Introducing Christie And Adam
The aromatic scents of marijuana filled the room if I’d told the guys once I’d told them a thousand times that smoking weed back stage was going to get us banned from venues. Their defense, and I have to admit there was some truth to it, was that if they did it outside the band room when the support act was on and half the crowd were doing it they were hardly at risk of being caught, even if the stench wafted into the band room. For me I didn’t need weed to give me a good show, I took each show as it came, but I always put in 100% percent, then when the crowd loved it I went to 150%.
We were about thirty minutes from taking the stage for our first set of the small Fall tour. The support act, I’m sorry but I don’t remember their name, was on stage. With a bit of luck they would priming the crowd and getting them warmed up while we were back stage priming ourselves.
So who am I?
My real name is Christie Swann, but my stage name and the name that appears on our albums covers is Hella, the fearsome Goddess of the Nordic realm of the dead. I am the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the band Magnhild (pronounced MAH-hilt and meaning powerful in battle), we play power metal and sing mostly about Nordic gods and the Nordic life…every band has to have a hook right? I am an Aries on the cusp with Taurus if that means much to you.
One of the biggest problems about being on the road touring the smaller towns and cities is the support acts. Please don’t shoot me off my high horse yet, let me explain. I’m not shitting on all support acts, some of them are good but promoters often have no fuckin’ idea what they are doing, which some local regulations only serve to make thing worse. Because some towns and cities often insist we play with a local bands we often get the crap of the crop, add that to promoters who don’t understand there are different genres of music and you can start to see where my comments originate. From glam rock bands that look like they raided mommy’s make up cabinet but forgot to ask her how to apply it, to those pissy little electric boy bands that play hard rock and sing about break ups and how hard life is we have headlined after all of them. Don’t get me wrong every band has to start some where, even we started in the garage, but sheesh some of these guys need to untie themselves from mummy’ apron strings, then once they have done that they need to find themselves a promoter that knows the difference between pop music and heavy metal.
The other problem we have is that we are a power metal band with a female lead singer, and while the majority of our fans are good fans there always seems to be one moron in the front row yelling out crap like, “Show us ya tits” or, “Get ya rack out”. Now it’s not that I don’t have a good rack, my 28DDD’s are worth looking at, even covered in the leather vest I wear on stage, but the semi-regular chants from inconsiderate guys, and girls, who think such comments are hilarious does get a bit boring after the first thousand times. The strange thing is that I’m dead convinced some of these people actually think such chants will convince me to go home with them after the gig, but that wont ever happen, I’m not that desperate, besides I had eyes for someone else.
Now it’s not like Adam Stanley didn’t know I existed, the guy actually spent every night I was on stage watching me strut the stage in my four inch heeled boots, tight red leather pants, and black leather corset, he just watched me in a different way to most. He watched me because it was what he got paid to do, he was our sound engineer and he made every live show sound the way it did. He also watched me like I was his little sister and in some ways it kind of felt like I was his little sister. See Adam had been my older brother Dean’s best friend since we were all aged in single figures and first learned that we wanted to be musicians.
Every night Adam sat behind the sound desk, tweaking knobs, twisting dials and adjusting levels, while at every gig I stood on stage singing my heart out and desperately wishing he’d see me as more than Dean’s sister and business partner. To Dean’s credit he never stopped us having a relationship, that I know of, but when I last told him I liked Adam we were in our late teens, the band had just started getting live local gigs and Dean suggested we had more pressing things to concentrate on. But ten years on the band had tasted mild success and things were very different, we weren’t kids any more, Dean had his own girlfriend and I was becoming more attracted to Adam every damn day.
I’d lost count how many times during sound check with the house lights on and the rest of the band going through their levels I was standing at the microphone staring at Adam and thinking that I had three little knobs he could tweak and twist for a few hours every night. But every night after the gig we’d load out, head to the bus, the motel or wherever we were staying and I’d always end up in bed by myself. The one time I did fall asleep next to Adam we were too drunk to even realize each other was there. I wanted for much more than I seemed to be able to have. So that’s who I am.
“Ready for a good show Chris?” Adam said as we crossed paths in the band room. He had always called me Chris even when we were kids. What had started out as an act of stirring his best friend’s younger brother turned into a life long thing and the more he did it now the cuter I thought it was. Even Dean didn’t call me Chris as much as Adam did.
I raised my glass of scotch and coke in the air and offered to clink glasses with him, he reciprocated and we both took a slug of our drinks. Sure I had the hots for the guy but honestly with him standing there in his tight blue jeans, Manowar – Fighting the World tour T-shirt which fitted tightly over his muscular frame, his shoulder length wavy brown hair looking just a little messy as if he didn’t care enough to brush it and those piercing blue eyes who wouldn’t find him attractive?
“110% percent every show, you know that!” I said as I lowered my glass. “What’s the crowd look like out there?”
Adam always did a walk of the venue as the crowds started spilling in to get an idea of the people. He was a pretty good judge of people and wandering the crowd gave him a chance to decided what sort of crowd we’d be playing too. More often that not at a glance he could tell if the crowd were going to go off and push us or whether we were going to have to work hard to get them jumping. I always respected his opinion when it came to crowds because he was right so often.
“Definitely a two encore crowd tonight!” he responded after downing his last slug of scotch.
“I’ll get three!” I said confidently with a huge grin.
“Oh I like a woman who is confident, but I’ll stick with two.”
It was a standing joke between the two of us, we’d regularly bet on the number of encores I could drag out of the crowd. You might think that’s easy, all I needed to do was come out for the third encore and win the bet, but in reality if the crowd wasn’t into it no one felt like pulling the third encore and it wouldn’t happen.
When the bet was made the loser had to buy the winner drinks after the show, so far for the current tour we were split 50/50, yes I kept a record, but because Adam was being cocky I decided to ramp up the odds.
“Three, and you owe me dinner on Tuesday night. And none of this burger and fries shit, it’s our first night off in four weeks so it’s dinner and drinks at a fancy ass restaurant.”
“You mean the kind of place that wont let me wear my Manowar shirt?” he said looking down at the front of his beloved T-shirt.
“Ok, you’re on, but if you lose and you can only drag two out of the crowd tomorrow night you’ll be singing Shake It Off as a part of your first encore.”
I knew, we all knew, the song he was referring to it was a punishment song for every one in the band, any time anyone did something wrong they were subjected to listening to the Taylor Swift song on repeat through a set of headphones for thirty minutes. Although we’d all got to know the song well, even to the point of playing a heavy metal version of it during our sound check a few times Adam ramping it up and making me sing it was a new low.
“Deal.” I said. I wasn’t going to back down for a bet.
As we parted company I headed into my own little space to prepare for the show. The pressure was on I had to make a two encore crowd a three3 encore crowd to get me a date with the guy I’d been finding myself lusting over.
To be Coninued soon….