Saturday 15 August 2015

‘The Road to Fat Guy Fest’: GodHunter –vs – Destroyer of Light ‘Endsville’ Tour Diary - Leg One:

 By: Jake Brazelton & Keegan Kjeldsen

Day 1 - Tucson (Jake from Godhunter): We had been practicing without David for around 6 months or so. A week before the tour David drives the van all by himself down to Tucson from Washington so we can get a few days of practice in before we start the tour. The dudes from Destroyer of Light did the massive drive from Austin to Tucson the day before so we met up with them at our jam room to hang a bit. Keegan and I nerded out about ‘Magic the Gathering’ (I brought my deck along) and we smoked a bit of weed before heading down to Club Congress to get this tour started out right. Zachary Reid started us off with his neoclassical electro-drone solo work. Next up was Lockdown, Tucson's best Autopsy worship band. They were playing their very first show that night. Following that was Tucson punk veterans Pop Gestapo. Destroyer of Light proceeded to blow the roof off of Congress and we proceeded to blow up one of our Orange amps on the first night of tour. Because we're Godhunter and we do stupid shit.

Day 2 - Tempe (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): After two nights in Tucson, it was good to hit the road again and get the tour started right. Tempe is only two hours north of Tucson, but these two Arizona cities have a very different feel. I'm always vaguely aware whenever we're there that we've stepped into the domain of a megalomaniacal sheriff who tyrannizes over Phoenix; nevertheless, the local bands are not disheartened and Lago proceeded to blacken the Yucca Tap Room into oblivion before Pocket Leaf pumped out the hard rockin jams. Some bathroom poetry extolled the virtues of titties, further proving that the artistic spirit is strong in Tempe. The Yucca Tap Room will always have a special place in our hearts that I should also mention - it was a year ago here that we saw, sitting behind the bar, a 'Big Hug Mug', shortly after binge watching True Detective. We bought it from the bar for five dollars, eager to ash into McConaughey's cigarette receptacle of choice, and, on the second night of the Endsville tour, our beloved mug got to visit home

Day 3 - El Paso (Jake from Godhunter): We drove all the way through New Mexico to El Paso. We played this rad little DIY skate punk warehouse. They had built a skate park in by the stage so that shit was pretty awesome. This was a doom/trash fest that had 6 bands playing. Starting off was The Pyne playing some really fucking good Torche meets Pelican style tracks. Another highlight was The Stalk who sounded like this kind of noisey sludged out Godflesh. Torture Victim came down from Albuquerque and got the circle pit going with their blackened trash. Those El Paso dudes partied until around 3 in the morning. A chick threw up next to our van and someone tried to sell Keegan crack. Just another night in El Paso. Always keeping it classy.

Day 4 - Albuquerque (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): When you're on the road, there's a certain extent to which you're living on the charity of others. It's a humbling experience like that. Local heavy metalheads Skulldron were among those charitable enough to invite us into their home for burgers, dogs and beans... a fuckin godsend! They slayed the Launchpad that night as well, along with Black Maria: some very loud stoners with some powerful riffs. It was a small but dedicated crowd that night, and the camaraderie was strong. Dave Rodgers committed an alien massacre at the arcade. Some former Texans bought me a Shiner Bock and we talked kolaches, making me hungry again, goddamnit (alas, the chances of finding kolaches outside Texas are slim). All night, the walking dead shambled listlessly into a bro-bar next door, dressed to the nines. The DJ looked ready to blow his brains out from boredom. 

Day 5 - Denver (Jake from Godhunter): We got stuck in the biggest traffic jam in the middle of nowhere on our way to Denver. It was the god damn worst. It was that irritating kind of traffic jam that never slows down enough for you to grab the weed but keeps dragging on for hours and hours. We drive right to Seventh Circle and start enjoying all of the benefits that being in Colorado allows. Earthen Tongue started off the night with some Incantation style death metal. Up next was a post rock band from Philly called By Us, Universe. We got to hang out with a bunch of our friends too. Sara from Heavy Friends Records, Abbey and Tommy from Oryx, and Grant and Joe from In The Company of Serpents were all there. We all smoked HELLA weed. I love Colorado.

Day 6 - Omaha (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): Occasionally the unthinkable happens and you miss part of the show. The few times this has happened, it tears us up because we'd consider ourselves fairly zealous about watching the other bands. But after a car flipped in a construction zone in Nebraska, which was already down to just one lane of traffic, we were trapped. It took about an hour for that shit to move, and Godhunter informed us of all we missed out on in Rift, a rock solid act whose members are cool as all hell to hang with. Super Moon was next, specializing in stoner jams with a hard edge, hitting an almost Slayer-esque vibe at times. Loading in as soon as we pulled up, our Omaha experience was a whirlwind. Still, having never spent any time in Nebraska, the area of town we partied in seemed pretty chill, defying my expectations. Everything you hear about driving through there is pretty much true though. Bring a book. Or a magazine. Or get in a few games of Risk. Any troops that vibrate off the cooler are considered killed in an earthquake.

Day 7 - Minneapolis (Jake from Godhunter): We listened to the first eight Black Sabbath records on the way up to Minneapolis so when we get to the Triple Rock and ‘Paranoid’ is playing on the juke box, I knew then that it was gonna be a chill place. Half of the menu was vegetarian/vegan food which, being the only vegetarian in the group, I finally had more than two options for dinner. I ended up getting a sandwich with some mock duck on it. Who knew that was even a thing? Book ending the show was Ambassador Gun and The Funeral and The Twilight. Ambassador Gun ripped through some crusty ass sludge/grind tracks and even swapped places halfway through their set. The Funeral and The Twilight are an impossible to describe trio that mix a variety of genres such as punk, psych, western, and doom into one of the most original sounding bands I've ever heard. One of my favorite parts of tour is playing with bands you met on the other side of the country so getting to see The Funeral and The Twilight was extra special for me. I also love it when I can nerd out with some dudes about shit like D&D.

Day 8 - Chicago (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): I don't think I could live in Chicago. Don't get me wrong, I like to let the good times roll, but good times in the Windy City tend to roll off the goddamn rails and I'm pretty sure I would die of too much fun. Case in point: when we pulled up to the Livewire Lounge, things seemed tame, and I thought we might actually have a low key night. How wrong I was. Fueled by Sin and Crosshammer provided the local support, proving that retro is not limited to Sabbath by bringing us all back to the 90s. Following the doom/sludge assault that ‘Endsville’ wreaked on the patrons, karaoke was the fuel that set things off. Suddenly, Penny is buying Steve a shot so I can pick a song for him to sing, and Jake is being coerced by Dave into stripping into his pizza underwear while performing ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ - a song which I am convinced he never listened to before that night, owing to his interpretation of the verse as monotone rapping. Got to hang with The Atlas Moth, and Immortal Bird was nice enough to put us up for the night, but not before Rae and Dave sang a moving duet version of the classic: ‘Cowboys From Hell’. If the party ever stops in Chicago, I have seen no evidence that this is the case. (There is, however, plenty of evidence of our karaoke debauchery, online.)

Day 9 - Kalamazoo (Jake from Godhunter): One of the best things about this part of the country is the shorter drives between cities so after a few days of long drives, the drive to Kalamazoo was a welcome change. Steve from Destroyer of Light's parents live in Kalamazoo and were gracious enough to invite over for some food and beer. Steve's dad spent ten fucking hours cooking everyone an incredible smelling brisket and some vegetarian stuff for me. The hospitality that the Colca's showed us was truly heartwarming and with full bellies and a few beers under our belts, we headed down to the Fat Guy Fest. Let me tell you, these dudes know how to put together a show. With a local brewery bringing in beer just for the bands, free pizza, hula hoops on the stage, and of course some killer bands all with an extremely welcoming crowd, these guys were hitting all their marks. Drink Their Blood switched between brutal and ambient and brought out a fucking saxophone twice during their set while making full use of the hula hoops on stage to play a game of human ring toss. Beast in the Field closed down the night by loading up the stage with guitar cabs and then the two piece crushed with Bongripper style riffs and punishing drums. All too early this night wound down and we headed out. Kalamazoo kicks so much ass, we definitely will be coming back to party with you dudes again.

 'Endsville' is streaming in full here

Tour Dates Remaining:  

15/8/2015 The Outer Space & Ballroom – Hamden, CT @ Death To False Metal Fest
16/8/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
17/8/2015 TBA – Baltimore, MD
18/8/2015 Thomas Creek Brewery – Greenville, SC
19/8/2015 The Basement – Atlanta, GA
20/8/2015 Vino’s – Little Rock, AR
21/8/2015 Saturn Bar – New Orleans, LA
22/8/2015 Holy Mountain – Austin, TX