MUSIC INTERVIEW: Life On The Road With…The Attack
The Attack have spent their summer in the UK, touring up and down the country and concluding with an appearance at Rebellion Festival. We took some time to chat to the punk rock legends to hear their top tips and stories from the road.
Favourite thing about touring:
Touring is great, and the US is a huge place, we usually don’t think twice about jumping in the van for a weekends worth of shows and a thousand or so miles on the road. Of course petrol is the equivalent of only 58¢ per litre making it easy for the miles to add up. Our favourite part of touring is seeing friends and playing shows for, and with people we love. It’s great to see people out there who we would absolutely never get to see otherwise.
Least favourite thing about touring:
Waiting. Everything on the road is waiting. Wait to load in, wait to sound check, wait to leave, wait to get paid…wait, those last two are the other way around. On top of that, show related waiting is the easy part of it, waiting for the shower, or restroom, or for the oil to be changed, waiting in traffic. I know it sounds like whining but waiting is awful, you don’t feel as though you can do anything without waiting for someone or something to finish first.
Five essentials for the road:
- A Planet Fitness VIP Membership – in the states Planet Fitness is a national chain of fitness gyms. The VIP admission only costs $20 per month and allows unlimited visits, and the cardholder can bring a guest. This means two memberships takes care of showers and WIFI for the whole band (we usually have to sneak in the merch seller)
- Laptop – Charlie and I own Enemy Ink, a music driven screen-printing shops in the US and UK. I spend most my down time on the road working remotely. Making certain things are moving well for the people we count on to run each shop in our absence.
- Noise Cancelling Headphones – I promise you, one of your band mates is going to snore or do that weird thing were they suck snot through the back of their throat. It’s frequently the bass player, but occasionally the guitarist. Snoring merch people are not to be tolerated, leave them at the side of the road as early as possible.
- The film Ferris Bueller’s Day off, possibly Spinal Tap (I prefer Bad News). Either way one of these three films is essential. You can chuck them on, everyone knows the gags, and you can start or stop watching at any time and still enjoy the film.
- Absolutely essential, one non-snoring merchandise seller.
p.s – I was going to answer a good radio for the van, however ours is broken so I don’t want to be hypocritical. Our friend Dave Hause is in our van now, and going crazy without the use of a radio / sound system.
Your favourite way to pass the time:
Enjoying the local colour, finding good ideas to bring home with us. Like most we enjoy local bars and restaurants of note, The Attack takes it a step further and tries to sneak in visits to historical sites, or touristy stops. We actually learned to pay more attention to the local colour from Dez from Black Flag and The Misfits; he always woke up real early and walked whatever town we were in. Fitzy enjoyed the learning about the locations with historical significance.
The last night of tour with Flogging Molly last year in the UK. It was O2 Kentish town; all the band members joined Flogging Molly on stage for their last song. It was the end of a tour with our friends, and it was an accomplishment and honour for a new band like us to be welcome to a new country and a big tour like that.
At a border crossing somewhere in Europe. The bus completely died and we had to push the bus away from the border guard booth. 18 gnarly punks half naked at 6am outside attempting to push a double decker bus!!!
I smashed my face on the first day of tour with Less Than Jake and Pepper, in Detroit, in the freezing cold, yes like British cold. I was walking down the loading ramp and moved out of the way of some others who were coming up. I’m over 6’2” tall plus winter boots. When I moved over, bundled up in hat and gloves and looking down as to not slip on the ice I didn’t notice a garage door was partially down. I hit my head so hard I almost went head over heels causing my nose to smash on the bottom of the door as well. The pictures from that tour are gggrrrrreeeaatttt.
One time at the end of a tour Jerry Only took me to Roseland, a famous venue in NY, which was closing down. Lady Gaga was performing; our seats were literally on stage. Seeing the juxtaposition on Lady Gaga and Jerry Only in full Misfits attire is the most outrageous thing I have ever witnessed, and yes, it was the night Lady Gaga climbed up a ladder to the balcony and did a duet with Tony Benet. Don’t laugh, there were a lot of punks in the house that night and Jerry was cheering me up after the passing of my father.
Mikey literally passed out on an over ripe banana in his bunk. Woke up in the middle of the night and thought he shit himself. Fortunately I was awake and witnessed his confusion, shock, disbelief, embarrassment, and finally relief all in about five minutes.
We’re a punk band, we’re never going to enjoy that momumental football stadium sized appreciation. However, we do everything ourselves, record our own records, print our own shirts, book our own tours, so really I have dozens of really rewarding moments. Usually just after wrapping up a tour. The reward is the temporary sense of accomplishment, in the middle of sorting out the next show, project, or tour.