
After the chaotic time at SXSW it’s nice to get into the swing of our headline shows. Atlanta turned out tonight – we’ve never headlined a show here so it was cool to have a room full of people and…people yelling the lyrics to The Great Sun?! What the actual fuck
3/21 – Richmond, VA
Tonight John found an old dirty weed pipe in one of his drum bags. We cross the border to Canada in a few days. Let us hope that’s the last of it.
3/22 – Brooklyn NY
Saint Vitus show tonight, was so damn cool. Seen some great shows at this place – thanks to Vacant Lots for having us, and De Lilith on a rad first show – Richie thank you for putting us up in the East Village, it was soooo nice and you had red wine waiting you read my mind. We got to catch up with some NY friends too.
Today I had to get new boots and say goodbye to my black leather Chuck T’s which were literally falling apart. Every time I stepped in a puddle or bunch of snow (unavoidable) it would then be like I’m walking around in a pair of wet socks. Sad, but time to move on. Thanks to the Army & Navy bags Disposal store on Houston. Apparently this was the ‘best price’ for this boot in the entire city.
3/24 – Portland ME
One of the best shows of the tour so far. I don’t know why we have rad fans in the exact opposite corner of the country to our home base, but we do. I also talked for a while to a fan who used to be a Marine…now that scares the shit out of me, what that lot have to do. Music is fucking EASY man.
3/25 – Philadelphia PA
We met John’s parents tonight, what a lovely pair of people. They said they enjoyed the show, and I’ll take their word for it. It’s funny how someone you know just makes more sense when you meet their parents. Also, John cut them off mid chat to say ‘OK guys we’ve got stuff to do now’ when we were setting up, so we don’t take it so personally when he does that to us now. Invaluable.
Oh and tonight we had a fan bring us an amazing little doll replica of hellraiser they made, complete with roach clip hands! It was one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen.
3/27 – Providence, RI
Oh my god we also met Chris’ (tour manager) parents and Auntie tonight. Got to stay at their charming house, sleep in a bed that felt like a thousand warm pillows in heaven, and meet their new rescue dog, who fucking hates us all even though the other, older dog gave us the all-clear. Providence area is so beautiful.
3/28 – Montreal Quebec, Canada
We’re at the first Groundhog Day stage of the tour, very cold around these parts, lots of shows in a row, BUT tonight was fucking awesome. Thanks to The Going Away Present for playing a great show, and putting in a mad effort to make the night a success. The hotel we’re staying at feels right out of ‘Amelie.’ I love this place
3/30 – Cleveland OH
First show with Soft Kill and Choir boy tonight. Been looking forward to this for a while – Soft Kill come all threatening and beautiful through the haze, and they sound fucking great. Choir Boy, well, Adam sings like an angel and sorta looks like one too tbh. Oh and the opening band, Perverts Again, played with one of their members playing via Skype. No joke. They were really good actually, sort of reminded me of Shame, who are also really good. The venue, ‘Now That’s Class’ gets our ‘coolest venue with owners who give the biggest shit about booking cool stuff, having good equipment and staff and treating bands with respect’ award.
4/1 – Chicago IL
Empty Bottle tonight. We’ve wanted to play here for a while, and it didn’t disappoint. Took about half an hour in soundcheck to locate the source of some wicked buzzing. Again, things that start shit always end up going well…Chicago is lovely and of course our tourist drummer and tour manager had to go get deep dish pizza. Fuck that, so Rizz and I went to the old train tracks instead.
4/3 – Omaha NE
So. Fucking. C-Cold. I tried to stand out on the street to gaze at the beautiful Main Street stretching out in front of me but fuck that I’m going inside my face is gonna freeze and shatter like the T1000 at the end of Terminator 2.
4/4 – Denver CO
OK so I’m not sure why but every time we come through Denver we have a really really good time. The show felt electric on stage tonight, the place was packed, and this is the first time in weeks that we can just go to a shop and get weed. The show is now very well-oiled, so we can just be in the moment and enjoy it. All pros, no cons here.
Oh almost forgot – after about half an hour in the green room we noticed that there were food/band puns scribbled all over the walls (Rage Against the Poutine, Grateful Bread, Johnny Cashew etc). We don’t know who started this but it sorta restored my faith in humanity. For what it’s worth, our contributions were ‘Rice Cube’ and ‘The Fryin’ Jonestown Massacre.’
4/5 – Salt Lake City UT
Choir Boy’s home town – they had a great crowd and seemed to really enjoy themselves. We’re very lucky to be touring with two great bands, each show feels great from start to finish. Oh also when we got to the venue, the bar guy shouted ‘coffee’s ready’ and I got super excited cause I felt like absolute dog shit. But then I found out there was no cream or milk or even crappy creamer in the WHOLE BUILDING, so I sorta felt like it was a sick joke. So I had my first black coffee tonight and I’m not a convert.
4/6 – Boise ID
Boise is another place we seem to have fun when we come through. And opening the show tonight was Pure/Obsession, who are really cool – very dark, deep groove – one of the members is our friend Louie, aka Street Fever of whom we are massive fans. He didn’t disappoint.
For some reason this part of the country seems to have a disproportionate share of correctional facilities. Not sure if I’m just noticing now, but anyway…
4/8 – Portland OR
Soft Kill’s album release show tonight, it was Epicness defined (that’s a word now). They’re so menacing live. Chris said our show tonight’s show felt like one of the best of the tour – it’s often hard to tell on stage, you can feel uninspired and have people tell you it was the best show ever, and vice versa. I’ll take his word for it. Last show with Choir Boy, we’ll miss you guys!
4/11 – Sacramento CA
Last show with Soft Kill tonight, and it was a good one. Our hotel was literally at the back of the venue, so the show was inspiring AND convenient. Best show we’ve played in Sac – we’ll be back, Sac. And thanks to Creux Lies for opening the show.
4/15 – We’ve just played San Francisco, driven 16 hours to Vancouver, played Verboden festival to finish the tour and now we’re driving back – we have 2 days to get back to LA. My oh my… nobody ever said it was easy.
But it has actually been an absolute pleasure to do this – play our first headlining tour, get to share the stage with some seriously talented and lovely people, and get our new record out in front of fans, in a proper live setting. So yeah – I suppose I was right – things that start shitty always end up going really well.
(The European version has been slightly delayed, possibly due to RSD, and will be out in May via Weyrd Son Records.)