We were give a chance to rage it on the loudest stage in the world a few days ago, of course we said “fuck yes!” I promise ill get around to writing a long ass kick ass blog about how this totally epic tour has been going for us, just been too fucking busy, but in the meantime check this out, us playing on The Revolver stage in Hartford, CT at Comcast Center….EPIC……..
We fucking love Redding, because Redding knows how to party! There were literally 30 people wearing Athiarchists shirts at the show and our friends were lining up at the merch booth to support us. The show was out of control and fucking amazing as it always is there, I had about 5 shots of fireball whiskey and was fairly trashed by the end of our set. I didn’t last long at Johnny Rock’s afterparty, as soon as I walked in the door some dumb drunk bitch started talking a bunch of shit to me because Matt pushed me over the couch, so I threw my handful of Frito’s in her face, I said “HOWS IT FEEL BITCH….HOWS IT FEEL….HOWS IT FEEL”, I then told her that it takes a lot for me to throw my Frito’s at someone, because I really fucking love Frito’s, as I exited right out the door I had just walked into, passing out 2 minutes later in the mobile stage.
I woke up the next morning to Dano and Bekka sitting on the couch looking pretty relaxed. Apparently they ate Johnny Rock’s weed brownies, and they were pretty potent. Bekka was sitting upright on the couch staring at the TV, half way passed out as I asked her “you ready to drive in about an hour?” She goes “OH SHIT!” And then I told her that it wasn’t really a drive by show today, we were going to just park in front of the skate park and rage it.
People in Red Bluff were stoked and ready as soon as we pulled up, the door was open in under 15 seconds and we were raging it! About 6 songs in I look to stage right and there is a police officer standing there. I quickly stop playing, get Dano’s attention and he stops, then there is about 5 seconds where we both stood there in complete silence staring at the officer, I then turn around and hit the close button on the door and it is like we were never playing a show. I crawl out the back to see the officer has woken Bekka up from the marijuana coma she was in in the passenger seat.
Before the officer could even look at me I yelled “I’m the one you want to talk to, it’s in my name, yes we were playing a show, and yes were done.” The officer was really nice and she let us hang out and talk to everyone before heading south to Modesto. We pulled into our good friend Brent’s(from Better Left Unsaid) driveway and hung out for the next day. The mobile stage had a bunch of loose ends so it was good to have a day to work on it and fix shit up. The next night we went down to Spinnaker Lounge in Modesto and raged it outside in the parking lot between all the bands. It was pretty damn cool, everyone was really stoked on it, and the police never showed up. I think we played 4 or 5 sets out there, then headed back to Brent’s house.
As we reached the residential area, a Stanislaus County Sheriff pulled right on our 6 and stayed there until we pulled into Brent’s driveway. I immediately got out and was kind of pissed off. Was he worried that a fucking mobile stage with a fancy looking wrap complete with a band name on it was going to break into someones house? He pulls up beside me and just wants to talk. It didn’t take him long to realize I was sober and not even stoned at all…Then Dano walked up.
Turns out Dano is friends with the motherfucker. Says he met the officer when he pulled over his friend the other night on one of his late night missions to party. Then he just wanted to sit there and talk, which is cool with me, whatever, I am always stoked when police are nice to us, but at 3AM in a residential neighborhood after scaring the fuck out of me(because you never know what the police are going to do to you) is not my idea of a good time. We were talking about everything from smoking weed to the Lakers game, I am truly convinced we could have handed him a joint and he would have smoked it. After 30 minutes of this the officer goes to leave, then starts up another 15 minute conversation about how Oregon grows a lot of good weed. You know those kind of people that just want a……friend? The kind of people that won’t end a conversation until you physically walk away. That was this guy, and honestly, it has already shown what goes around comes around, because since we were nice to that officer, and had a nice self esteem raising conversation with him, all the police we run into are in very good moods!!
Southbound and down to Bakersfield we go the next afternoon. To play a house party that some new friends of ours set up. The only other time we have played Bakersfield was for the Rockstar Uproar Festival last September at Rabbobank Arena. I hope everyone understands by now that we will literally fucking play ANYWHERE. A huge stadium parking lot full of thousands of people, to a house party in a garage that holds about 30 people, doesn’t fucking matter, never fucking has.
Everyone was pretty stoked at the house party when we rolled up in a fucking mobile stage. I just love pulling up to places with it, or even driving through town, people know what is up! I had a couple Narural Ice”s and a hot link….stupid idea for someone that had an ulcer a year ago, I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking. By the time we were loading in to rage, people were pretty slammed. Our friend Alan that set up the show for us was getting pissed on because he passed out with his shoes on….Don’t fuck around in Bakersfield!
We raged our asses off for about 5 songs, then waving hands and people yelling to stop….the cops are here. Why oh why oh why do asshole neighbors have to call and complain, I mean really, we were in the hood, who the fuck cares? Our friends Cuntry Control from Bremerton played after us, after the cops left, which felt good that they still got to play, because the last house party we did, the band after us didn’t get to play because of police. We passed out on the side of the road and headed towards Phoenix the next morning, I really need to install a urinal in the mobile stage, it just doesn’t make sense to piss in a home depot bag inside of a 5 gallon bucket, and pissing in gallon jugs looks too much like apple juice.
We stopped by our friend Elia Popov’s manufacturing shop the next morning in Valencia, JFM Manufacturing. They are the bad asses that cut out that sweet looking Athiarchists sign that is hanging above the drums. We gave them the tour of the new mobile stage, and they are going to make us a sweet custom cut front grill for the front of the stage. They really specialize in pyrotechnics, as we look over and see a fuckload of pyro equipment with “METALLICA” written on the side of it. Who knows, maybe one day, you will see some pyro on the mobile stage…..hmmmmmm
Onward to Phoenix, AZ as we have a show there the next night at The Big Fish Pub. The drive wasn’t too bad, not very much wind through the Palm Desert. Some traffic around Indio because Coachella was going on, we didn’t even try to pull into there because we are planning on doing the Big 4 show at the same place this weekend, and didn’t want to be shut down and not able to do it again.
It was awesome rolling into Big Fish Pub and seeing the looks on everyones faces. Everyone kept referring to it as a tour bus. It is so amazing how much nicer the other bands are when you roll up in a mobile stage that looks that legit, compared to rolling up in our 2000 white ford econoline with a missing window. Phoenix always surprises me, it is honestly the only music scene in the world where all the bands sound really tight and good, but literally make their fans wait outside until the band before them finishes, then pack all their shit up and bounce before the next band even starts, taking their crowd with them. Like the promoter is going to see that they brought 33 people and the band after them only brought 25. No shit, I watched a band set up their merch for 45 minutes, then pack it up and leave not selling anything. People need to realize that if everyone had all their fans stay there, the bar would be a lot happier, and the music scene would be way stronger. Our good friend Marshall Fucking Beck set up the show for us, and made a sweet radio ad for it with No Call/No Show playing in the background, so we were stoked.
After the show we headed southeast on I-10 to a truckstop for the night. We needed to be in Tucson the next day and it was only a couple hours away. Woke up to about 100 degree heat…wow Arizona. It was about an hour to Tucson where we were playing at Tucson Raceway Park under the Metal Mulisha ramp. We were early, like we always are, and had about 5 hours to kill, so we fired up the 4000 watt generator and sat there in climate controlled comfort.
Went in to the pits when people started showing up and found out we were going to rage a 20 minute set under the ramp in front of all the cars doing autograph signings, then after the race at 10:30 in the snack bar area. A lot of families were there with young kids so we edited the earlier show and kept it kind of mellow, at least as far as the vocals were concerned. The later show we let the fur fly and people were stoked! 5 year old kids were telling their parents that they think they like heavy metal music. This is also after people were coming up to us with this awesome picture of us with the logo on it and everything, that the track photographer took and printed up 100 copies to give people for free, for us to sign, it was awesome!
Back to Phoenix after eating a bunch of racetrack food, then off to Los Angeles the next morning. Today is the day our episode airs on MTV and we were kind of planning on raging some shows around town, but then we realized that if we raged it around town, we would miss the episode. So we went to Shanes and celebrated the episode being on by watching it a couple times and smoking copious amounts of marijuana with our friends from Redding that came down.
The next day our friends Winds of Plague were having a CD release show at The Key Club, so we thought that would be a perfect place to rage it. We stopped by One11 Ink on the way down to show them that the sweet wrap they put on the van was still looking good, even though it is dirty as fuck and we are afraid to wash it because every time we wash our vehicle, it breaks down. Our friend Rob at One11 called his band mate that is the stage manager at The Key Club and got us on the list, party.
This is the day we decided that it is pointless for us to pull up in front of a venue and park, you have to constantly feed two meters and hope to find a 2 hour parking spot, plus security starts getting sketchy sometimes. We need to just rally into town, rage the show when we arrive, and drive away still raging the show. Here is why it sucks getting there early.
We parked around the corner and walked up to The Key Club. People were talking to us about seeing us on MTV and taking their pictures with us, asking us where the mobile stage is. Just then 2 parking spots opened up right in front of The Key Club. Dano Grabbed the cones, Bekka stood in the empty space, and I drove around the block. As soon as I parked and went to pay the meter, head of Key Club security asked me “WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS”…I said….”what?” He said “WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS!!!”….I said….”WHAT?”…..he said “I know this thing plays music, what are your intentions”….I said…”I know this thing plays music too, but we are here to watch the show right now”….He said “I don’t think that would be a very good idea” as he turns around and is all nice to this half naked drunk chick…I don’t blame him. I guess to be that guys friend you have to have a pair of tits and/or not show up in a mobile stage. There is still a certain amount of respect I gave him for just doing his job, but there is no need to be a prick to me, especially since last time we were in front of The Key Club the manager was totally stoked on what we were doing and even asked us why we never have played inside, I obviously said “because we are from Oregon and refuse to sell $500 in tickets.”
As soon as the stage was parked in front everyone starts saying “THE BLEEDING FROGS ARE HERE!!” People were taking pictures of themselves standing in front of the stage….It was a truly epic moment. We let everyone know that The Bleeding frogs actually weren’t here tonight, and that because security were being dicks, we were going to circle around and play The Rainbow instead, because they actually appreciate it when a band parks up front and plays. Plus we knew Vince Neil was at The Rainbow, and after reading “The Dirt” we had no problem with raging a show for the greatest pimp daddy extrordinaire of all time!
About an hour after the WOP show got out, and everyone was all drunk partying at either The Key Club afterparty or The Rainbow, Bekka looped us around the block and we raged it down Sunset! Stopped in front of The Rainbow for a song and a half, then rolled out of there, still playing, right by the front of The Key Club as I see the head security guard standing out front, I tell him some shit over the microphone about how we respect them and we actually didn’t play in front. I saw a smile on his face, he was just doing his job, there was a smile on my face too, but that was because I was breaking the law.
This was by far the best Rainbow drive by we have done. The place was fucking packed, saw a lot of our friends right up front, and people were literally running from all directions to take pictures and see it. Normally we would have played like 4 songs and waited for the cops to chase us out, but we do things a little differently now…We keep them hungry, and we try to stay out of trouble. Not only is leaving after a song or two better as far as the police are concerned, it raises more uncertainty on to just when The Athiarchists will show up and rage it…adding to the mystery of the mobile stage.
Little did we know what was waiting for us the next day….The absolute hands down greatest mobile show ever.
I always get nervous when people tell us we are fucking stupid, crazy, and are going to get arrested. But nothing could have prepared me for what was going to happen this day. We are going to play down Figueroa Ave in downtown Los Angeles, in front of The Golden God Awards at Club Nokia, followed by the Lakers playoff game at Staples Center a block up the road. No fucking around today, no parking, no feeding meters, no dealing with pricks on a power trip, just straight letting the fur fly all over the place.
We were smashing down 110 south a couple miles from the exit when Bekka yells back “OLYMPIC IS CLOSED!!”…FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK, now time to re route, and anyone that has tried to use a cel phone/google maps in downtown LA knows that they don’t work at all, because there is no bandwidth. After exiting on 4th avenue we then realized that Figueroa is a fucking one way street, going the wrong way! At this point I wasn’t even sure if you could drive down Figueroa facing the right direction, what are we going to do, rage a show driving the opposite way, playing for the buildings across the street, and let the sound reflect back? FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK, turn left here, turn right here, no fuck I fucked up, turn right again, turn right, turn right, alright now go down to Olympic and take a right, then a left on Figueroa, Figueroa is still a one way going the wrong way, wait I see a turn lane, but it still looks like a one way…no its a two way now, YES YES, FUCK YES WE MADE IT, were still 15 minutes early but fuck it, there are police everywhere, lets rage it!
We opened the door to a cop car, police everywhere, almost blew out William Shatner’s ear drums as he exited a limo. Behind that was a sea of people waiting to get in, in front of that were a bunch of officers taking pictures of us with their camera phones…people were fucking STOKED!! Without even batting an eye we switched from the middle of No Call/No show to Go Lakers Go as soon as we could see Staples Center, where there were even more people waiting to get into there. After that we raged it up the 110N, to the I-5 North, all the way to Valencia where a CHP politely told us over his PA “hey you in the truck, could you please stop playing music on the freeway, I don’t particularly care at all, but someone called and complained” Thus being the coolest thing a police officer has ever done for us, thank you LAPD and CHP, you guys are alright! I’m not going to let the bad apples ruin it for the good ones anymore!
So whats next for us? Hanging out for a day or two getting caught up on videos and blogs, then heading down to Indio, CA for The Big 4 Show at Empire Polo Club, and do we have permission to do this? No…at least not yet, but we have a good friend of ours working on it for us, and are crossing our fingers that everything goes well, if we are kicked out, we will at least play on our way out of the parking lot, and the freeway all the way back to Los Angeles!
Other than that we have nothing else planned, just going to go where the wind takes us, well be in Los Angeles until May 1st then we will be up in Seattle right after California Music Adventure from May 7th to the 13th, then will be back in Oregon preparing for Mayhem this summer.
What we have realized more than anything right now is that we can play for any crowd at any show anywhere and people would be stoked. I am fully convinced we could roll up on a Justin Beiber Show and people would be stoked. We have always mixed our music up with literally any kind of music that wants to play with us. We just love to play music, and we love to play music to people that appreciate what we do, which we can accomplish now with the push of a button and a 10 minute drive. Never seeking money, never seeking fame, always remaining true to ourselves while making our own creativity, and at the same time without even trying, making our own luck.
Alright, I am a little behind on the blogging, and not really sure if I should talk about the shit that has happened in the last week, or start off from the beginning…..Ill start off from where we left off, but first we would like to say this:
We would truly like to thank Rob Dyrdek, the entire cast and crew of Fantasy Factory, and everyone at MTV for believing in what we are doing enough to give us the opportunity of a lifetime! To everyone that has been messaging us asking us “is that exactly how it went down, you just showed up and started playing?”. Or another good one is “they scripted all that out didn’t they”, or “so who hooked you up with MTV?” People always want to know an excuse for why they can’t do something, go out and “make your OWN luck”. I can assure you that we showed up at the right place at the right time doing the right thing. They saw the passion in what we were doing and videoed it, everything that happened after that was as real as it gets, there were no re takes, there were no do overs. There were no plans or scripts, we weren’t on The Real World and we weren’t on Road Rules….We were on Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, one of the few truly real reality TV shows left. How could it get any more real, an independent band shows up on the set of a network TV show in a mobile stage to perform for someone who truly inspires them and is thrown on an episode at the last minute, sounds pretty fucking real to me.
So we returned home from California Music Adventure 1 with a completely pimped out mobile stage. It is very difficult trying to conceal the absolute hands down most amazing thing to ever happen to you in life, for 2 months, until the entire world gets to see exactly what we are about because the absolute hands down most amazing person you have ever met believed in what you were doing and gave you a chance. Especially when you are driving around in a mobile stage that now has a vinyl wrap on the outside of it that is worth more than the van itself. So what’s the first thing we do when we get home…Drop it off at the mechanic for a few weeks to make sure the engine is going to hold out, abandon the plans for building a new mobile stage this winter, smoke weed, and come up with some crazy ass idea to move the drums to stage left, and my guitar over to stage right…
It has always been hard for us to find descent mechanics, it just sucks not knowing if you are being fucked over or hooked up. You know how they say a pharmacist is more trusted than a doctor…well an auto mechanic is less trusted than an auto salesman. No offense to any auto mechanics out there, but when I found out the fuckers that installed our motor in Albuquerque didn’t replace the rear main seal or the spark plugs, among other things, and charged us for them, after I told him to replace everything that was remotely questionable, really fucking pissed me off. That obviously explains why it started leaking oil after 2000 miles, why it ran like shit all summer, and why we had to pay about another $2000 to have the motor pulled out again and basically rebuilt. Oh also, we had been running 15-40 in it all summer long, like the motor builders said, come to find out it uses 5-30. Bill with Cars Inc is who we ended up going to in Eugene, after our good friend Crackerbox recommended him. He was like the best mechanic we have ever dealt with, was honest about how much everything would be, fixed everything on it from the springs to the motor…even to the missing hood bolt that had a zip tie in its place.
Our next priority with the mobile stage was to smoke copious amounts of marijuana and stare at it for about a month. We built this thing with no plans, and somehow, when we smoke copious amounts of marijuana and stare at it, we can kind of visualize the plans…in our minds… We finally came to the realization that moving the drums and guitars around wasn’t going to work. Also we realized that all the wood structure that we originally installed was pulling off the walls after 8 months of rough roads. On top of this I finally took it to a weigh station to find out it weighed 20,000lbs, 2,000 lbs over it’s current registered maximum vehicle weight. We solved the legal weight problem by registering it as an RV, which is measured in length….It’s kind of hard to go over your length limit! It was a tough decision looking at this freshly painted pimped out interior complete with drapes, microwave, refrigerator, and new beds then having to rip it all out, but it needed to be done. Keep in mind we had been planning on building a new bigger mobile stage, with one more bunk for a driver, so we also had to make more room in this one somehow.
Even though it is now an RV and weight doesn’t matter, it still doesn’t make sense to drive around with 1000lbs of 1 1/2″ plywood decking on the floor, so we were forced to gut absolutely everything out. Next thing to happen was to replace the Cerwin-Vega TS-42’s with Cerwin-Vega CVP-121’s as well as replace the Crown XLS 5000 running the subs with 2 Cerwin Vega CV-2800’s. The folded horns that we had in there sounded great, but just took up too much room and weighed too much.
We also wanted to put another 4000 watt generator in to run a rooftop A/C unit so we don’t die this summer in the humid heat. 2 weeks before we left I thought it would be a good idea to drive down to Onan and see if they can squeeze us in for about 100 man hours worth of work at the last minute. Everyone at Onan was fucking stoked and ready, drop it off in 2 days, well get it back to you in 5 days at the earliest, but probably more like 8 days. For some reason it didn’t even cross my mind that it is Monday evening, and we are leaving next Saturday….12 days away and the mobile stage is about 5% built on the inside, everything is still gutted out, including the entire electrical system. I got out my phone “Hey Dano…who’s holdin’ right now, lets get stoned and stare at the stage”
I threw a coat of spray paint on the wood so it at least looked like it was a little more complete, now 5.5%. About 8 cans, enough to get me high enough to walk into walls. Picked Dano up in the morning, went to the U-Haul hangar, sat in our practice room which is really a foosball room because we never practice, stared at the mobile stage for awhile, pulled away the docking bay, closed the door, and took it in to Onan the next morning…5.6% complete.
We received confirmation that we are going to be on the entire Rockstar Mayhem Tour this summer again, playing in the mobile stage before doors, under the Metal Mulisha 3 times a day, as well as afterparties. Blinded by good news, we decided to smoke weed for a couple days and at some point over the weekend I realized that if the mobile stage comes back from Onan on Friday….and we leave on Saturday…….hmmmmm. First thing Monday I called Onan to try and get a better idea of when it would be done, they pushed some buttons, pulled some strings, had everyone in the shop work on it, and had it back to us by Tuesday afternoon.
Believe me when I say Onan turned our mobile stage into a true motorhome! It now has 2 generators totaling 16,500 watts of power with 80amps, a 2000 watt inverter, a rooftop A/C and heat pump unit, a 50amp transfer switch with external plug for shore power, both generators charge the inverter batteries to a maximum of 350 amp hours, and remote start/stop switches are in the same spot conveniently located above the power amps next to the inverter computer panel, in front of the air conditioner/heat pump thermostat control…bitchin.
Now it is time to build everything inside, and I mean EVERYTHING. Weld together an aluminum drum riser(thanks Scott), finish building all the wood framing inside, install all sound equipment to test, remove all sound equipment to paint, run all speaker wires/microphone cables, re-wire all the electrical(thanks Scott) the list goes on and on and on, all while leaving the bunk area tore apart because it is going in Friday morning to Overhead Door for the automatic remote control roll up door. Once again we are up for 48 hours straight, watching the sun rise, watching the sun set, just knowing we have to finish as much as possible in a short amount of time.
Overhead door had it for about 5 hours on Friday, and they hooked it the fuck up. Just like Onan, Overhead Door is fucking amazing and pulls strings to get shit done quickly for us…Probably because they know we are procrastinating stoners! We walk up, Paul hands us a remote, we push a button, and the door fucking opens….No fucking way! This is going to make it a whole lot easier to deal with police!
Time for another all nighter. Somehow shit was getting done and it got done, Dano was cutting wood, I was screwing it together, Bekka was organizing merch, then as the last screw went in, everything else just kind of got thrown in the side and organized after we left. There are a lot of things we did not finish that we will add once we return home before Mayhem Tour like safety harnesses, grab handles, 2 active CV-28’s for monitors when people need them, and probably way more shit that will be remembered when we draw up the blueprints….in our minds…
This whole rebuild was about adding versatility and reliability to the mobile stage, the drum riser comes apart into 2 – 2′ 6″ x 6′ sections and is carried into any venue with the drums still attached, I pull out my Mesa 2 x 12 combo amp, Ampeg bass combo amp, and we are raging it inside the venue 5 minutes after we just played outside. Also while we are playing inside, our sound engineer Mike Lavin is out in the mobile stage mixing the live recording we just made in the mobile stage because everything going into the mixer is recorded live straight to a computer. Then he sends it to the 10 disc duplicator right below the mixer which he then takes in to Bekka at the merch booth so we can give people a solid studio quality live recording an hour after the show is over that you pay what you want for.
After telling everyone that I actually slept for a couple hours when I really didn’t, we left the hangar at about 4PM on Saturday. Heading south to Red Bluff and at some point around 8PM I realized we were not going to make it to the early Red Bluff show, so we promised them we would rage the skate park the next day at 4PM on our way to Modesto, and stopped in Redding at Bombays for the first rager of the tour.
Here are some pictures of the reconstruction of the mobile stage
In case you have been camping in the woods for the last 2 months, you have now heard of our new side project/supergroup that we are involved in called The Bleeding Frogs, right now more than ever we need everyone to follow on twitter @bleedingfrogs and put in your 2 cents(if you have any) on where in the Los Angeles area The Bleeding Frogs Mobile Stage Street Tour should go!
Two massive blog updates to come real soon, “assholes and elbows, mobile stage reconstruction” and “California Music Adventure Part 2”. Other than this, The Athiarchists will be performing in the mobile stage in front of the Winds of Plague CD release show at The Key Club tomorrow night, followed by The Golden God awards the next night at Club Nokia out front, and The Big 4 show in Indio, CA this weekend with Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax….Do we have permission for any of this….no. But if they tell us to stop, we will, and then we will go somewhere else and play there…there is no stopping the music adventure, LETS RAGE IT!!
Usually I remember everything that happened really well, I don’t even need to watch the videos to remind me of what we did, so I read back to the end of the last blog, oh yeah, that was the blog I wrote hammered drunk on whiskey, the start of “the bender of Dano’s birthday month”. I passed out at typical Aaron drunk on whiskey time, which is about 4 hours after we crack the bottle. I have been lasting longer and longer every time, and was done around 12AM, plus we had to wake up at 10AM to leave in time to play at High Voltage Tattoo again, and make it to NAMM in time to get our badges.
I woke up around 4AM to piss outside the U-Haul and see Dano still had the garage wide open with the fire blazing in the back yard. He is either passed out in the chair with a drink in his hand, or partying his ass off by himself. Yep, hes partying his ass off by himself. As I look to my left and see an almost empty half gallon of whiskey, he comes blasting out of the bathroom, drink in hand, on the phone. As soon as he sees me standing in the room he almost has a heart attack and says, “hey lets smoke some grass!!” I stayed up for another hour and a half for some reason, ate more microwave ravioli which was a horrible idea, then passed back out.
I am not sure when he actually went to sleep, but I was honestly a little worried about trying to wake him up to play in front of High Voltage at noon. Sure as shit as soon as I touched him and said “hey Dano, time to play!” He opened his eyes, jumped out of bed, hopped on the drums, and was ready to rage it. We exited on Vine, turned right on Hollywood, and into the left turn late to La Brea, I hopped in the back and Bekka got behind the wheel. Opened the door and we started raging it!
There was a hollywood tour bus parked almost right in front of High Voltage, so we were kind of sticking out into the intersection a little bit. Unbeknown to any of us at the time was a sheriff sitting at the light on Fountain, staring right at the mobile stage playing music in the middle of the intersection. She did not fuck with us though, and let us finish, then pulled in front of us once we were parked and standing outside on the sidewalk. As she walked up to us before she could even say anything I asked her “hey do you know how to get to Anaheim from here?” She told me were a long way from Anaheim and that she saw everything we just did. She was really nice, allowed Bekka to video the whole thing, told us we got caught with our hand in the cookie jar, and that we can’t be doing this kind of stuff.
“Hey thanks for being so cool!” That is my line that I say to police at the end of every interaction, it just kind of happens naturally I guess. I guess it is me saying thank you for not giving me a ticket, because if you are an asshole to police, which I would love to be able to be, they will do what they want, and fucking ruin your life. The last thing I want to have to deal with is going to court 900 miles away from where I live, so, thank you for being so cool!
Stopped into High voltage to give them all shirts, CD’s, and talked to them for a minute, gave cards to everyone that saw it, and headed south to Anaheim. You know, now that I know how to get to Anaheim, police can be so helpful sometimes! Little did I know how that the police force where I was heading to was ran by Mickey Mouse, coked out of his mind in his office that overlooks the city, obviously sharing his hatred of Music Adventure Stages with his entire police force…Well get there after explaining 3 days of walking, drinking, and partying!
The motto for this years NAMM was “take it to 11″, because it’s 2011, whoever decided to use that slogan must have not known that instead of any bands like Spinal Tap playing at the show, you have 11 year old girls with fake tits dressed up like whores singing a shitty cover song that you hear all too much, and not even doing a very good job at it, then you walk inside and see the guitar player for that band standing at a booth like a caged zoo animal playing the guitar riff to the same song the chick was singing outside playing in the background for the 6th time that day. No shit that scenario actually happened, and it only made me feel better about what we had planned for Saturday night.
Later at night The Hilton and Mariott will have heavy bands, this year Kobra Kai and House of Broken Promises played…and The Athiarchists. I was worried all fucking weekend, about parking the mobile stage, about it not getting broken into, and mainly about what we were telling people all week. Saturday night at 9:45 we are going to drive in front of The Anaheim Convention Center Hilton and play 1 song, in front of cops, security, and everyone there partying!
When we arrived in Anaheim we went straight to a Denny’s by the convention center. We had to figure out where to park to go into the show because there is no way we could leave it parked at Denny’s. All of the convention parking was in parking garages, which do not fit the mobile stage at 11’6″ tall. After we ate we took off down the road driving around in circles. Pulled into the Anaheim Plaza hotel to see if they had a room available, which is damn near impossible for a hotel that close to the convention at this time. Most of these hotels are booked over a year in advance. Somehow they had one fucking room available for us, so I took it, didn’t care what it cost, there was NOWHERE, and I mean absolutley fucking nowhere at all to park a vehicle that is 11’6” tall and takes up two parking spots lengthwise.
The room was $155 including all taxes, expensive, but not too bad considering there are no rooms anywhere else. Plus the parking pass said 1/13 and 1/14 so we can use it tomorrow with no room, then turn the 4 into a 9 to last the rest of the weekend….And people say stoners aren’t very smart! Went in and took showers, started drinking some whiskey, smoked some weed, then headed up to the convention center to get our badges. We went in for the last 2 hours then got ready for the first party of NAMM, lets take it to 11!
Returned to the room to drink more whiskey, and smoke more weed. It is nice having a hotel that is only a 25 minute walk from the Hotel….sounds fucking crazy, but the first year we went it was almost an hour walk. We went down to The Hilton with a pretty good buzz and ran into pretty much 75% of the people we met this summer on Mayhem and Uproar. It was fucking awesome! Again I am not going to start naming a bunch of names, because honestly anyone who has been to NAMM before knows that EVERYONE is there, and it is a fucking PARTY!
I was fucking hammered, stomach was kind of fucked up, and I was tired from pounding whiskey the night before, so I passed out around 2 in the morning. I wanted to try and make it to the free breakfast at 8AM at the convention center, but decided not to and sleep for a couple more hours, because once again I am nervous about tonight. Playing after the Dean party with Hellyeah and Megadeth at The Grove in Anaheim, the same parking lot we played our first parking lot show ever, that ended with a police helicopter shining its light on us, but that was over 2 years ago!
I woke up around 9:30AM to take an emergency morning whiskey shit, keep in mind I slept in the mobile stage because there was a party in our room all night long! I saw Dano sitting on the curb talking on his phone but I don’t think he saw me. I knew he had to have still been awake from the night before, but I didn’t even have time to talk or find out the story yet, because right before I went to sleep, I also pounded a bunch of nasty 7-11 food.
When I came out I got the full run down, he finished the bottle of whiskey, partied all night, stayed up long enough to get the free breakfast, walked the 25 minutes to The Hilton with a strong whiskey and coke in his clear plastic cup that looks like coffee, stumbled into the free breakfast just in time before they closed the doors, ate all the food that was left in there, walked back to the room, sat on the curb, and was talking on his phone. Wayyyyy more shit happened in there as well, but that is between Dano and the bottle of whiskey.
Dano decided that he just wanted to stay up all day, fuck sleep. I didn’t think it was a very good idea seeing as all we were doing during the day at NAMM was aimlessly walking around in circles not doing much. Finally sometime around 1PM he decided to throw in the towel and just go to sleep. Good idea because tonight we are raging it at The Grove after Megadeth finishes up.
Fairly uneventful day at the NAMM show, there are sooo many people there that it makes trying to talk to anyone at the booths about anything at all very difficult. Pretty much everyone says to email them next week after the show, it is really kind of worthless to be at the show during the day, the real action is after the show is over, everyone parties their ass off!
We walked back over to the mobile stage and rolled down to The Grove. The parking people freaked out when I told them we were going to the show, like no one has ever rolled up in a U-Haul with stickers all over it before? They said it was going to cost me $20 instead of $10 but they still didn’t know where to park us. I asked them “how about over there by the handicap parking”. You know, over there, right in the middle of the parking lot in a completely open area, where it is perfect for a mobile stage show!
We went in and watched the show, met up with our good friends Brent, Rob, and Greg from Better Left Unsaid. Watched all of Hellyeah then rolled out to the stage about half way through Megadeth’s set. Waited, waited, waited, yep there’s the people, lets rage it!! It was a totally awesome epic show, like they always are! I realized that I can be nervous for 2 days straight, but while I am actually playing music doing the most illegal thing the mobile stage does, I am not nervous at all. It is such a crazy feeling of being high and low at the same time, it is like the perfect drug.
No one shut us down and we played about 5 songs, went over and said whatsup to everyone at the Hellyeah bus, then it was back over to the hotel to poach our old parking spot. We all walked down to The Hilton again for the crazy fucking party. Tonight while we were at The Grove, the TV show American Chopper was at The Hilton unveiling a new motorcycle as our friend Arthur’s band “House of Broken Promises” raged it. I wish we could have made it to that show! Also at 11PM our friends Matt and John were raging it at The Marriott with their side project “Kobra Kai”. We missed that one as well, they all understand though, everyone knows plans change all the time in The Music Adventure Stage.
Alright Dano, Bekka went back and passed out a couple hours ago, I am fucking tired and I am going to pass out now, goodluck with the rest of your evening! At this point Dano needs to just start writing about everything that happens in his crazy ass stay up all night drinking whiskey nights, because anytime I tell you it is really second hand, and I know I am missing a lot of cool shit. Something about watching people throw chairs on the back patio at The Hilton and hotel room parties all night long.
Woke up around 10AM to head down to pretty much the only meeting that was scheduled for us at NAMM, in the Cerwin-Vega meeting room. Put on my fancy “look professional” shirt, grabbed my laptop, and went to the meeting. We talked about the new mobile stage and what speakers we are putting in it, got some free swag, this that and the other thing, email us next week, and thanks for coming by!
Walked back to the U-Haul to drop off my computer, smoked some weed, met up with Dano, and got ready for the show that I have been worried about for weeks, playing a drive by show in front of The Hilton at 9:45 on Saturday night at the NAMM show! I have never been this nervous before in my life, Dano went and passed out in the van for a few hours, so there I was standing in the smoking area with Bekka, going over the game plan, where to drive, what to do. Musicians I have looked up to my entire life were coming up to me and saying “you are going to do fine, just fucking rage it, you guys are fucking crazy! Your skin looks a little pale too, and your hands are really sweaty, calm down.”
I turn to Bekka and say the one thing I always say before a drive by show “Dirka Dirka…Muhommed Gihad!” Haha we have this joke that every time we are getting ready to do a drive by show where we have to switch drivers, that the feeling of stress and uncertainty closely rivals that of a terrorist getting ready to do something…Only we are musical terrorists, playing driveby shows to protest driveby shootings!
Made it to the van, woke Dano up, fired up the generator, lets do this! Kept looking at the clock waiting for the perfect time to leave, we had to play right at 9:45, not before, preferably not after, we are always on time, we can do this. I don’t want to be in a holding pattern driving around the block waiting for our window of opportunity!
We turned left on Harbor at 9:42, sat at the Hotel way light for 1 1/2 minutes, turned right onto hotel way at 9:44, was stopped at the entrance to the taxicab lane at 9:45. The lady kept telling me we can’t drive through there, go out on the regular street. I told her over and over that we needed to drop some people off, and that it would be a lot easier if we could just pull in, it will only take a minute, and we will be out of the way. After asking one last time she finally caved in and said it was cool…..15 seconds later Bekka was behind the steering wheel, the door was open, and we were FUCKING RAGING IT for everyone at The Hilton!
Seeing the looks on everyone’s faces was absolutely fucking priceless! The people that knew what was up knew what was up, and the people that had no idea what was up had their cameras out and were fucking stoked! We finished our song in front of the smoking area, Bekka and Dano hopped out, and I took off to go find a parking spot. As soon as I pulled back out on Hotel way you can guess who pulled in behind me. Mickey mouse’s private security guard, the Anaheim Police…And judging by the way he was following me….Mickey Mouse is fucking pissed!!
Anaheim is basically owned by Disney, and I honestly know that Walt Disney would not have a problem with our creativity and our mobile stage, but his son, Mickey Mouse, has a problem with people fucking things up in his resort community. We can just envision Mickey Mouse sitting at his table with a huge pile of blow in front of him, after taking the fattest line anyone has ever taken before, police chief fat fucking dumbass calls him and says what we just did. Mickey Mouse responds with “get those fucking Athiarchists the fuck out of my nice resort community!” Since police chief fat fucking dumbass is paid by Mickey Mouse, he does whatever he says to do.
Sure as shit I was pulled over a little under a mile after leaving The Hilton, this was only after everyone I passed on the street by all the hotels was giving me the horns and yelling at us to play again. I pulled into the parking lot at Chubby’s, a place where our friend said to park, and the pig pulled me over for crossing 4 yellow lines, you know where I am from 4 yellow lines in the middle of a divided road with a space wider than a car between 2 pairs of lines is a fucking turn lane, but he had another reason for pulling me over, and that was loud music.
So here approaches officer fat fucking dumbass, hand on gun, walking like he has a dick shoved up his ass….come to find out after talking to him, he did have a dick shoved up his ass! Actually come to find out, Mickey Mouse shoves dicks up all the Anaheim Police’s asses. I honestly do not know how you can be such a fucking dick, if I were that much of a dick, I would kill myself out of sheer lack of self esteem, knowing that I had to have a gun to hide the fact that I have a small penis.
“Let me have your license”. I told him it was in the back, and asked if I could go back and grab it. He said “Sure”, hand still on gun, then walks to the front of the vehicle and shines his light in the back so I can see in there…oh thank you officer…your so kind. When I went to the back I also grabbed the camera that was still recording and set it behind the drivers seat, then came back up with my wallet. Gave my ID to the pig and he went to his car. Then came back and explained to me that if there is one more complaint about this vehicle, that we will be going home on a train because they are going to take our “house” away from us.
Fuck you and the horse you rode in on officer fat fucking prick. We just played one song outside the Hilton with 4 other bands playing music in all hotel lobbies, it was loud outside and we weren’t much louder…we were just breaking the rules……..and Mickey Mouse doesn’t like that very much!! The hotel staff even told Dano and Bekka that they wanted us to come back and play again, no one was pissed off at The Hilton at all, which brings me to the thing I hate more than the actual police, and that is, COP CALLERS.
Who the fuck calls the police and says someone is being too loud on a Saturday night at one of the biggest loudest parties of the year, I will never find out who it is, but just know this, whoever you are, FUCK YOU. I called Dano and Bekka and let them know what happened with the police, they met me over by the hotel we were parked at all weekend. There was absolutely nowhere to park and we had all the pigs in town watching us. The pig that pulled me over even asked me where I was staying, and to get the fuck out of town. We went up to the Wal-Mart on Euclid to meet up with our good friends in Better Left Unsaid, who somehow missed our show even though they were there at 9:45….
We argued for about an hour, Brent tried saying they were there right at 9:45, we told him we knew we were there at 9:45, then we thought it was kind of this “Field of Dreams” effect where the only people that could see us had to be stoned. Come to find out, Brent was there at 9:45, went into the parking structure for 2 minutes, and we were gone. The Music Adventure Stage does not fuck around, we roll in while playing one song, and as soon as the song is finished the door closes, and we are gone. In other words, don’t blink or you will miss it!
We decided not to go to NAMM on Sunday because there was nowhere to park Saturday night, we kind of already saw everything inside that we needed to anyway. So back up to Castaic we went, time to download the camera, drink beer, and light balls on fire. Fairly uneventful evening though, everyone was pretty shot, we got in the hot tub, drank some beers, and is it fucked up that balls are lit on fire so much here I can’t even remember if someone lit their balls on fire that night?
The next night we decided to go down to The Rainbow because some of our friends were going to be down there, and it’s been almost a week since the last drive by there. Shane said his friend Abe was coming into town, and that he was a crazy fucking skateboarder that will fit right in with us. 10 minutes after Abe walked in the door he lit his balls on fire….Then said fuck it do it again! YES!
They decided to ride along with us down to The Rainbow in The Athiarchists Music Adventure Party Bus. You see the mobile stage is like a transformer, the difference between The Music Adventure Stage and The Music Adventure Party Bus is we pull out 3 red fold up chairs, fire up the generator, turn on the lights, plug an Ipod into the PA, and everyone gets to party drink beer and jam out while I drive down the freeway. No this is not legal, if it were registered as an RV it would be, and its why were going to make sure the new mobile stage is a registered RV, but for the sake of partying, you have to do what you have to do. Seeing the looks on peoples faces that ride in the mobile stage and get to roll up the door is fucking priceless!
Then our friend Chad Lee that was going to meet us at The Rainbow was not able to get a ride there, so you can guess what happened next. We added Chad and Black Label Dave to the roster for the Music Adventure Sunset Strip Rainbow Bar Party Bus. Down Sunset strip we went, loaded up with 7 people, an acoustic guitar, beer, weed, and cigarettes. I opened the back window to see them all playing and singing Hank II Family Tradition, it was an epic feeling knowing this was all happening while driving down the road. Keep in mind at this point I didn’t know Shane took 3 shots of everclear before we left.
There were no parking spots anywhere in West Hollywood, I pulled up to a stoplight and told everyone to GET READY to get out. Next thing I know, the back door is open, 2 people have gotten out, the light is green, and I’m sitting in the middle of the road with 4 cars behind me…fuck! As I pulled away I saw Shane and Bekka in the back still, I asked them if anyone got ran over.
I drove the longest circle around the block, I thought for sure I would find a parking spot. It is a fucking bitch driving a mobile stage through Hollywood, going from Santa Monica up to Sunset just to do a loop around the block involves driving up hills so steep that when the light is red at the top and we have to stop, the tires peel out on pavement….It is a really sketchy feeling.
Somehow landed a perfect parking spot right in front of The Whisky, got parked and went into The Rainbow. Hung out at The Rainbow for about an hour and a half, our friend Jessica and her friend showed up, ran into some other people. Everyone was pretty hammered and it was getting late, so it was time to rage. WOW there are 2 parking spots open up front, hold the spot and ill go get the stage.
We parked right in front of The Rainbow, opened up the door and started raging. After we finished our first song everyone wanted another song, after we finished that song Chad wanted us to do Reign in Blood. 15 minutes sure flies by and you kind of forget about the police coming. Everyone piled in, I think more people piled in than I even knew were going to pile in, I don’t know who the fuck was back there. I pulled out and turned on the next street down to Santa Monica. About 30 seconds later Chad calls me and says there are 2 police out front asking everyone where we went.
I then turned on Santa Monica Blvd, I do not even need a GPS down here anymore, and I knew that there were about 30 stoplights between where I’m at and the freeway. It was like playing a real life version of Grand Theft Auto! Right now I was at 5 stars, if a cop saw me they would surely pull me over, and when they saw what was going on in the back of the U-Haul they would fucking shit! I can not even imagine what would happen, it is not legal to have anyone back there at all right now, let alone drinking beer.
When I got to the freeway entrance it was closed and I had to take a detour up to Sunset via a bunch of side streets. Just when I thought I was free, it was another 10 minutes of driving around, my adrenaline was fucking pumping. As soon as I saw the entrance to I-405 North I opened the back curtain and had Bekka relay the message to everyone to crank up the PA and fucking start partying hard!
One point on the way home I kind of glanced in the back and I don’t even want to know what was going on back there, some people were scared of it all and hid in a bunk, I don’t know much as I have only heard a couple different versions of the story, but, well just leave it at that. We made it back to Castaic, everyone piled out the back, and I kind of just sat in the drivers seat with the door open for about 20 minutes. All the stress from everything and then its all over, it is such a crazy relieving feeling, and on top of that, you just did something no one else has done, played in a mobile stage on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood…For the 4th time in 2 weeks.
I passed out some time around 4AM, right as Dano was pouring himself an everclear Rockstar. Woke up to Dano still awake, and told him he needs to write all his crazy fucking epic adventures down in a book, because I am done trying to explain them, the happenings of last night were crazier than I have heard in awhile, but it is just another day in the office for Dano. He just took off with Shane to go hang out with Mastodon in Long Beach, as well as one of our other good friends that can party harder than most people we know, Darren. I decided to stay here tonight, get caught up on blogs, edit videos, you know, let all of you know what we have been up to all weekend.
As for the rest of the week we are going to lay low for a minute. We have to stay here until next weekend so we have another 10 or so days left, and we need to make sure to not get the van impounded. Also we have absolutely no money and everything around here is so far away, it is really hard to sell merch when the police are chasing you around. We are kicked out of Anaheim, Hollywood, and the city of Los Angeles, with a couple close calls with Los Angeles County Sherriff’s.
We have done so many crazy things since we’ve been down here, and we have truly made our mark. We have definitely accomplished more than we ever dreamed with a $2000 U-Haul from a lawnmower repair shop in Eugene, OR. The registration and insurance expire on it March 1st. It is very very very expensive to insure and register Music Adventure I, because it is not considered an RV and there is not enough room to install the things to make it an RV. It is why as soon as we return home at the Beginning of February we are starting on Music Adventure 2, it will be registered as an RV, it will be longer, taller, wider, faster, and more powerful.
There is nothing wrong with Music Adventure I, no it is not for sale, and never will be. The main focus right now is building the new one and using the old one as an emergency backup. We will own it forever though, it is a total prototype that we built with no plans, only determination and weed. Hours upon hours were spent building that thing, and the last 8 months we have spent in it have changed our lives forever.
We built it because we wanted to play shows wherever the fuck we wanted to, and we have accomplished that. With the mobile stage we have played most of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, most of the Rockstar Uproar Festival, the off dates in between, in the middle of the road in random cities across the country, about 50 shows all over the city of Eugene, The John Henry’s Burlesque show probably 10 times, the Sunset strip, La Brea Avenue, High Voltage Tattoo, Crazy Girls twice, The Rainbow 4 times, The Whiskey, The Roxy, The Key Club, The 2010 Guitar Center Drum off, The Grove in Anaheim, The Anaheim Hilton, and who knows where the fuck well stop on our way home.
If you aren’t living your life, your dying. If you’re working somewhere you don’t want to work, then you need to quit and do what you want to do. This isn’t about money, this inst about fame, this is about playing music. Music saved our lives and so we dedicate our lives to it.
I hope what inspires more bands to realize that it is not about getting paid, and that you have to play music like it is a hobby until it naturally turns into a job for you. This shit is not easy at all. In fact everything we are doing down here is harder than driving 800 miles a night this summer on the Mayhem and Uproar tours. It takes balls, determination, and dedication to what you are doing. We are eating $.88 cans of ravioli every day, we do not care how much money we are making, just as long as we have enough to get to where we are going. I could die tomorrow and totally be cool with it, because I know that I am truly doing what I want to be doing in life. If you never try, you will never succeed, the world is smaller than you think it is, and you get out of life what you put into it, nothing is free.