Archive for October, 2004

England

This is the first time I have had a chance to write since the whirlwind end of the Curiosa tour that brought us straight into this European festival run. So here’s what has happened:

Curiosa was very hard to leave, we had grown so close to the music, the people and the amazing opportunity to play in front of like minded people in the U.S.A. but we had fun obligations in Europe.

It began in Belgium at the Pukklepop. Festival. It was a great big festival with a fun diverse line up; the Darkness, the Streets, Chemical Brothers, and us on the big stage and then a great line up in the tent with; Mondo Generator, Mark Lanegan (what a voice!) and Greg Dulli. It was a great way to start it off out here.

The next day was Holland! I love Holland because of how liberal they are. You can feel it even in their attitude towards music, really open minded and enthusiastic. I have had great time on all my tours to Holland this year; they have been extremely supportive of this music. Our show at the Holland Lowlands festival was really great!!!! The crowd response (around 12,000 of them!!!) was amazing. Singing along and made us feel so welcome.

Next stop Austria!!! Another German speaking country who think Auf der Maur is a stage name, It actually means On the Wall in German, and it is only a family name in Switzerland, so in the other parts of Europe they just think it is a silly band name! Nonetheless the Austrians were extremely into the music. We had only been through once this year, opening up for Perfect Circle before the album was even released, so it was amazing to see the evolution since February. It was a fun rainy festival and I got to see great sets by the Distillers, Franz Ferdinand, Supergrass, the silliest band around the Bloodhound gang (Steve and I had tons of laughs with those Philly boys!) and Urge Overkill (that I hadnÍt seen play since 1994!).

Then off we go to the Kerrang!!! Awards! where I presented the award for best British live band to THE DARKNESS. Had I not seen them a few days earlier in Austria I wouldn’t be able to vouch for their abilities, but I must say it is true; these guys are great entertainers in the spirit of Benny Hill (great British comedy TV show from the ’70s about a silly pervert man,). And they are amazing guitar players! So the night was quite silly. There were tons of bands being awarded – Greenday, MC5, Ash, Muse, L.A. heroes Velvet Revolver (winning for best new band, go figure…) and much more. England is the most enthusiastic and music obsessed country – As they should be! Just look at the history of modern music from Britain; it starts with the Beatles and The Stones, then to Zeppelin and Sabbath, then the Sex Pistols and all TRUE punk, then my faves The Cure and The Smiths, then that brings us into the last decade or so were weÍve got the Stone Roses to Radiohead. I am always in awe and aware of that context of music when in England. They have seen everything! That is why I am so excited that the response to my music has been so great there! The support I have felt there has been incredible!

This brings us to the READING AND LEEDS FESTIVAL!!!!!!!!

VOTING REMINDER!!TUESDAY IS OUR DAY TO PARTICIPATE!!!

I am voting via absentee ballot, it is easy! This may be the most important election of our lifetime. The result affects everyone! The whole world is watching. We are in this together. Please DO NOT forget to vote. As you know, your vote does count – and voting is your opportunity to take action. Protect your future by choosing the better option for you and your views.

The last U.S. election in 2000 was a really crucial one, and I made sure to vote (even though I was on tour in Europe! You can vote from abroad! No excuses!). What frustrated me was a lot of my friends (nice AND smart friends) did not vote last time around out of lazyness or worse, a feeling that it wouldn’t make a difference (I think things would be very different right now had a Democrat stayed in power). We don’t want that to happen again – we can’t afford to lose the votes of smart individuals! Please take the opportunity to choose the person and party who best represent you and vote. I know none of the candidates are perfect, but some of them truly are terrible, and we must, at the very least, protect ourselves from them!!

Cross your fingers and vote, hoping for the best!

Greetings from The Maritimes, Canada.

We are 2 weeks into our first full on canadian tour. It has been really relaxing! Funny for a rock tour to be relaxing, but it has been. Everyone involved on the tour from the bands to crew are all really nice and relaxed. I have had time to catch up on sleep, peace of mind AND the Canadain music world in general. You see, although i am a Canadian musician, i have only been in U.S. based bands (with the exception of Tinker, but that was only in Montreal, and for only a year), so i have never really participated in the music scene up here. Now is my time, and i am introducing myself and my sounds to thousands of lovely Canadians!

Thank you to everyone who has come out to the shows, and listened.By the way, have you noticed all the amazing music coming out of Canada lately??

Death from Above 1979, The Stills, Uncut, Feist, Peaches just to name a few! Discover the North! I am and it is great! We are in the very east of Canada right now, and it is legendary for its beauty and hospitality. So far so good, tomorrow i suspect will be one of the highlights, we fly to Newfoundland, an isolated island in the far east and north. Once was a part of Scotland, so i hear it’s as gorgeous. We are playing a street festival, their version of Mardi Gras…..but in the cold ! It is supposed to snow! I have never played in those types of conditions, but it is bound to be a fun adventure.

The bands we are touring with are both long time established Canadian acts; Matthew Good, and Limblifter. So i am getting lots of good stories of the Canadian road. Thank you to my hosts of this tour, and hello to the participaters!

I am trying to get the photo side of this tour diary up and running, but Steve and I have run into tech problems….so we gotta get Kim to the rescue. Hopefully photos coming soon!

Thanks for checking in, I hope the back to school, sentimental season is treating you well.

Hi Ho. Reporting to you from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada!

We left our sweethearts from Detroit (the Von Bondies) in Ontario. We had a blast at our Toronto show with them, doing a Von der Maur Bondies style encore; “Crazy Horses”, the heaviest rock song ever written by the Osmonds (!?). We also had the pleasure to do those last shows with San Franciscans, The Peels. Another great rock tour came to an end…… then a 50 hour drive west to start another……..

We started our Canadian tour this week. The Matthew Good band and Limblifter are our travel mates, and they are all very friendly. We are going from the very west to the very east (All the way to New Foundland!!! which is basically a chunk of Scotland that fell off and floated our way!) and everything in between. It is going to be a relaxing tour, with many beautiful long drives through the empty spaces of the great white north wilderness!

Yesterday in Vancouver, I spent time with canadian national treasure (as Sir Michael Moore calls him, and i agree!) Narduar the Human Serviette. We giggled and talked about all things past. He gave me dvd’s of his best off interviews for his t.v. show. I watched them today, he has talked to everyone from Nirvana to Snoop Dogg. He is a genuine freak of nature, and we love him.

The next three weeks we will introducing the music to new ears in Canada…..and then; our long year of touring is winding down. We will be returning in November to the U.S. for our final run, with H.I.M. and Monster Magnet. Now that sounds like love-metal-heavy-romantic fun!

Ottawa, October 5th (my little brother’s birthday!)

Hello!!! I am reporting to you from the nation’s capitol of my home and native land: Canada.

We are embarking on a full month tour of Canada, our first full-on tour of this country. However I am writing to remind you to vote in the U.S. Presidential elections on November 2nd. There is still time for you to register, I am voting via absentee ballot, it is easy! This may be the most important election of our lifetime. The result affects everyone! The whole world is watching. We are in this together.

Cross your fingers and vote, hoping for the best!