Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tour armageddon...

Voodoo Club - Comacchio, ITA - 9/1:
Crossing the alps, in snowstorm of course. Same as always. But Herb the Hammer kept the bus rollin and we arrived in Comacchio sometime in the evening, alive and well.

Typical Italian schedule then, get-in around 20:00 (!) and show starts at 22:00. On a Monday. Well well... Soundcheck went fine, good sound system and a pretty big and cool club in general - only downside was that they didnt put on the heating until after 22:00, euhm?

It turned out that the guy promoting the gig didn't really live up to his name (promotor), appearantly he didn't promote the gig at all, so most people in the scene didn't even know about us coming. Somehow some people came to the show anyway, but less than we have had before in Italy.


After the show, the booker/tour manager of the tour Thomas Bodenschalz didn't hand over our payment for the show. We started to suspect that something was rotten in the state of HERETIC VISIONS, but we didn't pay much attention to it at that point, and continued with post-show duties in the bus as usual.

Blue Rose Saloon - Milano, ITA - 10/1:
Woke up at some truck-stop in Italy in the afternoon, and here the TROUBLE began for real...

It turns out that the bus driver/owner Herb the Hammer hasn't got paid as agreed (appearantly he was gonna get a daily fee during the tour). The word is that if he don't get his payment as agreed, the tour will stop after the 6th gig of the tour, in Mannheim.

We then called for a crisis meeting with Thomas "Buddah" Bodenschalz, the owner of HERETIC VISIONS PRODUCTIONS, that is organizing the tour. Unfortunately it turns out that Thomas didn't make any budget for the tour. Nor did he keep any book over incomes and costs. Therefore we had to sit down together and try to figure out what kind of costs and incomes there have been, and it turns out that a rather significant amount of cash is simply missing. There's no explanation of where the money is, but even more worrying, no back-up plan. The only explanation is that the money must be stolen.

Bottom line: No budget. No books. Money missing. No back-up plan. No financial back-up.

Since Bodenschalz had booked tours before through HERETIC VISIONS we expected him to be on top of things, but things now suddenly looked even worse than we had expected.

Anyway, we try to keep our shit together and prepare for the show in Milano. The schedule is the same as the day before, meaning we can't get into the club until around 8pm or something, and then have to fix some kind of improvised soundcheck before the bands must start playing... things are delayed of course, and TORMENTION and ERUPDEAD have to cut down on their live sets once again...

Thomas is given a deadline when he has to have all the missing money to keep the tour rolling, and that deadline is set to 6 pm the day after.

Meanwhile, we are realizing that chances that the tour will go on as planned is rather small. Thomas / HERETIC VISIONS simply seem bankrupt, and we start working on alternative solutions to finish the last part of the tour.

The show goes OK, but unfortunately the promotor that Thomas has hired to set this gig up is the same guy that "promoted" the gig in Comacchio. We hear from some people attending to the show that there has been no promotion for the show at all, and there are less people on the gig than normal.

It is a rather strange atmosphere in the nightliner as we head back towards Germany in the night, but fortunately our friends in TORMENTION, REQUIEM and ERUPDEAD keep the spirit up anyway, and we hope for the best.

7er Club - Mannheim, GER - 11/1:
When we wake up in Mannheim in the day, the word is already out that Buddah has failed to come up with a solution for the tour. No money, no back-up = the nightliner will go back to Nürnberg after tonight's show.

In the last minute we managed to come up with a solution on how to continue the tour and do the last three shows as planned, but without Herb the Hammer and Buddah. Unfortunately our brothers in REQUIEM (who had pulled together most of the backline) had a band-vote and decided that they didn't want to take the risk continuing the tour (which is understandable). Without any backline, and no support bands, we simply had to give up and officially cancelled the last three shows of the tour (Antwerp, Valenciennes and Oostende) during the day.

Bottom line; we tried our utmost to finish as planned, but unfortunately it was impossible this time. We WILL however get back to Belgium and France sooner than you think!

The 7er club in Mannheim was a cool place. Christer Pettersson's brother had some tech duties in the evening, and turned out to be solid. After some döner kebap we fixed a sound heavier than ever, and the show turned out very good for all the bands. One last time we played "World Serpent" for Jocke and the guys, and the support from the audience was great.

After the show REQUIEM took their backline and went back home to Switzerland, while we together with TORMENTION and ERUPDEAD headed towards Nurnberg. We arrived there already around 5am, with most of us having slept... nothing.

Thomas the tour manager and Martin.
ERUPDEAD went home by car, while we continue the longest shit-day ever...

When in Nürnberg - 12/1:
...trying to find a decent way to get home. It turns out that rebooking the tickets home would cost a fortune.

Finding new tickets at decent price with 0 days notice is even harder, so after many hours of work and crisis meetings, we realize that we are stuck here.

Having given up the idea of going home, we had to get rid of the remaining merchandise, which also turns out to be a bit more complicated that expected. After many hours of running back and forth thru the huge Cargo terminals, we finally find a way to ship the shit, but not until we have been forced to go to the city to buy new boxes for all the stuff, since the personel at the airport didnt approve the ones we had. (needless to say, the new boxes were less stable the original ones, but they kept the meatheads at the cargo terminal happy)

Finally in the evening after some 30+ hrs of no sleep we wind up at a hotel in the city, and operation recovery can begin.

En slatt är ju alltid en slatt!

We spend a couple of days here mainly relaxing and checking out some local bars etc, until we finally could fly home to Sweden on Sunday evening!

All in all it has been one hell of a ride! Big thanks to the guys from REQUIEM, TORMENTION and ERUPTED, and of course The Fucking Hammer for a great time, but most important of course, to all the great and loyal people that have been to the gigs! We had an awesome time in Germany and we will be back soon again! And we will reschedule some shows to Belgium and France too, no worries there. We are all looking forward to this, and thanks again for all!

Stay tuned for updates!

Devastation will forever be!!