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Posted on 11/19/11 by Clint
Just stepped back on bus from the cruise. We have a 11 hour drive to Pensacola right away but none of us mind too much due to the fact that we have choices for food and aren't rocking back and forth as bad on choppy water. The cruise was a way better experience this year than last. First off my wife was able to come this year. This time last year we were expecting our son and it wasn't safe for her to be on ship that far along. I was a nervous wreck last year because I didn't have cell service 80 percent of trip. To add to the situation she probably envisioned me rocking out on a cruise full of bikini models or a Rock/girls gone wild hybrid screaming "YEAH MAN, PARTY YEAH". Needless to say that was not the vibe at all. Just some big music fans hanging out on a boat.
The cruise, let's see, how do I explain? Well for starters the bands, Hell Yeah, Candlebox,Buckcherry, Another Animal, Filter, Queensryche, In this moment and Hinder/others. Good assortment of bands. All playing two shows total at different times and places during the 5 day trip. Basically there's a theater stage that holds 1200 and a deck stage that is the main deck on the ship. Our first show was scheduled at 1am in the theater. We end up going on at 1:45am after we are delayed from Queensryche show before us. Also we haven't played a show in a month and none of the gear worked. Not the best way to start but that's how we do it. It's a cruise line, not trying to save the world or anything. It was loose to say the least. First show ends up being fun and crowd wasn't too bad considering the time we hit the stage. It's such a weird feeling playing on a stage that's moving back and forth from rough seas. Felt like the drinking days minus the drink.
I've never been on a cruise before these that we have played now. Real quick overview- Food- the worst. Buffet set up to feed the masses and the food seems to look decent but absent of flavor and normal texture. I think it's all frozen and could date back to the 80s. There's a couple other places to eat but it's basically it's the buffet food organized on a plate as the main entree. You could order free food to your room but I wouldn't serve it to a prisoner. Whatever though, it's par for the course.
The ship docked twice in 5 days and we all did different things on land. Over priced mexican, asked 20 times every hour to buy things, to ride this, taste that, do this or that. I don't think it's relaxing when your being hustled constantly. I get someone trying to make money but I don't call that a vacation delaying with that. But it was nice to be with the wife and actually got to meet some very laid backed people. You'd think it could be strange being on a boat that basically has a assortment of bands and fans. To me it's cool because we always hang with our fans and this was just an extended night of one of our typical shows. My issue is never the fans it's the other bands. I get so frustrated watching the egos collide and the "peacocking" that goes on. For the most part everyone was cool Hell yeah guys are very cool and we have history, met a few guys from Filter that were cool. Hinder really tries to keep the "rock n roll" cliche alive. Never walking anywhere out of rock star character. To me that only works when your a rock star. But I'm not any better or worse I just don't carry myself like that and think it's annoying to see people do that. That's they're trip though. Probably nice guys, it's just hard to tell with all the scarves, shades, smirks, bandanas and torn jeans.
The second show we play is on the deck and it was way better, way more personal and way more energy. Very big improvement from weather last go around. We only played one show last time. This time things went as plan. There was a guy Alan that organized most of the boat and he was amazing guy. Very personal and very attentive to everyone. It's suppose to be fun and laid back and it was. Some of us did guitar clinics, QnA sessions with set groups. I did one for a very small group. It was me and Steve D from Buckcherry, then Mike Wilton and Parker did the second half. Basically each pair sat on a stage and took a little time playing, demoing what they were asking us to do. It was surreal for me because I grew up listening to Mike Wilton and he was watching me play guitar and talk about riffs etc. He didn't say anything to me or acknowledge me in anyway afterwards even after I praised him on stage. I don't care though, I praised him because he did influence me. It's interesting to me that some can be that reserved to where they don't at least say hello or something. I guess that's how they like to do things. Still love the guy.
I have mixed feelings about the cruise experience. As far as relaxing and doing something different from the norm. To be on a boat full of people half of which are there to rock out and the other people that could careless about the Shipped rocked experience, it's weird. After two days you've done everything you can do, eaten what you can eat, drink what you can drink and seen all your gonna see. I'm jaded in that way though.
I'm excited about doing this last run for this record and being out with my brothers band Eye Empire. It'll be a good way to finish out the cycle. I'm very excited about the project I'm doing Morgan during this 7d downtime. We're gonna be recording the demos at the end of tour and hopefully record full record in Jan/Feb. Still uncertain of direction. I wrote a bunch of ideas while I was home but the ideas are all different in style. All I know is that the direction won't be defined until him and I start physically jamming these ideas. With him it's very easy to come up with ideas. We talk out alot of possibilities beforehand and he can be very descriptive on what he likes and wants. I know it will be different that 7d. My voice will make it sound different the fact that I'm using a whole different approach to writing, the gear and vibe. I'm using different guitars, tunings and amps. Morgans changing up his set up. The only thing that bugs me is the fact that because I left to do Dark new day with my brother before, people start assuming I'm leaving again. And while we were off some of the other guys in 7d start hearing that Morgan and I are doing this side band and start to think we're jumping ship because of the rumor mill. So some of the trip there was a strange vibe at first toward him and I. We got kicked out of the sandbox for a second. lol. The fact is 7dust is alive and well, for sure our first priority and this project will even be released on 7d bros records. Even after we discussed our project with them and were completely open about it and our intentions the rumors can move in when we aren't together and create tension between us. But we talked about it and explained that 7d is taking a break, we want to do this project before we start writing new 7d. That if this conflicts with 7d at all will will push it away until 7d deadlines are met. The fact is, it's healthy to explore in music, it's good to take breaks from each other. It makes you stronger if it's done openly and honestly. I want to try singing on a full electric project. This maybe be the last chance I get to do it and to do with Morgan will be ideal. I'm gonna put everything I have in it. It's gonna be called something different than HDMS because that is a personal project for me. Morgan and I will pull in a few different people on bass during the record, I'll play some, we'll pull in a guitar player or two to add some different layers but I'll do most of that. I'll sing, Morgan will sing here and there. It's open. We're gonna use a lot of programming but keep the core of it raw and in your face. I want to do things I can't do in 7d so when it's time to go back to 7d I'm missing it and ready to write our best record we've ever done. That's the goal.
Missing the hell out of my wife right now. It was our first trip together since having our son. It was hard for her to leave him that long. He's growing so fast, walking everywhere, into everything. He's sweet but all boy. He says DADA and it melts my heart. I'm excited about the future but nervous about the fact that 7d is taking this short break. It's all we know right now. We tour constantly so to not do that will be very different. But I feel like at the end of the day everyone will be able to do projects and other things in life to reenergize for what I call the second coming of 7d. I'll keep you updated on this tour as we go. The blogs are fun for me, to share with you a bit of the grind and the gift we have to play music and tour. All though I'm jaded I am grateful man. I just have to poke fun at this life from time to time to stop from taking it too serious. It's music, it's touring- it's hardly reality
God bless ya'll and see ya next blog
Posted on 11/05/11 by Clint
So the last few weeks I've been at home having fun adjusting to normal life. Being a dad, a husband and basically living life. It's not the easiest thing to walk right in to the dynamic T has set up and not mess up her flow. I really have a new respect for single moms or mothers that do it all while "the man" is at work. Or reversed "the woman" is at work. You get my point. It's a constant job with little to no rest. Our son is a machine. It's a lot of work but the thing I like most about it is that it's near impossible to think of anything else while your on baby duty. I hardly have any grace in this area. I'm spilling stuff, dropping bottles, bumping into stuff and hurting every joint in my body trying to watch after him. He has a gift to find the exact door or cabinet to open with the most unsafe element inside. I've caught up on my baby proofing but he still finds something he shouldn't be into. This is probably a preview for what's to come. I wouldn't trade it for anything though. I love life at home.
In 7d land there has been a lot of conference calls about what we're doing next year and when we will start writing for a new record. We've decided that June is when we will start the full band writing sessions for what could in fact be our last record. I personally doubt it but I'm preparing myself for this. Man what a journey it has been. I love what we've done together. The good, bad and stupid
There's a lil time off and we all will have to decide what to do with ourselves. I'm very excited about the project I will be doing with Mr. Morgan Rose. At first I was gonna do another hdms record but instead of acoustic I wanted to do electric. After talking with Morgan about some directions and concepts we decided to partner up and do it together. I've always been on the same page with Morgan musically and we tend to work together very easily and stress free. We have always talked about doing a style of music that is totally different from 7d. Simply because we feel a need to branch out. I want to sing in full voice and energy. A lot of times on 7d records him or I will write vocal stuff, sing it and submit it to the guys. Which is always a fun process and a creative exercise of sorts. I wanna give singing a real shot and try to find my voice. For years I've written for other singers and I love it but I wanna a shot at it. If I fail or come up with stuff that noone gets that's fine but I wanna push myself and with Morgan I feel like we can find this niche. I've been writing some rough draft music right now and have been sending it to him. It sounds a bit like NiN meets Foo fighters at the moment. I'm gonna use different guitars and amps to make myself write and play different. We're also probably gonna release this on the 7bros label. So it's still within the 7d family. I feel good about keeping it in house. This efforts gonna be different than HDMS in vibe and songs. So that leads Morg and I to the next question, what do we call it. I think calling it Hello demons..meet skeletons will limit it a bit or possibly have a stigma that this will be the same sort of sound so we will probably call this something different. We're also gonna pull in a bass player and guitar player as well. I wanna have a full sound and driving force on stage when we play. As far as when we track the full length it'll probably be Morgan and myself for the most part. Right now we're slated to track some demos in ATL in Nov and Dec with my brother Corey tracking and helping us with it. Try and nail down 3 or 4 songs to play to the big guys to see if it's worthy. I always struggle with believing in myself as a singer but I'm pushing through the fear of that and I'm gonna belt this out as if my life depends on it. Bob Dylans the worst singer on the planet but found his voice and words to tell his story. I plan on doing that. I'm also gonna bust out the solos on this thing.
Well we shall see how it comes out. I really hope people stay open minded to the sound of this. We still don't know how it's gonna sound but I know we're very excited about the possibilities of this and the chance to express a different side of ourselves musically. 7d is fully intact and our first priority but for the next few months keep your eyes and ears out for this new project. I plan on a full daily video update to give people a sneak peek at this. You know I throw it all out there. Mistake?? I don't care, I love you guys.
I hope whoever reads this has a bunch of good things in your life going on and if your don't try to find the beauty in life even if it's ugly as hell. I was near death and down and out a few years ago now I have a wife, son, home and some options at the moment to provide for my family. I owe that to God, friends and family and the fellowship.
God bless and it's time to get to work
End of tour(uproar)
Posted on 10/13/11 by Clint
As I write this I'm surrounded by a bunch of people in the front lounge, some in our camp and few guys I don't know. All kinds of different conversations and stories. I'm trying to block it out and I'm a ninja at that at this point. Last few days we've been in LA on a day off and a one off. Example of how small the music business is, of all the dates and places we could play, we ended up running into my brother Coreys band, and Will and Troy who were all playing or spending a day off. I love spending time with those guys. We arrived in LA and Corey and the Eye Empire guys were staying at same hotel. Corey and the guys have been either a day ahead of us in a city or behind us. We've bearly missed each other but finally we hit the same spot. Really good to see them, all though when we got to LA all I wanted to do was relax in my room and have some alone time. After a long tour, lots of meet and greets, living on a bus full of guys, constantly surrounded by personalities you tend to withdraw a bit. It starts becoming hard for me to stay in touch with family via phone because I simply crave silence and want to refrain from speaking. I find myself staring off in the distance like Bon Jovi does in the wanted dead or alive video Well not quite that corny, mines more of a 1000 yard stare, a blank thoughtless state. Sometimes it feels good to just shut the mind down and relax. As a recovering alcoholic this is a very hard thing to do. My mind is always at work, telling me different things, sometimes telling me I'm nuts and it's right. I am for sure a different person after 6 weeks of touring. I haven't been able to hit a lot of meetings out here. I adore meetings, it's such a great feeling to find these random places with complete strangers and talk about alcoholism, life and what we do daily to stay sober. I have no problem letting people know that I go to AA meetings. For me it has giving me direction, help show me how to live sober through hearing peoples experiences. If I don't attend one for awhile I start living in my head and that for me is a very dangerous place to live. AA has been a huge part of my journey. I meet some incredible people in those meetings and there's humility in seeking out a place, sitting down with strangers and being 1000 percent honest.
That's my journey. Ultimately the quest for me is to trust in a God of my understanding, to become a good man. To walk the path God wants me to walk. My conception of God. It's progressive relationship. My mind trys it's best to tell me there is no God, that we are beings that live and die and that is all. My heart tells me there is a God who loves me. That being honest, kind, patient and humble is a natural path and goes in line with the universe. Anyway, I don't wanna use this as soapbox to push anything on anyone, it's just my belief and I'm proud to say I love God and ever since I've been sober and tried to live right my life has turned around in ways I can't believe till this day.
The bus is now completely empty, everyone must be enjoying some of the show since it's the last few days. We had a serious band meeting today about our future and discussed some of the past. Some days I feel better after these talsk some days I feel worse. Today I feel a lil down over all but know in my heart we will map out this next year and take the break we need to. This goes back to trust in God for me. I put a lot of the outcome on that. I just know it will work out. I don't live in fear the way I used to. Tension is naturally high when you stick 12 dudes on a bus for weeks. I don't care what kind of band you are. We are waaaaaay past the honey moon phase of our relationship to say the least. But we all respect each other enough to give space and get through the end of this. I love these guys to death. But it's for sure time to shut it down for awhile. And that in deed is the plan.
My wife is flying out to meet me in Vegas tomorrow and I'm thrilled. She needs some mama time and we're flying back home together for a 3 and a half week break. Coreys band Eye Empire will be opening for us on the next short run we do to finish the year. I look forward to that. I'm looking forward to fall. My favorite time of year. I'm looking forward to seeing my son walk around. I'm looking forward to writing some full electric HDMS stuff with Morgan Rose on drums. It's gonna be fun to track an EP with his influence and skill. He's for sure a musical soul mate of mine. We think a lot alike about music, groove and melody. Plus he'll help out on some vocals as well. So many things to look forward to overall. New 7d material as well. Gonna be a intense music writing and lots of family time.
One last thing, the Uproar has been a good tour for us. We may have stretched this touring cycle for this record out a bit too long but this was for sure a good tour to connect with the die hards, to meet some very cool people during the VIPs, and to show these youngsters how the old dudes throw down. haha. There's a lot of talent out here. I'd like to thank the 3 days grace guys for giving us a shout out from the main stage. Very cool guys. The Avenge7 camp is always very cool to us. I respect the professional level they work on. I have to give it up to them. The show is very cool. They can play period. Not sure if this will be the last blog but it has been fun doing and I appreciate the people who have told me they've checked it out. Means alot.
Maybe I can do a last tour for Cold day memory tour blog for the next tour. It'd be cool to give you guys the run down of a typical headline tour. There's always more drama on our own tours so maybe you can get a peak of that via daily blog. I wanna say thank you, I'm grateful tonight, I'm burnt out, I'm happy, I'm frustrated, i'm at peace, I'm annoyed- I'm all of these things wrapped up in a 39 year old half Irish half Native American, father of one beautiful son, husband to the most amazing woman on the planet, son and brother to an amazing family and most of all an old recovering drunk. Life is good and it's gonna get better because I simply believe and my perception controls it all. If I can lock that in on a positive then it's always gonna be ok.
God bless ya'll and have a great night.