Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Free for All

I went off on the first day, right from breakfast. On the other side of the hotel there was a french place named Cafe de la Presse. I lit my fuse with a double espresso and Poached eggs in red wine sauce with mushrooms and dried bacon blew my mind. All the flavors worked very well together and it was the perfect portion.
I discovered a Beard Papa's not far away and enjoyed a molten lava chocolate cake, along with a chocolate cream puff. Beard Papa's hails from Japan and has the best cream puffs ever. Don't skip it!
I visited Tartine and had a Banana Cream Pie that curled my toes. I was totally connecting the restaurant dots and loving every minute of it.
Lucky for me, it happened to be "Stong Beer Month" in San Fran, a campaign between two breweries (Magnolia & 21st Amendment) to drink 12 listed strong beer for a commemorative glass. I b-lined for Magnolia on Haight St. On my way, I was followed by a man who appeared from the woods and looked to be on some sorta mission of no good. I picked up on his vibe and removed my knife from my pocket and was prepared to jab it in and out of my follower like a sewing machine with the pedal to the ground. Lucky for both of us, he started to tail someone else.
Magnolia's Lightning Imperial Stout clocked in at 10.5% and was all flavor, a truly great beer and totally worth my exodus (on foot). I ordered fried chicken w/ collard greens and onion & garlic mashed potatoes. The food was good, but the beer was far better.

The Irish Bank

is where my first actual meal is San Fran was. An Irish Pub right next to our hotel, Hotel des Arts. A non photo op mediocre cheeseburger with sauteed onions filled my gut, accompanied by a glass of Jameson and a Guinness.

Slackathon is over!

Blame Lewis lovely, or credit him for turning the heat up on me. As a food fanatic, San Fran has a ton to offer and I was lucky to spend some time there with my lady (or my better half so I'm told) on a little vacation. Here's the run down.
My "to" trip had a stop in Detroit airport and past the trippy light enhanced hallway my stop is usually at PB&J, but I opted for Musashi time around and had an amazing Gyoza Ramen. It was so good, I thought I was in Tokyo again. That's what happens when actual Japanese people work at a Japanese restaurant.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day Off 3

No alarm this morning, no schedule and no hustle. Had an Omelet with cheese, onions and mushrooms w/ sides of carrots, greens and beet salad. Roamed the crowded streets hunting for applewood smoked cheddar, a movie theatre and other interesting things. Took a tour and held the FA Cup and found out I could kick a ball at 37 mph. That’s a weak kick from what I understand. Coffeed and walked out, I retreated to the hotel for a short break and some blog time.
Mel Gibson is nuts, but delivered the tour time killing day off goods in Edge of Darkness as he dished out eye for an eye revenge pouring poisoned milk down the throat of the villainous protagonist.
“It could have been more violent” was the phrase I heard from a young girls mouth on the way to dinner at Wagamama and I couldn’t help to chuckle about it out load. At Wagamama, a asian noodle chain, I had the simple chicken ramen with bamaboo, sprouts and added some chili oil and as Alton Brown would say, “that’s good eats”


The Hotel receptionist jams Killing Joke at 5:30 and it makes the morning less predictable and I focus on the tunes with enjoying a coffee until the shuttle arrives. One sausage at Bergen airport and another at Oslo before we ship out to Heathrow and drive from there to Birmingham. The sausage count totaled in at 15 between the 6 of us. They were real good and cheap and quick!
Tired and haggard, we arrive at the venue, go through the motions and wait for the moment. The roar of the crowd yanked me back to reality and the adrenaline took over from there. GREAT CROWD, packed to the gills and fun! Spontaneity took over as my dudes had the gift of gab tonight and shot the crowd full of word holes from a Chicken Fight to berating the hipster of the moment metal (what’s passed off as metal anyway) show happening next door. The Chicken Fight was encouraged and the victor was crowd surfed all the way across the venue to the merchandise stand to claim a prize of choice. Good times.


Another plane ride, another sausage, another hotel and another early ass day to anticipate. The hotel was right across the street and we didn’t go on till midnight so I had plenty of time to find food, sleep and look for Nogne. Nogne is Norway’s premier Micro Brewery. My mission has moved on and taken the Bullet Train straight to beer greatness. Gone are the days of PBRing myself into a stupor to kill time. My Easter Egg hunt is for the best, to savor with a proper glass after the show. Sounds snobby eh? I supposed it could be, but the hum drum tale of habit only goes so long in my eyes and love is in the eye of this beer holder. I love beer, plain and simple. I enjoy the craft, the passion and courage that go into making beer, esp. adventurous brewers on a mission to create something special. Count me in for greatness or I’ll have Coke.
Upon finding the Nogne serving spot, I declined for water and had an amazing meal of steak, bacon wrapped asparagus and twice baked mashed potatoes with a béarnaise sauce that blew my mind.
Fast Forward: “I wanna kill the president” over and over the drunken man shouted. Breaking point achieved and “Shut the fuck up already” was offered in return. We played the song (Yes, we have a song called “I wanna kill the president” which we even had the balls to play on a college radio station in D.C., surprisingly with no consequence) and then proceeded to yell “I wanna kill the president, slow version” and Dave Attell spouting “Will it ever end?” popped into my head and I started laughing. Amazing.
Night cap of Nogne Imperial Stout celebrating the end of an evening and I was in bed by 2 to be up at 5.


6:30am lobby call, great. Dazed, somewhat confused and a huge plate of American style bacon later, I found myself at the airport waiting to our flight to Oslo. Hurry and Wait and are thee cementing words for all who tour in the music world and this is prime example.
Cadaver Inc., trigger my memories this time around. A side note on them: once Cadaver, a switch to Cadaver Inc (with a very controversial website that made international waves in the media) and back to Cadaver, this Norwegian band operates on mostly Mach 10 with seamless transitions and ferociousness others could only dream of. Their website was genius, promoting a “discreet murder clean up and corpse disposal service” that seemed realistic and was ordered to be shut down from what I understand.
Hotel bound after the flight, we head out for some winks , only to be up in another hour for the sound check. It’s a university show, should be great and all our needs should be catered to. This isn’t a perfect world so…you can never expect anything. The drum kit was a dilapidated hodgepodge frankenkit! Missing stands, tom holders and you name it. I tried my best to make it work, but I was missing too much for it to happen and opted for Victims to show up and use Andy’s kit.
Dinner was Italian. My motto is when is doubt, always go Italian. I had a baked pasta dish with meat sauce, which was ok, until I discovered the cheap and great 7-11 sausage after the show. This ain’t no Big Bite, this is a real deal hot dog/sausage, spiced and grilled the way I enjoy.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Snow storm, sold out show and meatloaf!! The meatloaf was amazing, along with the sour cream gravy, man! Saw a lot of good friends tonight. Marcus of Disfear took me out for some nice beer before the show. We split a Nils Oscar Barley Wine. Fantastic and also 9.5%, thus the split. I had to play still.
Show was great, best set of the tour so far!
Lobby call was 6:30am, so I had a Nils Oscar smoked porter, which was also very good, and retired.

Day off 2

I rode with Victims so I could get to Stockholm early the next day, get tattooed and see some things. It was a cold day with lots of snow, traffic and reports of the skiing competition happening on the radio. Stopped in Malmo to drop some things off and grab a meal. I had a falafel with fried Haloumi and hummus. The Haloumi was incredible and also something I've never experienced. It's a type of goat cheese from Cyprus I'm told.
After the long ride, the night ended with Johan, Ronnie and myself in a Mac circle while I started the exodus of my own fan page for Facebook. I'm waiting to get home to finish it, it's exciting and my discography is proving to be a lot of work.


They usually make Hamburgers at the Hafenklang and I was betting on it and skipped them for lunch due to that hope. Chili was tonight's meal. Not bad. Show was sold out, people were going crazy and there was the "rando" annoying guy, getting on stage and unplugging our equipment and being a drunken hanger on pain in the ass as well.
The after party, held upstairs, was the best one so far. Good tunes, good people and one hell of a ping pong game. The game was played like so. 15 people, 15 padles, one ball and one table. The ball was served and the line rotated clockwise to strike the ball each time. If you missed or hit the ball out of bounds, you were eliminated. The final two played a best of three to determine a winner. It went on all night and never got boring, what a game!


Drove to Nunberg, watched a bunch of podcasts from the Vic Firth website. The Vic Firth site is probably the best educational site for drumming and percussion out there. Wolfgang Haffner and Dafnis Peitro are my newly discovered hero's! So much talent and character...AND inspiration.
Got to hotel and I had a Doner Box for dinner. Doner box was filled with french fries, chicken and some kind of Thousand Island dressing. It was ok, but not great. Choices were slim that evening.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Killer, espresso from the hotel before departure. In Treviso, I had very good pizze and amazing pistachio and chocolate gelato. I also managed to locate the piece to my Bialetti machine that I’ve been missing, and for just over a euro! During the ride, I revisited the Dillinger Escape Plan catalogue, while listening to a new track of theirs as well. I also realized how great this band still is to me and how most of their clones that followed the Dillinger handbook so closely, fail to hit the mark.
Todays meal was really great, all the bands ate family style at a long table. There was chicken, pork, fried cauliflower, broccoli, fried olives, au gratin potatoes, salad and some really great mushrooms. The meal is a huge part of moral before the show, I’m convinced. It sure showed as this was of our finest moment as a group on this tour tonight. A combo of being happy, full, playing the songs are their correct speed (not too fast, which I’m usually guilty of) and the crowd soaking it up and all over like a sponge. The crowd was raging….many people on stage at once, through the whole set.
Tonight’s after party was spent at the hotel bar, sharing Grappa with Matt (our wonderful promoter), his buddy and the native Transilvanian desk clerk. The conversation topics were like a sonic pinball machine and ranged from Obama, to illuminati, vampires and 2012 on how the Mayan calendar is wrong . Debates ensued about the original 10 month a year calendar and the 12 month one we currently adhere by. It was hazy by that time though and bed was on my mind over all.


Coffee & Donut were today’s kick starters. Kongh once again fills my speakers as we drive along on the way to Bolonga, spying all the grapevine fields and enormous mountains. I love Italy for many reasons. I fell in love with coffee in Italy and bought my first Bialetti machine in Bologna, which was considered “mission impossible” at the time by my hosts. “It’s Sunday and lunch time, nothing is open”. They were baffled when I appeared with one in hand from literally right around the corner.
The food in Italy is of sheer excellence, filled of passion. I haven’t really ventured down the wine road yet since I’m a beer enthusiast and I’ll say, recently Italy has been cranking out some really special beers. The Baladin Brewery are making waves in the US, but are also pricey due to Italy’s export taxes. The Italian people also LOVE their metal and hardcore music and show appreciation to the fullest when we play. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Dinner was spectacular, pesto pasta perfectly done and rotisserie chicken that blew my mind. Probably the second best chicken I’ve ever eaten, with the first being in Puerto Rico.
The show was great and people “went all out”. Simone our promoter always takes care of us. Oh, I also received some nice gifts from my friend Francesca in the form of Beer and Cheese. Wonderful Parmesan and special beers “Nora” and “Super” from the Baladin Brewery. Lucky me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The Bosch super building loomed ahead of us as my soundtrack (Kongh from Sweden) provided the perfect companion for “The Road” esque conditions, since I’ve been here. As Mike Hill would say, it’s a “lifetime of grey skies”. Minus the looting and cannibalism and not nearly as drastic as it sounds, it’s been dreary from the start.
180. Hardboiled eggs and coffee for breakfast this morning. Munich (home of the Silver Surfers and more importantly the most breweries per capita in Germany)…finds us at the same club once again. Vegan food will be provided again. Not that I’m complaining (think Vigo), bring on Italy.
To my joy, the food wasn't vegan. It was a meat lasagna and it wasn't too bad, kinda sweet. I'm pre-show posting due to boredom. I changed and tuned my drum heads, re-synced my ipod and have time to kill. I'll probably jump some rope in a bit. My goal is to jump 1000 times on this trip in one day. Maybe the first day off.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Yogurt , cereal, coffee and gas station Bockwurst are today’s breakie. The audio hat trick starting (while driving beside the Berlin Wall) off the ride is: Dillinger Escape Plan’s, Irony is a Dead Scene, Nachtmystium’s, Black Meddle Part 1 and the classic Napalm Death’s, From Enslavement To Obliteration. F.E.T.O., never lets up and is my favorite Napalm album by far. I remember reading a review in Thrasher Magazine saying “This is the fastest album ever”. So I ran out and got it straight away (on cassette), came home put it on and was bummed. You see, the first track is a stretched out, torturous doom laden, depression fest. I took it out , shelved it for a few weeks and decided to give it another go while doing something in my room. We’ll, needless to say, the first track ended, the second kicked and I was in love with a new sound I’ve never heard before. It was dirty, it was noisy and most importantly, it was fast as hell! In fact, the fastest thing I’d ever heard at that point. I proceeded to worship it form there. It only takes one listen each once and a while to be reminded of the brutal power this album possesses. I just cranked it in my headphones and am currently air drumming along, ha! It will put a small dent in today’s ride.
The halfway point finds me listening to Dim-Mak’s, Knives of Ice, (which in my opinion is the catchiest progressive extreme metal out there with top notch playing to boot. I say this ‘cause there are songs here, not just a display in ability like most of today’s extreme metal.) watching some really great Wolfgang Haffner drum performances and a meal at a rest stop called Kohlroulade. Basically, a ground meat stuffed cabbage with gravy. It was very good and not the Burger King option.
Show was good, well attended. Vegan stew was tonight's meal. I passed and went across the street to the Korean place, where they had dog on the menu. No woof, woof here, I'll be honest the foodie in my wasn't up for it after the long day. I won't rule it out, but tonight simply wasn't the night. I opted for the beef bulgogi instead. Wasn't bad, but wasn't great.


Sit-ups, Push-ups, shower. Breakfast of scrambled eggs, with meat and a small bowl of oats and yogurt. Coffee, water, load. Michal is on board again driving and it feels like just yesterday. Berlin bound, the first selection for me is Socrates: On The Wings. Great, old Greek, psych music with adventurous, great borderline self-indulgent songs that grab your interest the whole time while flexing musical muscle when needed. A touch of blues in there too. Good stuff.
Tonight, even though it says in house meal, I will head over to the Russian Restaurant, Gorki Park. Their dumplings, very similar to pierogi, are some of the best I’ve ever had and certainly can’t find anything close to them anywhere near me.
During the ride to Berlin and Morbid Angel listening marathon, I realized we aren’t going to be as close to Gorki Park as I thought, Bummer! I hope it’s not too far . We’re almost to Berlin and while keeping up to date with the latest Facebook news pieces via phone, I noticed Crossfit posted their WOD (Work out of the day) and it looks fun. 10 Rounds of 10 push ups, 20 sit ups and 30 squats for time. Should be doable, so I’m anticipating our arrival . My goal is to bang out load, equipment & sound check and move on to the work , before dinner and doors. That’s a perfect world though, we’ll see!
My plan worked, got my work out in, ate some Thai food (with broccoli, cause I’m trying to eat greens each day) and even managed to get some time in on the ole’ practice pad before the gig. The first show cobwebs were there, but hey, that’s normal. The crowd was full and full of beer, crowd surfing and the man who got the mic chord tangled in his hair so bad, we had to take a break to untangle it. There’s always someone or something that makes each show unique.

Back in Action!!! Frankfurt

Three films, a TV program, one crappy meal and I arrived in Frankfurt at 6:35 am. Luckily, there was an early supermarket close to the hotel. I stocked up on gasless water, chocolate and a meat patty similar to a hamburger and napped until about 6pm. I arose hungry and hit the Mongolian BBQ next to the supermarket. It was a total score and had everything you could have wished for from fried to raw and from Kangaroo to Squid. Wanting comfort, I went for Beef, Shrimp, Mushrooms, lots of garlic and Spinach with other trips for chicken and broccoli. No noodles, no rice, no filler as I’m trying to eat green and lean this time around. I’ll cave here and there for things that I just plain can’t get regularly, and rightfully so of course.
Coffee will have no sugar and I’ll lay off the bread a bit, even though the euro bread is really great. The UK will have the “nothing fried” challenge, and what a challenge it will be. This tour is an experiment for me with hopes of maintaining a scaled regiment of the crossfit class that I’ve been attending for the past month.