By Dan Caycedo (Sons of Tonatiuh)
The police were in full force.
Four days before we left I decided it would be a grand idea to crack my heal bone. So me and the boys went out for a hockey game one night, and jumped off a 5 foot ledge for fun. I went to the doctor the day before Sons of Tonatiuh went on tour and they confirmed my stupidity.
We drove down to St. Augustine the first night to play at a tattoo parlor. With me limping around we kept our metal faces on and pummeled thru our set. The turnout was way more than I ever expected. Hallow Leg destroyed and Rob from Dark Castle showed up to show some love. We got treated really well here and made some decent door money.
Not sure why but we stayed at a hotel that night and tried to trick the concierge into believing there were only 2 of us. I busted out some popcorn and we had a popcorn party, watched some Matlock and passed out.
Drove on down to Miami which was supposed to be Ft Lauderdale, but the schmucks at the bar called the Poorhouse doubled booked the show. So, therefore the Shroud Eater girls had to act quick and set up a last minute show at their practice space in Miami four days before the show. They did a helluva job because some 60+ people showed up for this show. Hollow Leg killed, Shroud Eater destroyed and we did our usual dance. There’s a video floating around of this show online. There was an after-party upstairs in Jan’s photo studio where we continued the debauchery, watched Jan and John from Torche get down with the 2 step, and bitch about the traffic we witnessed earlier in the day. After crashing at the studio, we ran over to a diner then stopped over at South Beach for literally 5 minutes before getting a quick drink and heading on up to Orlando. It’s literally 70 degrees down here while back at home its down in the 30’s. Jared from Bad Actor came down for the Miami show and then rode back up with the Hollow Leg dudes to Orlando to do a set with them at Will’s Pub. Another killer show in Orlando, shaky food at a local Thai place, late night pizza at Jared’s and my foot is hating life. Junior Bruce also played this show and they were pretty amazing. Andrew from Khann showed up later that night at the bar to say hello as well.
After we got up the next day we trucked over to Park Ave Record store only to have them tell me that they cannot find the vinyl I left them 7 months ago. I tell them whatever and that their clerk is still fat, then make our way up to Gainesville. By this time our so-called “Winter Apocalypse Tour” is turning more into a “Granpocalypse Tour” as in Grandpa. I’m starting to get the shakes, Darby is hacking up stuff that resembles the Black Plague, Tim has got some ailment, and someone slipped liquid acid into Mike’s beer after the Gainesville show. It’s a Sunday night so the turnout at the 1984 bar is subpar, but the band we played with, Hot Graves, made it a bit more bearable. During our set Darby yells out “What’s up Orlando?!” Everyone points and laughs. Todd from Common Grounds who set up this show really dug the shit out of us, bought some vinyl and gave us door money, which was a big surprise to us since there were maybe 20 people there. Apparently this was a theme club, and since it was called 1984 there were Nintendo stations set up all over the bar. Some of them half working.
While we stayed over at Mike from Hot Grave’s house, Mike from SoT had to sit outside the whole night and watch the grass grow since his acid trip wasn’t letting up. Next day we booked it over to Panama City Beach since we had a hotel room waiting for us paid for by JD, the promoter of the next event. Yay us.
At this point, I was pretty delirious. We get to the hotel and I struggle for sleep as the rest of boys work on the booze. Freakishly, the show Bones was on TV and they had a special episode about black metal bands vs. death metal bands. We almost missed our show over watching this. The hotel has a balcony and we’re on the 6th floor. Wish I could have enjoyed this a bit more. At least the hot shower did me good. So we get to the show and the turnout is pretty damn good for a Monday in PCB. Reluctantly, I passed out in the van until it was time for us to play. Darby snaps his guitar strap midway thru our set, and I’m sweating bullets. DJ hooks us up with a full guarantee and we head back to the hotel for some sleep, even though Darby’s eager to hit the strip, which is practically one step close to a graveyard.
We make our way over to New Orleans the next day and hit Guitar Center for a guitar strap. Just couldn’t avoid that shithole to save our life. Strolling around the French Quarter we sell some records at the local record store and I walk into a place that claims to have “World Famous Po Boys.” Not sure what I was thinking at this point, but I’m fiending for a shrimp po boy. The boys are across the street getting their daily sauce intake and after my first bite my stomach is saying, “NO!” We get to the club called Siberia which is about right, because it’s as cold inside as it is outside. We play our set and I get sick and lose my po boy and the will to live. At the least the turnout for this place is way awesome. Full of crusties. They don’t even have a sign out front for this place. Just a piece of paper on the door saying “Siberia.” Apparently, the owners were trying to lay low on advertising until their liquor license came through. By this time our set is as tight as balls and the crowd is digging it. Gary from Hawg Jaw/Eyehategod made it out to this show and offered his place for us to crash at.
Next morning Gary shows us his ancient snapping turtle and another one that’s roaming around in the kitchen. We head over to a grease hole and chow down. Sadly, all I can eat is a bowl of fruit which I have a hard time swallowing. Now its time for our 8-hour trek to Austin. Plenty of cops along the way to keep us tensed up. Once we get to Austin we play Headhunters to a huge crowd of five people. Apparently the promoter fucked us on this show. Instead of the heavy bands we were originally supposed to play with we get a couple of singer-songwriter types, and some high school rock band in the end. Someone suggests we head over to Red 7 and see about jumping on that show since it’s a heavier show and the crowd is decent. We get to play a second set at 1 a.m. and the bartender/promoter digs us enough to give us some gas money and wants us to come back! We’ll take it!
We crash at Theron’s, who plays for a local band called the Roller, place. Head on over back to Austin to sell some records and get some grub. I lose my breakfast in the gutter and pray for death. Luckily, Mike was kind enough to pocket some cough syrup and cough drops at the local Whole Foods Market. This place is a mecca of free food. Time to head over to Shreveport.
We play a house show here and the turnout is pretty good. The band Currents plays and gets the doom rolling. At this point, I’m convinced that no one believes in indoor heating. Its 30-40 degrees everywhere we play and stay at. Back at home though, there’s a raging snowstorm, which shuts down the entire city. That’s the South for you.
We crashed at the Dalzell house in Shreveport and jump around in the morning to try and keep warm. I haven’t eaten in two days, so I’m taking my chances on some leftover Domino’s crazy bread from the night before. Get back in the van and head to Vicksburg, MS to the world famous Doomroom. Jesse from Black Pussy meets up with us at this castle, which is in reality a badass Mexican joint. We head over to his place for a minute, watch the Instrument, and then head to the Doomroom for some… doom. This place is set up like a practice space/skate park/venue with a fridge for beer and a quarter pipe. Black Pussy plays first and destroys all. We play our usual crushing set and within 10 minutes after our set its time for the local boys in blue to play “let’s raid the harmless DIY hangout.” Jesse gets arrested for some bullshit charge of soliciting alcohol to minors, four other kids get arrested, the dogs show up due to a roach being found on the ground, and the cops are threatening to arrest everyone if nobody fesses up to the weed. Fuck it, we pull out our dicks and pee on the dogs. No, not really but we thought about it. The cops were all talk and let everyone else go, but I find out later that the Doomroom is closed for business after this witch hunt.
Earlier in the day Mike finds out that a buddy of his committed suicide the day before and therefore we decide to head home early and cancel our last show so that Mike can make it to the wake in time. Not such a great way to end the tour but we’ve done enough damage to ourselves. The bust at the Doomroom was just icing on the cake. My apologies to Jay up in Jackson, TN for not making the trip out. Maybe next time…
Doomed from birth.
** Sons of Tonatiuh’s self-titled debut full-length is out now. Get it digitally at Bandcamp.