Originally posted: Monday, July 13, 2009 at 1:47pm
What can I say about the trip to LA? A lot actually. A lot of fun and mayhem all rolled into less than 24 hours.
I flew out of Denver International Airport around 12:30 on Saturday. DIA is a nice airport, not that I’m an expert on airports, I last flew back in 1993 from Seattle to Denver. It has a nice main terminal and then you can take a tram to the three concourses. There are a lot of shops and places to eat and it wasn’t too crowded. On the flight, I was wanting to listen to some music, so I rummaged through my bag to find the mp3 player I borrowed from my daughter. I loaded it with a bunch of music and I was looking forward to 2 hours of 16 Volt, New Slaves and a bunch of others. I couldn’t find it. I thought I lost it, which would mean I would have to spend about $65 to get a new one. I did find later in my other bag once I got to the hotel. I ended up watching TV on the way there. On this particular jet, you can pay $6 to watch 24 channels of Direct TV or $8 to watch a movie. I didn’t like the movie selection so I opted for Direct TV, I was too wired to sleep.
Arrived in LA around 2pm. Talked to Joe on the phone. LAX is weird. There are 7 terminals numbered 1 – 7 and it’s all in a very long line. Joe and his brother, Dave, were in Terminal #1 and I was in #6. After getting our meeting plan in order over the phone, we finally met up at the Hertz car rental. Joe got out, we shook hands and gave each other a hug. Met his brother Dave. Joe is about my height, long brown hair just past his shoulders with a thin mustache and goatee. He is thinner than I am, I’d say he weighs around 140 to 150lbs. His brother Dave is stockier and more built than Joe with short hair, he is a border patrol officer. We get in the car to head out to the hotel. With a little confusion from the GPS app on Joe’s phone and a half hour of driving through LA, we finally get to the hotel which is located about 3 blocks from Hollywood Blvd on Highline Ave. After chatting for awhile and letting Joe’s phone get charged back up we decided to find Bar Sinister, which is where the show was being held. It wasn’t to hard to find. It was only 6 blocks away. It was hard at times walking down Hollywood Blvd. A lot of people on the streets was one, but trying to talk with each other, but there are also hall of fame stars on the ground, so you end walking around with you head down trying to read each one. I recognized quite a few people, but more I didn’t. We found the Bar Sinister easily. There was a few people unloading a van with equipment, but we didn’t recognize anyone so it was back to the hotel to make some calls. After some more chatting and phone calls placed we went out to meet Dom and Neil and a chance to get something to eat before the show.
Neilhatefuture and Dominus Maximus are the hosts for a heavy metal podcast called Power Forge Radio. Neil is at least 6’7″ with short light brown hair and mutton chops. Dom as was described to me as a middle earth dwarf, with the exception that is beard isn’t as long and his hair is black. We need food so we went to a shopping plaza called Highline & Hollywood Center. For those who have never been to an area where space is very tight malls like this and one in San Diego are built up instead of out like they are here in Colorado. We walk up to the 5 floor to find some food. Sushi was thrown around. I hate anything with fish so we settled for some Italian place called Trastevere. Good food, but a little expensive. My plate was about $20. Soda was $2, but they don’t do the free refill thing. After a good meal, conversations and a little Razor Blade Dance Floor on location recording we paid the bill and left. Joe got a call from Davorama of Society Burning saying he was in the area. We get onto Hollywood Blvd, which has since gotten busier. Street performers and look alikes were out and the tourists were taking pictures. There was a Spiderman, a couple of Michael Jacksons, and various movie characters as well as various street performers. We found Dave near Kiss and made the introductions. Dave is bald, wears glasses and is about 5’8”. Nice guy. He was hungry, so we went to a pizza joint across the street. We let Dave eat. More talking, Dave gave Joe some CD’s of Society Burning include demos of the new CD that will be out later this year. Joe recorded an interview with Dave as well as Dave munched away on a very large slice of pepperoni pizza. We decided to have a preshow party and went to find a whole in the wall bar.
The bar we went to was called The Power House and was only ½ a block from where we were. The only thing they had on tap was Pabst’s Blue Ribbon. Joe was happy, they had Heineken in a bottle and I grabbed a Newcastle. We had a toast and more talking. Some of it was recorded some wasn’t. Joe got a call from Liz, a listener to RBDF, and a friend was meeting us there. I decided, since I knew it was going to be a long night and an early departure, not to really drink this night, so the one beer was all I had. Liz and her friend finally arrived, so more introductions, more chatting. The last person to arrive as part of our group was Ron [K]. It was close to show time, so Joe, Dave and I had to get changed into black. You see, the Bar Sinister is a gothic club that has a dress that has a dress code. You must be dressed goth or in black. There is even a little non nudity S&M that goes on as well, but more on the club in a few.
After a quick change, I had to set up a shuttle to the airport back to LAX the next day and then it was out the door back to the Power Station. Ron[K] had left to get a bite to eat. Neil bought him and Dom a 2nd last drink and they did a Hasselhof’ blessing and finished their drinks. All out the door.
I had brought a video camera to document this journey, but really didn’t film all that much. There was just too much going on to step out of what was happening to film. I wanted to be part of the group and not be on the out side. I did bring the camera along with me just in case. I filmed us walking down to the club, which was fun.
There was a line out side of the club, but it wasn’t bad. I had emailed a person there a couple of weeks back to get on the press guest list, which they said I would be. Eric Powell had put Joe on the guest list, which was cool of him to do. Once we got inside, Joe was indeed on the list, I was not. It only cost $10 to get in, but I was a little upset that they didn’t follow through. Oh well. Every one got it anyway. We went around looking at the place. Bar Sinister is a Saturday only club. It shares space with another club called Boardners, which is the restaurant and the club is called B-52’s. There are at least four rooms. There is the live stage area, a DJ area, upstairs from there is the S&M area and I never did get into the last room, so I have no idea what is there. Above the live area is the bands hang out before the show. The live area is small and cozy, which I like. I haven’t been to a large area show in a long time. Most show’s that I have been to are the small ones. It’s a lot more fun and you have a good chance to rub elbows with the bands. The pain in the ass of the room was this cool fountain that has a candle holder in the middle, which had wax dripping all down it. They put dry ice in the water to help set the mood.
All sorts of people were there. I’ve been in the industrial scene for awhile and I have seen many Goths in my time as well. I can pick out who lives it and who is a weekend warrior. Now I haven’t been to a club in about 10 years. When I did go out I really didn’t dress up for show. Jeans and T-shirts were about it. But I could tell who lives it and who doesn’t. I saw a couple of guys who looked to be around 45 to 50 in goth regalia, who to me only did this on the weekend. My be I am more cynical as I get older, but the only time I dress up is when I am on stage for a play, I just never really get into it for a club. In my opinion, I am me and this is me and that is what you should get. If I don’t impress you as I am, why should I lie to you in words or dress in something I am not. But that’s just me.
First on the stage was Cyanotic Vs. Rabbit Junk. I don’t know these guys too well, but they kicked ass. Their set lasted about 40 minutes and we all wish it lasted longer. I’ve hear a little Cyanotic and more from Rabbit Junk so it was cool to have all of us rocking. The stage is small. It sets in the corner of the room so that the drummer is way in the back, along with the keyboard player, everyone else in the band is more up front. The sound quality there is pretty good, but JP Anderson’s vocals were not loud enough through the set. A lot of energy from them. We had heard that the last show they did in San Diego was terrible. The fans there gave about as much noise as a dog farting, which is no fun for such a loud and energetic band. I think we made up for that.
Set is over, gave my opinions to Joe who was recording people’s reaction to what we watched. Up next was Skumlove. They are a cool band from LA. I thought it was crappy though that they were on before 16 Volt. In my opinion it should have been Skumlove first then Cyanotic vs. Rabbit Junk. But as it was, it happened this way. Skumlove was cool, but I have never listened to them before. I kinda got bored with them because I didn’t know any songs. I stepped out to have a smoke in the hall.
California is weird with smoking laws compared to Colorado. In Colorado, you can smoke outside and that’s it. There is a couple of exceptions to it. One is if you have a business where 10% or more of your sales is tobacco products, you can have smoking inside. This means usually cigarette stores. The other place is at DIA. They have a smoking lounge in the main terminal out at least one in each concourse. In California, I think it is up to the business itself. Such as at the hotel, there is no smoking what so ever. If they catch you smoking in the room or on their property- they fine you $300. At the Power Station bar, they had a separate room for smoking. At Bar Sinister, you could smoke almost anywhere, or at least where I was hanging out.
I was feeling tired and it felt good to sit for a few. Across from me was Joe interviewing JP Anderson of Rabbit Junk. Once the interview was done we did some joking around. Joe and I mentioned how it seemed that half of the women we saw on the street were dressed like hookers. At that time there was a woman and a man passing us. As I started to get a look at the woman’s face I then realized it wasn’t a woman. It was convincing from the waist down at least. To each their own. Anyway there was drunk fan talking to JP, telling him that he loves Cyanotic, but didn’t know much about Rabbit Junk. JP said he would sell a RJ cd to him for $5 instead of $10, which the guy eventually did. I don’t think he’ll regret it either.
I went back to find a spot in front of the stage for 16 Volt. The band sans Eric was already on stage tuning up and getting ready. The owner of the bar (who looks like Richard O’Brien) finally got on stage and announced the band. I don’t remember all of the songs that they played, but we loved it. 16 Volt play one brand new song called “Become Your None” which was a slow beat song, but very powerful. They also played a new old song called “Alkali” which was first released as a demo. Joe gave Dom his camera and he took over 200 pictures during all the shows.
Sean Payne got on stage too help sing “The Defect People” and Skum came up to help “The Cut Collector”. Steve White who played guitar was awesome. He knows his instrument, actually they all do, but Steve made a record scratch sound during a couple of songs. Mike Peoples was an awesome bassist, Jason Bazinet was a great drummer and could keep any beat and Scott Robinson of The New Slaves was cool too.
After the show Eric announced that he was going to drink with us. Most people left after that. We stuck around so that Joe could talk to 16 Volt band members. Dom and Neil were the first to leave. Too many beers I think. So we said goodbye to the dwarf and the giant. Next to leave were Liz and Lee. Joe, Ron[K] and I were hanging with Scott Robinson. I think we embarrass him a little when we told him how good his New Slaves CD was. Scott and I sat for awhile waiting for Joe to come back, but he took too long and Scott had to help break down equipment so they could get it loaded into the van. He said this is the most he ever talked to anyone because he is usually shy. Great person to talk to and I hope I can get to do it more. It’s about that time as well that Dave left us too. I found Joe talking to Tim Skold and Mike Peoples. After that Mike told us to hide behind a curtain in the hall because the staff was kicking out all the customers. Eric wanted us to stay, but in the end Joe and I were very tired, and we knew there would be another day to party with Eric. We said our goodbyes to Eric and Scott. Ron[K] gave us a ride back to the hotel. Nice guy, wish I talked with him a bit more to get to know him. I don’t know his music at all some I’m curious to find out more.
Back at the hotel, Joe and I twittered a little more. I set the alarm for 5:50am, which was at 3:15am. I didn’t bother getting under the covers or getting to comfortable. I woke up about 5 minutes before the alarm went off. Got up and went to have a smoke, came back took a shower and got packed up. I woke up Joe to say our goodbyes, and went down to wait for the shuttle to take me to the air port.
On the flight, I slept some. I woke up once drooling in my hand. I was awake enough to drive home. I had to stop at a store to pick up a birthday card for my wife who turned 39 that Sunday. She loves Hoops and Yoyo so I got her a big card with them on it. My uncle and grandma were visiting from Kansas so I went over to see them at my parent’s house. My brother and his wife and my dad’s brother and wife were there as well. I talked with them for awhile, but I started to get sleep and I lay down on the floor. My wife said let’s go home. I slept a little more on the couch. I took my wife out for dinner, and we tried to go shopping for her, but most stores were closed already. I was so tired I felt like I was traveling in car or on a boat. It was time for bed, which was at 8pm.
It was a wonderful time for all. I loved actually meeting Joe and hanging out with him and I defiantly want to do it again. He twittered this morning that there is a show in August in Portland and wanting know if anyone wants to go. I know I’m not. I got lucky this time, but I think my wife would kill me if I went somewhere again without her again. At the show I bought a Rabbit Junk CD, Gears Gone Wild CD and a 16 Volt T-shirt. I got home and found out that I had a package from Streak with a CD I had ordered as well as some bonus items. Thanks Chris.
I had fun, met some really cool people and would do it all again if I could afford it, which I will sometime, but not anytime soon. I’m not going to really recover from the trip until this coming weekend, but that’s alright. I’ll gladly pay that price because it was all worth it.
My final thoughts to all of you, who have read this, support your bands. Go see the shows, buy the merchandise, buy the CD’s from them if you can and don’t get it from torrents. It doesn’t help them at all, and most survive on you and not a record label. Go up to them and at least say hi. I still have a problem doing that with Eric because I have him on this pedestal but I am trying to bring him down to my level in my mind, but that’s just being human. If a person is on the floor and not hiding in the dressing room, that means they don’t mind people coming up to them and chatting. Most want that, so take the opportunity and do it.
16 Volt is going out on tour later this year starting late August, so be on the look out for that and the new CD September 8th.
Duffy Laudick – AKA Duffman
7/23/09 – The video blog is now up and can be viewed here –
There and Back Again Part 1
There and Back Again Part 2