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AntiProduct Tour Diary – Entry #3, 5/30/05

 

ANTIPRODUCT TOUR DIARY

by A.Product

AntiProduct has just been on tour in Europe, including some former Eastern Block countries! They’re off the road now, but that has only given frontman A.Product (aka former Life Sex & Death guitarist Alex Kane) time to collect his hazy thoughts and recount them just for you! Whenever he has an update, Mr Product will give us tales from the grottos, gypsy camps and gulags that dared to book AntiProduct on their recent tour.

PART THREE

Hey dudes and dudesesses (dudesses?!? dudessi?!) we’re back. Sorry for the long delay (I know you wait for these reports with baited breath…) but the mighty AntiProduct has been recording it’s own (check www.antiproduct.com for full story and pics), totally fucked up version of "Good Vibrations" along with some more new tracks with our new drummer, (who you guys still probably know more than, fuck, any group of people anywhere else in the world if you think about it) one Mr. Greg Dangelo, or GD3 as he has now been christened. Greg’s been in some pretty big outfits (bands, too) and after filling in for us on the Euro tour chronicled here-in, we’ve managed to coerce him into being our full-time drummer having broken our previous one beyond repair, which is only our side of the story.

Anyway, speaking of White Lion, apparently the drummer/tour manager of the current incarnation has called me a fag in his tour diary up here on the hallowed cyber walls of this venerable site (shit, who ever thought you’d hear those words together, like jumbo shrimp). Now while I’m sure he was only testing the waters to ask me out still… it seems a bit unnecessary to out me in the 2005 tour diary of Metal Sludge’s Tramp’s White Lion’s "current drummer"/Tour Manager’s diary as they pull into Schaumberg, Ill., to play in a bowling alley (albeit packed). At the end of the day, we must resign ourselves to the fact that Spinal Tap is actually our lot, babe. Keeps things in priority.

April 9, Waldkirchen, Ajz Dorftrottel

So, we wake up at about 10:30 to hear Billy Idol blasting in the bar area. Someone must have left a cassette in the stereo, I’m thinking. Me and Greg groggily make our way outta the room we were sleeping in (not naked, current drummer of Tramp’s White Lion); he to the toilet to wash my sperm off his hands and me to the bar area to check on the rest of the gang relegated to the bar sleeping quarters. I find the bar staff shaved and showered (they were still drinking when we went to sleep at 6:30 am) and SERVING fuckin’ drinks to the same shaved and showered customers that were there last night/this morning. And that’s just the women. Talk about dedication. I half expected to see Hampi and heees leeedddle freeeeend in bondage gear smiling through the smoky sunlight hand cuffed to the bar.

Today’s Greg’s day to win the Break Kerry, our driver/merch chick pool. Lady Clare, fuckin’ selfish bitch that she is, has opted for the tree-hugging role of encouraging and welcoming Kerry. Where’s the fun in that? Cwej, our first time roadie, is so busy trying to figure out ways of being useful and on the money that he’s missed the whole evil conspiracy unfolding all around him. Let’s put it this way. If we were to be ever forced to resort to cannibalism, these two would be the first to be eaten, without question. Backing up still is a major problem as Greg gleefully watches Kerry back into the concrete, communist-friendly designed former bird wading pond just out of eyesight of her mirror, knocking it over and smashing it to dust. Julian, our crew chief and surrogate Dad for this journey, is being very uncharacteristically supportive towards Kerry. Usually, he’d be pointing and laughing by now. I fume as I notice the slight gray scratch in the back of the van.

Greg’s happy, I’m pissed off, Julian’s falling in love, Clare’s being nurturing, Cwej’s got his flashlight out shining it on the van (in daylight), Milena’s on the phone, Mono is shocked and laughing, Marina hasn’t yet realised there’s been an accident, and Kerry, I shit you not, she’s decided now to take a nap in the front seat. WHAT THE FUUUCK!?!?! Greg’s gonna win the pool fer sure. I very gently nudge her awake, not sure as to whether Kerry is carrying and just how freaked out she’s becoming, and suggest that maybe Julian should drive for a little while. She snaps to attention behind the wheel and glowers at me, very steadily and in one breath announcing, "No, I’m gonna drive,? with a slight smile/grimace that turned of the corners of her mouth in crooked little horns. Chilling, actually.

We’ve been told that tonight’s gig is at a commune inhabited by vegan-hard core punks and we’ll be supporting the local hardcore heroes, Lousy. Perfect, just our audience. They’re sure to love some fun and sexy Abba Metal. As there’s still no DVD player, I’m finding myself feeling a bit claustrophobic without something to take my mind away. I?m constantly ruminating on ways to get this fucking thing fixed and must find the time to call the van?s English owner and throw an American bitch fit about not getting what I paid for, etc.

The journey to the enclave (and yea, by now we?ve pretty much whipped our DVD less minds into a frenzy imaging that they?re all Nazis or we?re gonna get drugged and not to take anything that?s offered us. Manson-family style nightmares emerging from every orafice as our imaginations run wild.) is a never ending upward spiral, which really sucks when your driver doesn?t drive stick too good. 45 minutes, an hour, an hour and a half, up and up and shuttery shift and up and rolling back a bit, and jar and up and up. Past homes less and less Soviet austere and more and more decorated and colourful. Past trees, and deeper and deeper into a forest. Perfect. Right about now I?m praying my German is good enough that I didn?t misunderstand ?dinner is provided? with ?kill and eat you.? Up and jar and at last?a rickety, huge, duct taped together farm. Our destiny awaits.

We consider flight but as it would be all downhill backwards, there being nowhere to turn around for miles, we decide I should go in first, by myself, and see what?s inside the huge wooden doorway past the pond with ducks and children?s toys. Mustering all my fearless leader courage, I push the old door open (which makes the sound like in the movies before the scene with the jolt) to venture into a pitch black hallway where I can just barely see a poster of a monkey with it?s brains exposed. Great. Let?s start there and find the laboratory right away. Get this part of the loooooong night over with. There?s about 15 of ?em on the other side of the monkey brain door, all with multi-colored hair and mohwaks. It looks like I?ve wandered into a Discharge gig from back in the day. At least I got goofy hair, I?m thinking. And they?re all smokin? like fuckin? death row inmates. Everywhere there?s pictures of animals in various states of torture and I realise that these guys are militant animal rights activists…in East Germany. Where do you apply for that kinda job? They welcome me with hand shakes and open, slightly worn faces. Their Leader sports a multi-colored Mohawk and then I get that the punk fashion I?m seeing is from the late 80?s, which is from when these only relatively recently Westernised people are emulating the fashions. Hence the coolness of Billy Idol.

I?m offered booze, which is warm, and I down despite any momentary hesitations of drugging suspicions and feel immediately welcomed. I report this to the expectant and eagerly innocent eyes of the gang in the van and they seem slightly relieved. Marina now realises we had an accident early today.

The load in sees the van need backing through a tight arch, backwards down a hill, around a tree and into a garage. Greg is promising the first round, if we live through tonight, he?s so sure this is it for Kerry. And then, she kicks the ass of this thing, with two tons of gear in the back, like Mario Andretti delivering papers. I believe I see Julian nibbling Kerry?s ear, Milena?s on the phone, Mono?s jaw is agape, Clare is smiling at me, I?m pissed off because there?s nothing to be pissed off about, Marina wonders where she is and Cwej has his flashlight out helping her look.

We drop our bags in the communal room, where snoring tensions are beginning to mount, and head downstairs to the venue. Kerry is eyeing the people who live here a little suspiciously; either that or she just has a crazed glint in her eye always. To get to the ?venue,? which ends up being a cave lighted by rope lights made of plastic stars with a broken stereo for a pa and two full bars, you havta go into the basement of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Blair Witch at the end. Greg videoing our descent down these bent and gnarled old-old-old school stairs into a dank and dusty, basically, burial ground for extra parts of your house you don?t need anymore. As it?s leading to a cave, this is basically the tunnel leading to a cave and there are wooden boards for paths. We?re getting a few looks from people here and there. Apparently people live down here. The stage ends up being big enough for Greg?s drums and a guitar stand but we make it work. We plug in ?the light show? just to see if we?ll blow the power in the cave once the PA is on. Sound check is fine with us working on ?Arms Around the World? with Greg and Clare?s thrash tune, ?Drugs, Sex Food And Booze.? Always sounds good at sound check. The headliners, called Lousy, are local hardcore legends and this is their last gig ever. It?s imagined to be sold out, which?ll end up being 200 people. Still, unknown, ?different? rock ?n? roll band supports local legends at their homecoming break up gig sounds like a pretty unmaleable scenario. Tough crowd, I wonder.

We get fed an awesome, very vegetarian home cooked meal before the show and begin to prepare. It?s hilarious how these super hero transformations can and are occurring in more and more surreal places. Like, I won?t be surprised the day we?re putting our stage gear on in a morgue. No biggy. By now one of us, one of the newer ones I?m guessing, has put a big sign on the door of our bedroom, which housed the only downstairs toilet in these guy?s house, ?AntiProduct Only-No Smoking.? So, you invite me to your house and I march in and put a sign on the guest bedroom, ?Me Only-This is my part of your house and I call the shots around here.? You?d like that, huh? Might even say something about it to me. These guys didn?t say shit. I put on my powers of invisibility and got the fuckin? sign down. I see Kerry napping, sitting up right at the kitchen table, and figure out what?s up.

We do our pre-gig huddle in the tunnel to the cave, which is now more populated than before in every nook and cranny, and getting real drunk to boot, and I decide to wear my wallet on stage tonight. Who the fuck knows? And there are hundreds of ?em now. We get on stage and immediately a room full of 200+ punks and skins and freaks and Goths fall totally dead silent as one. ?Don?t know what to make of this,? I?m thinking. We blast into ?Rules? at double tempo and make this tiny cave shutter arena rock style. Who cares, we?re going for it. A little hostility but they still haven?t made up their minds. By Bungee a few girls (hot fuckin? Mohawk punk girls with awesome bodies, no shit) are dancing. Every one is nodding their heads if not clapping. By now, Greg has hypnotised most of the room. We shift up a gear into Orson and I?m beginning to feel like we got ?em. Arms is next but if we fuck it up, we lose all the inertia and momentum we?re building. That?s how it works. The price for being in the zone is staying in the zone. And even a musician as good as Greg can struggle with something written to be deliberately twisted but c?mon , bro, let?s nail this. And we do! By Clare?s showpiece Drugs, we got a mosh pit and crowd surfing so Blitzkrieg Bop pretty much left that place irrevocably AP?d. No one saw it coming and afterwards, everyone seemed a bit dazed and unable to explain what had just happened. We like it like that. Whammy!

We actually sold some merch here at the commune in the cave on the farm (you can get you own AP merch from www.antiproduct.com and join their current Summer sale.-Ed.). Remember, we?re in Eastern Germany here and about as far from Chicago, Ill, my hometown, as I?d ever imagined I?d be. Headliners Lousy end up being anything but and now wear much different expressions than those from when they were watching us play earlier. I had to chase the singer, an East German Punk Rocker dressed as Elvis, who had forgotten his set list in the previously quarantined toilet.

There were no problems and the night, like this entry, wore on and on forever. The complete passion that these guys, including the people who were originally kinda eyeing us like, ?What?s this bullshit all about?? at first were now talking passionately about their hatred of Nazis and how we as people are treated on a planet run not by ourselves. You find out in American that the two languages they were taught as children were Russian and German. I?m wearing an Anti-Nazi button, feeling way at home being able to wear it and being told that even the Swastika with a red line through it is illegal. This is all in the Night of the Living dead basement. It?s still a sweaty and populated dance bar, the venue, and I see Cwej on stage with a longhaired Goth buddy literally communicating through air-guitar and I feel for the world. No other common language. Tell me that?s not awesome! It looks to me as though the 9 or so people dancing on stage next to Cwej and his buddy seem like this may be their first time dancing on this stage. Cwej was the first one up? That?s cool in the big scheme.

Then it gets weird, the Leader (it?s not a commune as it turns out, they?re just people who live together on this farm and lead separate lives but enjoy each other?s company) pulls me aside and needs to talk to me. I?m like, ?Ok, here goes.? ?Tomorrow you visit Poland, ja?? he says. ?Si,? I say. ?You must be very careful, ? pulling my ear closer to his face, ?In Poland the sparrow;?s wings flutter more quietly. Shhhhh!? and suddenly pushed me back. He then reaches in his pocket and pulls out a few hundred Euros saying, ?Take this.? Me, ?Sorry? You paid us already.? Him, ?We really like you guys. Have some more money.? Can you imagine? I felt so humbled; I put all the silverware I?d stolen back. By seven in the morning, all but about maybe 11 of us had either died or were afraid of daylight or something. We were sitting around and one more went down badly. A shaven headed kid of about 20. He never knew what hit him. Out like a light and sleeping like a baby ready for torture time.. Bwahahahahaha!. We?re all pretty fuckin? wasted and as tight as strangers can get tight on a moments notice, so of course, the Chicago guy suggests we draw in indelible markers on the down boy?s (see what I did there?) shaved head and face. We marked this poor kid up so bad over the course of 20-30 minutes he looked like a road map of LA in 2046. Naturally, we did actually look him straight in the face as we handed him a mug of warm tea to welcome him to the waking hours a Allowing for more time to be giggled at by nine people in your face right after you wake up hung over..

I make one more round of the complex to watch the sun come up and see what?s going on. There?s still music in the cave with one couple squatting against a wall smoking a joint and several others who?s will to move didn?t out last their will to sleep. I think its Sisters of Mercy playing. And of course Cwej, still playing air-guitar and sweating like fountain. Telling me how he almost could have been with a girl but she puked and passed out instead and how he hadn?t seen Julian or Kerry ever since we broke down the gear. Milena and Marina are asleep as is Greg but he?s snoring. Mono?s missing. I brush my teeth and think, fuck, that?s a lot more than a day?s worth. I fall asleep to GBH at full bore on the boom box (cassette). The kid just realised who had drawn on him and was thanking me in kind. Nice.

I fall asleep wondering what The Leader had meant when he made that comment about Poland and sparrows earlier?

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