Death Drive US Tour Recap
I have been touring the world doing music for over a decade, but usually I limit my touring to the west coast and Europe; where my music is best received. This tour was very different from past tours and much more inspiring on every level. Over the years I have experimented with various approaches, sometimes rocking a live band, sometimes rocking a laptop or samplers, or a combination of all of the above, however this is the first tour I’ve done with a DJ. DJ Pain 1 produced all the music on Death Drive and I was shocked at what an incredible live DJ he was. This combination made for some of the best shows I have ever played. With this recent project, “Death Drive” I feel that I’ve finally learned how to make music that effective communicates and rocks the crowd. This is the first time I’ve toured on a new record, played ALL new material and had a solid bloc of people at every show that knew all the words. The tour was amazing all around but here are some highlights:
Touring with Ceschi. We played about 1/3 of our shows with Ceschi. Ceschi is one of my best friends in the music game and upon his release from prison his live performances have been fucking CRAZY. His new music sounds rare and energized and his performances are captivating as fuck. I’ve said it a million times because it’s the truth, when I was down and out and felt like my career was over; fake four had my back, they picked me up from the mud, welcomed me into their family and helped me re-launch my career. So much love to Ceschi and Fake Four! Check out his recent digital 45; this song “Inside” is some of the best music I’ve heard from him.
9-11 in Chicago. When I found out we were playing 9-11 in Chicago I was psyched. On my way to the show I noticed a flier that said there would be live graffiti at the show. I got a sinking feeling, on the day after the US announces to declare war on Iraq again the idea that graffiti writers would be spray painting their names on canvasses at my show didn’t feel right. So I hit up a comrade of mine, Rachael, aka Plussone and asked if there was a way we could use the event to raise awareness and funds for the Nato 3(3 folks who were hemmed up with terrorism charges and prison time for some Molotov F.B.I. entrapment bullshit). We decided to ask the graffiti writers to make 9-11 themed art that we’d raffle off at the end of the show to raise funds. The graffiti writers were down, so we were stoked. Before I got on stage I checked on the progress and it was canvasses with 9-11 written with American flags and the phrase “never forget” written under it. I started freaking out, I didn’t know what to do, “ I was like WTF dude?” the graf writer essentially responded with “I love this country and I support Obama attacking ISIS…” at that moment I said, “Fuck it, we don’t share the same worldview, I can not raffle this stuff.” So apologies to the Nato 3 and no disrespect to the artist that made an attempt to help raise funds, next time I’ll be clearer with what kind of message we want when we collaborate on art projects. Nonetheless it’s a pretty funny story.
I've been reading about Detroit for years and I didn't know what to expect when we went there. We ended up staying with some friends; here is a photo of a squatted community garden in their neighborhood. The arches to the garden are constructed from a telephone pole that had fallen to the ground. The garden feeds the community and is open to everyone who needs food. I was amazed at how much Detroit reminded me of Greece, but greener. Everywhere I looked I saw wildlife reclaiming the collapsed city, literally through the cracks of capitalism. It was pretty beautiful from that perspective, it reminded me of the kind of city I would want to live in. Something like Chernobyl minus the nukes. Maybe eventually all of the US will look like this. Unfortunately this beauty and the spirit of mutual aid and empowerment comes at a heavy toll to poor people who are being gentrified out of their neighborhoods and so many without water. I heard a story from a friend seeing an elderly couple pushing a shopping cart full of water containers down the street and watching them hit a hole in the road as they struggled to get the water back into the carts (of course he helped them). This shit is real and I was a visitor there, getting a second hand account of how this economic collapse is fucking with peoples lives and creating new opportunities and new ways of life. I don’t want to romanticize what I saw there but I was certainly inspired. It reminded me very much of my trip to Athens last year, minus the golden dawn fascists.