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Ash joins Revocation

Ash joins Revocation

We’re very stoked to announce that Ash Pearson is our new drummer! Many of you might already be familiar with his drum skills in 3 Inches Of Blood but for those of you who are unaware of his talents let us assure you that he absolutely KILLS behind the kit! We’re looking forward to starting this new chapter of Revocation with Ash on board and can’t wait for everyone to see him in action.
-Dave

Here’s what Ash has to say about our newly forged alliance:

“I am very honoured to be joining Revocation. Phil is a good friend of mine and I feel privileged to have his blessing and to be his successor. I take seriously the challenge to keep the caliber of this band high and look forward to continuing the legacy of Revocation.”

Upcoming Drum Clinic

Hey People. I’ve got a free drum clinic coming up next week. Love to see you make it. Here’s the info.

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 12 | 7-9pm

Location: Long & McQuade Musical Instruments
1363 Main Street, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
North Vancouver, BC V7J 1C4
Canada
STORE: 604-986-0911

Double Bass, Odd Times and Groovin’ with Ash Pearson
Ash Pearson of international touring band 3 Inches of Blood will be discussing ways to incorporate odd time beats within 4/4 grooves and fills, with double bass playing to be added to your Jazz, Funk, Latin, Rock and Metal phrasings. Ash will also be playing along to a selection of songs from his own band, as well as songs from some of his favourite bands.

Death Angel Tour Journal

Death Angel Tour Journal

Well this tour was a great one.

Death Angel, 3 Inches of Blood, Revocation, Battlecross and Diamond Plate.

We covered a good amount of ground in a month. Something like 29 shows in 31 days. I love playing that much. Some of the distances we had to cover were the main thing that made frequent shows difficult. Keep in mind we were following Death Angel who were in a bus. So a good amount of the drives couldn’t wait till the next morning, we had to forego sleeping in town and just drive baby. But there is nothing like being really tired to make you play good. Jim from Diamond Plate (who I only saw smile less than 10 times on the whole trip) said something to the effect of I looked tired and crappy and I had better wake up because it’ll be time to play a show. True. My retort was that there is nothing my conscious mind can do better than my unconscious mind when it comes to playing a show. It’s funny to no matter what’s going on, how sick as a dog or tired I’ve been, once a show is started it carries me through. That energy comes from somewhere.

Everyone on the tour was a standup person. We had Pete Griffin filling in on bass guitar for this run, which worked out great. We had a tight musical unit (more or less) with him by the time we hit our first show. Not bad after 3 jams.
I first saw Pete play with ZPZ in 2006 and again in 07′ and 08′. So suffice to say I knew who he was and was happy to finally have someone in the van who I could talk FZ with. For all of his years of touring, it was Pete’s first time touring under this format. As Dan from Revocation put it, “Is this your first scum tour?”…. Well put. But hell, Pete is a creature of adaptation and did a fine job.

Revocation are some of my favorite people on planet earth. Brett and I were separated at birth. Death Angels drum tech Dave had his birthday in Montreal. Before the show opened, he was doing some stretches to fix his back. I found out it was his birthday while he was doing the position where in which you basically are in a pushup position, but you sink your waist towards the ground to stretch your spine. Well at that moment I found out it was his birthday, I straddled him on his butt and gave him a backwards hug, and Brett came up and put his crotch in his face. So going down or up he was running in mine and Bretts privates. it made him quite uncomfortable, and I wish i had a picture. Happy Birthday, Dave.

Halloween in Baltimore found us dressing up. Cam as a evil priest, Shane as an hombre, Justin as Ziggy Star dust, Pete with a horrifying mask, and me as Andy Kauffmans alter ego, antagonist, Tony Cliffton.
I appointed myself to introduce the bands that night. I would come up and tell the crowd to shut up because I demand total silence. My banter went something like this. “Revocation means to revoke or make void… I revoke your license to play music because you guys suck.” or “Battlecross, where every member of the band is referred to as the ugly one.” Then I played our set in character.
It was a fun night.

In Anaheim we caught the Canucks playing the Ducks. Our friend Sara hooked us up with the V.I.P. treatment. The Canucks lost 3-1, but the 4 beers and free chicken wings were delightful. The kiss cam came on, and a stream of young to middle aged couples exchanged there pitiful pecks, until a man who must have been in his 70 kiss his wife so deeply and passionately, it put all those youngsters to shame. I mean he showed them how you kiss a lady.

Death Angel are a great band, and everyone was a cool guy to hang out with. They’d gladly have me on their bus for a hang and give me shots and beers and send me on my way. We’d be happy to do it again.

Battlecross were sure fun to watch, very tight band. Gumby’s banter was very entertaining each night, Except for his imitation of Cam’s vocal styling when it came to saying our name. At some point he stopped and did something cooler.

Another story worth mention is a snowy substance party that I ruined. I entered the room in question after having had a few drinks. I noticed a yellow and black book on my left I was determined to have a look at. I went in and talked to some people. Went and picked up the book and looked at the front cover, only to hear the whole room erupt into one big yell. then silence, everyone with eyes on me as I notice the snow fall towards the carpet. I totally killed the vibe in the room. It was actually pretty funny, because it was so perfectly awful. I don’t even remember the name of the book.

Another one, at the New York show Oct 29th, ZPZ was in town rehearsing for their show at the Beacon Theater on Halloween. So Chris and Karyn from the ZPZ crew came to our metal show and we had a great time. A few days later we played Boston, turns out ZPZ is playing the House Of Blues a couple miles away. So with Pete’s help I secured a ticket and caught the show which was a real treat and nice break from the usual routine. It was my 5th time seeing them.

The tour was full of memorable moments. I might get around to a part 2 if some memories surface.

Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind. Book Review

Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind. Book Review

Evolve Your Brain – the Science of Changing Your Mind

By joe Dispenza

This book was given to me by Nick Schendzielos (Shin-Jelous) in March of last year. It took me a while to finish.
It’s called ‘The Science of Changing Your Mind”, not the philosophy of changing your mind. For that reason this book is quite scientific in nature, yet has stark philosophical implications.
It starts out with examples of common threads between people who’ve had spontaneous remissions from cancers and terminal diseases. More often than not the similarities were a nature of perception.
That’s really where the bulk of the book goes. It explores how thought effect our internal chemistry which in turn effects our thoughts etc. Things are broken down to what parts of the brain produce which chemicals, and how those chemicals act on our physiology.

Excerpt:
“Aligning our intentions with our actions, or matching our thoughts with our behaviors, leads to personal evolution. To evolve, we must progress from explicit memories to implicit memories; from knowledge to experience to wisdom, or mind to body to soul. Mental rehearsal prepares the mind. Physical rehearsal trains the body. The union of mental and physical rehearsal is the union of mind and body to a new state of being. When the mind and the body are one with anything, we have now reached true wisdom. And wisdom is always recorded in the soul.

This methodology can take you from being unconsciously unskilled, to consciously unskilled, to consciously skilled, to unconsciously skilled, so that you can move to the point at which you have implicit systems fully wired and in place. Then you will have evolved your brain to such an extent that your responses, behaviors and attitudes are as natural and effortless as the original circuits you chose to modify. At the end of this process, you will be able to summon these new behaviors at will.

After all, our thoughts are created from our memories. Our sequential thoughts are linked together to produce our attitudes. The totality of our attitudes creates our beliefs. Our beliefs, when synthesized, make up our perceptions of the world and determine the choices we make, the relationships we have, the creations we manifest, the behaviors we demonstrate and ultimately the life we live.
From willing ourselves to change, to changing ourselves at will, the process of evolving our brain is limited only by our imagination. ”

I quite enjoyed this book, and feel I will read again down the line. It’s a great place to gain new information on the workings of how our states of being work at a neurological and physiological level, and how it is we can use our will to adjust our perceptions and attitudes to evolve towards our ideal self.

Bill Bruford Autobiography Book Review

Bill Bruford Autobiography Book Review

Bill Bruford book review

It took me a while to finish this one. I actually put it down for a while, because I felt it started to get repetitive with his bleakness of his view of the music industry and the reflections of his career, so I moved onto something else at the time. Alas I picked it up again months later and it was more of the same. However, being a small part of the business myself, I can very well see where he is coming from in his cynicism. Imagine your an innovator, respected player, hard working band leader. You’ve seen new musical styles, business practices and technologies come along which many serve the function of replacing the composers role, the drummers role, marginalizing the band and the control they have over careers. Trivializing the whole supposed beauty of the art form.

There are of course things that account for this.

An example Bruford sets forth, is indeed technological advances.
In classical times, a composer/musician was celebrated, left to his devices to do what he or she does best and allowed to flourish writing symphonies/music which was reserved for people with an exceptional gift, and left for the public to anticipate and enjoy.
Same true to radio and phonograph records. Song writing was a appreciated more and so was the way we listened. To sit down in without distraction and listen to an entire track or album, relishing in the experience. Something people left to musicians who did it well and thoroughly enjoyed, something that enriched their lives.

Flash forward where everyone can and does ‘compose’ on their computer, doesn’t need to even learn an instrument to do so, and puts little thought or feeling into songs writing, wants instant gratification out of their listening experience, something that satisfies them in 8 seconds, lest it be cast aside as boring.

To someone like Bruford who grew up in a whole other generation it must be a dismal outcome of something that once seemed pure, something you had work hard at to earn a place on the stage and studio, to sweat for hours in the practice room, to earn the title of musician/artist. A label anyone can now adopt with GarageBand.

He’s had enough and retires a few years back.

“What is the origin of this dull aching to stop, this desire to lay down the load?I’ve become the wet dream of every 40 something white male with a receding hairline and a drum kit he put into the closet when he got a mortgage. I’m doing what they would have done, if they’d had the balls. Don’t ever stop they order. Keep doing what your doing, they instruct. Until when? Until they let me stop? Until I drop? And all this aching while I have the best band with the best musicians I have ever worked with, the best review from Neil Tesser I’m likely ever to get. It’s one of gods little jokes that, after diligent labor and focused improvement over this long stretch, I am, despite the accumulation of the experience and technical ability of a lifetime spent at the instrument, unable to imagine a future.”

He also likens giving up the drums to a boxer hanging up his gloves. If they can do it, why can’t he hang up his drum sticks?

He also mentions that he feels inadequate in the face of today’s young players, who are at masterful levels of ability and creativity in their early years.

This book did a few things for me. It gives fair warning of the kind of bullshit one can expect to face in the music business, but it also gave me a shred of doubt, that at the end of all the years of struggling to survive on music, that it may prove fruitless. That all the seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the musical climate is not destined to improve and playing music is a losing game if you wish to do it honestly.
My youthful optimism opposes that notion, but……what IF he’s right? Personally I feel I’m cut out for more than just music and that gives me a reason not to care so much whether or not my career ends in money, stardom and mass acceptance.
Overall I feel his glass is very half empty and he shouldn’t have been so melodramatic with his career memories. Does he not treasure them? Only a few small nuggets? One would hope to get more out of life than just a few things to remember having enjoyed. No one can know having not walked in his shoes. I’m sure he is fine just the way he is. I still love his work.
Definitely a good read.

Adrift 
Seventy Six Days Lost At Sea, by Stephen Callahan.

The title pretty much tells you the contents of this story. It’s a mans tale of being lost on a life raft at sea for 76 grueling days. 
His ship unexpectedly capsized off the coast of the Canary Islands (possibly from a breaching whale). Barely escaping with his life, he managed to grab in addition to his life raft, basic at sea survival tools and supplies. Having a small stock of food and water, Stephen is forced to live almost exclusively on caught fish, and distilled sea water. Suffering from dehydration, severe malnourishment, open sea salt boils and atrophy. A small Eco system of barnacles, sea weed, micro organisms and small fish also developed under his raft, attracting even larger fish, Dorados. The Dorado fish became his chief source of food, and his company for the subsequent days. His connection with these fish takes on a respectful, spiritual relationship. 

“I cannot stop mourning the big dorado that I futilely slew last evening. (he killed but couldn’t get on his boat). I try to convince myself that my depression comes only from the fact that I am in desperate need of meat, but my sense of loss is not solely pragmatic. Ineffectual attempts to catch fish are nothing new, and I think little of them. I feel emotionally devastated. The dorados have become much more than food to me. They are even more than pets. I look at them as equals- in many ways as my superiors. Their flesh keeps me alive. Their spirit keeps me company. Their attack and their resistance to the hunt makes them worthy opponents, as well as friends. I am thankful of their meat and companionship, and fearful of their power. I wonder if my deep respect for them is related to my Indian ancestors’ respect for all natural forces. It is strange how killing animals can sometimes inspire such worship of them. I can justify killing the dorados in order to save my own life, but even that is getting more difficult. Last nights killing was to no ones advantage. I have robbed the fish of life and myself of the fishes spirit. I feel as if I have greatly sinned, that this is a very bad omen. Such waste. How I hate waste. Still I realize that if I am to survive I must continue to fish. I must prepare myself to kill again this morning.” 

In our modern day ‘mastery’ over our environment and the abundance it provides, it seems something has been forgotten of our very real co-dependance on other life forms. How we measure our lives against that of a creature of the sea or land.

Stephens was thrust into a world outside of our normal modern day perceptions of time and life cycle. Being pulled away right into the face of his most basic of needs and most minimal comforts, he beautifully describes his heightened awareness of being at the oceans mercy.

Rare are books such as these. I recommend this book, everyone should be able to take something positive from it.

‘Traveling Music’ Book Review – Author – Neil Peart

‘Traveling Music’ Book Review – Author – Neil Peart

Traveling Music is Neil Pearts 3rd book. It is set during a 2,500 mile trip he took to Big Bend National park in southwest Texas in his BMW Z-8. The book was essentially written based around the music he listened to on that trip, and all the memories and impressions that music evoked. 

When he put on a new CD, it would start up a whole line of memories, from when he first heard the record or the artist, to the things happening in his life during various periods, or how much it meant to have that music in his life all these years later etc. 

There seemed to be one or several tangents that would occur. A description of the where he was driving through, perhaps the town or regions local history, then he’d throw on a CD, talk about the music itself, it’s merits, then walk down memory lane to when the artist first came into his life, what impressions it left on him initially, and from there it could have taken you to his childhood memories, his high school days, an encounter with a bully or friend, early music days, his time living in England, his old days in Rush on and off the stage all the way until now. 

It brought to light certain things I had always wanted to know more about. Things like some of his first bands and learning the ropes with gigging, his experience with bullies, his experiences with drugs (nothing too serious), his times living, working and gigging in the UK before Rush, and some of his personal encounters with borderline schizophrenic fans that brings to light certain aspects of his projected character. 

Then the book took a interesting turn. The journey with his car sort of just ended with him arriving back at home, and what pages were left talked mainly about an African bicycle trip he took back in the 90’s (I think it was the 90’s). Which was actually pretty great to read more about. This trip was through the same biking organization as the ‘Masked Rider’ was, but with different traveling companions who’s company he seemed to enjoy more. There were some great little stories in there.  A cool encounter with a drum master in an African village, who was teaching a young missionary some rhythms. Neil heard the drums, went over to them, saw the boy was not ‘getting it’, then was like…’Can I try?’…The master showed him some of the rhythms, he ‘got it’ then they started jamming , improvising and having a ball. He’d won the masters respect and had the boy in awe, saying…”How can you do that?” 

“Well, I’m in the business.” He replied. 

He talked for a little bit about the benefit concert they took part in and the preparations leading up to the event. It was Toronto 2003 around the time of the ‘SARS’ outbreak, and a show was proposed to boost the spirits and the economy of Toronto. The band reluctantly agreed to play this show, mainly because it was such short notice.  Other bands on the bill were The Rolling Stones, ACDC and the Guess Who. Ever heard of em?:)

It sounds like it tripped Neil out to meet this old man right before they went on stage who turned out to be Charlie Watts. Cool

All in all this book was pretty great. A ‘long’ read at times, but lots of great educational and biographical information, with lots of great music recommendations throughout. My favorite book of his still is Ghost Rider.

I’ll end off with some quotes I’ve underlined in his book.

“If people only want to be diverted or distracted, rather than moved or inspired, then fakery will do just as well as the real thing. To the indiscriminate, or uncaring,listener, it just doesn’t matter. Sometimes I have to face the reality that music can be part of people’s lives, like wallpaper, without being the white-hot center of their lives, as it always seemed to be for me.”   – Neil

“Perhaps in the swift change of American society in which the meanings of one’s origins are so quickly lost, one of the chief values of living with music lies in its power to give us an orientation in time. In doing so, it gives significance to all those indefinable aspects of experience which nevertheless help to make us what we are. In the swift whirl of time, music is a constant, reminding us of what we were and of that toward which we aspire. Art thou troubled? Music will not only calm, it will ennoble thee.” – Ralph Ellison

 

“It seems to me that if anyone is going to ruin your career, it ought to be you.”-Neil talking in reference to record labels messing with artists to the point of sabotage. 

 

“The longing for ‘home’ is a common theme in art and life, but that attachment to a place is surly overrated, or misstated. ‘Home’ is a feeling about yourself, not the place around you, and you can take it with you.”  Neil

 

“Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.”

John Muir

 

“Whoever cannot settle on the threshold of the moment forgetful of the whole past, whoever is incapable of standing on a point like a goddess of victory without vertigo or fear, will never know what happiness is, and worse, will never do anything to make others happy.” Fredrick Nietzsche 

 

“I considered the most important gift a person could receive genetically to be strength of will, and apart from any talent or sensitivity to words and music, that was certainly the quality to which I attributed much of my own success (or at least, Survival)” – Neil

 

“There are no failures of talent, only failures or character.” – Someone wise once said.

 

Hope you enjoyed it.

 

Ash

70,000 tons of Metal days 3,4 and 5.

70,000 tons of Metal days 3,4 and 5.

This is the day we arrive in Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean… Or as the band adopted “Perks and Caicos”. Don’t ask!

 

It’s another slow to start morning, but looking outside the window boosts my enthusiasm greatly. We’ve docked, we are in the Caribbean. Shane, Justin and I drag our asses out of bed and head for breakfast. From the ship you can pretty much see the entire circumference of the island. But nothing inland looks as inviting as that beach. I’ve been to Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand, Miami and I have never seen water this blue.

The first building you walk through off the dock is the gift shop. Good thing I might have forgot to buy something. Always wanting your money don’t they?

We initially veer right, but the beach didn’t go very far, and I was more interested in the left. After all, that’s where the music was coming from, and they were playing metal, so that’s where we’ll find our kind. These street kind of remind me a downtown Disneyland in Orlando Florida. (In recent news Exodus was banned from playing at the venue there, for being too metal I believe)

There was lots of bodies on the beach, beautiful people one and all. It was my idea of a perfect day, perfect weather. We found Byron and put down our stuff, Justin and I could hardly wait to jump in the water. It was some of the best water I’ve enjoyed swimming in. So warm and blue. You could even open your eyes under water with no sting and see well in front of you.

It’s funny seeing metal heads “Out of their element”. Seeing so many on the beach dressed in black with tattoos or wandering around Jimmy Bufffets ‘Margarita Ville’, you couldn’t help but think that this was a pretty cool scene.

Bjorn from In Flames walked by, he said they were going to the pool behind Jimmy Buffets. I told him there’s a perfectly good pool over there (pointing towards the ocean).

I spent the better part of my hours with the guys in Cryptopsy drinking beer and pina coladas on the beach and getting sunburned. I took my beer into the water swimming with it over head and for my first time, trying a chug under water. It works!

I met Flo (Cryptopsy) about 7 years ago, and was always of fan of his playing. Since then we’ve become friends and peers. It’s a life affirming thing to share these surreal experiences with fellow players and to know we are all just people, good at what we do but still always striving to be better. This time on the beach is what our rocking pays for.

It was time to head back to the boat. A night on the island would have been great, but we had to go, and the clouds came rolling in around that time so it made it easier to leave. I can’t help but think if we did stay that some people may have been lost entirely.

We weren’t playing that night so it was dinner time. Nile played that night, they were on fire. If your band is only as good as your drummer then they are one of the best death metal bands on the planet.

That night at Karaoke was well attended and plenty of people putting in for songs. Not wanting to wait through 20 people, I slipped the DJ a ten and he bumped me up in the list (My first time ‘Greasin’ somebody, I still had to wait about an hour to get up there). I figured no one else did any Zappa on that cruise, so always needing to do what no one else is doing, I opted to sing “Dirty Love” off of Overnight Sensation.

“I Don’t Need your sweet devotion, I Don’t want your cheap emotion, Just whip me up some dragon lotion For you Dirty Love”. Reflecting my more hedonistic feelings on the act of sex.

Shit I got sun burnt again. Booze and too much sun do not mix well. By the end of the night I experienced what could be described as mild toxic shock. Bedtime.

Thursday is the last full day. We play at 4:15, right after Cryptopsy and during the George Kollias clinic. The show was in the “Spectrum Lounge”. Smaller than the outdoor stage but classy. I wasn’t sure if many people would show. But it was a blowout set. We packed the place, I’d say it was better attended than our first show (no surprise 4:15 pm easier to make than 4:15 am)

We played very well and the energy was excellent. Two guys dressed in Tuxedos, people waving around Canadian flags and singing along. When we finished, a group of concert goers sung us our national anthem. It was a great climax to our live presence on that ship.

Oh yes, later that night we made plans to meet at the fine dining restaurant. It was separate from the buffet where everyone normally went. It was a legit high end place with 4 course meals etc, all free! AHAHAH.

Cam, Sara, Kiel, two strangers and I ended up at a big table with Oliver, Youri and Chris (drunkris) from Cryptopsy (boy they’re sure mentioned alot)

Salad, Salmon, Steak, Potatoes, dessert sampler, wine and fine espresso. Does it get any better? Also was hilarious to see yet again metal heads where you wouldn’t normally find them. Guys dressed in medieval clothes with face paint on being ushered to their tables while they yell out “DINNER, DINNER,DINNER!”

It was a great end to the festivities. That and seeing Flotsam and Jetsam. Not a whole lot of people there, but Shane and I really enjoyed the show.

That brought us into Port the next day where we said our goodbyes to people. The line to leave the boat was stalled for about 15 minutes and people were getting impatient including myself. An employee to reassure everyone said “Don’t worry folks, we are just waiting for the line to start moving again”. NO SHIT CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

At the airport we ran into Steve Gibb, son of Barry Gibb from the Bee Gee’s. We had met Steve a few years prior when we played a show with Kingdom of Sorrow (Jamie Jasta from Hatebreeds side band in which Steve played guitar.) He was on his way with his family to Australia, where he would be playing several shows on guitar with the Bee Gee’s. Cool lineage indeed!

I mostly drank wine on the flight home. I don’t fly so well so half my time in the air I think a crash is immanent. The End.

Musical highlights from the cruise include Doro, Sabaton, Kreator, Immolation, Holy Grail, Cryptopsy, Nile, Dragonforce, Flotsam and Jetsam, and hanging with good friends. All in all I would go back even just as a concert goer. It was a surreal time I will never forget, our heavy metal adventure on a cruise ship.

70,000 tons of Metal Cruise (Days 1&2)

70,000 tons of Metal Cruise (Days 1&2)

70,000 Tons of Metal day 1&2

A day like any other at the airport. Flight to Chicago, Chicago to Miami. I changed my clothes in anticipation for the climate change. How welcome it was compared to a rainy Vancouver and a freezing Chicago. The band arrived around 130 am, (the flight attendant seemed to be in a nasty mood and told us the local time was 1130). We get a sketchy cab ride to our hotel. Sketchy being our driver speeding over every bump he possibly could. Our hotel check in was interrupted by a army vet telling our check in girl to ‘Call 911’, because someone had parked in a handicap spot. His apparently. The girl was a little more rational about the solution to find the person and ask him to move (no one even suggested finding a tow truck) her suggestions didn’t satisfy so he went off to ‘go call 911’. Just imagine that call.
 A shuttle picked us up the next morning going to port. It was a massive ship. The Majesty of the Seas is the vessel name. My bottle of Makers Mark and I make it through check in and get our room. Shane, Justin and I in one, Cam and his wife Sara in another and Byron with friend Kiel in another. Small rooms but cozy enough. It’s about 11am, we don’t play till 4:15 am the following morning. So we start into spending our 50 charge cards towards drinks, which I had spent by the end of that night.
There were familiar faces all over too which was great. Holy Grail, Cryptopsy as well as some people I recognized but haven’t yet met.
The layout of the boat was pretty neat. The pool deck had two big salt water pools, and two hot tubs. One pool had been drained, that is where the ‘Pool deck stage’ was being built. Constructed from  scaffold, planks, cable, supports etc. The big stage had been erected with all the amplification and lighting to go with it. It was truly impressive.  As another cruise boat leaving port passed by, our boat, as is tradition I’ve learned, yelled out multiple times, “Your boat sucks! Your boat sucks!” to the passing vessel.
It came time to set sail. We embarked at 6 pm, just before sunset. The slowly descending sun in the distance beside the Miami skyline gave a peaceful feeling of the journey to come. It was a sunset and surrounding that makes me appreciate something Bryan Seely said, “This is what our rocking pays for.” I’ll never forget that and he is right. Money isn’t always around in this business, but unique experiences like this are quite priceless. All made possible through music.
Come dinner I realized, holy hell this inclusive buffet is awesome.  Asian foods, salads, pasta, meat, fish, desserts, coffee, soups, even fruit soups like cold strawberry bisque or pear soup. They kept the menu pretty interesting.
All that sun, food, drinks and metal could be tiring, not mention we played at 4:15 in the morning, so it was time for a nap.
I was more or less expecting a low attendance for that time of night. But to our surprise it was a fantastic turnout and fantastic crowd. Cam was almost late to the show, not to mention it was a big ship we still weren’t familiar with. We barely got away with writing out what songs we were gonna play too. But things all came together as they do. It was a triumphant gig.
Gene Hoglan had mentioned to me the strange feeling of sitting behind and playing your drum kit, while the boat sways softly in the ocean moving everything with it. It was indeed a new sensation behind the drums, as well as the sea air blowing the cymbals upwards away from its resting angle. But again it was a great show and was also the first time we played our cover of Accepts “Restless and Wild” live.
Oh boy the night had just begun. It should have ended with me playing the show and going to sleep. But hindsight is 20/20.
Turns out our pals in Holy Grail were on that boat as well, and it was Blake’s birthday. So I grab 1/4 of my liter bottle of Makers Mark and poured my first sizable drink. Which led us to Karaoke, and many more drinks mostly bought by fans (bonus). After several hours of excess and my karaoke version of Dina-Moe-Hum by Frank Zappa I stumbled up for breakfast when the sun came up. Shitfaced, got to my room for prompt vomiting and a subsequent squandered following day of hangovered sea sickness, with all food being kicked out of the stomach when presented. I heard Oliver from Cryptopsy pulled a similar move. Brothers in Barf!

Purified in 3 Inches of Blood

Purified in 3 Inches of Blood
As the days went on, we spent more time with Hallgeir, Anders, Sander, Tommy and Stig from Purified In Blood. Usually up real late drinking and listening to music in the lounge of the bus. Sander was usually champion of staying up till all hours of the night, last man standing. Some nights though he’d be tired from the late night before. We’d be listening to music on the bus as usual, and he would get up and declare “Okay I’m going to bed.” When he started to walk down the narrow path towards the back Hallgeir, myself and several others would extend our arms out to stop him. He would end up having nowhere to go and stay up for another hour or two (after trying to leave and being stopped yet again!)
Hallgeir and I would talk often of spirit, nature, combat amongst late late night of listening to music. At times when things got loose we would lightly spar and posture  in gas station parking lots late at night. Our urges to dual bypassed common sense one evening at the boarder into Poland. We stopped in line, immediately opened the doors and started up. Doing air Kung-Fu outside of the bus, punches and kicks. That received some well deserved looks from Byron and Seely, as if to say. “What the hell are you doing, you should know better.” point taken. We managed to slide through that border crossing. Hell we had fun.
I came to find that Hallgeir has an appreciation through experience of walking in cold Norwegian weather, finding shelter, making fire, catching and cooking food and the basic immense joy that comes from connecting and strengthening your relationship with nature.  These are thing I’ve always read about but haven’t experienced. Again showing the merits of real experience versus conceptual knowledge.