13.2.2015 Graz @ SUB

Finally the day arrived when we embarked on the first tour of 2015. We were very busy with work and studying, so we didn’t feel that buzz – the feeling that best friends are gonna spend the next ten days doing what we love doing most – traveling around our continent and playing music every night. This changed though when we met at our rehearsing place called Myanus, as many bands that we’ve hosted there already know, and started sorting stuff for the tour. We began loading everything in the van and it turned out that it didn’t have the same space configuration as the last one we’ve rented, although it looked identical. Nonetheless we are really good at this tetris game and in half an hour we were ready to go.

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We had to pick up two friends of ours in Ljubljana who joined us on this tour – our label »boss« Davorin aka. »Giant« from Giljotina and Maks from the really good band White Stain. We’ve already taken two big boxes of merch with us and Giant also brought a couple of boxes, so we were stocked with tapes, shirts, CDs…a little supermarket on wheels. First show was in Graz where we haven’t played before. It was set up by our good friends from Ants! and Martin, who had to work and couldn’t make it to the show. He is on tour with our brothers Start at Zero as I am writing this – I hope you are having a great time amigos! We arrived there right on time and were greeted by Tom and Jack who were already at the venue. It was such a joy to see them again. We’ve became really good friends after the tour we did together earlier this year through Austria. They are proper sweethearts, nicest people you could ever meet. Whether they know it or not, we are going on tour together again very soon :D.

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We loaded in all our gear and put our trusty old carpet from our rehearsing place on the floor. It’s nice to have something that reminds you of home when you are on stage, so we’ve been bringing it with us on the last few tours. The line-up of the evening included Brutal Youth from Canada and Jon Creeden who was on tour with them, plus aforementioned friend of ours Jack Holmes. People started showing up after nine, just when the show started with Jon taking on the stage. His set was great, reminding me of Chuck Ragan with his »lumberjack« style vocals. Even some technical difficulties with the guitar didn’t spoil the show. Next on was Jack who not only writtes great songs, but has a great connection with he audience and mixes stand-up comedy with music performance which I enjoyed a lot. We were next to play and thanks to Giant who was the soundguy on this tour, everything went smoothly and the show went great. It was quite cold in the venue, but by the second song we were warmed up and rocking. After the set we went to the backstage to eat a tasty meal that Tom cooked for us and had a few beers before Brutal Youth played their set. Great performance by them, lots of energy and great drumming.

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We stayed at the venue for a while, having a few beers with the guys before leaving to the house where Tom, Jack and a few of their friends live. We were all really tired, so it didn’t take long before everyone was asleep. During the night I was awakened by a weird noise of a waterfall/stream, but haven’t had a clue what it was and where it came from. Turned out that one of the guys from Brutal Youth needed to play a soundtrack of a waterfall to be able to fall asleep…a bit weird, and mildly annoying in a sense that it kind of triggered a need to pee, so the toilet was busy the whole night. Or at least until Neco turned down the volume. We had a long drive ahead of us, so we woke up early. The guys prepared a breakfast for us and Jack insisted we tried marmite on toast. To his surprise we didn’t think it tasted horrible like everyone says it does. Marmite certainly was the star of the morning. Reluctantly we had to say goodbye to our buddies, but we made a promise to meet again soon. Thank you again for everything!

14.2.2015 Ulm @ Schneiderei

We woke up into a sunny Saturday morning which was perfect for a long drive to Ulm in southern Germany. We had almost 600km to cover, but with the nice scenery through Austria and Bavaria the drive went by quite fast. We had one hickup though…as we were passing Chiemsee we saw two cars parked on the shoulder of the highway and Jani said »Look it’s probably cops. Lets hope they don’t stop us«, which is exactly what happened. They saw a van packed with music instruments and I guess for some reason they see musicians as serious criminals that need to be disciplined…who knows.

Anyway, they passed us in an unmarked BMW which pooped out a sign ordering us to follow them. It started as the usual »documents please« and then the gloves started coming out. Of course we started joking that some serious anal abuse will be directed to Jani who was driving, but at the same time we knew this might mean we would be late for the show. They searched every pocket and backpack, wallet everything, but since we never carry and drugs we waited by the van and wondering when this time-wasting charade might end. Luckily when one of them opened the back door and saw the whole compartment filled with, guitars, amps and merch up to the roof he probably though »fuck this shit« and wished us a nice day and let us go. They were at least polite, reasonable guys, but it still sucked standing there in the cold while they went through your personal stuff.

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Almost an hour later we were back on track and arrived in Ulm on time. The show was organized by our friends from Blendof and Still Bleak who we first meet last year when we were on tour with Seehearspeak. In autumn we organized a show for them in our hometown (Tongue chainsaw booking), so we’ve established another close friendship with these lovely people. Dan and Kristjan were there setting up the PA and everything else to get the show going. The venue – Schneiderei is a really beautiful place located in and old factory that has been renovated. The owner loves having shows with alternative music and she was really friendly and hospitable. The local band These Days Ruins did the soundcheck which was followed by an incredibly tasty dinner made by Dan’s girlfriend. She even made brownies for us, which tasted heavenly.

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Giant and Maks set up the merch (a huge table was barely big enough). Giant also had Giljotina’s merch which includes music by such awesome bands as Harry, Start at Zero, White Stain, A hero Build, Darko, Fonija/Culture development and many many more) and Neco found a good spot for GoPro to record the show. We plan to make a short documentary about our 10th anniversary, so we recorded all the shows and all the shannanigans inbetween. The atmosphere was great an the turnout was above expectations, so the show went really well for both bands. It felt really good rocking with my friends and we started to get in to the touring groove. Beers and booze started flowing after the show, but we decided not to go to the party at a nearby club, because we didn’t want to spend money for the entry fee, plus we had another long drive next day. We went to Dan’s place to rest and chill. It was getting really late anyway. All in all, a great evening.

15.2.2015 Pelhrimov @ Utopia

Dan told us that he had an important show with his band the next day and that he would probably be asleep after a long night of partying. We had to leave early, so we left a note thanking him for the hospitality. We had another 600km to cover this day, but afterwards we would only have shorter distances to cover in Czech Republic. I got a message from our friend Martin that he wouldn’t be able to come to the show, because he was on his way from Switzerland and would be probably to exhausted to make it. We agreed that we would definitely visit him in Brno on our day off on Thursday.

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The first czech show was in Pelhrimov in southern part of the country. Our friend Radim, who organized a show for us in 2010 when we met our good friends One Hidden Frame and Part Time Killer, suggested I contact Jakub, the promoter, who was happy to help us out even though the gig was on Sunday. The drive actually passed really quickly, probably due to a great atmosphere in the van. Giant and Maks were such a great addition to the crew and although we’ve been friends for some time now, you never know how things might go once you are stuck together in a van for several days. If I think back there hasn’t been a moment when I felt like I needed time for myself or anyone else for that matter. It was jolly throughout the whole tour. We arrived in Pelhrimov 30 minutes late and the local band Nikomunic was already soundchecking. Jakub told us we should bring our equipment in once the band finished their set, so that meant we could relax and grab something to eat.

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Jakub and the crew were really cool and we were greeted with a welcome shot of local palinka, while Giant made sure to score some hippy lettuce which made him extremely happy. We had some pizza that Jakub ordered for us and chilled with some people at the bar while waiting for the band to start playing. They played grungy rock, which was fine, but not that special to keep me interested through the whole set. There weren’t that many people at the show, but those that were there were really enjoying the music and we played a really good set. Martin told some of his friends to come check us out, so we had a few people who drove from far away to see us play. When we finished the gig Jakub told we can leave the equipment in the venue and that we would also sleep in the backstage. That meant we could wind down and party like it’s 1969.People that came to the show started buying us shots and beers and soon the situation got to the point where the memory of the evening got blurry. It was definitely fun and cheerful though, unlike the headache the next day.

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In the morning we thought that it would probably be a good idea to make our own flyers and print them, so we could go around town and invite people to our shows (especially on Mondays, Tuesday and in smaller towns). That’s how they did it in the old days and it probably still is the best way to do it. We thought to ourselves…we are playing miles and miles away from home and we should put all our effort into bringing as many people to the show and help ourselves and the promoters out. So that’s what we did.

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16.2.2015 Krupka @ Music club u Herziho

Morning started in Pelhrimov, designing the flyers and looking for the photocopier. We’ve made flyers for the next two days and departed early to our next destination to hand them out to the people on the streets. Maks volunteered to drive this day and you could feel he is still very young and feisty, at least if you judge him by the driving style (sorry brother, you will get the bollocking where it is deserved). We had to drive to the north of the country to the town of Krupka. The GPS led us through some really narrow roads and it kind of looked like we were in the middle of nowhere. Luckily we reached a highway and arrived in Krupka in the early afternoon. We parked the van near the venue and it seemed like Krupka is a small town, but once we started walking towards the city centre it became clear that it’s not small after all.

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We were handing out the flyers and inviting people to the show. After a couple of hours we retreated to some dodgy bar. It was an old school bar with regular guests, so it kind of looked like a scene in western movies when an outsider walks into their turf. The room was filled with smoke, but it was cold outside and we decided to hang in there for the time being. Two guys sitting next to us tried to start a conversation and we soon realized one of them was Serbian, so we could actually comunicate. It turns out he is a boxing coach and is a good friend with Dejan Zavec, slovenian boxing champion. At least that’s what he said, but judging by the stories he had to tell, it might actually be true. After a good hour of chitchat we went to the Club u Herziho as the place where we played was called. The promoters were Radek and Vojta who arrived a few minutes after we did. Both are the kind of people you instantly become friends with, very warm personality and a positive attitude.

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Despite suffering from headache, beers started coming and the mood was great from the start. One thing that annoyed me in Czech Republic was that some venues allowed smoking inside…that’s just deadly for your voice and it affected our health too, because we aren’t used to it. Luckily the place where the bands played was a non-smoking area, which I highly approved. Club u Herziho used to be an old restaurant and the local punkrockers turned it into a great concert venue. The lineup of the evening included a sort of modern death metal band, which consisted of really good musicians, but I am not into this style of music at all, so I didn’t stay through to whole set to listen to them. We played next and Giant worked on sound to make things sound perfect. The feedback from the audience was great and we sold lots of merch on this day. I was surprised how many people turned out, Vojta and the crew really did a really good job with the promotion. We actually saw posters everywhere when we walked through town earlier in the afternoon and all the work they did payed off.

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After the show we had a really tasty vegan goulash with fresh onions and home made bread…omnomnonom. As an added bonus a local singer-songwriter played an acoustic set in the middle fo the bar which was a great ending to the evening. We knew Maks had a birthday on 17th so we surprised him with an out-of-tune happy birthday song right after the clock hit midnight. We gave him a RLV hoodie for his birthday and wished him all the best. After partying with the locals we went to Vojta’s place for a well deserved good night’s sleep.

17.2.2015 Podebrady @ Boss Bar

We weren’t in a rush so we could sleep in. Vojta said he would prepare a breakfast at around 11.00 and afterwards he and his friends would take us for a nice walk around town. It was nice to take a shower after two days and have something healthy to eat. Thank you again for everything! After we finished the meal his friends arrived and they took us for a walk through the forest above the town. It was so rejuvenating to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful scenery and pristine nature. We stopped at a creek that flowed through the forest and talked about music and other interesting things. My band members were happy once they learned some hippy letucce was in store for them. It was getting late by this point so we went back to the venue, loaded all our stuff back into the van and said goodbye to our new friends. We drove to Podebrady where we booked a show at Boss Bar. Maks played there twice already with his band White Stain. We had flyers ready to hand out so we went for a walk through town. I saw a poster on the venue door that said Reel live version (not a typo) and another austrian band that was supposed to play, but they never showed up for whatever reason.

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Peter the club owner is an OK guy, but it was obvious there wasn’t much promotion done for this show. Therefore it was that much more important to go handing out flyers around town. I thought Podebrady was a really beautiful town with a huge city park and an old casttle near the main square. Quite a surprise actually. We found a great cafe near the park where we stopped for tea and coffe while Maks received his birthday cake. I had a gut feeling that this night might not be that good and I was right, because, at least for me, the gig sucked. The turnout was poor and for some reason I just couldn’t get in the groove that night. It had the potencial to be a great show, but I guess it can’t always be the way you want it to be. Nonetheless some people enjoyed the gig and if it made them happy and I am satisfied with that.

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The night contInued with some chilly-palinka shots that some sneaky locals bought for Neco and Jani. No wonder nobody drank that stuff, because it was satan’s piss. Nejc who loves spicy food was breathing fire and the chilly rice we had afterwards didn’t taste spicy at all. I was feeling a bit sick, so I went to bed early. We were all suffering from a cold, but slowly regaining strengh& health. I was freezing throughout the night and the place where we slept was really funky…but nothing I haven’t experienced before…just something you have to deal with.

18.2.2015 Prague @ Cafe na pul cesty

We wanted to go to Prague early, so we woke up around 9am and quickly put all of our equipment in the van. We said goodbye to Peter and walked to the city centre to have a morning coffee and to print out the flyers for the evening show. It was a short 40km drive to Prague, so it took less than an hour to reach our destination. Would be nice if we only had to drive such short distances every day. Cafe na pul cesty is located in the middle of Pankrac city park and we had some trouble finding it, for it wasn’t visible from the road.

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We parked the van next to the police station and searched the venue on foot. It was particularly cold on that day, so once we found the place, we sat down and ordered a tea to warm up. We had lots of free time and wanted to see the city centre. We walked to the nearest metro station where we bought the 24hour tickets and commuted to the heart of the city. The hunger was kicking in by now therefore we decided to grab something to eat. For some reason we ate lots of chinese food on this tour, probably because it was the cheapest option we could find.

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The time was flying so we didn’t have much time to walk through the city centre. After seeing a few famous sites and buildings we hoped back on the tram and returned to the venue where Pavel, the promoter of the night was waiting for us. I’ve heard lots of good things about him from my friends and I knew it would be a great show tonight. We played with an awesome band called Worldhood. Their guitarist Tomas booked a show for us in 2010 when we played in Strahov 007 with Part Time Killer, that’s why he seemed so familiar, although it’s been ages since we’ve first met. Worldhood did a soundcheck and you could see they would fricking rock. I loved their whole set and we talked that we should definitely do some shows together, especially since our music is similar. I like it when you play with awesome bands, because it makes you put even more effort into your show. After a shitty previous night this was quite the opposite and we played a great set (including a couple of songs from »Lačne zveri« album).

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The whole day has been one of my favourite of this tour and everyone at the show was really friendly and talkative. We had long discussions with the locals about pretty much everything and we even found out that two girls from Slovenia came to see us play. It turns out they were on student’s exchange and heard that we were playing in Prague. We hung out the whole evening, drank beer and talked with Pavel about the scene in general and he knew many old-school bands from our area. We could stay there till the morning but the club was closing so we had to go to the sleeping place which was 5 minutes away. Only sad thing was that Maks had to go home the next day, because he had gigs with his band on Friday and Saturday. He was a great companion, but he ended the tour on a high note…we are pretty sure he won’t forget that night for several reasons.

19.2.2015 Valasske Mezirici @ Stanleystar headquartes

Pavel asked us if we could wake up around 8.30 and come to the venue. He was quite surprised when we actually showed up on time, because usually bands are always late. I don’t like it when we put on shows and bands don’t give a shit when you tell them you have to go to work and if they could leave a bit earlier in the morning. So we made sure to be there as agreed. Pavel prepared coffee and tea for us and it was really hard to say goodbye. Pavel, dear friend, if you are reading this…thank you for everything, we appreciate it. Sadly we had to drop Maks off at the trainstation so the goodbyes didn’t end there. I am sure we would take him with us anytime if he ever expressed the wish to join us. Thanks for helping out with the merch, you were quite busy some nights ;).

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Anyway, enough with the sob stories, it was Thursday and we looked forward to going to Brno to meet with our friend Martin. I sent him a message and he told us he will be off work at 3-4pm. We’ve met Martin last year when we were on tour with our buddies Start at Zero. We clicked from the first moment we met and became really good friends. We waited for him near his flat and he took us to a nearby pub, where we ordered local beers. This beer was the best we had on this tour. None of us is a really heavy drinker, but we enjoy a good beer from time to time. We had lots of catching up to do and hours flew by…Martin loved our side project Lačne zveri, so we saved one cassette for his collection. We went back to his place, listened to the music and his new band. Can’t wait to hear the whole album! It was getting late, so we had to say goodbye and drive to Valasske Mezirici.

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We had a day-off but another great friend of ours, Stanley, offered to put us up for the night. He organized an acoustic show for a local artist and we planned to go from Brno directly to that show. Unfortunately it started way earlier than we thought so by the time we arrived it was already over. On the way there we were stopped by czech police and Neco who was driving had to do an alcotest. Unfortunately the cops didn’t speak english and their german wasn’t much better either so it took some time to figure out what we were supposed to do. At one point one of the police officers tried to give instructions how to do the sobriety test and just said »big fuk«, which sounds quite naughty in our language and probably in czech language as well, because we and police officers started laughing like crazy. Everything was ok and they warned us that we were breaking the law by covering our back windows. They were cool though and let us go with just a warning.

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Anyway, we waited for Stanley near his house to arrive from the show. We were so happy to see him again after two years. We’ve first met him on our tour with Part Time Killer and later when we toured on our own, so we’ve been friends for several years now. Any band that has been booked by him probably knows that he is one of the best promoters in Europe and his place is the most perfect place to be while on tour. It was the best day off ever. Oh, and we met Penny again (the coolest punkrock dog).

20.2.2015 Valasske Mezirici @ Bar Lira

We only had 10 minutes to drive to tonight’s show so we could sleep as long as we wanted. We relaxed the whole morning, played videogames, had time to talk with our loved ones and to practice for the evening. Stanley said he would get off work around noon, so we offered to cook lunch for everybody. After buying groceries, me and Jani started preparing the lunch. Like always we overdid it with the amount of everything and the pots were barely big enough to cook all the food. Stanley arrived right on time when everything was ready, so we sat down to have a meal together. I told him that we started rehearsing again with my Bad Religion cover band and we agreed we should come to play for his birthday later this year. His is the biggest BR fan, so that will be quite cool gift, I guess.

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He had some aarons to run and told us we should be at the venue around 7pm when he would prepare everything for the night. Afternoon nap seemed like such a luxury for a touring scenario, it really helped us regain our health, since we were all feeling a bit tired and under the weather. Finally the time came when we had to go to the venue. We’ve played here twice before, but this time the stage was in a smaller room, near the bar, which is a much better position, than the old big room. Two czech bands played with us tonight, youngsters Outsider, which have a big potencial and veterans Just for being, who also played a good set.

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We’ve seen many familiar faces at the show, including the »My Hero« guy, who always sings the Foo fighters song to us. We had fun cathing up with the locals and sharing stories from the previous times we’ve been there. I think we played really well this night, Giant worked on the sound and it felt comfortable playing on the new stage. All in all, another amazing show organized by Stanley. We hung out at the venue with the guys from Just for being who went back to Stanley’s place as well after the bar closed. It was sad, that there was only one day left of this tour, but we were looking forward to see our girlfriends and families soon.

21.2.2015 Budapest @ Vittula

We had to wake up before 9am, because a long drive was ahead of us and we had to be in Budapest early. After a quick breakfast and a shower we said goodbye to Stanley. Thank you for the royal treatment once again! Last gig of the tour was in Budapest, where Jani found love of his life last year when we were on tour with Start at Zero. His girlfriend Anita and the crew at the club Vittula organized the first ever show at that place and they were a bit worried about the loudness and complaints of the neighbours. As it turned out in the end, it wasn’t a problem at all. We drove directly to the club where Anita prepared a very tasty lunch for us. We were so happy to see her again, especially Jani, of course. She will be moving to Slovenia soon, so this was a sort of a farewell party as well.

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After we finished our meal we brought all off our stuff into the club and took our sleeping bags to the place where we slept. The curfew was at 22.00 sharp so the first bands started playing around 8pm. We had quite a long way to walk back to the venue, so we missed all but the last band. When we arrived there, the place was packed. We were on next, so there was no time to waste. Although it was very loud inside the venue (with some work it could be a really, really good place for gigs) the show turned out great and we could hardly wish for a better end of the tour. It was the last day and we got hammered. We drank all the whiskey and beer we had left in our van, plus we had free drinks at the bar.

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I left to the »hostel« to get some sleep while others stayed for a little longer. It has been a long night, full of nice memories and new friendships. Next morning we met at Vittula again to load all ouf our gear back into the van and hit the road home. We had to wait for a nice couple who we took back home to Slovenia with us, so there was enough time to have coffee and buy some bread for the long drive. We were right on schedule to catch the show that was happening in our hometown, but we were stopped by hungarian police 10 miles before the border. Unfortunately the guy and the girl that we picked up forgot their ID at the hostel, so we had to follow the cops to the police station. We had to wait outside and nothing happend for an hour. After an hour and a half Jani got mad and walked to the police station where some cops were playing videogames and others were watching clips on youtube. The couple said they would be fined for not having any documents with them and that cops were writting them a ticked. Jani asked one of the police officers if it has to take two hours to write a stupid ticked. Fortunately there was one sane cop there who took matters into his own hands and we were off in a couple of minutes. Home sweet home, here we come!

Thanks to everyone who helped us with a show, gave us a place to sleep, food, everyone that came to our shows and made us feel welcome. It’s you who made this tour memorable and special and for that we will be forever grateful! See you on the road soon! 😉

 

 

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