Wednesday, May 4, 2011

QTV - The Unpublished Interview...Published

So we did an interview with a European metal magazine a couple of months ago. We won't say who just in case there are any legal implications. At any rate, our contact dropped off the face of the earth and for whatever reason the interview was never published. We feel that if we took the trouble to spend a couple of hours filling it out over lunch at Jardin d'Olive that it should see the light of day.

But first a shameless cash grab...Have you donated to our Kickstarter project yet? Here, we'll make it easy:



Now, on to the interview!

Band name: Quarter The Villain

Formed: 2008

Origin: Orlando, Florida USA

Current release / demo: Regicide EP

url: www.quarterthevillain.com

Where do you come from, what’s in your band name, and who are your band members (note anything / anyone exceptional).

We are Quarter The Villain, hailing from the once and future home of death metal, Central Florida. Our name comes from a list of “verb the noun” options (the epitome of fashion way back in 2008) put together by our “manager” at the time. Only one current band member was present at the time of the democratic vote and now we’re stuck with it. In our opinion, this is a valid argument for a return to the monarchy, which we wholeheartedly support. We are a group of exceptional individuals with various gifts/curses besides musical ability, but that’s for another time…Miles-Bass, Mike-Drums, Dennis-Vocals, Alex-Guitar, Jason-Guitar

Where are you going musically? Describe your musical output. Is there a concept to your music lyrically or aesthetically?

We’re still trying to pin that down. We’re either a mathy death metal band or a death tinged mathgrind band. We basically try to make things as hard on ourselves as possible because anything less would be boring. Lyrically, we have tackled all of the important issues including robotic Sherpas, time travel, life on the American frontier circa 1880, sock puppets out for revenge, and our unanimous awe and respect for Bear Grylls. Our next release will have a unified lyrical concept. We’re jumping on the green movement bandwagon and doing an album about the 100% natural horrors that nature’s creatures inflict on one another in the name of survival. We predict that after one listen most people will stop recycling immediately. This is not our aim, but an unfortunate side effect of the disturbing nature of reality.

How do you think you differ from your contemporaries and who are they? Who / what influences your music?

Our true vision has yet to be fully realized and we continue to draw influence from various sources every day. Musical and non-musical influences include: polymeter, 70’s prog and fusion, high doses of caffeine, space exploration, Schoenberg’s 12 tone serialism, sleep deprivation, hatred for breakdowns, whiskey, breakneck guitar riffs, Collin Farrell, John Swartzwelder, WuTang Clan, the number 4, the person that decided to put breakfast in a burrito, your mom, gravity blasts, Journey, extravagant facial hair, camouflage apparel, extreme tap dancing, shark week, tribal drums of the south pacific, jungle rats of the Sahara, and Stephen Hawking.

We feel that the combination of these various elements filtered through a sieve of brutality is what sets us apart from our peers.

Why did you select the track included on the [censored] covermount to represent you? Tell us a little bit about it – what’s it about, how does it fit in with the rest of your demo / cd?

We chose the opening track from our Regicide EP “Frontier Justice” to appear on the CD. Musically, we feel this one encompasses the disparate elements of our sound. It’s fast and heavy, yet gets a little weird at times. The song is about life on the American frontier circa 1880. The lyrics are a series of unrelated “brushstrokes” that paint a picture of the harsh realities and awesome anarchy experienced by our predecessors, especially Alex’s because he’s from the mid-west. The rest of us are easterners, so our ancestors were busy participating in the industrial revolution at the time and missed out on all of the fun.


Are you very much DIY oriented or have you recorded “professionally” (i.e. with a particular producer / studio).

Our recording is indeed DIY. Alex and Jason actually formed the primordial predecessor of the band while attending Full Sail University, which is an acclaimed recording and media school. As such, all of our recordings have been homemade and will continue to be; even when we are on top of the world, mad with power. If TV has taught us anything, it’s that spending a fortune on antique suits of armor will get you back in the poorhouse pretty damn quick. When that happens we’ll all be glad we are able to record DIY. We continue to be gear addicts and have upped our game considerably since the last time we recorded.

Do you play live and if so, have you any dates coming up?

We play live pretty frequently. We’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of eighty shows under our belts at this point. We’ve toured nationally in the US a couple of times and play out locally and throughout the state of Florida as much as possible. Our ritual before every show is to get in a good stretch. Careful attention must be paid to the biceps femoris as cramping is commonplace. Instrumentalists must loosen the dorsal interossei before attempting anything too technical. We’re pretty active on stage so precautions must be taken to ensure everyone’s safety. We have lots of local shows coming up and will tour nationally again in late summer 2011.

Do you have an ultimate plan / goal for the band? Are you planning any new recordings etc.?

Our ultimate and exceedingly unrealistic goal is to write, record, and perform our music for a living. Our slightly less unrealistic goal is to travel the world, giving the locals a weird impression of Americans in the process, and have someone else foot the bill. Nothing less will be acceptable. We are currently hip deep in the writing process for our next release, tentatively scheduled for early-mid summer 2011. The new release will introduce more experimentation with rhythmic and harmonic elements, atmosphere, and the above mentioned lyrical concept.

How can [censored] readers hear more?

Go to our site www.quarterthevillain.com, check out our entertaining and informative blog http://quarterthevillain.blogspot.com/ or email us at quarterthevillain@gmail.com Thanks for giving us the opportunity to reflect on our own shortcomings and triumphs as human beings!

So, there you have it. QTV's first interview with a European publication, published for the first time on the geographically nebulous internet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Periodical Band Status Forecasts - Second Quarter 2011

Lot's of stuff going on in the world of QTV. Let's start with the most pressing...

It's time to make another music video! You may remember our previous masterpiece "Sock Puppet Vendetta"

Quarter The Villain - Sock Puppet Vendetta from Quarter The Villain on Vimeo.



The SPV video has been one of the most effective promotional tools in our arsenal. It's opened doors to reviews on several influential blogs and has been viewed about 15,000 times across all sites. It hasn't gone viral by any means, but we can't express how important it has been for cultivating a professional image and getting the word out. Also, it does a fantastic job of worrying family members and co-workers about our emotional well-being.

In light of these details, it's no wonder we're talking to the illustrious Andrew Garraway about directing a second outing. Our intent is to absolutely crush the ambitious SPV video in terms of production values and FX. To realize this dream we're going to need a budget. Being a flat broke band playing the least commercially viable music in existence we're asking for help. Check out this widget that links to our Kickstarter page:





If you're not familiar with how Kickstarter works here it is in a nutshell:

-We set a budget goal that is the minimum amount required for our project to launch.
-Our friends, fans, and random supporters throw in as much money as they feel is reasonable and in return we offer a series of rewards.
-If the goal isn't met in 30 days we forfeit any money raised up to that time and all contributors get a refund.
-If the goal is reached we can continue to raise money to infinity for the 30 day duration. All contributors credit cards are billed at this time
-We make the most ridiculous music video ever and supplant Michael Bay at the top of the big budget action movie industry.

The concept we're tentatively tossing around for the video is "Evil Quantum Leap" wherein we leap into the bodies of people from history or our imagination and can't leave until an act of evil has been accomplished. If that doesn't get you excited we don't know what to say to you.

quantum leap Pictures, Images and Photos


In other news, we've settled on our 2011 summer tour routing. If you live in one of these places and want to see us in July hit us up. It's yet to be booked so there will be subtle tweaks to the schedule, but this is pretty much it:

7/16 - Orlando, FL (Hometown Kickoff!)
7/22 - Jacksonville, FL
7/23 - Atlanta, GA
7/24 - Nashville, TN
7/25 - Cape Girardeau, MO
7/26 - St. Louis, MO
7/27 - Kansas City, MO
7/28 - Oklahoma City, OK
7/29 - Dallas, TX
7/30 - San Antonio, TX
7/31 - Houston or Austin, TX
8/1 - Shreveport, LA
8/3 - Indianapolis, IN
8/4 - Pittsburgh, PA
8/5 - Philadelphia, PA
8/6 - Washington, DC (or somewhere in the Carolinas)

Much more to come on the tour booking process as we get into it.


Nature's a bitch! It's taking forever for us to write!



WE HAVE COMPLETED TWO SONGS FROM OUR UPCOMING EP/LP/FULL LENGTH! What's it gonna be, you ask? Six months into the writing process we only have two finished songs and no idea what's in store for the final release, so....we don't know.

"Molecular Machines" and "Divide and Thrive" are in full blown rehearsal mode and will be played at a show soon. Speaking of, it looks like we've got gigs lined up in Tampa 5/28 at The Crowbar and June 10th in Orlando at The Haven. Full details soon.

Blog produced by Donald P Belissario.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New reviews and pelvic thrusts!

Well, I know I just did a blog last week, but when there's news...there's news! I have new news! We are very happy to announce that we received 2 reviews today! Both were great reviews and one is a website that is known widely in the metal community....Metalsucks.net!!! (if you go to the Metalsucks review, you can leave a comment on the review page and let everyone know how you feel about the review!!!) We're very excited about these reviews and we hope you go to these links to check them out! There are all types of new comparisons and awesome descriptions of what we do!!

-Metalsucks

-Heavy Metal Review

Also, I have a new update for the website situation! The website is indeed in the works and we are very happy to have the project underway. The news would be that very soon we will have a custom MySpace unveiled to hold us over until the launching of our real website! I have seen the rough draft and it's already made my penis jump up and say hi! I will let you know as soon as the new layout is complete.

WE HAVE STICKERS AGAIN! If you're coming to the Free show on Feb 24 be sure to snag one of our stickers, they're completely FREE as well!


I also want to take this moment to announce to all you technical/grind fans that we'll be playing a show on March 26th with the Singapore-based band Wormrot! It's gonna be a nasty awesome show and we're looking forward to it. If you live in Central FL or if you're planning on going to that show, be sure to but your tickets in advance from us! We're selling presales for $8 while the door is charging $10, so do yourself(and us) a favor and get your tickets through us! Also on the show are Tombs and Putrescent Secretancy. Technical, brutal, and absolutely charged with energy, don't miss this show!!!


Now I command you to go get a special massage from a special person and don't let them leave without your happy ending.

Massaging myself,
Love Dennis

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011...a new frontier...justice!!!

HEEEELLLLOOOOOO! My, my, my how we have missed you! We apologize for the gap of communication and the lack of updates! We have been terribly busy since returning home from tour! A lot of people have been asking us questions lately like, "When are you guys gonna play a show again?" "Since when did you guys have a bassist?" "Why are you drunk at 8:30 in the morning, smelling of deer urine and why are you in my backyard?" Well, a lot of the work we've been doing is behind-the-scenes so it's no surprise that a lot of people don't know what's been going on. After we got back from tour and we got to sleep in our own beds, we noticed the "damn it's good to be home" feeling abruptly changed into the "damn I wish we were leaving for tour" feeling. It's not because we want to leave our friends and families, but rather because tour is all the hard work paying off. It's a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and it's also ridiculously fun! I've never experienced anything like it and if it was available at the drop of a phone call, I'd be an addict. An addict that does sexual favors for the next trip. Well, it's time to get you caught up...just as much as it's time to have a shot of whiskey and listen to Journey with no pants on! (if you do while you read this blog, it makes the entire experience 64% better.)

First things first, we've added a new edition to our band that will add more balls(both literally and musically). Fakin' the funk and bringin' in the bass is Miles Roberts!! He's a talented musician and he brings the pretty into our band. We needed an attractive face in order to offset the ugliness cast out by the rest of us. He's the equivalent of Sammy Davis Jr. in The Rat Pack, definitely the most handsome and in a tie for the most drunk. Here's a little known fact, Miles was once offered the opportunity to join (what later became an incredibly successful) boy band, but his agent turned it down on the grounds that he was so much sexier than the other members that he single-handedly gave every woman in the audience a migraine that lasted for 2.5 weeks. Now imagine if they had 4 more of him, it'd be the most sexy musical act ever! Too bad there's only one of him, and we got him! Yes folks, this guy is dashing. He can move his fingers so rapidly that there's an underground phenomena occurring in women's underwear that Miles is calling his "Colin Farrell Technique." It's a sensation to say the least. We're lucky to have him and we expect top-notch choreography from him in the near future.

Some of the first things we set out to do upon returning home from the Velocirap-Tour 2010 were to continue expanding our web-footprint and to generate reviews for our EP Regicide. Over the last several months, we've been featured for review by blogs, websites, and in some cases- Regicide was featured for free download. Not all of them have been good, most are flattering, but all in all we just want to get our name out there. Whether they're good or bad, we push forward at the same speed in the same direction as we always have. A couple of them are pretty harsh, but since this is our blog and it's on a more personal level, I'll tell you this one thing in our defense. Most of them aren't even fans of the type of music we play, which sets us up for a bad review. I mean c'mon, "Deathcore?" Please. You wish we were deathcore, that way we wouldn't play so fast and you could actually count the time signatures. HA! On a small scale though, it just feels great when they do get our genre correct -haha! We've posted the reviews up on our Facebook and MySpace pages, but in case you haven't seen them, here's a list of the review and download sites:

-Zero Tolerance

There's always more coming in and you can find more reviews online.


We recently got our first professional promo shots taken and we unleashed them upon the web. That's right, QTV is now in full-blown, still-frame high definition!! Scary, huh? They were taken by the same anomoly of a man that produced our music video for Sock Puppet Vendetta. Drew Garraway, he's kinda like our uncle. You know, the uncle that wore sweat pants everytime you came over and made you sit in his sweaty lap while he distracted you with Looney Tunes. Yup, that's him. We love him. It was a lot of fun getting promos taken, but it's so awkward to stand in front of a camera and come up with different poses. You also learn your immature threshold- the moment you realize that you're still just a little kid inside. It's incredibly difficult to keep a straight face when it's your turn to get your individual picture taken and everyone else is off camera making funny noises. Picture this, you're standing there with bright lights all in your face and the photographer tells you to make a serious face. Now as you're already trying not to squint, you hear an onslaught of fart noises and the sound of what can only be a yak during mating season. Yeah right, keep a straight face...torture. It's like trying to look pissed off while riding a unicycle. You can't.

We have been discussing plans with a web designer to have a fully functioning website. We'll still have the Facebook and MySpace pages, but it will be the only place to find everything you need to know about us and it will feature the most up-to-date information. It's gonna be really bad ass, the hardest part is going to be getting regular traffic on it after it's launched. We're confident though, that 6 months after it's launch date, quarterthevillain.com will be a regular visit for all QTV fans. It will pretty much condense all of the QTV content from all over the web into one website. We cannot wait, we are excited about this! Plus, I'm making it my mission to be sponsored by a bunch of different porn sites, that way all you chronic masterbaters out there can get your QTV fix and then go HANDle business, it'll only be a click away! Haha! Hey, don't judge me....it might work.

We've taken some time away from local shows as of late because we've been in writing mode. It's a long process and we're only in the beginning of it right now. We won't sacrifice final product by a rushed attitude. I can say that we're expanding our musical theory but still mixing it with the same raw, technical brutality that we've always played. I realize that doesn't give you an idea of what the new stuff sounds like, but it will have to do for now. I can't really explain it, I'm actually still trying to understand it myself. The strict timing is definitely present and it's more chaos than ever, but there's a new tangibility involved that I believe will allow all fans to enjoy it. For you spastic, technical fans -you'll enjoy the methodical playing and song writing. For those of you that enjoy metal and/or like to see us live- you'll find a rhythm now as opposed to some of our older stuff that just made you feel disoriented. And of course there will be a brutality in all of it that makes you feel like your instincts from the age of the cave man are ever present. See a chick you like, smash her on the head with a giant stick, and then drag her back to your cave and make her your wife. Yeah, brutal like that. For the entire duration of our live show existence, we've been warning you to wear diapers at our shows cause you will pee yourself from the spectacle that ensues. Well, later this year when we start playing this new stuff live, that warning is even more true than in the past. You will soil yourself if you have not properly planned and we're NOT paying for your drycleaning.


We do have a show coming up on February 24, 2011 at The Haven in Winter Park, FL. It will be the first show with our new bassist! Also, it will be a FREE show for anyone 21+ and only $5 for anyone 18-20. It marks the return of the free shows we used to host at Liquid Scrips. It's a Thursday, so we hope we can get a great turnout, that way The Haven will let us keep hosting FREE shows there and hopefully on a Friday or Saturday night next time. You want to come to this show! In other news, we've been officially released internationally!!! We notice from the Europe-based magazine Zero Tolerance that we will be reviewed in the February-March edition of their magazine! It was released on January 26th and this magazine is distributed in a bunch of different countries, not to mention that it's sold in stores like Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. Also, we got our spot on the compilation cd that comes with purchase of the magazine! That's right, Frontier Justice will be the song on the compilation! It's the song we felt would be best to put on the cd, as voted in majority by the band. We're excited and I can't wait to see it! Also, we recently learned that LastFM.com has placed Quarter The Villain on the list of TOP 10 Tech Grind Metal Bands in the WORLD!!!! Actually we were ranked at number 4!!! That is quite awesome and we were all pretty stoked when we found out. Who would've thought that me answering an ad on Craigslist at 3am would lead to these accomplishments? Not me, but damn am I glad I called that guy!!!

There's more to come and we definitely hope you come again and again and again and again....

What's this in my pants? Oh it's me thinking about all of you!
Love,
Dennis
XOXO

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Velocirap-Tour 2010 --- Week Three

Independence Hall - Philadelphia, PA
Friday 7/23
We were quick to leave Staten Island, and NYC in general, after the show. Melora opted to park their trailer at the ferry terminal and head into Manhattan. They ended up having a wild night with no sleep and showed up in Allentown looking like zombies with a flat trailer tire and some good stories. We chose to head towards Philadelphia to get in some sightseeing there the following day. Friday’s show is actually in Allentown, PA but Philly is a short drive and much more interesting, hence the detour. We made it as far as Trenton, NJ before fatigue set in. We grabbed a cheap room in a Bates-esque motel where Mike promptly broke the air-conditioner. Contrary to popular belief amongst Floridians, it gets equally hot just about everywhere in July so this made for a miserable, almost malarial night. We woke up pretty early and ate breakfast at a Wawa, which we all nominated as the greatest convenience store in the US.We got into Philly at about 11am and promptly sold a CD to a random guy at a gas station. Philly already rules! Several locals strongly suggested we get cheese steaks from Tony Luke’s so we headed there next. I had never eaten there, but I know that any mom and pop neighborhood spot is going to have a better steak than any of the big tourist-y places. The popular demand for a famous spot won out this time though…We all agreed that although it was better than anything we can get within 1,000 miles of home there was room for improvement. We vowed to hit a locals only place next time we were in town. As a side note, I (Jason) had given up eating mammals and had not done so for three months prior to the tour. I knew this situation would eventually present itself and, like any Philly native worth his salt, I caved for this one special occasion. I have since maintained my discipline. After sampling the native cuisine we did a walking tour of the downtown area including South Street, Independence Hall, Center City, and Broad Street. Philly is an awesome town with a good mix of history and modern amenities. Easily one of our favorite places on the whole tour…

When we began our sight seeing expedition, we expected to be in Allentown by 8PM, but we got a call at 3PM saying the show had been moved up to accommodate a bigger act and that we had to be there immediately. We hauled ass to Allentown only to discover that they had gone back to the original plan. This is the first sign that the Croc Rock is going to suck for us. It turns out there are three separate stages within the Croc Rock and all three were hosting simultaneous shows. We were playing the smallest stage in the basement. Not only were we forbidden from promoting our show on premises, but there wasn’t even a sign by the stairs to the basement that said “show downstairs”. We got the impression that the Croc Rock does not give a damn what is going on in the smaller rooms and goes out of their way to sweep these shows under the rug to maximize attendance at the largest stage. Also beware the many rules, tight security, and horrendously over priced beer (even for bands). As a result of all of these issues and a lack of promotions by the “promoter” attendance was pretty awful. One of the locals was a pop punk band that supposedly drew alright, thereby justifying their presence. As far as we can tell they brought two people not in the band. The other local was Dionaea, who brought a handful of people. Attendance aside, they absolutely killed it. Hands down the most creative band we played with on the whole tour. Lots of technical ability and melodic flair… Check them out immediately! After the show we grabbed a cheap hotel and pondered over our string of recent bad luck.
Seen on the way to Allentown. Is there any other way to read this?


Saturday 7/24
We had an uneventful day of promoting (sending out flyers for our upcoming FL shows, getting in touch with Philly people, etc) at a Starbucks in Bethlehem, PA. We spent a few hours taking advantage of their clean bathroom and free internet before making the short trip to north Jersey. The road is very scenic as it passes through the Lehigh Valley and the Pocono Mountains.
George, the promoter for the Staten Island show, lives right by Club XXXV and he kindly offered all of us a good time at his place complete with cold beers, hot dogs, and some Frisbee action. The lot next to his house is an ancient, dilapidated cemetery. The most recent grave I could find was from 1924, but most were from the 1800s. We took advantage of the creepy atmosphere and got some good pics.

We arrived at the venue late and the first band was already playing. We are the most punctual death metal band of all time, so this was a strange occurrence for us. Club XXXV is a strip club with a venue for bands called the Player’s Lounge on the roof. This means all equipment must be hauled up and down a claustrophobic set of stairs and staged outside prior to load in. This also means everyone has to deal with strip club security, i.e. massive dudes with anger issues. There’s a decent stage and a good PA here, but we encountered several issues that made this the worst sound of the tour for us. *A side note on monitors: we are a technical band. This means our music is VERY challenging to play even in ideal circumstances. If we can’t hear each other on stage things get ugly real quick. Ideally, if there are stage monitors we can hear each other just fine. If there are not, we position one or both of the guitar amps directly behind Mike so he knows what’s going on. This usually works out OK.* In this instance, there were no monitors so we would have put the amps behind Mike. However, there was an acrylic drum shield on stage preventing us from setting up in this way. Supposedly, it’s there to keep sound from escaping into the bustling strip club below. In all actuality, it is doing nothing. To get technical, low frequencies are the ones that transmit through walls and floors while high frequencies just bounce around inside the room. The shield only stops high frequencies thereby having no effect on the club below. All it did was make it impossible for us to hear on stage. We got three songs in and our set was an absolute train wreck so I knocked it over and repositioned my amp behind the drums. The sound guy promptly ran onto the stage and said we could put the shield back up or get off the stage. We opted to keep playing and see what happens. He never shut us down so it was a minor victory for us I guess. Even though there was a $20 cover and there were plenty of people at the show we didn’t get paid. Imagine the promoter that books metal shows at a strip joint in Jersey and you get the idea…We left the venue depressed and angry (easily our angriest night of the tour) to look for a hotel somewhere between the venue and Philly. Everything was sold out or overpriced so we drove to the venue and fell asleep in the car for an hour in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store.


Sunday 7/25
Fear not, intrepid reader! There is a good show on the horizon! I’ll get to that momentarily... We were awakened at dawn by a parking lot re-surfacing crew and forced to find a new place to crash. Too tired to make a rational decision we drove around for over an hour before deciding to head to Fairmount Park. This is where they keep the art museum and other highly cultured things. We pulled into a shady spot under a tree and got some more sleep. Eventually, as often happens, the Earth rotated and left us in the sun. When the heat became unbearable we got up to explore the park. There are hundreds of statues scattered across the premises, especially near the museum which is an impressive structure. We ran up the steps of the art museum and stood triumphant at the top. We then laid down in the grass beside the Schuylkill River and enjoyed a pleasant breeze until such time as we could check into a hotel and get some actual sleep. On the way to the hotel we stopped and grabbed another cheesesteak at a place called Jim’s that was much better than the one we had previously.

The Rusty Nail is actually located in Ardmore, PA which is one of the nicer suburbs of Philly along the Main Line. It’s weird to find a dive bar that supports metal in this neighborhood, but it’s there. We can definitely recommend the Nail to touring bands. There is a small PA that we used for vocals only and no stage monitors. However, it sounds pretty decent in the room and if you are capable of running the simple PA the bands keep every penny from the door. Just be sure to communicate effectively with the owner and staff, it seemed like a weak point. There was some confusion as to the cover and ages allowed but everything worked out OK in the end. This was easily one of the top shows in both turnout and talent. The local bands Lethean and Doomsday Machine Schematic were not only incredible, but actually brought some people out. We managed to bring some people too. The majority of my (Jason’s) family is based in the Philly suburbs so my aunt, uncle and two cousins came out. To our surprise (and maybe theirs as well) everyone had a great time. The only downer of the night was when we were the target of a drive-by donut attack. Dennis was struck soundly by a donut traveling at no less than 35 mph and the little punks were gone before we could do anything about it. Why waste a perfectly good donut? This show was a much needed morale boost after a string of bad luck. Philly is a metal town and it seemed like people genuinely cared about music a little more than most of the other cities we played in. We retired to our hotel room feeling much better than we had in days.

Live in Philly!

The Culprit

The 'N Friends cracked us up.

Monday 7/26

Armed with a toll avoiding back roads map of the mid-atlantic supplied by my grandfather, we began our ten hour drive to Jacksonville, NC. The drive was pretty uneventful but thankfully seemed to pass pretty quickly. The only pictures we got on the way were of the welcome signs in the various states we passed through as we officially reentered the south. We arrived in Jacksonville (which seems like the most isolated city in NC btw, it’s like 110 miles from any interstate), checked into a fleabag motel, and met up with the Stabbing Eden dudes at a sports bar where we attempted to promote the show, but mostly just drank. Stabbing Eden are our kind of people with a good sense of humor and just the right amount of awkwardness to make for a good time. Look at the pic below and you can imagine we got along swimmingly.


Tuesday 7/27

We woke at a leisurely hour and ate brunch at a Golden Corral with our Stabbing Eden buds. We then headed to the Jacksonville mall where the promoter had arranged for us to have an in store appearance at the Hot Topic. There was an awkward moment when the promoter wasn’t there and none of the staff were expecting us. Surprisingly, they still let us move around their shelves and set up our merch table in the middle of the store. They even let us put our CDs on kind of loud. It’s surreal to walk through the mall and hear Choking A Sloth from several stores down. Eventually the promoter showed up and things got less weird. We mostly sat at the table in shifts harassing passers-by while the rest of us terrorized the mall. Amazingly, we sold a little merch and gave more away including a shirt and a CD to an adorable eleven year old girl/metalhead. Kids are great fans. They genuinely like music for what it is because they haven’t yet been corrupted by trends and scenes. We wish all ages shows were more common, but with most venues also being bars they are pretty uncommon in our experience. We also got a few people to come out to the show.

For a Tuesday night, the show wasn’t terrible at all. The Orleans House is directly opposite the entrance to Camp Lejeune, so Marines are coming in to drink and pick up girls regardless of who is playing. The stage was huge and the sound system substantial. There was a really low cover (like $2) so people were happy to pay it even if they weren’t super excited about the bands. We played in front of a handful of people who were interested and quite a few who didn’t give a damn. Usually in situations like this we try our hardest to confuse and frighten the regular patrons and this show was no exception. The diehards get a kick out of this too, so everyone has a good time. We actually made some money at the

door and sold some stuff at Hot Topic earlier in the day so Jacksonville ended up being a good halfway point on our journey from PA to FL. The show ended fairly early so we spent a good bit of time hanging out in the parking lot with the guys and took the opportunity to get individual pics of everyone on the tour. Three weeks in we were starting to get pretty rough, but we were all pumped enough to do another three weeks, easily.


Wednesday 7/28

We hit the road for Jacksonville, FL pretty late. It’s weird that we played two shows in a row in a city called Jacksonville. This drive was a little shorter than the last, almost 8 hours. It’s a very boring drive with not much in the way of scenery or

cities, but again it went by pretty fast. I attribute this to the fact that we had several Ipods, a laptop with working internet, and lots of pictures to take at all times. About the only thing along the way of any interest is South Of The Border. They have an entire store that is full of nothing but hats from around the world! Of course we stopped and took more pictures here than we took anywhere else, with the possible exception of Niagra Falls. I think this speaks volumes about the kind of people we are.

It was strangely sad and yet a relief when we crossed the state line into FL for the first time in three weeks. We arrived at Alex’s sister’s house to stake our bed claims then met up with the Stabbing Eden guys again at a local bar. Yes, we even spent our off nights in bars. Then we watched Stepbrothers before bed, which was a great idea because it made us all foul mouthed insult machines the next day.


Interesting men in Jacksonville.

Thursday 7/29

The lack of sleep is starting to catch up with us by this point in the tour. We didn’t get up until after 1pm and then just sat around in front of the TV while doing some online promoting. We got to Endo Exo and found that the show had been moved inside because of the threat of bad weather. The inside room already had another event scheduled later that night so that meant we had to cut everyone’s sets short and haul ass between bands. Despite the surprise, the show turned out pretty well. Nymphomancer and Capracide were the two Jax locals and they brought a good crowd and absolutely killed it. We had a decent turnout as well. The many months of playing shows all over FL are starting to pay off and we see more people every time we play out of town. Special thanks to our friends in Jax bands that couldn’t play for coming out to support. The room was narrow, but deep and this made the crowd look twice as big as it actually was, which was fun. By the time we played, people had started to show up for the later event, which was an open mic rap battle thing hosted by a DJ. Amazingly, some of them hung out for our set so we went out of our way to get them involved. We like to think they had a pretty good time with us crazy white boys and I think Mike even got hit on. The other touring bands remarked that we played our best set yet and seemed to be in our element. Maybe it is good to be home…Endo Exo is the place to play in Jacksonville, especially in the summer. Definitely hit them up if you’re in a band looking to book in Jax. Doozer’s Pub is also cool because the bands run the PA and the door and keep all of the money, but it is un-airconditioned which makes it unplayable in the summer. After the show we retired to Alex’s sister’s house to sleep and dream of getting back into our own beds.

Friday 7/30

Again, we awoke after 1pm and hit the road to Tampa. Along the way we stopped in Orlando to unload our luggage, use our own bathrooms and re-familiarize ourselves to our now feral pets. Rejuvenated by the stop, we continued to roll down the I-4 corridor. Despite our many weekend trips to Tampa we had never played at the Pegasus Lounge. It actually turned out to be pretty nice. There’s a decent stage and a real PA. Another good spot to play because the house doesn’t take anything from the door, which is pretty rare. We got to play with some of our best buds on this stop. Sorcerer, Eating Infinity, and Must Not Kill are all good friends and amazing bands. They brought a good crowd and we did alright for ourselves. Again, we were in our element and had a good show in spite of Alex’s various technical difficulties. We even tried something new, trading instruments for a song. It sounded like hell to us, but we don’t think anyone in the audience knew the difference. After the show we had an after party in the parking lot where shenanigans ensued. Eager to sleep in our own beds for the first time in nearly a month, we drove home that night.

Epic Facial Hair

Epic Combover

Saturday 7/31

It was weird to be home and we all remarked that we were a little thrown off by normal life. We had grown accustomed to living out of a bag and traveling every day. Without the travel and promotions that had been filling our time up to this point we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We got to Liquid Scrips way too early, mostly in a bid to feel like we were doing something with the day. Alex set up the PA and got some inspirational Journey tunes going while we waited for the show to start. Liquid Scrips is awesome. It’s our regular joint in our home town, just minutes away from our practice space. We were eager to get the show started so the other bands could experience our home town and watch some of our best band buddies in the whole world, Abdomen Canvas, tear it up. The show turned out to be incredible. Our friends and families came out in droves and really made it a special one. Combine that with Abdomen Canvas’ draw and it was a huge show, the biggest local show we’ve seen in a while. It was really nice to see some familiar faces and get some moral support. It can be brutal on the road and a good homecoming was key to boosting morale.

After the show we lingered for a long time, hesitating to say goodbye to some awesome friends. We had been with the Melora guys 3.5 weeks straight and we had been through quite a lot of ups and downs together. We had been with Stabbing Eden for only eight of the shows but had bonded quickly, and they too felt like brothers. After trading some merch and getting a few group pictures Stabbing Eden hit the road for New Jersey, Melora began their trek back to Dallas, and for us the tour was officially over. We dumped all of our equipment in the practice space and went home.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Velocirap-Tour 2010 --- Week Two

Friday 7/16
We got up early enough to make the five hour drive to Chicago and allow for some sight seeing once we got into town. The trip was pretty uneventful. Any stereotype you’ve ever heard about Illinois being nothing but flat cornfields is true. The only thing that broke up the scenery at all was a wind farm with huge white windmills like you see on TV. We don’t have those in FL so it was interesting to us. As is often the case, our best laid plans went out the window when we hit bumper to bumper traffic about 30 miles outside of downtown Chicago. Our five hour drive became six and a half real quick. It’s frustrating to try to get a picture of the Chicago skyline from the car that does it justice. It’s just too big to fit in one picture and give a sense of the scale. We finally pulled into downtown and drove along Lakeshore Drive. The traffic was still horrendous so we saw Lake Michigan, the Natural History Museum and the Navy Pier from the car. We decided to head inland to find parking so we could go to Willis Tower and take some sweet pics. One incredibly stressful hour later we gave up on trying to park a trailer in downtown Chicago. We headed for the venue to park and find some Chicago style pizza, which we assumed would be plentiful, on foot. Two hot hours later we gave up on that and ate fast food at one of the places you only see in big cities that has everything from burgers to gyros to tacos at the same place. We did get some good pics from the car, but we’d classify our Chicago tourist experience as a failure. It’s just too much to take in over the course of an afternoon. The Metal Shaker is the first venue that we can’t recommend to potential touring bands. Avoid this place like the plague. A list of issues: the PA sucks, the sound guy appeared to be a crackhead hired off the street with ABSOLUTELY no knowledge of sound (Alex and I are professional engineers so we are qualified to make this statement), equipment is loaded into a filthy basement and has to brought up and down a dangerous staircase, the neighborhood is dangerous (we witnessed domestic violence in the apartment above the venue and the drummer of one of the local bands was physically assaulted right in front of us), the bartender was incredibly rude and quite probably coked up, there were drug deals witnessed inside the venue (real drugs, not pot), the venue changed their payment policy one week prior to our playing there (we had arranged a $7 cover, which they changed to an optional $5 donation which obviously hurt us financially), the stage manager was completely inept and changed the lineup four times before the show even started, seemingly at random, etc…In short, never book or attend a show here if you value your safety and property. The local bands (especially the now defunct Erjony) were talented and brought a handful of people, but we never really hit it off personally. I would attribute that to the misery the venue inflicted on all of us. On the plus side, we did have several friends come out that supported us emotionally through the ordeal and bought some merch. We were fortunate to be offered a place to crash and proceeded to drown our sorrows in 60 cans of the champagne of beers with our gracious host.Saturday 7/17
It’s about five hours from Chicago to Detroit so we got up way too early considering the sun was already up when we went to sleep. We passed through a little slice of Indiana and made our way into Michigan. Western Michigan is very nice with rolling hills, vineyards, and abundant farms and trees. I imagine most of Michigan is this way and the whole state just gets a bad rap because of Detroit. There was no time (or desire) for sightseeing so we drove straight to the venue. We didn’t really take any pics in Detroit. As you might suspect, it’s not the most photogenic city in America. We did see this hilarious road sign on the way…The Belmont is a nice little gem in an otherwise beaten down neighborhood. We had two local bands drop off (we found out second hand…thanks douche bags!) of this show in the week leading up to it, so we had low expectations for turnout and money. However, one local band did not screw us over. Teratoma brought a decent amount of people and showed us a really good time. We knew this up front, but the venue requires a 30 person draw before the bands get paid. When we had three locals lined up we weren’t really concerned, but when two bands dropped off without notice this stipulation became impossible. We ended up selling one CD for our worst financial performance to date. We did meet someone who randomly discovered us on Myspace and came out to the show as a result so that was pretty cool. After two bad shows in a row we were in a hurry to get the hell out of Detroit, so we drove most of the way to Toledo and got a hotel room and some much needed rest.

Sunday 7/18
We woke up at a leisurely hour and grabbed breakfast at a Bob’s Big Boy near the hotel. As we were checking out the guy at the register was like “Are you guys in a metal band?” So we said yeah expecting something along the lines of “Oh, my nephew plays in a band and they are really heavy like Linkin Park, but with a positive Christian message.” We get that a lot on the road. Instead he says “Yeah, my son is the singer for Enfold Darkness.” So of course we were like “Next time you see him tell him Quarter The Villain said his ‘stache is epic.” We were disappointed to find out that the ‘stache had been shaved two days prior. He seemed genuinely interested so we left a sticker to hand off to his son next time he’s in town. We then sat in a Starbucks in Toledo for like five hours using the internet to catch up on some much neglected promotional stuff. The Revolution is a house in Toledo where they throw donations only house shows. We’d recommend it if you’re in the neighborhood and feel like you can sell some merch (we did alright). The donations totaled to be $11 for both of us touring bands to split so don’t count on a lot of door money. Danny and Zooey were very helpful and we appreciated it. They also let bands crash there and that can be a total life saver. We definitely took advantage of that. The show was fun and everyone in Toledo was exceptionally nice, all told a pretty decent show. We partied with Melora all night. Pan-fuckin-tera!Monday 7/19
We had to leave the Revolution by 8AM so we decided to make our way to Pittsburgh early enough to get in some sightseeing. Since we were so close to Canada, we decided to grab breakfast at a Tim Horton’s because you don’t see those every day. Apparently, Canucks love this place. It’s like a Dunkin Donuts with a little more variety. In an attempt to spread Canadian culture there were pictures of Sidney Crosby on the wall, which made me want to burn the place down. At least the hash browns were fucking delicious. We then made the impressively scenic drive to Pittsburgh and got there about 6 hours before the show, as usual. The venue was on Carson St. and if you don’t know the area well, Carson St. is block after block of bars, eateries, and cool little shops. We spent some time looking around before heading back to the Smiling Moose. It’s a pretty cool place with the downstairs dedicated to drinking and projecting movies and the upstairs dedicated to drinking and listening to bands. Our original drummer Santino lives in the ‘Burgh and he met us out there and hung out all night, which was a whole lotta fun. The show wound up starting about an hour and a half late for some reason and the crowd consisted of a few of our friends and the local bands girlfriends. It kinda sucked. We tried to make the best of it though, mostly by drinking. Afterwards, we and Melora all stayed at the guitar player from the Sarlacc’s house. Pan-fuckin’-tera Part-fuckin’-two!Tuesday 7/20
Today was an off-day so we decided to get up early and drive up to Niagra Falls. On the way we stopped at a beach in a town called North East, PA on Lake Erie. Why isn’t it called North West? Look it up on the map, this makes no sense. The beach was covered in large rocks and boulders and the water was murky. Like the fish we found on the beach says, “Remember kids, smoking kills”. Niagra Falls is simply beautiful. We’ll let the picture do the talking. We didn’t get to go over to the Canadian side since we don’t have our passports, but even so it was a highlight of the trip. We spent a few hours there, took a tour and then decided to make our way to Rochester and grab a hotel since it was only about an hour and a half away.


Wednesday 7/21

Rochester weather is awesome in the summer! We woke up to cloudy skies and cool temperatures. By mid afternoon there was a light drizzle and the daytime high reached a comfortable 69 degrees. Too bad the winters are so brutal…We made our way to downtown where the venue is located and did some sight seeing, then took the 15 minute drive to Lake Ontario. Kodak is based in Rochester and the story is that you can develop pictures in Lake Ontario lake water. Maybe it’s just an urban myth because the water was clear and there was no smell. I did find a volcanic rock on the shore, a piece of pumice, which seemed strange given the geologic history of upstate NY. We got to the venue way early and hung out. The Bug Jar is a very nice place with interesting art and sculptures, decent sound, and a nice bar. We had booked one local band for this show and at 10PM we gave up on them showing up and just started the show. We still haven’t heard a peep from them. Thanks for the heads up douche bags! Another bad show, we played in front of four people that weren’t in Melora. However, they were four really cool people. One guy was from Montreal, so he knew his tech metal and we had some good conversations with him. He found us in the local entertainment paper. We posted EVERY show of the tour in no less than two, but as many as four local entertainment papers. As far as we know this is the only person to show up as a result of that work. The owner of the bar was very apologetic for Rochester’s showing, to the point of buying us a round of drinks. He strongly suggested we come back soon and let him handle the band booking so we don’t get screwed over again. We definitely recommend the Bug Jar if you have a chance to play in Rochester. We spent the night with a friend and got to witness yarn being spun from freshly harvested Angora rabbit fur.


Thursday 7/22
Staten Island sucks and is a black hole from which we were lucky to escape. Worst city of the tour. We will gladly never return here again. Congratulations Staten Island, Detroit is nicer than you. Manhattan, we’re still cool but you need to ditch your least famous borough buddy before all of New York gets a bad name. It cost us almost $30 in tolls to get into this dump too! Tonight was the first night with Stabbing Eden, and it was really cool to finally meet the guys. Here’s Jerry ten seconds before a batcave from Jessie. A good time was had in spite of the fact that the biggest drawing local was a no call/no show and we played for Melora and Stabbing Eden. We were intended to play before the local, but since they weren’t there we played last and everyone had gone home at that point. Two nights in a row with shitty local bands dropping off with no warning... We’re keeping a list of people to never work with again and it’s growing every day. George, the promoter (Brutal Shore Booking) is not on this list. He did a great job and hooked us up with a little gas money. Thanks George! What a bad stretch, we’re kind of glad this week is over. Good sight seeing all week, though! Part three is coming soon!