11/7 Salt Lake City, UT
I woke up that morning in a Target parking lot, dragged my ass out of the van and got some snacks from the store. One thing I've really worked on for this tour has been changing my diet. As you can probably guess, we don't live the healthiest of lifestyles. Between binge drinking, unpredictable sleeping / hygiene opportunities, crazy weather / altitude changes, and everything else, it's pretty tough to stay healthy on tour. Dr. Philthy had been pulling marathon drives for most of the tour with a constant stuffy nose, and we are constantly sore and tired. Not to whine, but just to kind of give you an idea of what goes on. For me personally, I've always had a lot of digestion problems and have been bemoaning my inability to fit into my original Sodom “Obsessed By Cruelty” shirt for some time now, so I decided to change my diet. Hey, it's way easier than not drinking. I've been eating about 85% vegetarian on this tour, vegan when I can. Meat only when it's really good / unusual or I'm incredibly hungover. It's been working. I've had less intense hangovers, fewer digestive issues and have been generally been feeling better. Furthermore Barney from Napalm, who is vegan, turned me onto an app called Happy Cow that helps you find vegan / veggie food anywhere on the planet. Pretty badass. Anyway, I digress. The point is that my breakfast was an apple and one of those Kind bars. Those things are awesome. We headed into town after trying to figure out how to mount the two motorized spinning saw blades we picked up in Vermont and picking up our erstwhile merch guy / tour manager Kevin Stewart-Panko from the airport. Tonight's show was with Skeletonwitch, Havok and Mutilation Rites, so we were stoked. The turnout was pretty good for SLC, but as we were playing, we quickly realized that it was not a Death Metal kind of crowd at all. Both us and Mutilation Rites seemed to generate more confusion than excitement amongst the audience. Luckily, we were able to avoid the watered down Mormon beer and have a good time hanging out with our friends in Havok and Skeletonwitch, as well as get to know the Mutilation Rites dudes as well. We stayed at a house in town and things got pretty ridiculous. The 48 beers we bought from the store were slain pretty quickly, as well as some Evan Williams and some other stuff that I can't exactly remember at the moment. We headed to the van bleary-eyed that morning and found ourselves in a winter wonderland. To many of you guys reading, that may not be interesting at all, but to a bunch of California dudes, there's a definite novelty factor there.
11/8 Boise, ID
Every tour has that one show that you expect to be underwhelmed by and you're right. That was Boise. The show we did there a while back with Goatwhore was very middling, but fun, and we knew that tonight would not be a night of rock 'n roll triumph. We did however have a good time playing for the handful of people that made it out, and they were clearly stoked on the show. We didn't stick around for too long as the ride to Seattle might be fraught with snow as well, and being from California, we try to avoid driving in snow as much as we can. The drive proved to be a bit nerve-wracking and very fucking cold, but manageable.
11/9 Seattle, WA
This show was a combined show, pairing Municipal Waste, Napalm Death, and ourselves with the Gwar / Devildriver / Cancer Bats tour, which meant an early load-in, but our intrepid pilot, Dr. Philthy not only made it with time to spare but also found time to visit the town where one of his favorite TV shows, “Northern Exposure” was filmed. Of course, the rest of slept through all that completely. Seeing the Gwar stage setup was pretty amazing and inspiring. There is a lot of production that goes into a show that elaborate, and it was neat to see the behind-the-scenes. As much as we try to provide entertainment along with the music (?) we play, it's not even in the same universe as what those guys do night after night. Seattle is always fun and a good show, and this one was no exception. We went on right before Cancer Bats and had the rest of the night to get into trouble. We hung out with our agent, Dan Rozenblum and his charming wife, as well as some friends from Skarp and Scotty from Tank Crimes Records who joined the tour for the West Coast dates. After a certain point, I lost large chunks of what happened. I know we went to a bar across the street where a bunch of Husky fans were partying after the game. Rob passed out on the floor of the bar, which did not go over well with the bouncers. The bouncers' displeasure did not go over well with Mike Hamilton, but luckily for all, a confrontation was narrowly avoided. We left the bar, and then went on Napalm's bus for a drink or two... I'm sure there was more retardation throughout the night but I'm at a loss as to the details. Rob and Bud hung out with the Gwar guys a bit, which I'm sure was cool. I passed out at some point, which is probably best for everyone.
Gwar Props in Seattle. Sorry, my new phone's camera has no flash.
November 11, Portland OR
I always like to do the West Coast from South to North, because the party in Seattle is always a corker. Usually if you route your tour that way, you'll have a day off between Seattle and Denver or wherever you're going to recuperate. This tour was routed North to South (which is how it's been the last two times we've been around those parts) so that usually means Portland gets the hangover show. This one wasn't too bad though. Plus, I finally got to see Wehrmacht, a band I've listened to for years and years. They sounded great and gave me a huge shot of energy for our set, which went down really well. We got to hang out with the Relapse crew and some old friends, so that made the night awesome. Matt Jacobson, founder of Relapse, now owns a couple of kick ass pizza parlors in PDX called Sizzle Pie and he brought a few pies to the show which were delicious as always. We hopped in the van to prepare for the long and potentially treacherous drive to Oakland the next day.
November 12, Oakland, CA
I love playing in the Bay Area. Even though I haven't lived there in a few years, it will always be my hometown. I was especially proud that the biggest turnout of the entire tour was in Oakland – over 940 people came out on a Monday night – and that's not counting the 100+ guests of the tour package. The line was around two blocks, and the Metro was a bit understaffed to handle it, which resulted in our friends in Impaled playing to not nearly as many people as they should have been. Attitude Adjustment was awesome, another band I've been waiting years to see, and then it was our turn. I have to admit to a certain amount of satisfaction in saying “We're Exhumed from fucking San Jose” and people actually know where that is and cheer. The set went over great, and kids were stagediving all over the place. For the closer, “The Matter of Splatter” which we segued into our cover of Siege's “Drop Dead” I ended up getting hit in the face by the microphone, which actually split my lip. I have a history of trying to be too rock 'n roll about things and it not having good results. I used to have really straight teeth until I decided to not take my wisdom teeth out, for example, now my bottom teeth look like a British person's. This time I figured I should really spring for a trip to the hospital.
Exhumed past / present - Ross Sewage, Rob "Body Bag" Babcock, Yours Truly, and Derrel Houdashelt
I got in the car with our original second guitar player, Derrel Houdashelt and headed to the Alamdea Hospital where I eventually got 7 stitches in my face. It was not really all that fun, but at least I won't be getting any uglier. Needless to say with the hospital action, I missed the rest of the show, but I'm sure it was amazing. Luckily, Eli's Mile High club was hospitable enough to let us all after-party there, where we drank well past closing time with a bunch of familiar faces. Needing to drink with a straw was a great excuse to keep ordering Johnnie Walker on the rocks, and having my face busted up was a great incentive for people to buy me drinks. Talk about silver lining! We headed for Southern California sauced and happy, looking forward to seeing more old friends for shenanigans and stupidity.
Check out my rad face.
November 13, Santa Ana, CA
We drove straight past LA and on to Orange County for a show with my favorite Death / Grind band ever, Repulsion. As if a bill with Municipal Waste and Napalm Death wasn't awesome enough. Despite my swollen mouth, spirits were high when I woke up in Burbank. We finished the rest of the drive and compiled our extensive guest list at the Observatory. It was awesome to see Gordon Conrad (MW's manager, and former VP of operations at Relapse for like, ever), especially since he's such a salty east coast dude and so out of his element out west. He seemed more relaxed than I've seen him in years which was nice. I hung out for most of the night with Col and Marissa from Repulsion as well as some of the Gravehill dudes, our old drummer Danny Walker, and tons of others. I didn't even see all the people we had on the guest list – it was a pretty crazy night. We grabbed some beer and crashed at Col and Marissa's hotel – thanks by the way! The drive from Santa Ana to LA was very brief and easy the following day so we proceeded to get plowed and obnoxious. As usual.
|Two of my favorite people, Col Jones (Repulsion,Dekapitator, Mortuous. ex-Exhumed) and Mike Abominator (Gravehill, ex-Gasp, etc)|
November 14, Hollywood, CA
Like I said, we had plenty of time to kill before the show. We headed to Amoeba, and I finally got some records I'd been dying to get- new stuff from Stars, Guided By Voices, Hammock, and The X-X. Sorry, that's about as non-metal as it gets, but that's mostly what I listen to. Anyway... after some record shopping, we had lunch and headed down the strip to the House Of Blues. Between Summer Slaughter and Death To All, this was my third time that year in that venue, and I still keep getting lost. At least the decent food served at HOB offsets the overpriced drinks, totally contrived atmosphere and cheeseball LA-ness of the place. That and the kids being awesome. My amp had been continually giving me problems for a couple of weeks, and my old friend Leon del Muerte was kind enough to loan me his backup amp for the rest of the tour, a solid state Line 6 which doesn't have the greatest tone in the world, but is incredibly durable and dependable. That was a big relief. The show was killer and we were surrounded by old friends. Another friend, Joel from Toxic Holocaust hopped on the Municipal Waste bus in LA for a few days of the tour. It was good to get to see him again and hang out a bit. Once again, our intrepid agent Dan Rozenblum was there and we decided to crash his posh hotel at the Beverly Hilton, drink his minibar, and be total dicks until about 7am. We had the next day off, so what the heck?
November 15, Day Off
The Municipal Waste dudes had talked to us about heading to a Jimmy Kimmel taping with them on our day off, and we figured it would be fun. We were all still pretty hungover by the time we got to the studio (right across from Mann's Chinese Theater) in Hollywood, but once Mel Brooks, that night's guest came out, I was beyond fucking pumped! The guy that created Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, and High Anxiety – right there in the same studio! He was funny, charming, engaging and sharp as a tack despite being 86 years old. After the show, we grabbed food and drinks at Hooters and I remembered why I never ever eat there and want to resume doing that. Despite that, it was a good fucking time. Then we all cabbed it over to the Comedy Store for some stand-up. We were repeatedly called out by the comedians – one dude called our group “Biker Rapists On Vacation” which is an excellent movie title that I've already copyrighted. I'll keep you posted on the script. Anyway, we topped it off with a couple of drinks at the Rainbow and grabbed a cab back to the van to head to Phoenix.
November 16, Tempe AZ
We arrived at Ryan Butler's home in the morning, and it felt like as close as we would get to being home for quite some time. After recording “Necrocracy” there, I've spent more time at his place in the last few months than I have at my own house. We took some quick showers and power naps and then headed to Tempe (basically a district in Phoenix) for what would turn out to be one of the strongest shows of the tour. Arizona is hit and miss for us it seems, but this night was definitely a hit. We played to a packed house of manic stage-divers, got shitfaced with a ton of friends, and I didn't eat anyone's hat. Joel Grind joined the Muniwaste dudes for a rendition of “Nuke the Cross” which was a cool little rare treat. All in all, an excellent night. We were pretty smashed when we got ready to leave, having taken numerous shots and whatever else, at one point Rob, Mike and I were all in the urinal, and Rob decided to turn his “sprinkler” on us and chase us while peeing. Classy. We were going to steal a few hours of sleep at Butler's, but Mike got too drunk and couldn't remember where the key was stashed, so we ended up passed out in front of his house for a couple hours before heading off to El Paso.
November 17, El Paso, TX
El Paso is always a cool place to play, and the House of Rock is a cool venue. They always treat us well and have pretty good sound, so I was stoked for the show. The turnout was solid and kids were definitely psyched, which makes our job pretty easy. As usual, after the show was over, the bar accommodated the bands and we got loaded, doing shots and whatever else people were handing us. Good stuff.
November 18, Ft. Worth, TX
I swear we've only had two really good shows in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area throughout our entire touring history, and those were with Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse, respectively. Anyway, the show was okay, but again, for whatever reason, we've never really had a big fanbase in Dallas. We managed to have a good time anyway, there was plenty of beer upstairs and some random people to fuck with, so all's well that end's well. I passed out relatively early that night, and when the other guys got in the van, we noticed that Bud's face was a bit messed up. Somewhere, somehow he fell flat on his face. When I asked him what happened, he simply replied “I don't know, I just woke up and my pillow was all bloody”. Another day in the life.
November 19, Day off
We pretty much drove all day, stopped for a late lunch in Little Rock and then watched the Niner game on Monday Night Football at TGI Fridays. Again, I was reminded why I only order appetizers there.
|Dr. Philthy proves that home is where you find it on tour. Rest area somewhere between Texas and Tennessee.|
In the interest of everyone's attention span, I'll pick up in Nashville in the next couple of days. Thanks for reading and bleeding with us. Cheers!
- Matt and the lads