Heaven’s Basement take us on the road with this exclusive tour diary! Check out the first entry after the jump, check out this tour diary’s online photo gallery HERE and buy concert tickets or purchase a CD of Filthy Empire here.
Day 1 – London to LA – Revolver golden Gods
This is the start of a six week trip for us that includes outdoor festivals, support dates, club shows, acoustic shows and even a four day day trip back to the UK. We arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday 1st May after a long flight from London, we’d been invited to the Revolver Magazine Golden gods awards at club Nokia to introduce our good friends Halestorm on stage and headline the Aftermath party at the Viper rooms the following night so it was great too start the run with an party hosted by Revolver!
The golden gods awards included live performances from Anthrax, Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Sour and Metallica…it was awesome to see these bands in a relatively small club for most of them. The event was overshadowed slightly by the news of Jeff Hanneman from Slayer’s death earlier that day, Kerry King from Slayer and probably three hundred other people that knew the guy were here tonight so there were plenty of tributes going on and a lot of Slayer being played by the DJ (which suited me fine as Slayer were one of my fav bands growing up) First person we bump into on the black carpet was the larger than life personality that is Sebastian Bach who gave us a quick interview, we had a brief chat about the night and he asked us what old school British bands people should check out, Rob answered with ‘Rox’ which was Manchester’s only glam metal band back in the 80s who featured by dad on the drums. No offence to my dad but there’s a reason you never heard of them haha
The night then basically goes down like this, drinks at the bar, followed by more drinks at the bar. People start coming in, some of the first being the guys from Black Veil Brides who we’d just played a few shows with in Spain and France so we chatted to those guys for a bit, Watch Phil Anselmo perform ‘This Love’ with Anthrax, head down stairs to introduce Halestorm on stage, stand in a que. with Slipknot who are collecting an award before us, do the Halestorm introduction, chat with Zakk Wylde briefly ..Fast forward a few hours and watch Stone Sour smash the hell out of a cover of Black Sabbaths Children of the grave, drink some more and meet Phil Anselmo who two mins later is giving us a group hug, watch Metallica, watch Lars Ulrich fall off his drum seat (did anyone else see?) Watch the Metal God that is Rob Halford get on stage with Metallica to sing Rapid Fire by Judas Priest. Chris Jericho introduces Sid to the singer from Five Finger Death Punch who starts singing “Lights out in London” to us and say’s how much of a fan he is! I reply to this with the words ‘Thank you’ I don’t know if you’ve ever been to America but sometimes they don’t understand a regional accent. Well, it turns out the Manchester accent saying ‘Thank you’ sounds like ‘ Fuck you ‘, so his reply to me is ‘Fuck you too!’ moments later the communication breakdown is all smoothed over and we have a good chat with the dude.
Anyway, so you get the idea, the whole night involves a lot of drinks, chatting to friends from bands, taking to people who don’t understand our accent or think we’re Australian, meeting childhood heroes, making new friends and being aware to keep Phil Anselmo entertained before he caves our faces in.
Day 2 – First Headline show in LA at the Viper Rooms
Being a group of 7 means we’re spread out on various floors and rooms across the hotel we’re staying at, so the day starts with various room to room calls asking what the plan is for the day as we don’t have to be at the venue until 10.30pm that night.
We settle on the the idea of going to this place ‘Paradise Cove’ in Malibu which is basically a seafood restaurant where you go and spend all of your weekly PDs (daily allowance for food / drink ) on one huge seafood platter. Its’s worth it just based on how it looks as you’ll see [here] from when we went whilst recording Filthy Empire. Anyway, average wake up time for us this day is about 2pm following the night at the golden gods award so this idea goes out the window and we decide to head to the Rainbow for some food! This is fun place that you’ll either walk in and see Lemmy playing arcade games or Ron Jeremy eating the hell out of some steak.
The show itself is a 40 min set on some dreadful backline that doesn’t really stand up to the beating we give it, we have fun though and it was good to see Seb Bach come along and check us out. We head off not longer after the end of our set as we have a 7am flight to Arizona for our first ever major U.S festival at KUPD Ufiesta..
Day 3 – People in Arizona must be part Lizard
Pasty English guys do not belong in the desert, simple as that. People from Arizona’s closest relative in the animal family must be a fucking Lizard, how do people live here. We arrive at the ground where we’re playing a 2pm set at Ufiesta (headlined by Stone Sour) The festival staff are lovely and friendly we’re greeted with some awesome local vodka and some Tequlia.
We have an 40 minute set that goes by in the blink of an eye today, I can honestly say it was one of my favourite ever shows. The crowd is about 3,000 when we hit the stage as grows throughout. It was awesome to see a few people singing the words to Fire, Fire back at us. The set contained the usual Heaven’s Basement carnage of equipment going down, stage driving etc all done in 100degree dry heat.
The rest of the day is spent checking out bands, doing some interviews for the local stations and doing a meet a greet with anyone who enjoyed our set.
People shouldn’t live in that heat but we can’t wait to get back to Arizona in the future, when you visit places like this you really realise how alive and well rock ‘n roll is.
We check out the set of sub headliner ‘Chevelle’ then head to Phoenix airport for an 11pm overnight flight to Charlotte, North Carolina for the huge 40,000 capacity Carolina Rebellion the next day. The flight lands at 6am, we’re on stage at midday so its really a case of making sure you sleep on the plane no matter what..if you can’t sleep, drink, take a sleeping tablet or have someone knock you out, simple as that!
Day 3 – Carolina Rebellion
Rain, Rain, Rain, loads of fucking rain in North Carolina today. We’re English so it;s familiar summer conditions for us. We manage a couple of hours sleep at the Hotel in Charlotte before our lift to the site for Carolina Rebellion arrives. This is a huge festival that the previous night was headlined by Limp Bizkit and Alice in Chains. It’s our turn today, it’s the second festival, we’re the only English band on the bill (I won’t count Bush as most people back in the UK think they’re a U.S band!)
We’re suppose to go on stage at midday but everything is pushed back due to the weather. The locals tell me North Carolina is one of the main Hurricane states so the weather conditions are fully schizophrenic, one minute its your best friend, next minute it wants to take your house 100 ft in the air.
Anyway, our set is cut down to just four songs, ten minutes we go on (because let’s be fair, its the first time we’ve been here, most people want to see Soundgarden play a full length set!) The set continues on from yesterday, feels like we’ve got ourselves in a good rhythm now following the odd first show at the Viper Rooms. The crowd gets bigger and bigger through the set, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was because our stage has a roof so it looks like shelter from a distance haha but they all stay so maybe not !
Buckcherry who we’re touring with later in May are also playing today so it gives us a opportunity to catch up with them and thank Xavier the drummer and Keith the guitar player for lending us some equipment today! Fair play to those guys too, they played main stage at the high of the rain storm coming front on at them, exposed!! The rest of the festival is cancelled after Buckcherry due to the weather. It was a great festival that hopefully we’ll come back to next year. U.S festivals are different to European festivals in the fast that no bands clash on any stage. One band finishes on one stage as the other one on the next stage starts so basically every band has the whole festival audience to play too if they want to watch you.
Day four – Back to England
I’m writing the whole of this diary currently sat on the plane to London (because just like at School, I’ll do any homework the night before/the day it’s due in) we’re heading home for a few days for a Kerrang special acoustic session on Wednesday then coming back to Kansas in four days to continue the U.S tour. Today has been very uneventful apart from watching Scott our stage manager challenge the biggest burger anyone of us has ever seen!! We’ve also been making sure we’ve got all our own equipment for the next leg of the U.S tour (America is so fucking big that our driver sets off from LA tomorrow to meet us in Kansas on Saturday or something) Rob’s going to take the next leg of this diary so that’s me done.