Rock Hard: Wacken?

“We are going where?” A loud voice came from the back of the bus.

Bob didn’t have a chance to get any information, to us, or the rest of the band and crew before he was having to answer to loud mouths again.

“Europe, Fly, would you like me to spell it for you?” Bob called out. “Or do you need a map?”

“Fuck off smart mouth!” Fly said back. “I meant where in Europe, it’s a fucking big place you know.”

I think Bob was enjoying his time with all eyes on him a little too much. It wasn’t his usual style but geez from what he was telling us he’d definitely been working his butt off for us and I certainly wasn’t gong to rain on his parade by cutting his time short.

“You’re right Fly, it is a big place. I can see geography class in high school really paid off with you, if only they taught you how to act around other people!” Bob hit back with.

Over the few years we’d known each other I’d seen Bob get angry with prompters and venue owners who didn’t pay their bills, interviewers who asked stupid questions and motel owners who tried to rip us off, but I’d never seen him go one of the band or crew like he was going at Fly.

“Get fucked Bob! You’re not my boss!” Fly replied.

At that time Jason stood up, put his arm around Fly and gently helped him back to his seat. That’s right Jason, the guy who got drunk, mouthed off and tried to hit me, more than once grabbed Fly and settled him down. Seriously you could have colored me shocked, damn you could have colored me any bloody color in the world and I wouldn’t have noticed!

The stupidity of Fly’s comments probably wouldn’t hit him until he realised that he wouldn’t be one of the skeleton crew we were taking to New Zealand. Of course by then it would probably be our fault and we’d be unfairly singling him out because we didn’t like him or something. While not going to New Zealand didn’t automatically mean he wouldn’t participate in further tours, including the tour or Europe, which we did not have any information on at that stage, it didn’t help him get selected either. If he was then rejected for Europe as well he’d no doubt make another silly remark blaming us then probably move on to another road crew, but such is life in the music industry.

“Thank you Jason!” Bob said politely, which scored him the filthiest look imaginable from Fly as he shrugged off Jason’s grip. He then continued, “The details at this stage are still not finalized, we’ve got three festivals penciled in…”

“Wacken?” Benji asked.

Wacken Open Air festival was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, heavy metal events on the world calendar. A four day event which a few years ago saw one hundred and fifty eight bands play on eight different stages to nearly 100,000 fans. To even suggest Wacken was a big event was not doing it justice, it was so big they even installed a four mile long pipeline to make the delivery of beer to the tents easier and more eco-friendly. The four day event happens around August every year and given our New Zealand touring schedule plus the possibility of some studio time we’d definitely be looking at free calenders by that time next year.

I could tell from the look on Bob’s face that his answer wasn’t going to be what we all wanted to hear but it wasn’t entirely bad either.

“At this stage we haven’t been invited, but we are working on it. Like I said, nothing has been finalized yet but we are keeping an open mind and calender for a number of different events. At the moment I’m trying to put a jigsaw together. I don’t even know half these places that we are looking at and the big thing for us is going to be getting support acts with the right bands.”

Like the New Zealand tour we knew we just weren’t big enough to demand a headlining tour of such a big place and therefore we needed to start at the bottom and be the support act but that didn’t worry us.

“If we can get some good studio time in after the New Zealand tour we can hit European audiences with some new material as well.” Dean said.

Truth was, with many of the audiences we’d be playing for there would be a good chance they hadn’t ever heard our stuff, or if they had it would be via some Youtube videos or something once they learned who the support act was. From our website and social media we knew we had some European fans, just like we knew we had fans in New Zealand and Australia, but we also knew the numbers were no where near as high as they were in the States where we had spent our time playing and growing up. So while having new material wasn’t as important as it might be for another American tour it was still important, especially for us.

“Studio time is up to you guys,” Bob said stating the obvious, but not really needing too, “I’ve still got a lot of things to work out before all this becomes definite but I figured it was worth telling you guys because it looks like it is definitely a goer!”

When we arrived in Philly the afternoon was still early, normally Adam would have been getting itchy to go and see how his baby was, (his sound desk if you’re unsure), and set it up quickly but instead I think he was feeling extremely happy because we’d no sooner dropped or bags on the floor in our room than he was putting the hard word on me!


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