August 26, 2008, posted by Crumbs
Yo, yo, yooooooooooooooooooo!!!
Kicking it here in The Bay once again after wrapping up the last day of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. I am downright shocked at how fast this tour went by, I guess the saying's true, time definitely flies when you're having fun, hell, fun doesn't even begin to describe it! That tour was incredible! Hands-down the best American festival tour we have ever done. Not to say the others were bad or anything, 'cause they weren't, but these guys have really got it down. It was well-organized/planned, very artist-friendly, with super chill vibe, they let bands host BBQ's every few days and paid for some food and booze, and as a result of all of the sponsorships there was a ton of money to go around to take care of shit for the bands. We could not have done anything better right now; without a doubt, this tour was MASSIVE for us.
The crowds themselves were phenomenal, and if I do say so myself, we absolutely KILLED it on this tour!!! We OWNED the side stage!!! Seriously, some of those shows were just plain ridiculous. We had 5,000 kids making 6 pits in Albuquerque... SIX FUCKING PITS!!! It was retarded! And we aren't sittin' there tellin'em to open up the pit for 5 minutes between songs, Head Cases just DO that shit!!! Hell, we usually had no less than 2 pits going at any given time, and even on a "slow" day we played to 3,000 people, it was crazy. On a good day like Mountain View, or Los Angeles, we played to 10,000 people, easily. And to tell you the truth, there wasn't even really a "slow" day, but if I had to mention some standouts, highlights for sure included San Francisco (FUCKING BRUTAL!!!!!!), Los Angeles (SICK!!!), Dallas (AMAZING!), Chicago was nothing short of mind-boggling, sing-a-longs from hell... they fucking love their metal in Chicago, that is for DAMN SURE! Detroit, West Palm Beach, Pittsburgh... Toronto was FUCKING ABSURD!!!! Camden... oh my GOD!!! Uniondale, Atlanta had 3,000 kids raging in the pouring, POURING rain our entire set, it was just... MAN!?! And though this sounds kinda hippie-dippie, a couple of times it had been raining all day... but as soon as we got to "Halo" the sun came out. It was fuckin' goosebump kinda shit, let me tell ya! The kinda shit you read about.
Definitely a HUGE thanks to John Reese, Mayhem, and all the Rockstar Energy Drink crew for going way above and beyond. We also want to thank the Jagermeister crew, Rob and Co. for being so amazing and on the ball, and Jagermeister for giving us endless supplies of Jager!!! All the bands on this tour have been so fucking amazing, such a rad vibe backstage, and awesome to make so many cool, funny, and genuinely good people as new friends. And a big shout out to Strati and the Metal Mulisha dudes for being so cool. Hopefully you got a chance to check out the Metal Mulisha guys... they're fucking UNREAL!!!
Immediately before this run, we did a show in Moscow, the With Full Force festival, and Wacken Seaside. Moscow was fucking incredible. What a great experience. It was actually quite the thriving city, I was thinking it would be all breadlines and cardboard boxes, but much to my surprise, we saw Prada stores and bling! Everyone spoke English pretty well and the show was sincerely amazing. Those people are soooooo into music, it's in their soul. As Dave mentioned in the Mayhem video diary, when we played Descend the entire crowd sat down on the floor, and then shot up and sang, it was so friggin' rad. After that was the With Full Force festival, which we headlined again, always a huge honor for us. I'm not gonna say it was our most flawless performance... *cough* ...both Phil and I were pretty hammered when we played, but man, there was something magical about this show. We were so on fire as a band, it wasn't even funny. We had fuckin' telepathy going and the 4 of us just locked in so friggin' hard, it was an unbelievble feeling. It was a sloppy sort of perfection, drunk and sweaty, spontaneous and reckless, beautiful and dangerous, just when it felt like it might fall apart we pulled it back together and killed it all over again. For me, it was one of the greatest shows this band has ever played, and as I watched it back on the DVD they gave us, I gotta say, it was everything I've ever wanted in a metal show. We owned With Full Force.
This tour hasn't been without it's ups and downs, though. On a personal level, for some unexplained reason I've been dealing with a bout of severe insomnia for the last 6 weeks. I get between 3 to 4 hours of sleep every night, and that's divided up over an 11 hour block of time, as in 1 hour here 3 hours awake, another hour here, another 3 hours awake, 2 hours here, get up cause I'm sick of laying down in my bunk. There were a couple of shows were I was seriously hallucinating from lack of sleep, seeing "skulls in the clouds" and shit... pretty crazy. Not to mention, I also quit caffeine at the beginning of this run which makes the whole insomnia thing that much more maddening, cause I'm so fuckin' tired I really, really, REALLY want to have some coffee or tea right now, but I'm holding on, steadfast. I even switched to caffeine-free Cokes for my Brown Eyes... it's pretty damn annoying to know that I slept better when I drank friggin' caffeine. Jeez!
And as I'm sure you've read by now, Phil had another collapse onstage again, thankfully without any bad connotations attached to it, like the one in Milan last year (if you're unaware of what happened, read the news piece about it HERE). It wasn't booze. It wasn't drugs. In fact, we don't really know what caused it. Since Phil and I were teenagers he's had these episodes of Cardiogenic Syncope. He had them in Vio-Lence. He has them now. He's been to doctors, had scans done, and for the most part, it's a mystery why they happen. Phil took a break from drinking a week ago. Yes, believe it or not, the "Alcohol Dumpster" eased up on the drinking, which is what made the collapse that much more bizarre. We joked that it was DT's, but it was a week after it, which makes it unlikely. I will say though, when Adam announced to the crowd that we wouldn't be able to finish the set, the support was borderline tear-jerking. "Machine-fuckin-Head" chants, "Phil" chants... to the good people of Bristow, we can't thank you enough for the support you guys showed us that day. Phil thanks you. Machine Head thanks you.
Whew!! Soooo... immediately after that, Dave and I flew to the Kerrang! Awards for a whirlwind 24 hours of insanity. The Awards were awesome again this year; held at the same brewery as last time, and once again with the honorable Scott Ian hosting (the man is hysterical!). As we were up for Best Live Band we sat at the table with the Trivium dudes, and as Kerry King was pulled to announce Best Live Band I started to have a funny feeling that we were gonna win, and that we did! It was awesome!! I most certainly want to thank Roadrunner Records UK for flying Dave and I over there, and for everything they've done for the band over the years, we had an awesome time! I joked during our acceptance speech that we didn't really know who to thank other than the fans when you win Best Live Band, so I guess we should just thank ourselves for being "so bad ass!!". Really though, after having a minute to collect my thoughts, once I got to Kerrang TV, I wanted to thank all of the bands we opened for when we first started out who helped shape us into the live beast we are. Specifically, thanks go out to Napalm Death, Obituary (our 1st tour U.S. ever) and Slayer (our 2nd and 3rd tours ever), who we paid our dues with for 5 months as a brand new band. And while plenty of those shows were awesome, more than a few of those Napalm and Slayer shows were hostile as shit. I'll never forget, walking onstage somewhere in America to a sold out show and a front row of 100 dudes flipping us off, screaming "Slaaaaaaayyyyyyer" and spitting at us for the first 25 minutes we were on. During the last 5 minutes we finally won them over, but let me tell ya, you learn A LOT from having to open for Slayer for 5 months. So, if we owe thanks to anyone, we definitely owe it to them!! As well, having to follow Slipknot in '99 when they were the most unbelievable phenomenon we've ever seen was no easy goddamn feat either, so we definitely give them props for forcing us to step up our live game to the millionth power!
We take a short break for now, and then we bop on over to Japan, hit New Zealand for the first time ever, Australia, Europe and more as main support to Slipknot (which is gonna fuckin' RULE!) and after that, we're back in America... as main support to... ahem... METALLICA! HOLY FUCK YEAH!!!!!!
So we will see every one of you wonderful Head Cases on the road very, very soon. Massage those bruises and fat lips, put some ointment on those cuts and scrapes fuckers, 'cause it's gonna be ON!!!
Click here for a bunch of pictures >>
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