Helix Issues Band Touring Update
Brian Vollmer of Canadian metallers Helix has issued the following update about the band's upcoming live shows:
"It’s been an exciting week here at Planet Helix, what with working radio and press on the new CD and getting ready to head to eastern Canada for a whirlwind four day tour. I’ve contacted quite a few fans through Facebook about coming out. As well, I’ve been interviewed by radio stations in every market (in some cases, like Fredericton-two-Fred FM and The Fox.), offered the band up for supper with fans (this is tied in with radio), and been interviewed by several print publications. The band has had several full practices and many private ones as well. By that I mean Brent and Kaleb have been spending days together making sure all the songs are perfect; ditto for Daryl and Fritz. We’ve put the William Tell Overture back into the set, along with Shot Full of Love (from the Wild in the Streets CD). That song was Brent’s idea, and it feels pretty good even at practices, which is an indication that it will work particularly well in a live situation where everyone’s adrenaline is flowing.
"I’ve also had a couple of things made up by my next door neighbor Tim Liinamaa, who owns PRINT STUDIO here in London. I’ve been looking around for stands for the merch booth for a while now. It’s very difficult in some of these clubs to attach signs or backdrops to the wall. Nowadays Business Depot and other print shops sell portable stands. They’re quite pricey. Just for the stand they can run over $200. Then you have to purchase the banner that goes on that. You could easily spend $600 on two signs and banners. In two days Tim put together a backdrop, a stand, and poster for the merch booth.
"I bring this up, because just like any other small business trying to survive in this economy we’ve been forced to watch where every nickel and dime goes. I take great pride in our merch booth, what it looks like, and the fact I’m out there after every show. The merch booth may seem like a small thing (I’m sure you wouldn’t hear Alice Cooper talking about this) but for smaller bands like Helix it’s everything. This is the way we market our newest release, communicate with fans and hear first hand their comments, and make extra $ to help keep the business of Helix afloat.
"For a couple of days Randy has been at Planet Helix organizing all the 'stuff' and taking stock of what we have of each item. This tour we’ll be emphasizing three items: The new Vagabond Bones CD & t-shirt (they look awesome) and the Christmas CD. To entice fans to buy the new CD we’ve purchased two B.C. Rich WARLOCK guitars from the factory in Kentucky. We’d like to thank Ted Burger for all his help in securing these two axes. We’re taking one guitar out east and Brent will be playing the guitar every night on stage for Dirty Dog. He’s set up the bridge so the guitar is more playable, another bonus for whomever wins it. Everyone who buys a Vagabond Bones CD will be entered to win. The winner will either be picked on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day, depending on whether or not we play New Years Eve. The other WARLOCK will be given away on Dee Snider’s House of Hair website sometime in the spring. They are already advertising the upcoming contest.
"THE CANADIAN EAST COAST TOUR: HERE WE GO! Kaleb and Randy will be leaving Sunday morning in the van for St. John. The rest of us will be flying out on Tuesday morning to Halifax, Nova Scotia. (l1:05 A.M) Once there, “Limo Jim” will pick us up and drive us to Dartmouth to pick up a second rental van. From there it’s a 4.5 hour drive to our first show in St. John, New Brunswick, at the Three Mile Entertainment Complex. Our E.T.A. is around 5:00. Sound check isn’t until 7P.M., so we’ll probably go straight to supper with contest winners as soon as we’ve checked into our hotels. After sound check we’ll have scant time to review the show before we’re onstage. By the time we get to bed most of us will have been up for twenty- four hours.
"Luckily the next day we can sleep until noon if we don’t get kicked out of the rooms first. It’s only a 1.5 hour drive to Fredericton. We’ll be going to both stations (Fred FM & The Fox) during the afternoon for interviews, perhaps even a little acoustic jam on-air. Our gig that night is at The Irock Nightclub. Fredericton was always a strong market for us and we’re hoping for a great turnout at this gig.
"November 19th is a day off for us. Originally we were booked to play in Barrington, Nova Scotia, but when I looked at where Barrington was on the map it didn’t make much sense to go there and then back for the Friday in Moncton, New Brunswick. Better to take the day off. Most of us will probably be going to Meductic, New Brunswick that day to visit the Sabian cymbals factory.
"Friday night we’ll be in Moncton at the Rockin’ Rodeo, where last time around we sold out. This time around it’s Ladies’ Night and an early show-10:30. Once again we’ll be going for supper with contest winners from the station. The next day we’ll be driving to Halifax to drop off the rental van. Limo Jim is picking us up and driving us to our last gig-in Chester, Nova Scotia at Chester Dooley’s. This is a small club and it should be crazy for our last east coast date. A lot of fans have emailed me to say they are coming down from Halifax to catch the show. Come early!
"We fly back to Ontario on the Sunday. Kaleb and Randy will be driving back and will probably land back in Kitchener on the Tuesday. Then on Friday night we play our hometown crowd in Kitchener at Molly Blooms. This is another small club, so if you’re coming, get your tickets NOW. Our last three shows there have all been sell-outs. The club has hired Dick Wendling’s company to do sound; the same company that did sound/lights for our S.P.C.A. benefit at The Edelweiss in September. Anyone who was at that show knows how good that system sounded and looked.
"Two dates already booked for 2010. One is the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT. on April 16^th and the other is in Lewisporte, Nfld on August 7th . My western Canadian agent Bernie Aubin has indicated to me that there is a possibility of us coming out to western Canada for two weeks at the very beginning of April. I’ll find out more about those dates from him this week, as well as a possibility of playing New Years at an undisclosed location in British Columbia. Stay tuned..."
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