A metal tour diary

Notes from the road with two Paradise bands

Paradise metal bands Aberrance and The Deprived, somewhere near The Grapevine.

Paradise metal bands Aberrance and The Deprived, somewhere near The Grapevine.

Photo by Alyson Julius

School’s out; time to tour. As is customary this time of year, Paradise death metal crew Aberrance takes advantage of its members’ time off the during winter break to hit the road. This time, hometown metal cohorts The Deprived joined them for what was dubbed the Soldiers of Dudeitude Tour. The CN&R asked Aberrance guitarist Jake Hollingsworth to keep a diary of the journey. Here’s his report:

Day 1: Dec. 22, Chico, tour kick-off at 1078 Gallery: Every band—including Logistic Slaughter (Livermore) and fellow locals Lingering Torment—slayed.

Day 2: Dec. 23, Yreka, The Music Hall: For 10 miles, quarter-size snowflakes that made it look we were traveling through hyperspace in a Star Wars movie. We made it safe and sound at about 7:30 p.m. We played with our friends in Disymbolic and Frequencies out of Redding. Warm hugs and sick riffs. Started trek home at midnight at a brisk 29 degrees, and we made it back over the pass with little issue.

Day 3: Dec. 27, Oakland, Stork Club: After a three-day pause for Christmas, we played mostly to the other band members in Oakland (the local band dropped the day of). Abscission out of Santa Rosa were super nice and played their style of slamming death metal. We were also fairly surprised that we only had one homeless guy proposition us to do powdery drugs and offer to perform fellatio on us. Pretty good for being in Oakland.

On a side note, we have a long-running joke, or curse, that every time we have a tour, a celebrity dies during it. This time we killed George Michael and Carrie Fisher. Normally it’s a joke, but this is getting creepy—Christopher Lee, Joe Cocker, Robin Williams, to name a few. Our first show was the day after Michael Jackson died. Maybe there is some voodoo there?

Day 4: Dec. 28, Redwood City, Back Yard Coffee: The show tonight—with Bay Area hosts Crepuscle, Idaren and Viral—started an hour and a half late. This time it was the sound guy’s fault. He was probably 60 or 70 years old, wearing sweatpants, and he comes into the venue with an absurdly huge PA for a café show. As we start pushing the show back further and further, I see this fellow laying on top of pillows behind the amp plugging in cables one by one, taking his sweet time. Upon further inspection, I noticed that he had one burgundy chancla with a sock on underneath, and on the other foot there was nothing. The foot was gray up to about his ankle and a few of his toes were missing. It was all calloused and tough-looking, like it had gone on a hike to Mordor.

We ended up ripping out that PA and replacing it with Crepuscle’s from their practice spot. Regardless of all that mess, we had a killer set and we met a whole crop of new people. I’m going to call this the best show of the tour, minus the sound issues.

Days 5 and 6: Dec. 29-30, middle of nowhere: We slowly traveled down to Los Angeles because of dropped shows. We had two days to kill and our drummer’s family owns property out in the high desert next to the Grapevine. His grandpa built a shack and placed a bunch of trailers out there. It was like the coolest little campground with a fire pit and all. We arrived at the property right before sundown. Two days of beers and hot dogs and no cell service.

Day 7: Dec. 31, Anaheim, Doll Hut: The show was all right. We played with locals Twitching Fingers and Dr. Bob’s Nightmare. I think most people had plans to stay home on New Year’s. We ended up dipping out to hang out with our friends at midnight and spent the rest of the night watching Bob Ross paint until we slowly fell asleep, one by one.

Day 8: Jan. 1, home: We drove I-5 the whole day. Almost watched a semi-trailer flip, but the guy saved it. Almost hit a deer a block away from home.

If I could say one thing about this tour, it’s that it just felt right. Good friends basically going on vacation. Can’t wait for the next one.