Greetings from the back of the tour bus somewhere on the road in North America — and welcome to 4ARM's tour diary.
We're just played show No. 5 of the tour (Seattle) with the ever-iconic Slayer and the incredible Gojira. This is my first tour outside of Australia. Also, having just joined 4ARM and played my first show with them in Las Vegas, it has been a great way to start off!
We had been warned by members of Testament and Overkill (along with some reviewers) that opening for Slayer is a "special kind of torture for up-and-coming bands." Going into these shows, I was armed with the knowledge that I could easily be a vessel for any fan's anticipation of Slayer by being a perfect target for whatever they want to hurl at us.
I was fortunate to learn that all we needed to do as guitarists was move around the stage faster than the drummer to avoid being hit — a reasonably easy feat when you think about it. I watched our drummer enjoy a free beer shower in Las Vegas as a result.
From a guitar perspective, I was keen to try out the new Iron Label guitars from Ibanez that I had with me. Nice and simple setup with very little that can go wrong, big sound with EMG pickups and a sleek black finish with an ivory white outline. Very understated look about them, which I like. They've been great at the shows so far, and I look forward to using them for the rest of the tour.
Amp-wise, Danny [Tomb] and I are using Peavey 6505+ amps as a main backline with a Boss NS-2 to tame them during the few quiet bits of the set. Back home, I use and AxeFx Ultra or my Soldano X99, but it wasn't feasible to bring them on this tour. I wanted to keep things as simple as possible.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Dunlop DB-01 Dimebag Crybaby Wah a few years back too, and I've brought it with me. I've been enjoying its sound whenever I can invent a reason to break it out on stage. It's a very versatile unit.
On the road, we had some excitement heading toward Las Vegas for the first show when we had a few cars hailing us and telling us to pull over. Turns out we were leaving a nice plume of smoke behind us as our beloved chariot was leaking transmission fluid onto a very hot exhaust pipe. So about 70 miles out from our first destination, a gentle crawl ensued for the remainder of the way and we had a stop over to get it seen to — all with enough time to make the first show. Phew!
Hope you enjoyed this little introduction to world of 4ARM on tour. We have a little over a month to go and another 12,000 miles to drive. Hope to see you on tour!