Barren Earth Issues New U.S. Road Report
Band Photo: Barren Earth (?)
Finnish progressive death metal act Barren Earth is currently embarked on a U.S. tour. The band has now checked in with the following new road report:
"The support bands on this tour don’t have their own mixer guy/girl. This means that we have to rely on the venues’ personnel to take care of our live sound. Even though we obviously can’t hear how we sound onstage, by all reports the sounds seem in general to have been quite good so far. But there was a certain venue where we were warned about the sound guy. It was said he couldn’t be trusted with a food mixer, let alone a sound mixing desk. But there was very little we could do about it, so we had to put up with him. Listening to the way he did the sounds for the next band, one could understand the complaints: the sound was truly rotten. But considering that the band in question was Rotten Sound, this was actually quite befitting.
"In Seattle we had connections of our own. Travel-weary rock musicians were provided refreshment, nourishment and sight-seeing by friends and relatives. We thank thee.
"Schedules on venues have in general been quite reliable, with the exception of Seattle. Two local support bands were running a bit late, and once we got our stuff onstage, there were a number of connection problems, the sources of which were seemingly impossible to locate. We had already passed our starting time, and were contemplating on having to omit songs from our set. This would’ve been a shame, since we are only playing for 30 minutes on most nights anyway. However, as the problems were finally resolved, the tour manager said we could play our whole set, if we ‘played it quick’. As a result, the Seattle gig was a hyperactive set, with tempos a bit faster than usual. It was actually quite fun. Maybe we should start playing speed metal.
"After having travelled from the furthest southeast to the furthest northwest of the US, Canada beckoned. But there were one or two issues hampering with our travel plans.
"The travel distances on this tour are quite long. The bus usually starts for the next destination at around 4 a.m., and arrives at the venue around noon or later. So, as one wakes up in the morning, one can expect the bus to still be in motion. (Obviously some of us do not wake up before the afternoon or even later. Don’t know why. Maybe it’s the jet lag...) But on too many a morning the bus has prematurely stopped. And this is because our bus has been beset with numerous technical problems from the word go. It seems that we have been unlucky in our choice of vehicle, since the problems just keep on appearing.
"Leaving Seattle on early Sunday morning, we had a lengthy drive ahead of us. And yet at around 9 a.m. the bus was not in motion. ‘Oh, no. Not again. What’s the matter this time?’ It transpired that there was a problem with one of the hubs of the tire, and we were parked outside a garage which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. We were told that with any luck, the tire mechanism could be fixed in a couple of hours, but in the worst case the bus would not be moving until the next day. It somehow seems that when such alternatives are represented, it is always the worst-case scenario which materializes. And this was no exception. It soon turned out the bus couldn’t be fixed there and then, and yet we couldn’t afford to wait for another day, since it would have meant the cancellation of the next gig in Calgary. Tension was mounting. Tempers were rising.
-Where’s the tour manager?, somebody asked.
-He’s in the other bus tearing his hair out, came the reply.
"Well, that was almost true. He wasn’t in the other bus, he was in the parking lot. But he was tearing his hair out.
"It was then decided that the other bus would continue as planned, and the rest of us would wait for a replacement bus, which would be arriving in ‘a few hours’. Few hours and a few hours more passed with no sign of the bus. Supplies were running short, there wasn’t much water left, it was getting dark, we didn’t really know where we were, and the nearest gas station was 7 miles away. Then the phone rang. It was the driver of the replacement bus saying he had only just embarked on his journey, and it would take him about four hours to reach us. Four hours. Four hours? FOUR HOURS?!! So what was the original talk of ‘a few hours’ then, many people could be heard asking.
"Four hours was clearly too long for us to survive without the necessary supplies, so a four-man expedition set off. We ordered a cab (which took about half an hour to get where we were, since only 2 were on duty in the area) and drove to the relatively near-by town of Moses Lake to buy the necessary products: water, fruit and bread (and SPAM for Mikko).
"Five hours, yes, five hours later the replacement bus driver called again, this time to say that he was about 30 miles away. Another hour passed and there still was no sign of the bus. By now, quite convincing conspiracy theories were being formulated: There will be no bus. There never was any bus. It was all a lie! We are on our own now… But eventually, two lights appeared in the distance and sure enough, at long last, that was our bus. We made it after all!"
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