Friday July 3 - El Paso, TX
After a good 24 hour trip (since we left our homes, fly on two planes, layovers, etc.) we finally get to El Paso and it's 9:30 PM. We're all super tired; I find it very hard to sleep on a plane and, no matter how much we fly, I still don't like it very much! The bus is waiting for us outside the terminal and, after getting our suitcases (none get lost: it's a miracle!), we finally get on board and pick our bunks. It's too early to go to bed though.
Jet lag's a bitch! It always takes at least a week to get used to the local time. After we get to the hotel, where we shower, we order a pizza (there's not really anything else around here: I'd love a good burger but no, no restaurants open nearby) and finally go to bed around midnight.
Saturday July 4th - El Paso, TX
I knew it. No matter how tired I am, I still wake up at 4:30 AM and force myself to stay in bed and try to sleep a little longer. It works: I manage to sleep till 7:30 and decide to get up. There's no way I can sleep anymore. Pretty much everyone else's already up or getting up. We look at each other and laugh. It's always the same! Slowly and yawning we walk to the hotel and have breakfast. It's not bad and helps waking up a little. Finally at noon, the bus takes us to the gig.
It's the 4th of July and there's a huge street festival in El Paso. Bands are playing on several stages all over the town. Over the Rainbow and The Cult are headlining our stage and our stage time is set to 7:30 PM. There's plenty of time so we decide to take a walk and maybe grab a bite to eat. It's so HOT! It must be at least 120 today!!! We find a bar (it seems like one of those western movies where we walk in and everyone at the bar turns around and stares at us!) and have a some great Mexican food.
Pizza's Line6 Spider Valve HD 100
When we come back everything's onstage already and people are running around checking equipment and stuff. By the time we gotta get onstage, we're dead tired (it's like 3 AM in Italy and we've been awake for a long time already). Luckily, as soon as we walk onstage the adrenaline kicks in. There's a ton of people; somebody says there's something like 18,000 bodies out there! The show's awesome despite our poor physical conditions. The crowd rocks out to the songs and the reaction is amazing.
It's definitely worth it to come this far to play and it makes you forget about all the hassles of the trip. After the show and after showering and putting clean clothes on we can hang out and check the other bands out. I can't wait to watch The Cult! I've always been a big fan and the last time I saw them was in 1992! Yeah, yeah, I'm old, I know... Well, I can definitely say that i wasn't disappointed. They totally rocked the house! I can go to bed happy now...
Sunday July 5 - Day Off
When I wake up at 6 AM we're still travelling. Everybody's in bed but I can tell that there's not really anyone sleeping. I walk to the front lounge and sit on the couch for a few minutes. We're still quite far from Oklahoma City and there's really no reason for me to stay up so I decide to go to bed and try to sleep some more. When we finally get there, it's about 1 PM and everyone gets off the bus.
As usual, we have a couple of shower rooms at a hotel by a mall and we all pack our bags and go get cleaned up and relax. Some people walk to the mall, others just stay at the hotel and take it easy. We just decide to go look for something to eat around dinner time and then go back to the bus. Hang out a bit and go to bed. This is true Rock n' Roll!
Pizza's two 4x12 Line 6 Cabinets
Monday July 6 - Oklahoma City
This is our first show of the headliner tour. We're the first one to get at the venue for our 12 PM load in. Finally both Kill Hannah and Dommin, two of the support bands, show up. We meet everyone and it's good to find out that everybody seems cool and very chill. The only ones who aren't there are Seventh Void: they had a problem with their bus and they're gonna be late. Hopefully they'll be there in time to play!
After a quick soundcheck, we have two meet-and-greets. It's great to meet our fans and there's a lot of people. We sign stuff and take pictures for a while and then I decide to stop and watch the opening band, Dommin. They're pretty good! They're from L.A. and their sound reminds me of Type 0 Negative meets Elvis.
Finally, three minutes before their stage time, Seventh Void show up and frantically bring all their stuff onstage and manage to play a great show. I'm glad they made it, we've been good friends with Johnny and Kenny (of Type 0 Negative) for years now and their new band really kicks ass! I wanna check out Kill Hannah too but I gotta get ready for the show now. When we walk onstage the crowd screams like crazy!
Pizza's row of ESPs SC-607B with EMG Pickups
It's great to be back to the U.S. and everyone seems to know every song we play, including the new stuff. When we play “Spellbound,” the first single off of Shallow Life people literally start freakin' out! We certainly didn't expect such a great reaction... July, Tuesday, 7th - Kansas City Today we're in Kansas City. We played the Beaumont Club a bunch of times and we’re excited because we always have good shows, and we see that they’ve completely renovated the stage and it’s much bigger now. The day goes by slowly as usual. We do soundcheck and our meet-and-greets and watch the other bands for a little. There's not too much going on today. When we finally play, the show's great again. Everyone's singing along every song and the new stuff gets great responses.
Wednesday July 8 - Waterloo, IA
It's BBQ day! We bought a bunch of meat and veggies and we're gonna grille today. There's never a whole lot to do before 4 or 5 so we have plenty of time to prepare our steaks, burgers and sausages. Too bad the weather isn't great: it looks like it may start raining anytime now. But luckily it doesn't and we can all sit outside and have lunch together. In the end we're Italians and food is the most important thing of the day…just like Hobbits! When it comes to eating, no matter what you're doing, you gotta stop. And that's exactly what happens.
After a nice lunch, it's time to get back to work and do soundcheck again. We wanna try to have the best possible sound and every day we spend some time working on each song we're playing. There weren’t a lot of people at tonight’s show, but they sure are loud. After the show, we stop and sign some autographs and chat with the fans outside the bus. Apparently there isn't a lot going on around here usually and everybody was really excited about the show.
Thursday July 9 - Day Off
While we sleep we travel to Grand Rapids, MI, where we'll spend our day off. When we get to the hotel, I get online and chat with my wife for a while and then go do my laundry (yeah, when you're on tour you learn to take care of yourself... mom's not around!). Some other people decide to go to the mall while some others go to a nearby beach. We all meet around dinner time and it's gonna be another BBQ night. We even manage to make some pasta! Great! Italians can't go without eating pasta for too long, just so you know. ;)
Friday July 10 - Grand Rapids, MI
I wake up at 1:30 and have an espresso on the bus. Obvously we have an espresso machine with us and we brought lot of Italian coffee with us! The venue's nice and the stage is quite large. We keep tweaking the sound and we're really getting there. Sound check goes good and we do our usual meet-and-greet. There's a lot of people again and it takes a while to sign everything and take pictures.
It's another awesome show, everybody sings along and while we're playing the second song of the set, the first highlight of the tour: the kickdrum skin breaks! Obviously, we can't stop to change it so we just keep going and in between each song our drum tech puts tape over the crack! Luckily it works and it allows us to get to the encore. When we walk off stage our drum tech changes it at the speed of light and we can get back and finish the set in front of over 500 screaming kids. It's again hot as hell onstage and after a good shower, we take our stuff back to the bus and stop to hang out with some fans waiting outside. The first week's gone and it's been a success so far. Hopefully it'll all get even better; Every band's getting great responses and we're all having a great time.