Happy New Year! I can't believe 2011 came and went so fast. Thanks to everyone for all the support and a great year.
I spent the last month of the year in Europe with Hawthorne Heights on a co-headlining tour with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I had a great time and the shows were top notch.
The only real hiccup happened early on. Upon arriving in Zurich, Switzerland, I got off the plane to experience every guitarist's worst nightmare: My guitar was not in the baggage claim area. Most of our stuff made it, but JT's guitar and mine were lost and not showing up in the tracking system.
This particular guitar is very dear to me, so I was extremely worried. Luckily, after a few days of confusion, finger crossing and not really knowing anything, we were able to get them delivered to a venue in Germany. A band from the UK called Failsafe were on the entire tour with us. They were not only a solid rock band, but really good guys who were nice enough to lend us two guitars until we got ours back.
After many years of touring, this was my first on a full-sized tour bus. I really enjoyed it and having a driver make most of the drives overnight while we slept made for having more time during the day to explore Europe before the shows. Getting to see more of Paris this time was an absolute highlight for me. It's a remarkable city. Shows that stand out in my mind as being the most fun were London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Amsterdam. We had really fun days off in Brighton and London. I tried to get most of my holiday shopping done, which was fun but expensive!
After getting back to the States, I had a day off then played our annual HoliDayton hometown show with The Story Changes. This was our ninth year of throwing the show, and it's always one of the highlights of the year for me. This year was no exception and it turned out to be a great night of music. Dayton has so many talented artists and performers. It's always inspiring to see so many friends making great music from your own neck of the woods.
In other The Story Changes news, some tracks are now available for the Rock Band network. I'm horrible at those games, but I'm wondering if I can get any better at them through trying to play my own songs? Probably not, ha!
We've been hitting our rehearsal studio hard, working on fine-tuning a batch of new songs and getting a plan together for a new album. Listening to the demos of the new songs has been getting me really excited. Songs like "State Lines" and "Never Not Ever" are turning out really cool.
Favorite releases of 2011:
Foo Fighters -- Wasting Light
Into It. Over It. -- Proper
My favorite shows played in 2011:
The Story Changes - HoliDayton 2011 at Blind Bob's on 12/23/11
Hawthorne Heights - Hollywood, CA at the Key Club on 10/11/11
The Story Changes - Bledfest in Howell, MI on 5/28/11
Hawthorne Heights - London, UK at Scala on 12/18/11
2012 is already looking to be a busy year. I leave in a few days for an Eastern US Hawthorne tour with Me Talk Pretty and Medina Lake. Check out HawthorneHeights.com for dates and come say hi.