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Posted on 10/09/11 by Clint
Close to San Diego today. As we expected the weather was perfect. There's a vibe in this part of Cali that is all it's own. Very laid back, interesting and colorful people. We haven't been here in awhile so it was good to know that it still remains the way I remembered. Went for an amazing run through the hills here which is a great way to start the day. I'm beyond burnt out at this point and was in need of a relaxing day even though its the same tour, same people, same everything the place we were made the difference. A few days ago we were in New Mexico and it was freezing, rainy and windy. Despite the harsh elements the crowd there to do business and I was truly moved by the dedication of these people and how they withstood the tempature that day and night.
Yesterday I was able to hang with my younger brother Dustin, so good to see him. Amazing sense of humor on him. He is by far the funniest man I know. It stems from a lifetime of inside jokes, possibly our DNA being the same contributes to the fact that he knows exactly what noises and things to say and do that crack me the hell up. I adore my brothers and family. Having him with me a day was similar to getting a visit in prison from a family member, well not that similar but I did feel comforted by his presence and felt grounded on first site of him. Sometimes this life becomes fantasy like and a bit distant from reality. A familiar face can reel you back in instantly. Dustin is the master of this with out even trying. Family is all that matters. 7d is my second family there's no doubt. One day this will be over and I will stay in contact with them the same as my blood family but I will grow old with my brothers and hopefully be able to have a stronger relationship with my half sisters. Touring has made this difficult to form a bond with them. But life still has plans for us I'm sure.
My son took his first few baby steps the other day. Ive seen many things in life but nothing comes close to the beauty I see when I see him. To see my wife holding him and guiding him as he make his first move toward independence. To look and see the innocence, the trust and he's dependance on his mother. I want to be there holding my hands out for him, to let him know I would catch him and protect him. No matter what. I feel strong as a father, I possess a hidden strength I didn't know I had. Because in my heart I know I would die before I would allow anyone or anything harm him or my wife for that matter. I'd sacrifice myself a million times over for them and I didn't know what this level of love was before them.
The tour is close to over and Ive had a few more conversations with some of the people out here. I feel like I've almost been anti social but not because I don't like people, I just simply feel strange in the crowd and find it easier for me to lay low. I talked to some of the guys from the bands on our stage and really enjoyed getting to know them. Black tides singer, guitar player is a real talent. He's very good guitar player, can shoot some hoops and seems very shy. We don't really talk but from time to time we play basketball and speak without speaking. I feel like I could be his dad, haha. I think he's just now turning into what he will become in music. I like that kid.
I get to see my older bro Corey also in a day or so and can't wait. It'll be in LA and he and I will continue where Dust and I left off. 7d has one more tour after this and we will be shutting down the touring side of things for awhile. It's time, we need to miss this, to miss each other and for the fans to miss it. It will be a healthy break and will give us time to construct a lethal record that I predict will recharge our career in the best way possible. I'm excited about doing a full length electric HDMS record and hopefully have an idie label behind it. Its gonna be totally different than previous stuff I've done. Still early but I need to see this through. To fully take on the lead vocal position with a heavier style of music. I don't mean heavy in the traditional sense. But more in your face than the acoustic stuff and heavy in a more inventive way.
I pray to God for direction daily and no matter what, if I do the next right thing, stay sober a day at a time I will be able to do anything I set my mind to. I'm thankful and ready to enjoy the down time. I'll probably continue the blog from time to time simply because I like staying connected with the small group that reads this.
Much love and see you next blog
Day off in New Mexico(hard rock hotel)
Posted on 10/06/11 by Clint
We're in Albuquerque today for a day off. Played Denver yesterday in what would turn out to be one of the best shows on the tour. Well only because we expected it to not turn out so good. Yesterday was the first day both stages played at the same time. I'm guessing that the city had a noise level issue and we weren't able to make noise until later forcing the stages to go head to head. All day the second stage was a very dismal site. They parked the clam shell stage on a street mainly because we needed to use the street light for a lighting rig since the stage didn't come with a light show. All day we were looking out at the crowds for the other bands and it wasn't pretty. But sometimes these things happen and we try and find the humor in it. Cause at the end of the day, nothing is gonna change on our end. We still play the same songs for the same amount of time it's just funner better when there's a crowd to feed off. We get tired of looking at each other so our escape are the faces of the crowd. But right before we played a rush of people came down to our stage and filled the area. We couldn't believe it. They cam out of nowhere. We were playing somewhere in between Seether and 3 days grace. It was totally packed for our show. We were giving a shining example of the 7d fans loyalty and dedication to our band. It was quite moving. It was pretty amazing.
The shows are similar to a medication you take for a bipolar disorder. All day we battle with these weird behaviors and disorders we each have. The whining starts happening, the depression from missing home and our personal spaces and comfort zones, the frustrations of brushing your teeth while moving down the road, the smell of man that dominates the air etc.. once we get on stage(take our medicine) we realize what it's all for and how much a small price we pay to deal with those things. Well not small but it's worth it. Once we get done for about an hour we discuss the events we witnessed from the crowd or the hiccups we have with gear or personal playing then the come down. I think every musician deals with this on some level. It's a big part of why so many get hooked on drinking and drugging in this business. It's the feeling you get when your so high from playing and enjoy it so much you try to maintain that level of energy, hence the "AFTERSHOW" party. This is mainly in place so band members can continue the thrill of pleasing an audience and keep receiving praise in one form or another. Now some people don't even know that this is happening. Some are just simply wanting to be social but either way it's an way to keep the night up and the feeling.
I've noticed the longer the tour, the longer the after parties . The more need there is to drown out the woes and hardships of the road. And there's some that get in there bunk and read a book and go to sleep. It vaires.
Myself, after the show last night and after I met the VIP peeps and hung for a bit, I walked to a close movie theater, got a popcorn and diet coke and watched the movie Drive. I was literally the only one there and that made it a lil cooler. I feel like if you can't be comfortable totally alone then you certainly can't be comfortable with others. I learn a lot about myself when I'm alone. Sometimes too much, too much thinking about life and trying to fix things in my mind and in the world. I have to learn I can't do that. I can only live and let live. I'm sure my wife doesn't mind that I'm such a loner out here. It beats her getting a phone call from me at 2am with fist pumping music in the back ground and girls and guys screaming in the back ground "I WANNA MAKE BAD CHOICES" haha. Or me slurring my words and making no sense. I like to believe that I'm reserving my good times for her and my son. I don't come out here to be festive, I come out here to play. That doesn't mean I don't have fun, I did my share of dumb things but that's not my journey today.
Tonight we're at the Hard rock hotel, the rooms are nice and it's a casino but I don't gamble at all so that does me as much good as a baseball bat does for a fish. Still glad for a day off. Gonna go grab dinner and make it an early night. I'd like to thank our fans again for the love and support you give us. When you come to a show, buy a shirt, CD whatever, you really are giving us what we have. You support our families and us with them. You make it possible. I wish I could thank everyone face to face for that.
That's it for today,
Day off in Boise
Posted on 10/03/11 by Clint
Sitting here in a hotel room in Boise, ID. Had a day off or what I actually call a half day off where we stop half way between to cities so we don't have to spend the whole day off driving. It also allows the driver to sleep and gets us out of paying what is called an "Overdrive" to the driver. That's when a bus driver has to charge a fee from driving over 500 miles straight. Some are flexible with that and some will charge you if you drive 40 yards past 500 mile mark. Depends on the driver. Speaking of drivers, we've had a TON of them over the years. All types of people with all types of issues. Some we've become very close with and remain close with, some that are no longer with us and some we hope to never see again. I used to bond with drivers in the early days. In my drinking days when everyone would fall asleep I would sit in what is called "The bird dog chair" or co pilot chair and talk(mumble) they're ears off till the early morning. Lucky guys got to here me solve the worlds problems, explain the music business, my personal goals, everyone else's faults and whatever else I could babble about. Out of some of those rants I formed some good friendships. It was good for me because I was able to run my trap and tire myself out and they liked it because it was a form of entertainment I suppose or a way to stay awake. Either way it was a match made in long boring trip heaven. Some of them took on the "bartender philosophy" role and gave me great advice or some not so good advice. The fact is I wouldn't remember much about any of those talks. Probably a good thing
Today was good, I got to go for a long run by a river, watched a movie with Morgan and his brother Patrick who I love dearly. He is the hipster in our camp. Very smart, very witty and very aware of his surroundings. He does merch for us and brings a cool vibe with him everywhere he goes. I enjoy my time with him on days off when we hang. It was Lajons bday today and I got to see him for a bit at one of his favorite "off day" spots Fridays. Him and aka Metal mike seek these out or Applebees every chance they get. A few of us lined up at the bar and watched football and baseball, ate food and chilled. The bartender, after taking my order, looked at me and whispered "Are those guys in a band" completely excluding me from the bunch as if I wasn't "band member" looking enough This happens a lot. I guess I just have a normal look to people or don't put off that vibe. No one ever recognizes me anywhere. Even if they do they ask if I've always been in the band or something like that. I think it's kinda funny sometimes. If I walk anywhere with Morgan or Lajon people will stop us, give me the camera and ask me to snap a photo for them. Which I love doing. The guys feel bad for me and try to explain to the people that I'm also in the band which makes me feel embarrassed. Then I feel like they look at me like I'm disappointed they didn't wanna take a pic with me and try to do it, it's an awkward moment to say the least. I almost like being the guy no one knows off stage. They always think I'm a security guard for them which is a role I would happily do and fantasize about. Sometimes I've played the role and told people things like "Ok only one pic with the artist and we have to go people" haha. The fact is I would feel cooler if people perceived me as this ninja security guard that's not real big but must have fighting skills of some kind to have the gig.
Anyway it's all good fun. I could careless about people knowing who I am on the street. The true fans know and they always have amazing things to say. I love our fans dearly. Even the ones with no filter or the big favorite "THE CLOSE TALKER"
This person is one who after a few drinks has the need to have they're face and mouth inches away from yours while talking. This usually comes with bad breath and a sturdy arm around my neck or back. I don't get that but that's the way some people like to talk to others I guess.
Tomorrow we're in Salt lake city. The tour is close to being over, not sure how I feel about it. We've had so many things happen during this tour that I feel almost like the tour is the background to our life instead of our lives based around a tour. We've lost crew members, had some big choices we had to make and planned out our next move as a band. It's been a good tour for us though. Only thing about it that isn't the best is that it's exactly the same everyday for us and we play a short 30 min set. Some days I like that when I'm sore and tired but most days I feel like we're done before we really get started. I guess that's what the headline tours are for. That all being said, I guess the blog will also be coming to an end. I've really enjoyed jotting down some thoughts and giving ya'll a look into our world.
I hope I don't come off bad to anyone with these, if I do, sorry. If you can relate then great, that's all I'm trying to do. Remove the smoke and mirrors a bit for you to show you that touring is amazing but it's also not what a lot of people think. At the end of the day we're lucky to do this and when I'm old, deaf and grayer I'll think back to it and smile...or cry one of the other. I'm happy that my son will be able to see me play and hopefully completely pick a different career path haha. If he does choose this I will arm him with the facts, refuse to let him become a stereo typical "rockstar" and hope he become a pioneer instead of a follower. I have so expectations for him already but I can't allow that. I have to allow him to be the man he wants one day. For today, which is all that matters, I will watch him crawl and decide which toy he wants to play with. I can handle that one today...
God bless ya'll