Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stand Up, Fight Back (Euro tour with xTrue Naturex): Malmo, SE / Kobenhavn, DK / Fredericia, DK / Kiel, DE / Munster, DE / Bremen, DE

"sons are like birds, flying upward over the mountain." -Iron & Wine

So it's been some time since I've updated this, I apologize. I hate it because now I have to recap a bunch of days and I'm not sure if I'll remember everything. I'll try my best.

There are a lot of hipsters in Sweden. I want to start off with that. It was crazy though, right when we got out of the car literally everyone had a flat-brimmed hat, or an American Apparel hoodie (I should talk), or a shirt with big, loud stripes on it. A bit overwhelming. but, the kid who booked us the show was from san diego, and apparently was living there the same time that I was and we both volunteered at the same venue. How did we not meet? As strange as it was to be staying with an American in Sweden, it was still a fun day filled with food, knucks and a totally rad skatepark. also, the day of our arrival we got to take the ferry over from Germany which I was REALLY excited about. and I seemed to be the only one that was pumped about it after I announced at the show that we "rode a boat" that day and everyone gave me a blank stare. eh whatever.

Kobenhavn (Copenhagen) was fun as well. We played in yet another massive squat, but this one had a pretty recent and amazing story. The city evicted the tenants from the original squat that had been there for several years, so people all across the city went nuts. Eventually so much shit got fucked up that the city agreed it would be cheaper just to GIVE them a house, so they ended up with this massive building (where again we got our own band hotel)!. The whole place is already covered with graffiti, and the words of one local politician that ended up sprayed on the wall says it all: "the cops have completely lost control of this part of the city." fuck yeah.

Drove off of the island where Kobenhavn is located out to Fredericia, DK for our show at a youth center. Again, best thing about this place - they had a skatepark in their parking lot! Granted the wood was weathered, tattered, and everything seem to be falling apart and wobbling whenever you'd go over it... but still! A decent amount of people showed up, and apparently some tough guys that were in attendance wanted to jump me after the show for talking shit on Terror and Throwdown. it never happened though, and even if it did it would still be laughable. I mean, I grew up in Socal listening to and seeing those bands, maybe if anyone has the right to be angry about this sexist and homophobic tough guy hardcore 'movement' surely it must be me? Another interesting part of the night is when we found out the kid we were supposed to be staying with is a butcher. not even kidding, his job is to hack up dead animals. He told us openly at the beginning of the night, and even kind of laughed about it. Keegan had a long talk with him, because sometimes I'm not good at giving people criticism without yelling, and we all decided that we should drive down to Kiel, DE that night instead of staying with him. I gave kind of a long speech during my set about the roles people play in animal abuse, and how any job involving such is a contribution to the torture, rape and eventual murder of those beings. He seemed to understand, and in my opinion has a lot to think about and consider. We left that night on good terms though I think.

Woke up bright and early in Kiel the next morning for a demonstration against speciesism and animal abuse. A pretty good turnout - around 200 people - and the idea of the demo was a pretty good one as well. Started with a massive march from the Hauptbanhoff (central train station) and then split off inside a mall for groups to do smaller demos in front of Fur (fleisch), Leather (Leder) and other similar shops. It was my first experience with a German AR demo, and there was a car driving around with speakers on the roof blasting music, a vegan hip hop artists performed, and even Keegan and I had to play a couple songs near the end of the day. It was like all those videos I've seen on youtube but happening in real life! Pretty great actually. After the demonstration the march led us out of the mall, past the train station and literally DIRECTLY into the venue where Keegan and I were playing that night. I couldn't believe it! it was so funny to see this massive animal rights march being escorted by the police just collectively walk straight into a building to see us play! Not everyone stayed around though, which was understandable because we were all so tired. The show was the same - played songs, made some more awkward jokes, no one laughed etc. etc.

Again had to wake up super early to drive out to Munster, DE for a vegan brunch and matinee show. Sadly there was literally nothing gluten free to eat, save some chocolate pudding but I've had way too much sugar on this tour as it is. Played our show around 3 pm, and was actually nice to end while it was still daylight out. Finally watched EDGE the movie (and saw the back of my head - yeah!) which was pretty awesome. check it out! The next day we spent in a sunny park, where I read my Keith Mann book "From Dust till Dawn" for several hours, and then we headed out.

Finally finished Keith Mann's book while we were in Bremen, DE (650 pages in 3 weeks!) and I felt pretty accomplished. the book was great as well, check it out here. The show was about the same - food, music, nice kids etc. you've read it a million times and I'm sure it's getting old haha. After the show we drove back to Emmen and are currently enjoying our day off here at the bank squat. I'm sure MDG is glad to be home, in fact I know he is because he and his partner were embracing each other so tightly last night, even when he was putting in the password to the WIFI for me!

Just one more week before I'm back in the US again. Kind of wishing the tour ended here in Emmen to be honest, because coming back here kind of feels climactic. but, we have another 4 shows in Holland before we get to leave. I'll finish this strong, and then come home and do nothing for at least a week.

for love and liberation,
mike xvx

1 comment:

JⒺssica said...

I want to read Dusk Till Dawn eventually :)