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16 November 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Tour Of The Americas – Part 4

By the time you’re reading this we are back home doing laundry and paying bills, but a tour isn’t over before it’s been documented, now is it? In this last tour report of our Tour Of The Americas, Glen and Riekus provide you with an update about tremendously long drives, short nights and warm days on Brazilian beaches. Enjoy!

The last week of this tour has been rather exhausting when it comes to sleep, drives and late shows. With a 15-hour drive and a stage time at 4:30 AM we’ve managed to establish a few new records in our existence as a band. All in all we are still feeling pretty fresh, but there’s no way we can hide the sunburn we’ve fallen victim to in sunny Brazil. On the rare occasion of a day or an afternoon off, we’ve managed to visit the beach no less than twice. Of course, the locals must have had fun watching a bunch of pale, sun-shy Dutchies dipping into the ocean. And with the sunburn comes the smell of aftersun: 3 guys sweating it out on stage, while smelling like baby-bums. Why does after sun have to smell like babies anyway?

Campeche Beach – Florianopolis

One of the coolest shows we play in Brazil is after those 15 hours. The ride takes us through an area that looks a lot like what we imagine a jungle to be like, and the venue on the campus of Sao Carlos’ University reminds us a lot of the AZ’s (Autonomous Centre) in Germany: loads of concrete and graffiti, and cheap drinks. There’s an extraordinarily good turnout for a Wednesday, and we get a great response from the crowd, which instantly makes us forget about the long trip: however long the ride, when there’s a good show and a good crowd that’s all you will remember.

Palquinho Da UFSCar – Sao Carlos

So the days have passed by quite fast, and we’ve had better responses than we could have wished for. It’s really heart-warming to see how people respond to our shows and thanks to Bandcamp, Youtube, Spotify and other tools of this age we’re amazed to see that people are already familiar with our songs without ever having seen us before. After the shows, a lot of people are asking us to sign autographs or take a picture with them. God knows where those pictures will show up online..

Last Sunday, we played the last show of our tour in Vila Velha (Espirito Santo), a show that we flew in to and out of from Sao Paulo. Somehow, the climate up there was even warmer and more humid than what we had become accustomed to here in Brazil. This resulted in us leaving the stage literally dripping with sweat and even a full night of leaving our clothes to dry on the balcony of our motel couldn’t prevent that we had to throw out a bunch of just-too-filthy tour clothes before going home. And then there was this one pair of sweaty shorts that Glen had to trade with a guy who insisted on having a souvenir of our show. I sure hope he put them in the washer the next day. Oh, Brazil..

Vitoria / Vila Velha – flying in for our last show

As I’m writing this we’re at Sao Paulo International Airport facing another 14 hours of flying home. After a month of touring (8 flights in total) we’re flying back to Amsterdam with a connecting flight in Rome. Meanwhile, we’ve just booked our next flight to Rome for another short tour: 4 shows in Italy at the end of November.

Last stop at Guarulhos International Airport (Sao Paulo) to drop off gear

I feel like we’ve experienced a lot of Brazilian culture over the last 2 weeks. Possibly the greatest advantage of touring like we do is that we are always guided by the locals, who manage to bring us to the coolest places, without us feeling like (or meeting) tourists at all. On the other hand we also need to pay attention while walking around here. We’re not always playing the most fancy neighborhoods and there’s always the risk of being mugged if you get away from the group, being a ‘rich European’ and all.

Another interesting thing is the parties that seem to take place at gas stations around here. Somehow, people just gather at gas stations to enjoy a drink or two before they go out to a bar or a show. This is kind of unheard of for us, as Dutch gas stations stopped selling beer at least 10 years ago. In Novo Hamburgo however, the gas station party is taken to another level: the locals there just bring out their plastic garden chairs and watch a football match on the concrete floor while enjoying a beer together. And why wouldn’t they? There’s beer, a floor, a TV and a bunch of friends. Oh, Brazil!

Abbey Road Bar – Novo Hamburgo

The only thing I regret not doing here is playing some football (or soccer, not hand egg, Americans!). I always enjoy playing a game of ball with friends, and I’ve never seen so many patches of grass and whatever kind of improvised football fields as I’ve seen here. This country has football (excuse me: futebol!) running through its veins, and I’m pretty sure the 2014 World Championship in Brazil will be a great success.

Slums (‘favela’) of Porto Alegre, close to the impressive new Football stadium

All in all we’ve had quite a culture clash here in the last 2 weeks: the pace of life is a lot more laid back than we are used to. People don’t tend to get upset easily and they are a lot more relaxed than anything we’re used too. So much so that our tour manager didn’t even bother bringing a working GPS. “We’ll get there eventually” seems to be the motto here. It took us some time to adjust, especially since we were rather independent on the USA part of this tour with our own car. On the last part of this tour we’ve had to rely on the help of our driver, tour manager and people here, and it’s been so much fun meeting so many new friends here above all!

So now it’s time to get back to ‘normal life’ in the rainy Netherlands. Speaking of a culture clash: by now we’ll probably need some time to adjust to normal life..

Pictures or it didn’t happen!

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15 November 2012 ~ Comments Off on Tour of the Americas – Video 2

Tour of the Americas – Video 2

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10 November 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Tour of the Americas – Part 3

We are currently in Brazil on the last leg of our Tour Of The Americas, covering Canada, the USA and Brazil. In part 3 of our tour report Glen talks about (the lack of) manners in Brazilian traffic, deceased Formula-1 drivers, Brazilian coffee and more.

“Welcome to the jungle!”. These are Julio and Sandro’s welcoming words when picking us up from Guarulhos International Airport at 8am, after an 11-hour overnight flight with quite some turbulence. Whether the guys are fans of Guns N’ Roses we haven’t been able to figure out, but their remark is clearly meant to describe the traffic situation in Sao Paulo: ultimate mayhem! With a temperature of 21 Celsius at 8 am, it is bound to get a lot warmer still. After a bumpy ride through Sao Paulo traffic, we meet up with Uirá at his friend Caio’s apartment. Uirá runs Undermusic records, which released our last record here and he booked this tour for us. We spend the day chilling (well..) at the apartment, and when the night falls and the temperature finally drops below 35 Celsius we take a 12-hour bus ride to Florianopolis, where we pick up our van, gear and driver Nico.

Day 1 in Sao Paulo – 35 degrees Celsius

Having lost at least 7 of my 9 lives in the first 30 minutes on the road, it feels kind of weird to say that you do actually get used to Brazilian traffic. Cursing, sticking your hands out of the window instead of using blinker-lights, using no blinkers at all, cutting in traffic whenever possible, honking until your battery dies or just honking at pretty females; it’s all in the game. The fact that one of the highways around Sao Paulo is named after Formula-1 driver Ayrton Senna (who spent his last living moments on the racing track) says a lot about how people think about driving here…


After spending the first 2 days with Uira as our tour manager and translator, we spend the next few days with only driver Nico. Uira is working at the WROS Festival, which is pretty much the Brazilian version of Groezrock, with Rise Against, A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere, Anti-Flag, Alkaline Trio and Pennywise on the bill. As it turns out, Nico does not speak an awful lot of English, and I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand a single word of Portuguese. Luckily, people here are very physically expressive, so a lot of situations make sense, even if I don’t understand the words. And of course there is google translate, which proves to be quite a good tool for communicating. In all honesty, I thought that people here would speak more or better English than some of them do.

Driver Nico and his van

The surroundings here are just beautiful, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. We’ve been spending most of our time here moving from city to city to play our shows, and trying to catch sleep whenever possible. Some shows don’t even begin before midnight, and having to check out of our hotel at 10 am after a short night is quite the downside to the luxury of actually having a hotel. Sometimes those short nights make you a little tacky, and that comes to the surface easily when you’re spending close to 24 hours a day with the same people.

Streets of Porto Alegre

Something that I really like about Brazil is how people seem to be very relaxed and open, a lot more so than in Europe or the US. For example: driver Nico needs to ask for directions every now and then. He’ll just pull up to the side of the road, asks the first person he sees for directions, makes a little social chit-chat and then drives off again full speed. Everybody takes the time to have a talk and it seems to be the most normal thing to ask for directions like this.

The shows so far have been quite intense. Not a lot of bands from outside Brazil come on tour here, so upon first contact first people can be a little shy. Once the bands play, the dancing, crowd surfing and singing along commences, and all the ice is broken. We don’t understand most of the comments that people shout at us in between songs, which results in a few funny miscommunications. Even though it’s our first time here, people seem to know our music. It’s so cool to see people singing along to our songs, or seeing them buy older albums, because they already own the last one.

Chilling at Tramandai beach

Before going on this tour, we received some tips on how to stay healthy, which we are ignoring completely. A certain band member was scared to death when he needed to get his vaccinations for Brazil (afraid of injections..). Among the advices we received was to closely keep an eye on how your food is prepared and to get rid of the ice cubes in all the drinks. As it turns out, it’s almost impossible to keep an eye on all these things, and the aforementioned band member (who shall remain anonymous) thinks it’s a little exaggerated. In the meantime, none of us have been sick, so we must be doing something right. At almost every gas station they serve free shots of coffee / espresso and it’s delicious! The tea however, brewed with tap water that contains tons of chloride, is not really my ehm.. cup of tea!

Let the last week of this tour begin! We still have a 13-hour drive to go, which is scary enough in itself, and 2 shows on one day in Sao Paulo. I’m sure there will be enough material for another tour report.

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02 November 2012 ~ Comments Off on Tour of the Americas – Video 1

Tour of the Americas – Video 1

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01 November 2012 ~ Comments Off on Tour of the Americas – Part 2

Tour of the Americas – Part 2

We are currently on our ‘tour of the Americas’, covering Canada, the USA and Brazil. In this second episode of our tour report Glen talks about our sight seeing spree around New York City, sleeping in a former porn studio and overnight drives to make it to the next show.

Hurricane Sandy is everywhere in the news these days, and it’s really weird to realize that we were in that exact area only last weekend to play 2 shows in The Big Apple. In the meantime, a lot of friends at Fest who are from the New York area (or those who have connecting flights there) have stranded in Florida due to cancelled flights. At the same time, things couldn’t be more comfortable here in Gainesville: nice and sunny, and definitely way warmer than back home!

Welcome to the Fest

Last week rushed by like it was only one day, pretty much like the first week did. Since our last update we have gone on a sight seeing spree in New York City and we spent 2 nights in a row in The Marine Electric’s apartment in Brooklyn (they’re touring Europe very soon!). Only just before leaving their apartment, we noticed a framed picture in the kitchen which after further examination turned out to be a still from a porn scene that was shot in that same kitchen. Apparently the previous tenant ran a porn studio in there. Another one I can cross off my list of interesting places! The guys luckily did ensure us that they spent a proper few days cleaning out the apartment before they moved in..


Sight seeing on Times Square NYC

Our first overnight drive on this tour is a fact! From Wilmington NC to Gainesville FL, we made the 9-hour drive overnight to be in Gainesville in time for Fest. I never thought that a 300-kilometer driving shift and then another 3 hours of navigating until 8 am would cause a jetlag sort of feeling. Then again, arriving in sunny, warm Florida immediately made up for that.

Overnight drive Wilmington NC – Gainesville FL

While finally arriving in Gainesville is great, it also marks the end of the North American leg of this tour. During the 3 days of The Fest, Gainesville is almost literally flooded with visitors and bands from all over the world, which results in a very unique and comfortable atmosphere. We already met up with some Australian fest-goers up in Massachusetts, met them again at some of the shows down the coast, and now we meet them again at Fest. Everybody seems to be travelling down to Gainesville! Among my personal highlights at Fest are bands like PJ Bond, Restorations, Astpai, RVIVR, Iron Chic and Red City Radio. Our own show at Fest was very cool too. The venue was not sold out, but a lot of people took the time to miss another 10 bands that played the same slot, and they seemed to be very much into our music. Quality over quantity!

Static Radio’s final show at Fest

The other shows we played last week were also pretty well attended. Pretty well attended, especially if you consider that there are so many bands playing the same cities and a lot of people choose to watch those bands at Fest instead of in their own city. After the show in Richmond VA, we were stuck without a place to sleep for the first time on this tour. So far, we’ve been quite lucky to have a place to stay every night, because that is not always the case in the USA. Luckily, promoter Brad (drummer of Worn In Red) introduced us to Tyler, who lives in a very comfortable apartment just around the corner. He gave us a place to stay, treated us to some beers and even cooked up a healthy breakfast the next morning. As if that was not hospitable enough, he also gave me a book from his collection of American novelists to read on the road (Brett Easton Ellis’ “less than zero”). Thanks Tyler, you’re a lifesaver!

Gallery 5 – Richmond VA

As I am writing this, Fest has just finished and we are getting ready to fly out to Brazil tomorrow. To put an end to all the clichés of the rock n’ roll life, this is what we are up to today instead of snorting coke and making out with groupies (whatever that may be): crunching tour statistics, dropping off laundry, editing tour videos, adding subtitles, repacking our bags for the flights, getting rid of stuff we don’t need anymore, sending out postcards, catching up on sleep, cleaning out our rental car and hopefully eating our last slice of pizza for a while to come. And of course, we’re looking forward to what will happen in Brazil.

I said this in a tour blog last year, and I will say it again. There are only 2 kinds of shows: good shows and bad shows. Luckily I feel like I played good show on every night of this tour. The other day, someone came up to me and asked what it is that makes touring so much fun. I couldn’t really come up with an answer right away (probably too tired), but Riekus summarized it very well: the coolest part of touring is meeting so many new and old friends.

There you go, I’m signing off! Time to catch some sleep and get ready for another full day of travelling.

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