Continues from here.
We were in Dean’s room in Oklahoma City and we’d just found out that Sarah, his girlfriend and my bestie, had arrived from home to visit Dean (and me obviously) for a few days. It was great news I hadn’t seen Sarah for weeks, Dean hadn’t either but this wasn’t about him and his wants she was only his girl friend after all.
Okay that wasn’t exactly the reason why we were in Dean’s room waking him up. What had actually happened was that Bob, our tour manager, had told Adam and I there was some news he wanted to tell all three of us together. I took that to mean that it was time to wake my dear brother by running into his room, screaming and jumping on him. Finding out Sarah was there to was a pleasant surprise, as it had been for Dean the night before when she arrived unannounced at the venue we played at.
“So what is this big news that couldn’t wait until I woke up?” Dean asked.
“Hey, I just want it known before we go any further that I told her,” Bob pointed at me, “and Adam was there to witness, that the news could wait until you woke up. “Someone””, he looked at me again and even used air quotes, I’m not sure if I should have been paranoid with all the attention or not! “Took it upon themselves to get the spare key and wake you up.”
“Gee thanks for throwing me under the bus Bob!” I said with a smile, then turned to Dean and added, “It’s only because I love you so much big brother!”
Dean rolled over to the edge of the bed and acted like he was throwing up and everyone laughed, I just assumed they were laughing at him for being silly.
“So is anyone actually going to tell me what’s going on?” Dean asked.
“Yeah I agree, I’m waiting for the same thing.” I replied trying really hard not to grin.
Adam, who was now sitting on the bed beside me, put his arm around me and pulled me tightly against him. “Alright you two that’s enough.” he turned to Bob. “Bob you have everyone’s attention please tell us this news so we can all go and get breakfast.”
Everyone turned toward Bob and awaited his news.
“I’ve forgotten what it was I had to tell you,” Bob said then turned and walked towards the door.
It was at that time two things happened and one of those was extremely unfair, the first one was that Bob stepped out the door and out of sight and the second and most unfair thing ever was that Dean hit me with his pillow.
“Hey, what was that for?” I asked innocently as Bob stepped back into the room with a smile on his face.
“Alright, so have we all had our fun? Enough carry on and shit stirring? Are we all ready for the news now?” Bob asked and we all agreed. “Okay, well as you know a manager’s job is never finished, us managers work tirelessly for the betterment of the band.”
“I thought we were over all the carry on and shit stirring?” Dean said looking directly at Bob.
Bob laughed. “Sorry I just wanted to join in the fun.” He then became serious. “Early this morning while you slack buggers were all asleep,” he grinned but continued on, “I was on the phone wheeling and dealing, slogging it out, talking you guys up, trying to make you guys megastars.”
“Get on with it Bob!” I said.
“Okay, I’m just trying to build up a bit of tension for the big news.”
”What big news?” Adam said.
Now that we’d all had a go I think Bob was happy to continue without being silly like the rest of us.
“I’ve managed to line up a winter tour for you guys!”
Lining up tours was Bob’s job so it wasn’t what we called big news and with our current tour ending in just over a month we did pretty much expect him to organize us some shows somewhere. As much as we all loved to tour any time anywhere Winter tours were harder than Summer or Spring tours.
In the warmer months we had to contend with hotter venues and gigs where no matter what we did we were sweating from start to finish. Then we’d have the nights where we’d get back to the motels and the rooms were so hot the air conditioning didn’t make any difference and even if we did fall asleep it wasn’t restful sleep. But despite the downsides Summer and Spring tours were still crowd pleases and with the possibility of a few outdoor gigs tour in those months were always preferred.
One of the reasons Winter tours were harder on us all was obviously the weather which brought with it unexpected road closures, storms big and small, the rain and the cold. But one of the biggest downsides of Winter tours were that crowd numbers where always lower. One of the reasons for such is the walk up crowd, even a power metal band like ours owes some of its summer crowd to people out for dinner or the like who walk past a venue and decide to enter. During the colder Winter nights that was less likely. Then add into the mix that I can’t walk to the venues from the motels and people do just feel gloomier in the Winter and you can see why it’s not our favorite time to tour. But we never look a gift horse in the mouth
“Where are we going to freeze our asses of this time?” Dean asked.
“Come on, don’t be so negative about it. A tour is a tour, you get to play live, pump the hell out of the album, I’m even going to organize you some radio promo time and in store appearances on this tour.”
You might be surprised how little promo work some bands get, even a band like ours that had a decent following and were able to headline their own tours still missed out on their fair share of promotional gigs. Sometimes it was time constraints and sometimes it was purely down to the town or city we were playing in just not being interested in power metal, or heavy metal in general enough to want promotions. No matter what the reasons were hearing that we could get some promotional support for the tour, even a Winter tour was exciting.
“Sound great, where are we headed? Any leads on who we can take as support?” I asked, “We really liked Battlement from the other night.”
“You’ll be the support act.” Bob said.
There was a collective sigh and gasp as we all looked directly at Bob wondering what he was doing singing us on for a Winter tour as a support act.
I’m not exactly sure what the rest of the band where thinking but I was thinking that Bob must have secured us a major tour, a tour with a band that would provide us with huge exposure, otherwise I couldn’t think of a reason we’d be rolling as a support band.
“Who the hell are we supporting?” I asked.
“A band called Varou, it’s an old Norse word for werewolf apparently. They are a power metal band with a reasonable following, like you. They sing about Norse themes and topics, like you, and from I’ve heard of them, I’ve got their albums on my computer, they sound like a really good match for Magnhild.”
“I’ve heard of them, never heard them play but they aren’t that big, why are they headlining?” Dean asked.
“Because it’s their tour and they invited Magnhild to join them.” Bob replied.
“Is there something you aren’t telling us Bob? As much as I sure the tour should be great and touring is what want to do, on face value it just doesn’t seem like the kind of tour we’d sign on for when things are going to great as headliners.” I questioned.
“The tour will be called “The Southern Seas Nordic Invasion”!” Bob exclaimed.
“What?” we all said at once, including Sarah.