Warbringer Tour Diary, Part II

Hey out there metal dudes! Week two of the tour blog now, we have been completely hauling ass across the south. In the week since I wrote the last blog in Anaheim, we are now clear on the other side of the country in Tampa, Florida. Been doing drives averaging 9 or 10 hours every day, but we got it handled, for we are mighty warriors of the highway.
After another destructive show at the Chain Reaction, we are back off into the desert to play in Tempe, Arizona. Show goes off, people have fun, and some of our friends from Vektor come out. There was a pretty good joke told here. Their drummer Blake asked me to call Frank a racial slur, and I said to him, “Hey man, you’re a racial slur!” – one for the record books. After the show, we went to Dylan’s (Landmine Marathon) house, where we partied and watched Heavy Metal Parking Lot. We had an ongoing thing where we would decide on people’s names, just by looking at them. Like, “This guy’s totally a Steve”, or something. We think a lot of people are named Skeeter, for some reason. Also, that chick in the video who says — in her ever-so classy way –“Oh Rob Halford? I wanna jump his bones!”, hahahaha joke’s on you!

The next morning we head-off to Gallup, New Mexico to play this place called the Juggernaut. We arrive, and holy shit, there’s a giant picture of the Juggernaut himself busting through the wall. On the other side, another like, 10-foot tall picture of the Juggernaut! And on the inside of the building, they have a giant painting of an owl wearing a Juggernaut helmet! Jesus Christ this rules! Could you imagine a Juggernaut owl? He’d swoop in to go eat a mouse or something—through a fucking wall!

I got really excited about this, needless to say. Totally made my night.

The place was also a head-shop, as well as a venue. There was a dude there who said he was a real-life ghost hunter. He gave a bunch of guys on the tour ghost-hunting t-shirts, which we didn’t really know what to do with. It was ultra freezing cold outside, so I stayed inside and played some Starcraft ’til show-time. 11 hours to Oklahoma City, back to the highway!

When we get there, it had been raining for 3-4 hours already, and it did not let-up until well into the next day. The place we’re at is actually pretty huge, and had a massive backstage. This could only mean one thing — this place was about to become the party zone.

I had been sitting there reading (Ender’s Game), when the Lazarus AD dudes arrived bearing beer, blunts, and a mighty horn. This horn (or vuvuzuela, to be more specific), saw immediate use as a beer bong, which actually works amazingly well. After one finishes off the beer, you have to stand proud and blow the horn. It never works the first time you try because it’s all wet with beer, but the second or third time, it will make a hugely loud noise, and all who behold it will stand and cheer the chugging warrior. Riders of Brohan, assemble!

The show was cool, but the highlight of that night was really the ridiculous party that was going on during and after the show. Gotta hand it to the Lazarus dudes, they know how to bro down. They basically came in and said, “Hey dudes, today there’s gonna be a gigantic bro party”, and it was so. After the venue closed, we moved onto the Lazarus rolling party bunker, where everyone drank more, sang along to all sorts of rock and roll favorites, stood outside in the rain to catch a smoke or just pal around. About 9 times, a chant broke-out of “AR-NOLD! AR-NOLD!” as in Arnold FUCKING Schwarzenegger. Hell yes.

I think that since that night, everyone has regarded everyone else as a friend, which has really set the tone for all the times since.

Fortunately, the next day is just to Austin — thank god, only 6 hours. I wake up in the back of the van at a truck stop — whoever drove there, it was clearly a horrible idea given how the previous night went, but we made it. My throat feels like complete hell, an hour long set every night, Arnold chants, and general partying have taken a toll. From this point onwards, I’ve been having tons of Halls cough drops, throat spray, hot tea, all day every day and really scaling back on the beer drinkin’. I definitely could not survive the tour if I was doing every night like in Oklahoma City.

The venue in Austin is kind of a famous place called Emo’s. We’ve played there many times, and apparently our show was the last show they were having there before the venue moves to a new location. A shame really, Emo’s as I know it is right in the middle of the huge strip of bars on 6th street, and the venue just has a ton of character. The whole area is a blast every time we go there. It’ll be a shame that we won’t be able to go revisit the same spot.

But we sure as hell enjoyed it this time. First order of business was to head over to Stubb’s Bar-B-Que, which I think verifies this theory. The best food a fella can get is made like this: Meat+Fire+Time=Awesome!

And indeed it was. After resting-off a pulled-pork and brisket coma, the show begins. Unfortunately, the tickets say 9 o’clock, which sucks because the doors open at 8, and Diamond Plate went on at 8:30. It always sucks when this happens (believe me, it’s happened to us). A good band can get pretty hosed and play to a mostly empty room. Sucks ‘cause those guys are pretty bad-ass, and the fans missed out on the full show as well.

Fortunately though, things pick-up throughout the night, and it ends-up being a damn fun show. At one point during our set, some drunk-ass-raging-Texan-metal dude even threw a garbage can onstage, spilling old beer cans and beer everywhere. It wasn’t in a douchey, angry way though, it just made the show rage harder. I of course chucked the garbage can back at the crowd, and then started tossing the garbage that spilled out all over everybody. Note to self — cannot postpone shower any further.

I drive through the night, a 9-hour shift to New Orleans. I get a truck stop shower at 6 a.m. with Adam and Travis, our merch guy. We were trying to do the trick where we pay for one shower, then switch-off using the same one. Usually it works, but this truck stop had a full-blown fucking security guy. Crime doesn’t pay at Love’s truck stop.

We arrive in New Orleans later in the afternoon. The place is called The Hangar, and it literally looks like an aircraft hangar, made from aluminum—except on the inside, it is actually a pretty legit and nice venue. We go and eat some Cajun food nearby (I got some crawfish etouffe. Hell yeah swamp soup!), and everyone is hanging out in this bar next to the venue for most of the day. Good times all around. The venue crew were some proper N’awlins guys, and they loved to mess with us. Of note was when the sound guys asked for stage right guitar, and John Laux, who was stage left, started playing. The sound guy goes, “Hell naw! That’s stage wrong!”, then checks Adam. When Adam’s done, he goes, “Ok stage wrong, now it’s your turn!”. The show that night was a little lighter than the previous ones in attendance, but all who came had a good time, so therefore so did I.

As I write this now, I am sitting in a Chinese restaurant in Tampa, Florida. Another 11 hours to get here, which puts an end to the crazy long drives, for now. John Laux busted-out about 7 hours of it overnight, using his amazing powers of “I don’t sleep ‘til the sun comes up anyway”, and I finished-up the day-shift. There was a town we went through that had an American flag on every light post for about 3 miles straight, which I have to say, made me feel pretty awesome. Also, I saw one of those really noteworthy signs — this one said: “Septic Repair- #1 in a #2 Business!”. We haven’t been to Florida in years, something a lot of fans have been upset about, and we are excited to finally come back.

We still have almost another month of wrecking necks and taking names coming-up—we’ll see you there. Stick around! Ar-nold!

** Warbringer are currently on tour with Lazarus A.D., Landmine Marathon, Diamond Plate
13-Oct The Casbah Charlotte, NC
14-Oct Sonar Baltimore, MD
15-Oct Cafe 611 Frederick, MD
16-Oct Darkside Records instore Poughkeepsie, NY
16-Oct The Basement Kingston, NY
17-Oct Championship Bar and Grill Trenton, NJ
18-Oct The Gramercy Theater New York, NY
19-Oct Bogie’s Albany, NY
20-Oct Webster Underground Hartford, CT
21-Oct Montage Music Hall Rochester, NY
22-Oct Broadway Joe’s Buffalo, NY
23-Oct Wreck Room Toronto, Canada
24-Oct Peabody’s Cleveland, OH
25-Oct Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, IA
26-Oct Station 4 St Paul, MN
27-Oct Reggie’s Rock Club Chicago, IL
28-Oct Blondie’s Detroit, MI
29-Oct Firebird St Louis, MO
30-Oct Beaumont Theatre Kansas City, MO
31-Oct Marquis Theatre Denver, CO
1-Nov The Complex Salt Lake City, UT
2-Nov The Alley Reno, NV
4-Nov Funky Winker Bean’s Vancouver, Canada
5-Nov El Corazon Seattle, WA
6-Nov Hawthorne Theatre Portland, OR w/Mayhem
7-Nov Thee Parkside San Francisco, CA

** Warbringer’s new album, World Torn Asunder, is out now on Century Media Records. Click HERE to nab a copy.