The band woke on Sunday morning at Tyler's mountain shanty and hit the road, stopping briefly for refreshment. Quinn wasted no time pulling the-old-one-two, picking up both a doughnut from Krispy Kreme, and a Sausage Biscuit sandwich from Bojangles. Everyone was duly impressed. After filling up The Green Room, and emptying their own tanks, they began the long journey from Asheville, NC to Harrisonburg, VA. When they arrived at the house they would be playing that night they were informed that the local haunt, "The Blue Nile," adored by every musician and concert-goer in and around Harrisonburg, was having their last show that night across town. In addition, Biscuit had what now seemed to be a festering ear infection, only made worse by the shifting altitudes of the appalachian range. Despite these hiccups, they loaded their gear in and set up for the night. The first band, Jaguardini, featured a singing robot playing synthesizers and looping drum tracks. He was also kind enough to bring two kegs of locally brewed beer, for which there was much rejoicing. When the robot's set was over, and the ales were all drank, Chilled Monkey Brains hit the stage. The band played a great set to a small but enthusiastic group of locals. The highlight of the night was Savage Kenny closing out their set with Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," a favorite of many of these Chilled Monkeymen. Huge thanks is due to Daniel for hosting his first basement show, Alex from Savage Kenny for setting up the show and closing out the night, and Jesse for letting the group crash in his living room. They had the next day off, so everyone stayed up shooting the shit late into the night, and slept late the next morning. When Monday afternoon arrived, and everyone awoke, it was clear that Biscuit's ear infection was only getting worse. They gathered their satchels, loaded up, thanked their generous host, and headed straight to the walk-in clinic to get their peaked percussionist patched up. While he was being examined, the rest of the band took the time to clean-up, reorganize, and make sure their vessel was in ship shape. After getting everything in order, the group met back up with Biscuit and set their sails for Baltimore. They were fortunate enough to have a fellow music lover named Chelsea, whom they were introduced to through a mutual friend of she and Cheston's, let them stay in her unfinished basement. Zac, Steve, and Cheston took off on an adventure into the streets of Baltimore looking for a local watering hole, while the rest of the guys caught up on some sleep. They walked around the MICA campus and found a spot to wet their whistles, and after a few rounds, purchased a package to go and headed back to their shelter. They arrived moments before a rain began that would last for the entirety of their stay in Maryland. The three sat on the porch into the early hours of the morning sharing tour stories and discussing plans for the many shows ahead. - Zac
Day 2: Asheville We awoke at the cheap hotel in Marietta and got ready to hit the road for Asheville. As we were clearing out of the room, they were already shoving new peoploe in it. They obviously were not too concerned about cleaning the rooms AT ALL. 40$ well spent. We hit the road and had a fairly uneventful 6 hour drive through the beautiful Autumn mountains. Stopping for lunch at Bojangles (which we don't have in Tallahassee) was the right choice. Awesome biscuits, especially for fast food. We arrived in Asheville and decided to do some busking downtown, as we needed do have a little practice session anyways. People seemed to dig it, which was good considering we had not done that before. Made a few extra $$$ as well. After that endeavor we headed to The Bywater for a beer by the French Broad river. It is a members only club because apparently thats the law in NC, so Cheston signed up and we commenced to order. Really cool outdoor area by the railroad tracks, but a little more chilly than any of us really expected so we didnt stay long. After a couple of us got seitan bahn from the Thai foodtruck next door we headed to Black Mountain. We had two 45 min sets at The Town Pump, the first of which we split between a full band set and Zac's acoustic one. Apparenly they werent prepared for our level of sound and a good number of the patrons hastily exited, the bartender asking us to "just turn down the master". Not how this works, lady. Our second set was more positively recieved, and people stuck around and hung out with us. They left the front door open while we were playing and the police came stating that they could hear us three blocks down the street. We shut the door and continued the set after finding out that was the first noise ordinance complaint in 4 years in that town. After the show we headed to Tyler's house who used to play bass in Corporate Fandango to spend the night. Thanks a bunch to Gretchen, Chad, and Tyler for making Day 2 a great experience! - Steve
The first day of tour is always very stressful! Everyone is shifting from their normal day to day routine into "tour mode". This is a new era for Chilled Monkey Brains. We have a new album "APEocalypse" to promote! In my opinion, this is the best album from CMB yet! Thanks to all of our Kickstarter backers for making it happen! If you havent listened to it, check it out here: NEW CMB ALBUM! Tours dont come without complications, and unfortunately Roth and Tyler were unable to make the tour this year :( So, we got Cheston (Baritone Sax) from Corporate Fandango to fill in :) Nick came in from North Carolina and scooped up Cheston. Biscuit came from his new home in New Orleans. Eventually, we met at the practice space and packed our things into the trailer and our new van dubbed "The Green Room". Getting on the road the first day is tough, and in true CMB fashion, we didnt get on the road until after 4 for a show 5 hours away that started 3 hours from when we left. We got to Swayze's in time to catch a few tunes from Taj Motel Trio. We feel terrible for missing Ye Flask, Ian the Illusionist, Canvus, and our buddy Tyler with Rotten Stitches. We're not worthy!!! It was so awesome that you guys stuck around until the end! Thanks again! We played a real tight set. It's easy when no one has had anything to drink, and Swayze's is a dry venue. We played and the show was over by 10/11ish. It didnt take us long to hit a Waffle House on the tour. Day one and already hitting up the awful waffle, lol. We drove down the road a ways to a cheap motel. We opened the door and the TV was on. There were used tissue and ashes on the night stand. The pillows were arranged to the side of the bed. The bed was somewhat made, but Zac pulled down the blanket and revealed a nice size yellow stain. The bath towels smelled like hash browns, but hey, it was late and we needed a place to sleep! - Quinn
Day 10: Lawrenceville I think all venues should be comic book stores, you'd never get bored and although you'll probably spend more money than you'd make on the show - you know its money well spent. We arrived at Galactic Quest comics and our eyes were as big as baseballs. In case no one knew, we are a band full of nerds. Steve and I immediately bought the next two volumes of Star Wars Legacy (which is tempting me to read even now - but no! I gotta save it for the long rides!) and we settled in as if we were in a library studying for some comic book exam. The show was outstanding, it was just us and 50:50 Shot playing for the Hero initiative benefit and having loads of fun. After the show we headed into downtown Atlanta and hung out with 50:50 Shot. Around 50 beers and a game of Apples to Apples later we were zonked out! Day 11: The Butcher of Buford Usually days off aren't what guys like us want to do while we're on tour, but then again, we usually aren't staying with Butch and Brandon in Buford. Its like a comic book store at someones house. We've been spending the last day and a half drinking beer, reading comics, eating ribs, jerk chicken, and pork loin, and wearing kilts... yes kilts. I think I am going to get one, they are so comfortable! I'm totally jealous that girls get to wear skirts but guys have to suffer in our oppressive slacks and board shorts. It's just not fair! Day 12: Dalton So here we are getting fed and taken care of about to head to Dalton for our next show, then its back to the Sunshine state for the final loop. Talk to you guys soon! -RJ & CMB
Days 4 through 8: Marooned in Florida With the repairs needed for the van we knew we wouldn't get it back for awhile so we slapped a ball on Brad's Chevy Envoy and attached my huge 6x12 trailer. Unfortunately we had to cancel dates in Birmingham, Memphis and Knoxville which really sucked but we hope to make it back up there as soon as we can! Day 9: Peachtree City Georgia on my mind! We arrived at the Glenloch Community Center to have the Lifeguard/door guy giving us loads of shit. Jack, or Frank as we came to call him ended up being our guide for the evening. The show was really cool. Cryptorchid Chipmunk, The Disregardables, Cream Soda Joe, Expect Resistance, and DSK played a killer show in a yoga gym before we headed with Frank and Jordy to a house party. On the way to the party we received our official Georgia names. Brad is Tiny, Roth is Scary, Chris is Dickname Dan, Quinn (who was celebrating his 17th birthday! okay, 20 something birthday) was Keith, and Steve, Rafe, and I were the Back Drunk Boys (kind of like the Soggy Bottom Boys 3 deep in the cargo compartment of the envoy singing harmonies), but we eventually got our individual names: Rafe is Ooper, Steve is Flounder, and I got the name Kansas. We showed up with 40s and were apparently the only people prepared to really party. I actually cracked up so bad: I was the first into the living room while most of the guys were chilling on the porch. A kid was making the rounds collecting beer money for the many thirsty and was asked how he planned on buying this beer, his response: "oh, there's a bunch of old dudes on the porch!" We crashed with Jordan (Disregardables/Cream Soda Joe) and Chris called the scoliosis couch - he's actually been sleeping in the most uncomfortable spots all tour so far. The next day we walked some of the 800+ miles of golfcart track that fills Peachtree City to pick up some burgers and dogs for a good ole cook out. After waiting at least an hour, we headed to the pool for our "bath" then off to Lawrenceville!
Day 3: NOLA! Since we collectively got like an hour and a half of sleep it's hard to differentiate between day 2 and 3. We rode to Guitar Center where Josh from Out Of Nothing works to get some hitch action in the hopes of taking a couple days off to get our shit together. With a smile on our faces and "the worst" behind us, we headed for the Mecca of southeastern ska - New Orleans! About 20 feet from guitar center (of course, I am driving again) we start shooting billows of white smoke from our exhaust pipe. Apparently we had run the van so hot last night, we had either busted a head gasket (fingers crossed it was the head gasket - we still don't know), or (eek!) cracked the block. After about a half hour of feeling sorry for ourselves, Rafe did some upside down handstands (see photos) and made us all crack up. "Fuck this! We are going to New Orleans even if it kills us!" - we wouldn't let this seemingly tour ending problem screw us out of all the fun we were going to have. We rented a van (actually Mark from Out Of Nothing rented us a van - thanks sweatheart!) and hightailed it to NOLA only to arrive right after Joystick's set. That was a bummer for me, Trace and Kurt (Call For Fire's trumpet and tenor sax) were now in Joystick living in New Orleans. But that didn't damper the rest of the show. 50:50 Shot, Stereohype, Angry Banana, and Paranoia Dance Party rounded out this supremely awesome skabeque. The show was phenominal, the crowd in NOLA is ALWAYS awesome! After the show we went to Trace's house. He has a sweet little place off of Frenchman street and now that Trace and Kurt were "locals" we got to see a side of NOLA we had never experienced before. After a night of heavy boozing and Brad and Chris getting "lost" for 4 hours after going a block to the store, the boys woke up early to get the rental back to Tallahassee. My wife Fronki came out and suprised me in NOLA so I was able to sleep in which was really nice after being up for like 2 days. We went to breakfast the next day at a place called Elizabeth's (freakin awesome bfast, get the bloody mary!) and after getting a nice tour of the area I headed back to Tallahassee so we could lick our wounds and figure out how to salvage the rest of the tour.
Day 2: Pensacola We had problems with Uhaul ordering the wrong hitch so we decided to just go to Pensacola for the night, come back and get the hitch and our trailer the next day before jetting to New Orleans. So we had just bought this van a dropped a few grand into it to get her through the next few thousand miles. Its a 92 Chevy van and we have yet to settle on a name for her, but she is very comfortable! We showed up to the Handlebar to Out Of Nothing smiles and ass pats. The show went very well, it was us, 50:50 Shot and Out Of Nothing... and cupcakes. Lizzy made some fantastic cupcakes for us that really hit the spot - we're coming back for more Lizzy! So I volunteer to drive back to Pensacola and of course this shit goes down while I'm driving (wtf?). We get onto I-10 and I feel a slight bump as the steering stiffens up. Since I know jack about vehicles other than where to put the gas and oil, I continue for about 10 miles until I see the temperature gauge go really high. We pulled over and stared at the engine for around 40 minutes. We know its overheating but not why, it's times like this I really miss my old tenor sax player/auto mechanic Kurt! The temp goes down (actually we just melted the gauge) and we try to get to the next exit (which is like 20 miles away). It was either Holt or Crestview where we pulled into a gas station and realized we shredded the serpantine belt which made perfect sense now that we were staring at shreds of rubber hanging out of the bottom of the engine. It was 4:30 am and we were in the middle of nowhere so Rafe, Quinn, and I left Brad, Chris, Steve, and Roth at a quaint little picnic spot and got the van towed to the nearest shop that was open on a saturday. After dropping a few hundred on towing, a tension arm and belt, we were able to swing back by and pick up the boys around 10 am. There was no time to get back to tally, hitch and trailer the van, and still make it to New Orleans so we decided to extend our 1 day trip and just head to NOLA hoping to play off of another bands gear. This would not be hard to do, I was already getting voice messages from the other bands calculating ways to get us over there. -side note: I have to say that one thing I love about this whole ska-whatever scene is that the coalition of bands along the southeast really goes out of their way to take care of eachother, its more of a family than a scene. I mean, Angry Banana wanted to come pick us up, Joystick offered to have someone come out to us with burgers and beer, really just over the top affection from our brothers and sisters - try and get that kind of action in any other scene!
Alright! So we're representing up here in Georgia and I wanted to drop a line and let everyone know how things are going. We've been having a blast so far - Day 1: Tallahassee So we got started at home with a kick ass kick off show at Castlemania. For those of you who know the old Call In Sick venue The Shed, Castlemania is like a clean, soundly constructed, and legal version of The Shed. For those that don't, Castlemania is attached to the Engine Room (formerly the Beta Bar/Cow Haus), and is pretty much the sweetest diy space I've ever had the pleasure of utilizing. We played with 50:50 Shot, Out Of Nothing, and Unit 6, all friends of ours from our former bands. Unit 6 was awesome, really tight and on their shit. No offense to the former members whom we've had many good times with but their current line-up is the tightest I've heard, they really ripped it! I hope they have a great time on the huge ass tour they're on right now. 50:50 Shot played next. I hadn't seen them in a long time and there are rumors of their imminent break up (don't worry, I won't let them break up!). I couldn't see that in their set, they blew everyone away - amazing band, we were really excited to spend the next few dates with them. Our hommies from Out Of Nothing started wrapping it up, it seems like every time I see them they get better or sound better, I don't get it. OON is another band who is on the cusp of change, Logan is moving to tallahassee for Law School (sweet! an addition to our nerd crew!) but the guys plan on continuing in some form and I can't wait to see what they do.
YOU CAN DO THIS ONCE A DAY, SO TRY TO VOTE AS FREQUENTLY AS YOU CAN!!!
Find CHILLED MONKEY BRAINS on LastFM, imeem, iLike, ReverbNation, Facebook, and Twitter!
DEMAND CHILLED MONKEY BRAINS TO COME TO YOUR TOWN!