By Valient Himself (Valient Thorr)
Alahoyus. This will be the final transmission of the VALIENT THORR FALL- INTO MADNESS TOURR. Or the VALIENT THORR AUTUMN OF 1000 CHARACTERS TOURR. Or whatever. I like to change the name nightly. We have definitely met some interesting cats out there this go round. When we last left off, I think we were in San Fran? Who knows, I know that Red Fang had just recovered from turning their van over a few times, only to land alive and with gear that still worked. As for their van, well, you heard the story I’m sure, they found one and off they went, catching up with us in one of our favorite spots in the country. San Francisco. I tried some pizza from a place called Escape From New York Pizza. But as for t-shirts with Snake Plisskin holding a big deep dish pie that read, “I don’t give a fuck about your war… or your anchovies,” they had none. I call that a missed opportunity. But I digress.
Next we headed down to Santa Barbara, where the waves were plentiful and the parking was not. Up next was Costa Mesa, the hometown of our label, Volcom Entertainment. We’ve spent some time hear over the past few years, so it’s sort of like another home to us. That meant we knew we were in for a treat that night. However, before we could head down there, we were to stop by the Hot Topic HQ to record a Shockhound Session. We showed up to this building, and were escorted to a huge room that turned out to be a venue in the middle of hundreds of desks decorated in tons of knick knacks and collectible Japanese toys and ornate colorful posters, stickers, trinkets, and whatnots. The venue in this place was pro. We set up, and a dude typed a little email, and within five minutes, a couple hundred employees filed into the “family room”. We knocked out five songs, which can be seen here along with an interview with the Nitewolf and I done shortly after.
After the hot and sweaty morning, we packed our gear and headed down to Costa Mesa, and hit up showers at the team house before cruising in for soundcheck at the Detroit Bar. This is another one of our favorite venues. We expected a wild crowd, and no one let us down that night as heads came outta the woodwork. Even dudes we didn’t recognize speaking of partys of old. But that doesn’t surprise me anymore. When you party every day, some of them seem to slip away from you. Take pictures (and back them up). The show was an absolute blast, and lemme tell ya since our run with them is over, I thoroughly enjoyed singing a cover of Wipers “Over the Edge” with Red Fang every night. One of my favorite bands to pop on these days, and it was a pleasure especially when I memorized the words after cheating a bit the first night.
Wanting to stay and play it was hard to get up the next morning and drive ourselves out to Vegas. Don’t get me wrong, Vegas has that certain appeal to some people, but for me, after days and days of driving, the last thing I wanted to do that morning was leave the cool beach breeze and drive back out into the fucking desert. But, we are on a mission. So… We headed out to Vegas and much to our surprise the bartenders that night were getting their naked lady bodies hand painted in full Thorrior regalia. What I’m saying here is that two pretty ladies had images of our Valient Thorr jean jacket vests painted onto their bodies, and if you weren’t up close you couldn’t really tell they were naked. Well, I could tell. But it did look pretty convincing. That was pretty awesome. I hope that catches on in every city… purely for freedom’s sake (of course).
Next up was L.A. We had a weird deal happen here, where our show was bumped for a reggae fest, and moved to another venue. It ended up being cool and the crowd was rad, but who can REALLY rock out at 6, or 7, or 8 or even 9 p.m. You’d have to be ready to be day drunk to fully go for it then, but a lot of people can’t pull shit like that, so the show was a bit tame, especially compared to Costa Mesa. One rad thing happened though. We met Green & Wood. They were awesome, and super hospitable as well. A big thank you to them. Good to see Jared from Big Business/Melvins and all of our other friends out there.
Next up was breakfast, and then a short drive to San Diego. The Casbah has been one of our best spots since our first ever cross country tour years ago. The last few tours it has gotten better and better, and has ended up being one of our expected rowdiest nights of tour. And the same thing happened that night. Good friends, a good opening band called Ghetto Blaster, and a late night karaoke session with Red Fang at some of their friend’s compound shared by a who’s who of Swami and other legendary SD bands.
Tempe was wild as hell with local bands Bro-Loaf and Hogjaw joining the bill. After this we had a day off and decided instead of rotting in the middle of bumfuck that we were gonna go party with our buddies Riverboat Gamblers in Austin. It was Ian Gambler’s birthday, and there was promise of pizza partys and private karaoke rooms. All they had to say was pizza. We visited a killer video store where I found a copy of BAND OF THE HAND, and went to Ruby’s BBQ, Antone’s record store, Jackalope’s bar, Conan’s Pizza, and partied hard. It was great to hang with the dudes. We had a blast with them.
Then we headed out to House of Rock at Corpus Christi. The show was great, the highlight here also happening to Red Fang, although I don’t know if I should call it a highlight. After the show, their merchman/handiwizard/all around awesome dude Chris got jacked in the mouth by some redneck basically for just walking by. It was horseshit and another trip to the emergency room for the dudes. (I’ll pause here for a moment to talk about trips to the ER. Whenever cops come for some reason, if anything happens now, they send you to the ER. But they won’t take you in a lot of spots. They’ll call you a cab, if that. That’s a lot of sitting around for almost nothing and then paying out the ass for a bunch of hassle… Also, if something else bad goes wrong and you have to call the police, it seems like they can never do anything there anyway, you have to go to the station. Then why the hell did anyone call you out anyway? If nothing can be done here, and we ALWAYS must go “downtown”, why does anyone ever call the police unless like “shots are fired”. Over and over again, to me it just seems useless. That’s not about ER tho… Watch out breaking glass in the clubs, especially on or around the stage, ol Sadat Thorr sliced his finger open badly in KCMO. And DEVO just cancelled their dates because Bob Mothersbaugh almost cut his thumb off. Anyway, I’m rambling.)
Next up was Dallas. There is nary a sober eye in the house when we rock the Doublewide, and our buddy Jeff’s band Maleveller rocked the house. This was almost a year to the day when we rocked there last year, and it made me wish we could ride the mechanical bull again the next day like last year all over again. We arrived in Houston in time to party with the Thorriors, I ate a shrimp melt, and then we got to party with ol Voiden Thorr! It was awesome, but sad, ’cause it was time to part with Red Fang.
I’m running out of time here, so I’m gonna speed up the pace: Our friends from NC, Caltrop joined the tour here. New Orleans was awesome. I shared a bowl of seafood gumbo and a bowl of rabbit jumbalaya with an old friend, and drank a $9 pina colada. I also stayed up til 8 a.m. Nuff said. Pensacola was weird and drunken as always, starting with a guy screaming at me while I was sitting on the curb, “I toured with Metallica, and WE never used a fucking U-Haul!”, and then, “Cliff Burton was my boyfriend! He died in bus accident!” And then stumbled off into the club. Yeah. Exactly. Last night we played in Tallahassee, after the venue was changed on us 3 times. We ended up playing the Engine Room, which used to be the Beta Bar. And we were ready for a break. Dying for one really. Today we drove to Gainesville, and tomorrow we will play the Fest, with High On Fire, Torche, Kylesa, Black Tusk, and a host of others. And that’s just our bill. We finish out the tour in Columbia, SC, and Greensboro, NC on Halloween. Then next week, the Troika Festival in Durham, NC, and then we fly to party in Austin once again for FUN FUN FUN FEST. If you’re down there, come party with us, and all other hundred awesome bands including Weird Al, Slick Rick, Bad Religion, Strike Anywhere, Mastodon, Suicidal Tendencies, the Dwarves, Gwar, and tons of others. But no Devo. And that is really the only sad part.
We wanna thank everyone who made this tour radical for us including Howl, Junius, Radio Moscow, Red Fang, Caltrop, all the opening bands, all the clubs, all our friends, families, Thorriors, and people who let us crash. Thanks to Charles and Brad for our video, and thanks to Chris Hnat, Chris Paulson, Mike, Reid, Katy, Mark, and Kurt and everyone else. WE PARTIED. WE WILL AGAIN.