There is a frustrated musician inside of me. He gets smaller and quieter every day, as age has a way of polishing ambitions until they are round, smooth things that nestle into forgotten corners of the mind, but once in a while I finger that little nub of rock 'n' roll fantasy and get really sad about the fact that I never got to go on tour with any of the shitty bands I've been in.
And so I take every opportunity to pick more fortunate brains about the life I'm missing out on. I had just such a chance early this week, when Portland's Freedom Club returned from a week-long jaunt down the best coast. As you will see, I'm most curious about the mundane aspects of punk rock road-tripping: the food, the beds, the van entertainment. I spoke to Freedom Club drummer David Rose via email about all this and more.
I suggest you listen to Freedom Club's Rather Be Blind EP while you read through Rose's responses to my semi-frivolous queries. It is great. You like Hot Snakes and Marked Men? You will love this. Check it out for free here.
WW: How long did your tour last?
David Rose: It was a quick loop down to the Bay Area (Sacto/SF/Oakland) then back up through Reno/Boise, six shows in total. Hardly a tour really, but we're just starting out and don't have enough "presence" to pull off anything too grandiose just yet.
What was the largest crowd you played to? Smallest?
Largest was definitely in Reno (where they set shit-the-fuck-off and get extra loose!) and was to approximately 100 people. Smallest was Boise (which isn't to say Boise can't deliver. I've seen it be really fun in the past) on a sleepy Sunday. Maybe like 15 people including the bands. And to make matters worse, the venue/stage was quite large and therefore felt oppressively empty. Oh well. We'd anticipated all of our shows being like that. We set really low expectations so that we could be "pleasantly surprised" at the shows—and overall we were!
Did your set get better or worse as the tour progressed?
Our set is always the same, i.e. bad. It can't get better or worse, it is what it is. We take turns having off nights, so all the fault doesn't just land on just one of us. For instance, Gibby (bass) will fuck up one night's set by starting half the songs on the wrong note, then leave it to me (drums) to drop my sticks a thousand times the next nights' set when Gibby is doing everything right. The next show, Josh (guitar) will break a string and kill any momentum we had going, or play completely out of tune because his guitar "doesn't come out of tune" and is therefore not checked prior to a song that requires the guitar intonation to be dialed-in. Richard (guitar) just has shitty, broken-ass gear, so it can be expected that some part of his rig will malfunction at at least one show, and his "metal" head banging, long-ass hippie hair will clog his fretboard and mouth, thus disabling his ability to play, never mind breathe. Haha, we suck.