ah, i fucking hate this day. i really do. the day itself wasn’t terrible and we had a great time as we always do. but i hate this day simply because i have to write about it and in turn, say some not so positive things.
by no means am i sort of positive, uplifting, crusader of kindness. but people who know me will tell you that i am a double-sided fuck, straddling the line between total hate/exploding anger/constant outrage and overly polite/caring to a fault/chest-pounding martyr. i spent age 13 to 23 being a malcontented, evil shithead, starting with the first day i got on fucking America Online and started stealing credit cards and torturing the “Pregnant Chat” chatroom. and like most asshole 13 year olds with long-hair, a computer addiction, and an Entombed shirt, a ton of anonymous property damage and cowardly malicious mischief. eventually i got arrested and put into an awesome drug treatment program that consisted of an old man wearing native american jewelry yelling, “FUCK YOU, HOMIE,” and throwing his cane across the room. but that’s another story. point is, i’ve done a lot of mean shit and have gone out of my way to hurt people.
why am i telling you this? because it’s important for you to “get” where i’m coming from, having been a prick for so many years and suddenly developing a conscience. i understand what it’s like to have someone shit on you because i’ve been shit on and i’ve bitten into as many hearts as possible and seen the look on someone’s face or noticed the change in their demeanor as you deflated their soul. quite frankly, to quote a Brain Tumors song-title, “I Feel Bad”. i have always felt bad. to this day, i will have irrational attacks of guilt that i have to consciously sit quietly and deconstruct before i can get on with my day.
it wasn’t until i realized punk was not just Rancid, The Casualties, (and whatever other seemingly fraudulent image-addled music that i had seen and disregarded over the years) that i began to feel less and less ashamed of my own grime. a basic unifying theme in punk is “problems” and not even necessarily how to fix them – simply looking at them or talking about them. even the shitcore/nonsensical bands like Chemotherapy (download at Cosmic Hearse), Flipper, or Folded Shirt seem to zero in on the problem of “life is too serious, art is not real”. sometimes personal, sometimes political. and somehow realizing there is music with a central focus on despair without corny death metal vocals or constant posturing made me feel better about my own status of being a self-loathing, overly conscious creep.
we drove out of Minot, ND, during a light rainstorm, me with a foggy head begging for more cough syrup. as i was cold, i put on one of the four Best Buy work shirts i bought from a thrift store before we left (dont ask). max continued farting and we went to a gas station where Dan said there was a dude taking a shit, mumbling about someone stealing five gallons of crude oil. and we went to another gas station where i bought reconstituted beef jerky. at both gas stations people asked me which Best Buy I work at. of course, being that i had drank a bunch of cough syrup, i immediately never knew what people were talking about when they asked me that question.
“i don’t work at Best Buy. that place fucking sucks. i’m just wearing it because it’s funny.”
it got a laugh here and there. so we drove and drove for something like ten fucking hours, listening to Kenny G and The Lion King soundtrack that Max bought at the thrift store in Minot until i threw the Lion King tape out the window, but apparently not because it ended up under the seat.
we stopped at a place called Lazy JD’s Steaks & Food in Fallon, MT. i ate a giant piece of chicken fried steak and played video poker, winning me enough to buy a beer.
we continued driving and i nodded off listening to Joel and Dan play some stupid game about animals being on the left or right side of the road, and someone gets points, and then you lose all your points if there’s some other who fucking cares
we showed up in Bozeman at a place called The Filling Station. it’s probably the best looking bar i’ve ever been in, full of old cans and gas station signs with a bunch of oil workers shuffling around.
“now i feel like Black Flag,” joel remarked while looking around and assessing how much the patrons of the bar would hate us.
i sat down and met some hostile local named Mike Beers who warmed up to me when he realized my last name is also a type of alcoholic drink, but i could tell he still hated me because my job did not involve carrying heavy shit and hitting objects with objects. i was a weak, city-dwelling, loser to Mike Beers, and he made sure to offhandedly tell me that. in the background, joel played Big Buck Hunter and a gaggle of bearded Mike Beerslike characters played pool, faking heart attacks and shouting obscenities at each other. it was probably 4pm. the games had drink holders and the bartender looked like she should be working at a tourist joint in a large city, like Coyote Ugly or some other place that pays you to be attractive and friendly to a bunch of dirty fucks who call you names like “darlin’ ” and “sweetheart”. instead, she found a home slinging drinks to guys who probably truly appreciated seeing her after a day of having their pores filled with machine grease and sweat.
we took off for a few minutes to head into town and find our favorite evil Satanists in The Funeral and the Twilight. they were at the most wretched and hellish place in Bozeman – the local Co-Op. we ate co-op Chinese food while i eyed what i thought was a homeless veteran. we also discussed how everywhere but where we were playing in Bozeman seemed like a hip college town and how there were absolutely no flyers for our show posted anywhere other than at the fucking bar we were playing at. Fuck you #1.
we went back to The Filling Station where we met the guys from Beneath the Kraken. i believe one of them was wearing a Pantera shirt and camo pants and moon boots. which is totally fine by me but it paints the picture for you – metal dude.
“hey dude, can you work door while we play,” metal dude asked.
“uh…yeah, probably. sure. how long is your set?”
“about an hour.”
Fuck You #2
i drank more. the bartender came over and explained to me how to work door and the importance of double-checking IDs, citing that sting operations are set up from time to time and they will lose their ability to operate if someone underage gets in. lot to put on a dude who is staying for 12 hours in your city when you think about it. i put on Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” and stamped dudes in Shinedown shirts’ hands. i didn’t mind as it gave me a chance to see how much money was coming in.
Beneath the Kraken played. overall they could play, but it sounded like a mixture between new Corrosion of Conformity and maybe Godsmack (i’m not fucking linking a Godsmack song here). and it was fucking awkward. in between songs, the singer kept doing the “HOW YALL MOTHERFUCKERS DOING TONIGHT? LETS MAKE SOME NOISE! I CANT HEAR YOU MOTHERFUCKERS! MAKE SOME NOIIIIIIIISE” shit to a crowd of like, 20 people.
they played a cover of “Heartbreaker”. they also covered “The Ace of Spades” by Motorhead but their picking was off. i mean, they were a fucking metal band that played an hour set – what am i supposed to say? i didn’t like it. granted, Brain Tumors can’t physically play longer than twelve minutes and can’t memorize songs over two minutes – i’m not saying we’re a stunning example of excellence. but man. it was what it was: some metal band from Bozeman, Montana. its probably hard to grow up in a place where no bands come to, i guess.
they finished their eternal ten hour marathon set and probably half the people left. i talked to a kid in a Megadeth (fucking click that) shirt about Swedish Black Metal and later found out that while he was outside smoking, he asked our drummer Dan if he had heard of this band called Blue Ox, from Minneapolis (Dan’s other band with Logan from Much Worse). so basically those two became friends quickly.
around this point, we received word that we were getting a cut (25%?) of the bar’s sales as well, meaning our drinks were much cheaper, technically. we ordered more drinks.
The Funeral and the Twilight played for a small crowd who were thoroughly impressed. i tried lighting max’s beard on fire while he took a shit in the bathroom all while we collectively dodged the sloppy advances of some sketchy 30something drunk woman insisting she was in rehab and also that she had seen Nirvana in 1997.
we played and i knocked over a bunch of tables and broke a lot of shit while the Nirvana lady sat in a chair, casually headbanging. there were not a lot of people there but the crowd interaction made the show decent. i think i recall throwing potato chips all over everyone. afterwards we got a lot of compliments, such as this super nice dude from Beneath the Kraken saying we sounded like Converge and a mixture of “hardcore grind thrash funk punk”. the bartender called me over and also paid us some compliments which was nice to hear from someone who told us all she listens to is country music.
i grabbed Ben from The Funeral and the Twilight (TFATT) and said, “hey, you look the scariest of all of us. there was $110 from the door, go to the singer of that Kraken band and make sure we get paid alright.” Ben came back with something like $27 for each band, looking dejected.
Kraken dude came up and i started yelling at the guy.
“hey man, where the fuck is the rest of the money?”
“uhhh well, i mean. the sound guy got $110…”
“okay, that sucks. and the cut from the bar?”
“…i’m really sorry, guys. you guys were really good and your shows will be better when you get out west. im sorry.”
Fuck You #3
look, guys, if you’re reading this: don’t book anymore shows. and if you book them, don’t play them unless it’s with another metal band that plays an hour long set. and if for some reason you’re forced to book another show for someone, maybe consider putting some flyers around somewhere else aside from the fucking bar with white supremacist graffiti on the bathroom walls. we had a fun time but we also left feeling like we got confused and fucked. and if Beneath the Kraken took any money from the door or the bar, you guys better have some heavy drug addictions or medical bills for a dying parent or something.
and maybe think about having someone do the door who didn’t spend 11 hours in a van for $25 split amongst four people. and dont hire a fucking sound guy who gets paid more than two touring bands from across the country, COMBINED.
aside from that we enjoyed meeting you.
i put on Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” one last time and we got in the van and started leave before someone realized all of our gear was sitting behind the van. later, we would find out that we left all of our fucking cables there at the bar.
i slept in a tent with Noah from TFATT because he is a mountain man genius motherfucker and the house already had people sleeping there who had driven from Alaska. Brandon from TFATT and his special lady Carly slept in a tiny laundry room, which was probably okay because they’re both thin. everyone else slept in vans or on the kitchen floor.