Life as a touring artist brings unspeakable volumes of filth, fun, and profane awesomeness. We offered up our blog as a road diary and our friend Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die took the bait. In his first entry, Keith talked about toilet paper, regurgitation, and football (they’re all connected in a weird way we promise). Currently on ETID’s From Parts Unknown tour with Counterparts and Expire, which you can find tickets to here, Keith continues chronicling his journey in Part 2 this week. Read on below.
Driving across the border from Manitoba to Saskatchewan feels akin to wandering far off the mission map in an early version of Grand Theft Auto. Where once there were thoughtfully crafted mountains blooming purposefully into the depths of a clear sky and intricate roadways playfully coiling through swaths of proud forest, there is now a land so flat and unremarkable that if you stood on a chair you could trace the curvature of the earth on the horizon with your fat finger and you begin to think that god’s team of developers had not been paid enough to program details this distant. You begin to weight your options and debate with yourself as to whether it would make more sense to turn around and head back towards the last sign of life you remember passing, keep going until you eventually circle the earth and end up behind where you currently are, or simply wait and hope something kills you so you can restart among the living. Our only option was, of course, to keep driving where eventually we found life in Saskatoon, a name I had always found amusing when I was a little kid growing up in Buffalo and hearing a hockey announcer or Canadian radio DJ say it in reference to the Tragically Hip’s tour schedule. The show there was in a bar on the college campus and it was the last show for 3 days that I would be able to see out of both eyes, having brutally shredded my cornea taking out my contact after the set.
Kleenex in hand and bloodshot, dripping wet, swollen eye in skull, I decided to get a drink at a country western bar that was next to the motel where we had booked a room with Legs and Brian (our Tour manager/sleep apnea sufferer) because I am a pathetic alcoholic who values a warm buzz over rest and proper visual perception. I would describe the “Northwood Hotel” in Saskatoon as a roach motel except there were infinitely more flies than roaches- so many flies, in fact, that some of them weren’t even flying. They were either brazenly loitering around our room like it was itself a dead body because they knew they outnumbered us or there was simply not enough air space.The bar in the parking lot was called “Outlaws” and like most country bars it was 4,000 square acres, contained 85 separate dance floors on 6 different levels and had nobody inside except a staff full of dickheads in tight denim who said things to us like “I love America and I enjoy flying a Confederate flag even way up here”. Outside there was a man grilling hot dogs who I overheard saying to a coworker as I walked up to his grilling station- I swear to god, hand on bible- “me and my cousin were fucking pretty heavily for a while but we decided to take things slow.” When I interrupted him and asked him for a footlong with no bun (because obviously i’m watching my carb intake as I sit with a pile of tissues wedged between my lame eye and my glasses drinking Coors light out of a personal pitcher) he says “oh, allergic to bread huh? I know a bunch of people like that.” Nobody in the world knows “a bunch of people” allergic to bread.
The next day as we passed through Calgary on our way to Banff we stopped at a pharmacy so I could get an eyepatch in order to keep light out, and please let me assure you that wearing an eyepatch is not as cool as you thought it might be when you were six. Its uncomfortable as shit and when people see you with one strapped around your head they don’t fear or respect you like the cartoon henchmen feared their eyed patched evil scientist boss. The waitresses who bring you your dinner as you squint at the thursday night football game in a reasonably priced pub along Banff’s main drag just think you’re being a huge pussy about the hazy sunlight stretching in through the window from over the distant mountains.
For reasons unknown, we did not have a show booked in Vancouver and I would like to take this opportunity to address anyone in Vancouver who didn’t make the drive to Kelowna but still managed to find time in their busy schedule to call us “fuckhead cocksuckers” online. While we are both aware and terribly sorry that the closest we got was still a few hours away, there is nothing that the members of a band can do about the show routing unless they book their own shows, which we do not. Apparently there are a few factors that booking agents take into consideration when finding us rooms to play and they involve such things as time frame, drive distances, venue availability and promoter interest. While to this day our booking agent has not given us a straight answer as to why we did not play in the city of Vancouver, we can only assume that it was one of these things that prevented us from visiting your lovely city. We refuse to believe it was an incompetent oversight or a blatant disregard of his bands wishes. So while it might feel good to log onto twitter.com and tell us in the same sentence that we are both your “favorite band” and “shit sniffing cum guzzlers” for not playing there, it makes as much sense as telling a Burger King employee that he’s a “dickless pig fucker” for not working the 4pm-11pm drive thru shift. We work according to the schedule we are given by our bosses and we will put in overtime whenever possible.
The Bills lost today and I spent too much money on Caesars at a sports bar in the Edmonton Mall watching them do so. We just loaded into the venue so I’m going to go to a Tim Hortons to get some coffee if I can find- oh would you look at that a Tim Hortons just opened up in the bathroom backstage. They really are fucking everywhere in Canada.