Catch us all summer long on the 2011 Rockstar Mayhem Festival

The most massive update of all time (part 2)

HATEBREED Myrtle Beach, SC HOB Mon, August 9

Wake me up when the buses leave, I’m going to get a few hours of sleep before heading to the Hatebreed off date show in South Carolina. So there we were, in the middle of an empty parking lot with garbage all over the place. One that would have walked up could have never guessed the amount of raging that occurred earlier in the day. We followed the Dimebag bus out of the lot and headed our separate ways. We were headed to Myrtle Beach SC to the Hatebreed/3IOB/LOG off date show at The House of Blues. Here is where our GPS tried killing us once again. That fucking Garmin cunt always seems to send us the most un-reasonable way. I swear I spend hours upon hours trying to figure out the most reasonable route to go and that bitch always pulls a fast one on me. Here we are 5 hours into the drive taking some 2 lane road across the middle of nowhere. As I am doing this I realize it is the wrong route, it is why I always have a bit of a confidence booster when the tour buses pass us.

We arrived in Myrtle Beach, SC after taking 2 hours longer than it was supposed to, passed about 10 mini golf courses, and there it is, HOB Myrtle Beach. A cool looking venue to say the least, and inside it was even cooler. Its a rebuilt barn looking like something out of the 1920’s on the outside, and totally renovated on the inside. Our good buddy Sol took us over to the alligator farm next door, where you get in free with tour credentials. He took us on the entire tour and showed us some really amazing shit. Then on our way out he knew one of the people working there and talked them into letting us hold an alligator, which was a pretty epic experience. Back over to the venue we went, it was hot as fuck, and I needed to sleep, but it was too hot to sleep, so fuck sleep, lets get to the next venue, which is an absolute all night drive to Tampa Florida, BRING IT ON!

We stopped to get gas at a random gas station on the side of the small highway connecting us back to the main interstate. Typical Athiarchists fashion, the only dude working there gave us weed for a DVD, what are the chances of that happening? On down the road we go, damn I’m getting tired. Honestly the hardest part of the drive was once the sun came up and we were 45 minutes away. I swear that last 45 minutes felt like 4 and a half hours, I can not wait to get to the venue, sleep for 4 hours, wake up and rage it for the doors, then go back to sleep for the rest of the day, I was fucking SHOT!

Upon arrival at the venue word is that the Shadows Fall/Winds of Plague bus broke down, everyone I come across is saying that we should play the Jager stage, I wholeheartedly agree, but at the same time am not getting my hopes up because I do not want to be all excited about something that isn’t going to happen. By the time I make it over to Dave at the Jager stage sound booth he is already on the radio with upper management. First words out of his mouth are “so if they say its alright do you want to play the Jager stage today” I reply with “HELL YES”, he laughs and no sooner than he can respond to me a voice comes over the radio saying its a go. At this point after being awake for about the last 4 days with an average of 2 hours of sleep a day, not really eating any food, shaking from excitement as well as from being awake for so long with no sleep, there is a shred of excitement/adrenaline that builds and builds over the course of about 15 seconds that makes me feel like I slept 8 hours last night. I RUN over to the van, open the door, wake up Dano and Wassus to the news, they’re stoked, and I start unbolting all of my shit.

MAYHEM Tampa, FL Ford Amphitheatre Tue, August 10

Now the big joke on the tour is “you guys are no longer underground, your mainstream!” Haha that shit is funny as fuck, it was great, it was perfect. Think about what we have done, we started this tour with no permission on a homebuilt mobile stage breaking all the rules, then they give us permission but tell us when and where we can play, now we are playing the fucking Jager stage? The same fucking stage as Hatebreed, Shadows Fall, Chimaira…I mean what the fuck, this is a true fucking story of dedication and not taking no for an answer, this is like the most epic shit that has happened in our entire lives, it does not get any better than this, granted we are still just as happy playing in the parking lot, but playing on the actual Jager stage, and EVERYONE around us on this tour supported us, they were all so stoked that we were stepping up and doing this because a tour bus broke down, and they all know we deserved it because they saw the amount of dedication we put into all of this, driving all night staying up all day to play for free in front of whoever was there to see us, for free.

Since all of Dano’s drums are bolted to the floor, it made more sense to play on the Jager band’s equipment, and thankfully they were more than happy to let him rage their kit, that is until we were finished but I’ll get to that in another paragraph. My equipment on the other hand I think was pissed that I took it out of the mobile stage because NONE of it decided to work. I have so many back up plans and different ways to wire shit that Dave gave me the nickname “the nutty professor”. All of our shit is duct taped and zip tied together, so with everything fucking up, I made the executive decision to not have bass going through the PA, so here I am, playing in front of more people than I have ever seen in my life, show number 1015, through just one guitar amp on a 4 string guitar, THAT is what it is all about!

Here we go, 7,000 people standing out there ready to rage, we walk up to our shit, I flip my amp on and…It starts pouring down rain harder than I have ever seen it rain in my life, and were from Oregon! Hell motherfucking yeah is all I can say, this shit is going to be like Woodstock! All of the gear on the stage gets covered up by tarps and the rain is showing no signs of stopping. By the time we hit the first note a fucking brutal mosh pit breaks out and we were raging it harder than we ever have, in front of more people than we have ever played for, while it was raining harder than we have ever seen, on the least amount of sleep I have ever played a show on, with Dano on someone elses drumkit…Does it get any more hardcore than that?

For some fucking reason the microphone was not shocking me, well I guess there is a reason, and that is that the Jager stage crew is one of the best in the fucking world, they have that thing sounding and operating better than any stage we have ever been on, including The Music Adventure Stage. I was fucking stoked that I was not being electrocuted while standing in 6 inches of water, maybe I was just lucky? The only time I was actually shocked was when I went to unplug my amp at the end of the set, which despite being covered with a tarp was totally soaked, but I did not give a FUCK!

We loaded all the shit back up in the U-Haul and went back out to watch the other bands. The response from everyone was AMAZING, they were saying shit like “you guys really fill in all the sound good for being a two piece” which shocked the fuck out of me because I was not even playing with 1/3 of my total guitar/bass sound, I swear Dave is a fucking magician behind that sound board. It had stopped raining by now, it was a crazy day, every time the Jager stage was going it was pouring down rain, and every time the Silverstar stage was going it was sunny, I guess that is Florida for you!

Alright the sun is down and it is now cool enough for me to sleep, so sleep I am going to do. Dano was in some sort of party mode, had made a deal with all the other bands to go and get beer. So I woke up a couple times during my 3 hour sleep, the first time was so Silent Civilian could check out the stage and the next time was so Six Feet Under could check it out, both very good reasons to wake up and give a tour, I love both those bands! The drive wasn’t too bad to West Palm Beach so I was cool with not getting much sleep. Honestly at this point 2 hours of sleep is all I need, any more sleep and I get tired.

Bus call lets rally! 3 hour drive tonight and I am stoked, the wheels are turning in my head, the drive felt like it took about 10 minutes. I decided to finish off the drive with way too much shitty McDonalds from a truck stop, one bad decision I have made way too many times on this tour. Believe it or not even the main stage bands most of the time shit in the same portable shitters you see all over the place.

MAYHEM West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheater Wed, August 11

“Morning Jack, hows it going?”

“You guys want to play the Jager stage again?”

“HELL YES!”

As quickly as that happened I had the taco truck pulled around and was unbolting shit again, hoping my Mesa was going to hold together today seeing as it still had standing water on it from the day before. Once again Dano is going to rage it on the Jager band’s drumkit, which we are thankful for. No bass again today, my Sansamp has a ground loop in it that sounds really bad through 80,000 watts of PA, I’m cool with that, I’m the fucking nutty professor! Time to rage it, turn on your amps, start your engines! Fuck! My amp is not working, one of the 9 tubes in the fucking piece of shit that sounds really fucking good was fucked up so Wassus ran out to grab my 6505. Here I am nutty professoring out while about 5,000 people sit there watching me give them a lesson on how to fix a blown up amp head. As soon as I was able to wiggle around cords and make that amp send distortion out of the speaker we started raging it.

No rain today which was fucking awesome, while at the same time worse for the fact that it was hot as a whore in church(Dano’s line), or I think that is how you say it. It is so fucking hard not to push it past the point of heat exhaustion when you have Hatebreed and crew standing stage left, Chimaira and crew standing stage right, all of your good friends running the Jager stage, and a bunch of people that you have never met before but are showing you one of the biggest circle pits of your music career standing in front of you. On top of all this since there were 2 bands missing they gave us almost a 40 minute set, needless to say we fucking RAGED it like we have never RAGED it before!

Wow, I just moved on to Dallas and almost forgot about the 36 hour drive we had to do right after the show, there was some tropical storm so we decided to not take the coast and go through Atlanta, go ahead, map out the drive, it is 36 fucking hours in a U-haul going 55 stopping to get gas every 150 miles, kind of ironic that as I am writing this we skipped the Florida Uproar date which is today to avoid essentially the same 36 hour drive on this tour. The van was overheating at one point just outside Atlanta so we had to stop for a couple hours and wait for the sun to go down, once again they don’t call it HOTlanta for nothin!

Westbound and down out of Georgia to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana. I hit the fucking wall about 2 1/2 hours out of Dallas, there was no way I was finishing this drive, and this was after stopping at a rest area in Louisiana to sleep for an hour in the front seat of the van, because I knew if I crawled in the back I would not wake up in time. Like I could sleep at all, it was 3 in the morning, and about 120 degrees with 3000 percent humidity. Next truck stop I saw I woke Dano up and let him know it was time for him to drive, it has been flat for a long time now, you should have no hills to worry about. No fucking shit as soon as he hit the freeway it was hills all the way to Dallas, have fun, I’m going to go get the best 2 1/2 hours of sleep I have ever had in my life. Goddamn it felt so good to sleep, and it also felt good to know that we were going to make it to Dallas on time.

MAYHEM Dallas, TX Superpages.com Center Fri, August 13

We arrived about 30 minutes before we needed to play in the parking lot. Shadows Fall and WOP got their bus fixed and made it to the show, which was fucking awesome because we missed them! I guess some bands out there would be pissed they didn’t get to play on the Jager stage another day, but honestly for us, playing in the parking lot is just as awesome as the Jager stage, or the main stage for that matter.

We played in the parking lot and it fucking RAGED! Haha again that shit gets old but that’s exactly how it went. My amp is not working for shit at this point after the rain incident and another Jager stage show. Like I said that Mesa gets pissed when you take it out of the mobile stage so it was not working at all, and my 6505 is kind of on its last leg, but if anything was proven in the last two days, it is that it does not matter what you are playing on, as long as you RAGE it, you will be raging it!

So I am standing there watching Shadows Fall rage it up from stage left. Our friend Andy working on the tour rolls up on his scooter, I walk down to see what he wants, and I know it has to be something somewhat important and amazing because Andy always has important and amazing shit to tell us. “You guys want to do this same thing on the Uproar Festival”. … . … . Alright those last two sentences were blank for a reason, because that was my response, it was half shock, and half hmmmmm. I mean here we are 3000 miles away from the U-Haul hangar, the motor on it is running like shit, my amps are not working, Dano’s drums are falling over, but that is why we are here right? There was no need to even think about yes or no, it was a definite YES while at the same time thinking “but how in the fuck are we going to pull it off”.

I go find Dano and tell him the news, he is stoked, then off to tell Wassus. Wassus has to be back to work in a week, so unfortunately he had to leave on a train in Chicago. At first though he was hoping to ride it out and not get fired from his job, but unfortunately that was not the case, apparently his boss did not understand he was on a Music Adventure! Wassus says “I want to go ride the ferris wheel”, we were like “but Wassus, the fair is closed, you can’t ride it, its not turned on”, he went over there anyway and hung out in one of the chairs for about 8 1/2 minutes, silly Wassus.

Last night on the tour for quite a few people so there were a lot of goodbyes going on. We missed our window to play later at night, which was alright with me given the fact that I was basically a walking zombie at this point. Read back through this update if you don’t remember, add up the hours, I think in 5 days I slept a total of 7 hours or something like that, an accomplishment I am truly proud of! On the other hand this was not alright with the 50 people in bands standing there getting hammered fucking drunk, “fucking play, fucking play you pussies, whats the worst that could happen?” Once again refer to the chapter of “The Athiarchists getting themselves in trouble” $2500 a minute, sorry!!

MAYHEM Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheatre Sat, August 14

We were warned about this venue, heard that it was a fucked up mess, infact the Jager stage could not even fit in there so the Jager stage bands were playing on what looked like someones back porch, and the Silverstar stage bands were on the main stage. Also, there was a $2,500 fine if you said a “curse word” while on stage. We were not even able to play at all, which was fine because it was right on the way to the first Uproar date in Kansas City, KS.

We had to park a mile and a half away from the venue, like I said there was no parking for anything in the venue at all. We were basically on the other side of the Zoo, the Zoo that the Zoo Amphitheater is at, I guess that is why they had the cuss word fine shit going on. That did however not stop Rob Zombie from racking up a $145,000 tab by the end of his set, apparently there was some drama going on and he decided he had the money so fuck it. MOTHERFUCKER MOTHERFUCKER MOTHERFUCKER MOTHERFUCKER, he was adding in cuss words where he didn’t even say them in his set, it was like something I would do, if I had $145,000.

The show fucking RAGED! Haha even though we didn’t play it was the last show so it was a sad day all the way around, it’s hard to say goodbye to 250 people and make sure you see everyone, but that is how it goes out here on the road, you can be best friends with someone and only see them 4 times in 5 years, its the understanding of the musician, this whole tour was like one huge family, and one family that will never all be together in the same place like that ever again because no 2 tours are exactly the same. I would say the closest you will ever get to having all those people in the same place would be the NAMM show in January, which is going to RAGE this year.

Wow so there it is, I just realized it, were on to the Uproar updates now, The Music Adventure continues but as far as this story goes, we have reached the end of part 1 of this story, and honestly the end of why we did this in the first place. We built the Music Adventure Stage to play in the parking lots of the Mayhem Tour, we were told by a lot of people during construction that we were fucking crazy, we were going to get arrested, we were going to be fined, shit wasn’t going to work out, what the fuck are you doing?, you guys are doing what?, and this is why you never take no for an answer, you do what your heart tells you to do. We did not give a fuck if we were arrested, if we played one show, it didn’t matter to us. What also did not matter to us is money, fame, or anything else along those lines, we did this so we could play shows every day multiple times a day. It had its high points, it had its low points, it had its really high points, followed by its really low points, it had even higher points, followed by points so low that we didn’t think we would ever see a high point again, again that is why it is called the Music Adventure, and honestly that name I kind of owe to good friend Todd Evans of Mobile Deathcamp, when we played with them about 8 months ago now I was talking to him about how stoked I was that they were down to play anywhere, in an age where most of the bigger bands we were trying to play with would only play big venues with huge guarantees, he told me this “it’s not a tour, it’s an adventure, and it never ends”. Staying true to those words this tour actually never ended, we finished Mayhem and moved on to Uproar, and who knows what happens next, we found out about Uproar on the last day of Mayhem, so what happens on the last day of Uproar? We will find out September 25th, I just hope we have enough time to fix the Music Adventure Stage, but nothing will stop us from continuing this tour, this adventure, thank you to EVERYONE for all of the support, it means the world to us, without a you there is not a me, or us, and you are not fans of our music or what we do, you are friends, we are all in this together!!!

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