ANTIPRODUCT TOUR DIARY
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.
Having been told they better get screwdrivers and not be afraid to use them by their long distanced friend (censored) who knows about (censored) via mobile from a dressing room in Poland at a gig that is feeling awkward to say the least, AntiProduct now must go to work?
April 10th Walbrzych, Poland. Whiskey Bar, Part II
9:45 pm, The Gig
Inevitably show time rolls around and we must face what ever the night has to hold, starting now. We make our way through the chilly night air around to the front of the gig, where, after knocking on the door and being examined by a pair of cold, blue eyes with bushy brows, we enter the venue. Wow, no password required! Promoter SG sees my outline in the darkened doorway before clocking the costume and make-up, and says ?Ah, just like my wife,? meaning we were on time. I?m thinking, not a second longer than we have to, buddy, but instead say, emerging from the shadows, ?Not surprised,? revealing to him A. Product for the first time. Intuitively I know we must slay this place, because if we don?t and show weakness, things could get messy. Our one recourse is?fuck this place up and take it over. Be an unstoppable force.
As we enter, we’re eyeballing them (and there’s about maybe 120 blank faced, angular faces kind of looking at. Say what I will about England, but when you first see an audience here, you know that they came to absolutely lose it!)
We blast into current setr opener "Rules We Rock ‘n’ Roll By", with The Mighty D and Marina locking into a pocket so tight, I got wood. And people immeadiately start moving with some already smiling.
We race right into Turnin’ Me On, and see the room start to warm and crack. The people NOT smiling or moving are REALLY not and view us with eyes of desttrucion (there’s a good cheese-metal title). I start scanning the room more closely getting to know whom we are spending the night with. The guys who were waiting to go (and probably had been for about three months by the jubilation) and were looking for an excuse to party. There was an awesome kid wearing red with a white hat on who was just living it out. He was great as were the pack of kids in The Cradle of Filth shirts bobbing along. These are the embers that will start the fire. You give them total positive feedback and scowl at the so-far, non-participant death metal shirts with utterly unreadable band name logos and pictures of women being impaled, naked and pregnant, on the Devil?s horns and other worse images. Fuck yea, let?s war.
Suddenly, in the breakdown in ?Turnin? Me On,? Papa Mauler, reappears, on stage next to me, and, literally yanking the mic out of my hand, and I can smell the fetid combo of beer, cigarettes, cheap cologne, and coffee on his breath . Why his breath smelled like cologne, we may never know. He starts ?working? the crowd?in Polish. And they are responding. ?OK, please don?t be saying let’s skin the Yankee Scum and then kill and eat the bitches.? I must take control of the situation. This is when he decied to wander over to our Milly and tries to rub her fuckin’ belly?in the middle of the breakdown, wahey. I’m still not sure any of this is happening, the tattoo pierced guy (who ended being our one true confidant and ally in all this as it evolved) takes the mic back from his Boss and hands it back to me with an apologetic smile and tosses his Boss off stage. His Boss was also security.
I?m in the audience for Bungee hanging over the railing separating the standing room from the table. By now we’ve have had about 5 audience members on stage trying to hit on the girls in mid-song, I gotta put some kinda fuckin? line in the sand here. I start (yaaaaawwwwwwnnn) bashing the mic into my lumpy forehead about two feet away from the wide eyed Twins (chicks love this shit and I’m a practicle man) creating a trickle of blood (I won’t bleed from my forehead anymore, I’ve developed some much scar tissue from doing "that" over the last five years) and huge loud bashing sounds thudding out of the pa. Cool, they love that part and, now having blood lust as well as being drunker, I see about 15 people racing towards me. I don’t know what they’re gonna do when they get here, but at least I’ve pulled their fire. I flip backwards over the railing, in some completely accidental good luck, manage to end up, like magic, up right and heading back toward the stage about 20 feet away, in one once in a lifetime graceful moment. Usually, when I try to pull that shit off, I end up on my fuckin’ ass..
Now, all of a sudden the drums stop. Dead. Thinking Greg has totally forgotten a part, he then starts again. Then stops?and starts. And then stops. I?m hanging over the railing separating the standing room from the tables, not knowing what the hell is going on onstage now, which is bathed in smoke anyway. I find out later, Greg and Julian were pulling the Papa M, literally physically off Milena during those quiet times. She?s hot and all, of course, but, dude, get a fuckin? clue.
Right, so I?m editing any mention of sex or sexuality out of this particular gig in my mind because they don?t seem to think of women, perhaps, in the same terms that you or I would. It?s either that or we are actually playing in a prison for prisoners and no one told us. Or my cultural ignorance is unfamiliar with this sort of behaviour but either way, fuck this in the ass with a 2×4. No guitar sex, no orgasm rap, no on stage cunnilingus. Hell, that?s half the gig. Anyone know Dazed and Confused? By now, the crowd is pretty much going ballistic and expressing themselves physically in a ways I’ve seen before. Under any circumstances, in my mind I?m saying, like on a tape loop, ?Do your job. Do your job.? Mid-West work ethic, I guess.
Then, in the audience bit in the extended live version of ?If I Was Orson Welles?? a huge monlith of a guy sort of wanders onstage next to Marina, who?s somewhere around 6 ft anyway, towering massively over her. He gently wraps a white scarf around her neck (and this guy?s been making all kinds of noises throughout the gig including barks), tears his shirt off and dives into the crowd squishing three kids in Manson and Korn shirts in one. Beer takes Goth, I guess. Now, the pierced, tatted western looking baseball cap wearing friend guy walks on stage again, and I?m more watching this and being stunned than playing a gig, gently unwraps the scarf and throws it onto the floor, which Cwej (rhymes with nothing) in turn uses to mop up a spilled drink, being a karmic vessel himself.
So, long story short, this scarf was apparently linked with a Nazi or fascist, right wing group and the big fella belongs to it and now it?s being used, correctly if unwittingly, as a mop, no offence to any fascists that may be reading this. He and a few of his buddies seem a bit miffed by this and start making promises for after the show, I think but I?m not sure. OK, edit set, let?s just zoom right past Clare?s thrash tune ?Drugs Sex Food and Booze? ?cause these guys are all pretty whopped up, we?re way out numbered, we?ve pissed off the promoter/venue owner cum security guys by asking that they stop walking on our stage touching the band and the only part of me that wants to tempt fate here tonight is the same part of me that wants to die. We finish the gig to a pretty awesome if primal response, and did our very best to be as awesome as we could, never wanting to cheese a gig ever, but not without me pulling my mic stand/weapon out a song early to keep one particular guy off Clare?s side of the stage (and praying, near enough literally, please don?t go into the crowd to prove some point, Clare.) I love these fuckin? guys and can?t stand the notion of anything bad happening to them ever. So I?m swinging this thing like a light sabre and he and everyone else knows I?m not playing games anymore. We?ll pretend that this hasn?t gotten out of hand, but you and I both know what really happened that night.
We don?t even change outta stage gear this night. We?re still alive and everyone here seems a bit stunned at seeing AP in full-flight despite whatever they may or may not be thinking. The invisibility bit seems to have worked, seeing them stunned and smiling by the unveiling of our super-hero alter egos. I meet as many of the ?kids? as possible and see some that are pretty freaked out, unable to make eye contact and a little embarrassed looking. The gig did have an air of malevolence to it. Really dark and sinister in a way. Like in the old days. We used this temperament as the fuel to get the party started. Even the big fascist dude had changed his mind and gotten it all out of his system during Blitzkrieg Bop and all that other racket at the end. Not like we?re buddies now, but he didn?t just resort to violence like he was threatening. Or seemed to be.
In the end, I felt like we cheated the people that were genuinely there to be rocked and had no idea of the pre-gig goings on. I hate that feeling because after a show when I meet people who were at the gig, that is one of my favourite things about being a travelling musician. Having drunken people from different countries all over the world spit on the soft part of my neck for 45 minutes while they tell me how they have a band and they know the original bass player from Wykkyd Teazzer (which, incidentally was me). Actually, finding out what makes you tick and who you are. Seeing we?re not different even though we live different lives in disparate parts of the planet. Also, the hot Polish Twins approach me as the suave and stage worthy A. Product, with an innocence in their eyes that let me know they were thinking evil, and said ?We want you to have us. Right now, please in your big Red van. Yes, ok?? I?m like, "Well it?ll be a little crowded with all the gang in there but what the hell?" We?re now all three engaged but I think they may be using me for their green cards. NAH!
1:15 am, The Money
We?re packed and ready to go in such record time I should bonus the crew if they can ever top it. NAH! As we?re doing the idiot check, and find a few, I see a guy I recognise from load-in, who was part of the initial gang, being chucked out head first, his face being used to press the emergency exit bars on the two orange doors leading to the cement all over everything court yard. ?So, good friend of yours?? I ask Promoter SG hinting it was business time with my posture. He presses a stack of bills into my hand that?s all 1000s and 400s and 200s and I?m like, Leon (their agent-Ed) way to go, dude. We?re rich. ?Ees much money,? we wink knowingly at each other. ?Almost $150, for you 9 people. Capitaleessm, ees goud.?
Just to test the waters of weirdness and see where we stand with him, because remember, NOW he?s meant to provide our lodging tonight and everything so far apart form the performance itself has been ?Leave this place now. Flee!? I ask for a glass of red wine. ?No. Ees clozt.? comes the curt response. I don?t even actually think of mentioning the non-existent rider as I know we?ve got code words in place already. ?Plan A? is we go check out his digs and make our decisions based on how many terrorists we find hiding there intent on our blood and flesh. ?Plan B? is, ladies and gentleman, the shit has hit the fan and we?re outta here.
Me: ?Thanks for the money. So were is this hotel?? Him: ?I don?t know. Very far. You follow boys.?
"Follow" as in (censored)’s advice about do NOT follow anyone anywhere? By ?boys,? of course he meant the support band that we?ve been stand offish toward to say the least. More good news. Once I?m back outside with the van with my billion drachmas or whatever these are, past the bouncers beating up three guys that were still, bloodied and unbowed, trying to get in, every thing about me musta said ?Plan B? as I see 8 people near enough dive into the van and be more ready to go in a shorter time than the space-time continuum should allow.
My phone rings. It?s (censored)! The Promoter SG leaves the building with a slight nod to the bouncer not punching people. He returns the nod. I put the phone to my ear.
Me: (censored)! How the hell are you?
(censored): Can you talk?
Me: But can I?
(censored): Did you get the screwdrivers?
Me: (grabbing Promoter SG) Hey, I got someone that wants to say hi to you.
PSG: (nods, nods, shakes his head, makes a frown and looks me in the eyes, shakes his head again, looks me square in the eyes with a jolt, smiling passes phone back.)
Me: So what happened there?
(censored): Oh I just let him know you and I are friends and that I?ll see him when I?m in Poland.
Me: He?s being very nice.
(censored): Don?t lose the screwdrivers yet. Gotta go.
As I have no alternate lodging and it?s 2 am, we say goodbye to our phantom promoter friend, thinking thank God he’s gone, and pray Plan A will work in the end. We were lost trying to get here in daylight (and the only people we know in this part of the world have either freaked us out or are back the other way) so I assume a quick flight wouldn?t be any easier at night. I ask the ?boys? what the plan is. ?Follow us. It?s very dark, in woods where we go. Stay close. We don?t like go there very much,? they say climbing into their tour station wagon, which lilts slightly forward and to the right. And we begin to follow them into the pitch and desolate night not realising our adventure was only beginning?
End of Part II
Part III, The Drive Through Hell