Internal Bleeding recently finished a 30-date North American tour. Guitarist Chris Pervelis shared this funny roundup from his time on the road. You can connect with the band on Facebook and get their new album Imperium from Unique Leader.
Thirty shows — across both America and Canada. That’s quite a test of human endurance — especially when you do it in a van and you’re almost fifty years old.
Our recent tour with Suffocation, Kataklysm, Jungle Rot and Pyrexia was a non-stop merry-go-round of driving, shows, lack of sleep and constant pressure to kill it every night. In short, this tour amounted to long hours of boredom punctuated by a half-hour of playing our brains out.
Instead of writing a long-winded missive on the tour, I’ve made a few top-three lists that will give you a little overview.
Three Best Shows:
• Montreal, Canada: The last show of the tour turned out to be one of the best. The sound was massive, the place was packed and everyone had a great time — plus that Canadian beer made it quite difficult to drive back home.
• Portland, Oregon: A packed house, a broken nose in the pit and plenty of miserable weather made this stop one for the ages. Everything about this show was killer — even the food.
• Rouyn, Canada: Who thought such a small town in the middle of nowhere could bring such an incredible crowd. The stage was an inch of the floor and the crowd was constantly in your face during the whole set. Brilliant!
Three Funny Moments:
• Our bass player trying to educate Tim Hortons employees: Poor Blue (our bass player) — all he wanted was iced coffee and what he’d get was milk with a drop of coffee in it. He spent countless hours trying to explain to the well-meaning employees that iced coffee has to contain actual coffee in order for it to be called that. He’d always come back to the van shaking his head, cursing and shouting out “for the love of God, what’s so fucking difficult about making iced coffee!” He repeated this at every Tim Hortons.
• Watching Oscar throw people off the stage: Oscar Cabrerra is the stage manager for Suffocation and is, hands-down, one of the greatest people you’ll meet in the music industry. He’ll take time to give you tips and advice; he’ll go out of his way for you and he’ll always great you with a smile. But when a fan lingers on the stage for too long, he explodes like a demon and from out of nowhere comes this wiry Mexican dude with an attitude hell-bent on throwing you off the stage in a most unfriendly manner. This happened quite a few times during the tour and it was always hilarious to see him literally throw people three times his size into the air and off the side of the stage.
• Letting Keith drive: Anytime he gets behind the wheel, you can be sure that you are going to receive four to five hours of pure entertainment. He is, bar none, the angriest driver on the planet I have ever seen. The string of expletives that come flying out of his mouth if you’re in his way would make even the most grizzled sailor blush. I’ve never seen so many derogatory words strung together in such an interesting manner — no wonder he is so good at writing lyrics.
Three Lessons Learned:
• Showering in a sink: Probably the most important lesson from the whole tour. When showers are few and far between, all you need is a washcloth, some soap and a sink to be clean, fresh and ready to rock and roll.
• Air bomb targeting: Club toilets are notoriously nasty. Learning how to take a dump without ever having to touch the toilet seat is a skill that comes in very, very handy.
• Bring noise-canceling headphones: Because there’s always that one person in your band who snoring sounds like a million woodpeckers attacking a forest of redwood trees!
Finally, all the bands we played with were just dynamite human beings. That made life on the road a lot easier for everyone. Special thanks must go out to Derek Boyer and Terrance Hobbs for making sure that we always had some beer and booze. Because when you are on the bottom of the list during a tour, your catering budget only has enough room for some food. Terrance and Derek went above and beyond to keep us fortified with alcohol. If you ask me, that’s a true sign of friendship and camaraderie.