All large scale touring may be effectively grounded for the foreseeable future, but you know what hasn’t been halted? The imagination of Old Man Gloom drummer (and occasional Decibel contributor) Santos Montano! Rather than sit around and simply think about “what might have been” regarding OMG’s postponed 2020 touring, our man put fingers to keyboard and crafted the greatest Old Man Gloom tour diary (for a tour that never happened). Live the drama and read Part I, which follows directly below.
Seattle rehearsal day
Arriving for rehearsals at the turner compound is always an adventure. Of course it involves air travel, but then it usually involves a ride share and a boat to Aaron’s private island. While Nate and Steve chose to downsize to tiny amps and singular guitars on tour, I’ve decided to Gloom the other way and UPSIZE. I used to bring just cymbals and a pedal, but I’ve decided the “brown sound” is too integral to Gloom, so I’m bringing my whole kit. I checked in my hardware, because I’m not nuts, but I traveled with the rest of my kit as a carry on. TSA was fine, they just wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking any produce into Washington state. In typical fashion though, the gate agent was a real NARC. She made me gate check both my floor toms, my 24-inch kick, my snare, and my cymbals. Lame. I got to bring my rack tom as a carry on though, and my new gong as my “personal item.”
I opened and checked my shit upon landing, and some baggage handler dildo definitely set my shit up, as my tunings were all off. Nate and Steve were a little annoyed that I set the whole kit up in the baggage claim, but hey, gotta make sure I’m ready. I even made a few bucks from passers by when I played the album Christmas in its entirety to make sure shit was solid.
We called a ride share, and homie was not stoked to have to strap it all to the roof of his Prius, nor were the other 3 people in the Uber pool we got who had to wait for it all to be secured. Not my problem.
Once we got to the ferry station in Seattle, and we handed an ancient golden coin to the hooded ferryman, we started the long trip across the foggy water. I made chit chat with the ferryman, asking why he preferred a long stick over a motor, but dude was not responding. I caught a glimpse of his face under the long black robe, he looked methy as fuck. In fact, he didn’t seem to have skin. Anyway, I know Aaron is a sucker for the theatric, so I didn’t think much about it.
We landed on Turner Island, and Aaron was waiting for us on the other end. He served us some undressed salad and uncooked dry pasta for lunch, and it was off to rehearse! It was uneventful, like most gloom practices, a lot of testing out different pedals, dialing in of the sound, and me taking a ton of selfies while I’m waiting for something to fucking happen. We ran through some AC/DC covers, the intro to ” More Tears” and the Night Court theme, then decided we’re tight enough and called it a day.
As we always do after practice, we took a four-man shower. We have this down at this point, but Steve being the new guy, he has to be at the end. Caleb was a master at being the tail in the shower, he could do some precision scrubbing with his little hands with such dexterity, it was incredible. Steve did OK, for being so young in the band. Nate didn’t seem to get his hair completely clean, but Steve’s learning. Since Aaron and I founded the band together, we take turns being “second-hand Jimmy,” which is the name of the person who’s second. The sweet spot is the front, you get all the hot water and don’t have to scrub anyone. I love it. Those eight strong stringed instrument hands scrubbing my little brown body is heaven. I hate being second-hand Jimmy though, scrubbing Aaron. It feels like he’s covered in tick infested Brillo pads. Yuk. At least I’m mostly smooth and hairless, with the feel of a ziplock bag full of margarine. Poor Nate, or third-place Nate, as we call him. Anyway, we air-dry by doing jumping jacks, and off to dinner!
Dinner decision conversation is transcribed below.
[Old Man Gloom sit at stools around a butcher block island in the center of a typically modern and minimal kitchen.]
Aaron Turner: What do you guys want for dinner. The options are Thai, pizza, or hipster new American.
Santos Montano: Can we do old American, like before we made this country “great again”?
Aaron: Can someone else start talking right now so he can’t keep talking?
Santos: I’ll just keep talking while everyone else is talking, because i’m a child.
Nate Newton: You certainly look like a child. Well, no, your face looks old and like a leather bike seat that’s had two decades of ass on it, but your funny little body looks like a child.
Steve Brodsky: Guys, this isn’t productive. Santos has a neat body, it’s like a little fire hydrant! Tiny little arms, and really hard to move!
Aaron: I like to imagine a car hitting his little hydrant body, like in a car chase movie, and he just kinda falls over and pees in the air, instead of the fire hydrant spraying a water geyser in the air.
Santos: Wow. You like to imagine me getting hit by a car?
Nate, Aaron, Steve: YES.
Santos: Wow. Is this because I made our band into an internet clown car?
Nate: No. We like that, we just don’t like almost anything else about you.
Steve: Nate… That’s not cool. We like a lot of things about him!
Aaron: Name three things WE like about him.
Steve: He got us all those Chipotle gift cards from that Chipotle Corporate fan!
Nate: Nope. He was going to keep all of them until we busted him.
Santos: Absolutely. I earned those. They were mine. I stand by that.
Steve: OK, fine. Well, the margarita singles mixer at Roadburn was pretty fun!
Aaron: No, it wasn’t. I had to take him to a 24-hour clinic in Holland because he got drunk and insisted he got gonorrhea eye from making some poor fan give him Eskimo kisses.
Nate: That dude did have weird eyes.
Santos: Thank you.
Aaron: Then why are you making fans give you eskimo kisses?
Santos: Because I’m a romantic.
Steve: Well, what about when he got you those personalized pajamas by starting a kickstarter, Aaron?
Aaron: Yes, that was awesome. The synthetic fabric gave me a rash, and now I get a pajamagram catalogue in the mail every 3 days. Perfect.
Steve: Fair. Well, he always eats all the leftovers no matter how old the are?
Nate, Aaron, Santos: Agreed.
Santos: Soooooooo…. New American?
Nate: Do they do breakfast all day?
We woke up early this morning, and had some breakfast. Aaron served us his famous “Turner Continental”, which is just unsweetened oat milk over wilted romaine lettuce. I’m doing the Whole 30 diet right now, so I was ok with it. I know I can have 29 more small meals today, so I’ll be fine. Nate wasn’t stoked, and I caught him pulling raisin toast out of his boot. Steve claimed it was the best breakfast he’d ever had. His positivity might start to grate on me.
Anyway, we loaded up the Turner mobile, and got on the road. Once we hit the border, I knew we would be in the shit, so I ate a bunch of weed gummies about an hour before we got there. Well, I didn’t realize a serving was one gummy, as opposed to the whole bag, so by the time we got to the border, I was completely stoned to the bone. Luckily, we’ve been in this situation a few times, and we’re all quite adept at pulling a Weekend at Bernie’s.
As usual, the border agent waved us to the side, and as Brian Eno once said “here come the warm fingers.” We pulled over, and they kindly asked us to exit the vehicle for a quick looksie. Aaron having had a small child recently, he had a Baby Bjorn in the truck, so he strapped my stoney baloney ass to his back. The Canadians didn’t seem to care that this weird heavy metal hobo had a little brown fella on his back like a fucking tiny Mexican koala bear, and they finished up their search, confiscating Nate’s loaf of raisin toast and Aaron’s five-gallon bucket of homegrown micro greens.
We were on our way! Once we got to the venue, I felt a little better, and started helping with the load in. Later, I would find out it took me an hour and a half to bring in one wet wipe and an old cashew I found under the truck when I fell face down trying to climb out. Needless to say, soundcheck was pretty anticlimactic, as I sat backstage thinking I was playing Galaga, but I was just holding a banana and staring at a jar of mustard.
The fellas aren’t really the type to panic, and they knew Nick from Sumac was gonna be at the show. He got there early, and they explained the situation to him. He agreed to cover for me. They asked if he needed some time to learn my parts, and he used that time uncontrollably laughing at the idea that he would need to “learn” anything from me. I still don’t get the joke. Must be a regional Canadian thing.
The result was what I’m told was the best Old Man Gloom show ever! It was certainly the most fun I’VE ever had at an OMG show. I sang along, did some head banging, made tons of friends, I even somehow had a chance encounter and had a very intimate kiss with a stranger. I later found out I wasn’t at the show at all, but had wandered into a church service up the street. Those overly polite Canadian god fearing people didn’t have the heart to tell me I wasn’t at a heavy metal show, and just let me do my thing til I ran outta steam.
I wandered Vancouver for a few hours screaming for Carly Rae Jepsen to face me in the street so we could win the rights to release our new record this week, but she didn’t show. Coward. The Gloom scooped me up, and I slept all the way to, well, wherever the fuck we are right now.
This is what transpired while I lay comatose in the backseat:
Aaron: That was an awesome show tonight. I felt so much more at peace knowing nick was back there.
Steve: Nick is definitely an amazing musician, but Santos brings a lot to the stage also! I missed him.
Nate: Ummmmmmmm….tell me ONE thing Santos brings to the stage that Nick doesn’t.
Steve: Well, he has amazing hair!
Aaron: Have you seen Nick’s hair? It’s incredible. He’s like the Crystal Gayle of art metal! It whips around his head like two beautiful brown dolphins swimming around a yin yang belly button ring on the Jersey Shore.
Steve: OK, true. He has really nice hair. Well, drums…OK. No…Well, Santos is brown, so he brings diversity!
Nate: Hello? I’m also not white. And Nick’s last name is fucking weird, so I bet he’s like some weird Eastern European minority group, or like Yugoslavian or something. He’s definitely not regular white. Plus, drums.
Steve: OK, true. Well, Santos looks like we gave a Mexican American Girl doll a chance to be in a band! And he for some reason insists on just striking up conversations with specific audience members while we’re playing. That’s kinda interesting, right?
Aaron: No. I hate that. Maybe more than anything else you mentioned.
Steve: Well, he’s good about helping with load in, right?
Aaron: Shut it, we’re coming up to the border, tie a hand and a foot to yourselves each, let’s get this little chocolate Bernie propped up before they send him on a bus to Tijuana.
Old Man Gloom’s Seminar IX: A Darkness of Being and Seminar VIII: A Light of Meaning are out now on Profound Lore.