Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let's Pretend That It Was Perfect

Before I tell my Soundwave tale, I would like to note that I'm not trying to be a smug name dropper. Granted, most of you who read this blog either don't know or don't care about the musicians I'll mention, but for those of you who do, I assure you I'm not trying to rub it in anyone's face. Yes, I got to meet some cool people, but my life is not glamorous. I spent five hours last night creating a character for Dungeons and Dragons because the guys I live with were short a player and begged me to join them. I have transcended my already very high level of geekiness.

Soundwave started with a photographer friend and I being told the media entrance was all the way down at the third gate. Walking down there, we noticed that a Gun and Ammunition Show was being held across the street and this worried us considerably. At Gate 3, we were told it was really Gate 1.2 we wanted, the very gate that directed us to this place. Frustrated, we trudged up the hill, past the angry looking gun nuts again, and politely explained our situation to the man at the door. With much difficulty, we figured out where we were supposed to go with only ten minutes to spare until the first sets were due to start. My friend was one of only three lucky photographers with permission to take pictures of Nine Inch Nails and we giddily shared a quick unprofessional 'OMG WE GET TO DO THIS AS OUR JOB EEEEEEEE!' moment. But then the woman with the list informed me I was not down for a media pass. I freaked out and tried calling Jenn Enders (Ace Enders' wife who had called me earlier to confirm my interview) but it went to voicemail. Ace was playing in a few minutes, so I had no choice but to shell out entirely too much money for a ticket. Yay Ramen for the next month.

I ran through the crowd of every punk, emo and goth in Queensland to Ace's stage where I managed to catch the majority of his set. Phew. My interview was to take place at 2 pm but I didn't know where I should meet them. I asked the security guard if he knew and he went to check, leaving me standing next to the stage as the crew set up for Jacks Mannequin. Then I realized that a girl in the front row was taking pictures of me. "Oh God," I thought, "Please don't let her think I'm somebody important just because I'm standing backstage." Nope, she was taking pictures of Andrew McMahon and the other members of Jacks Mannequin who were right next to me and I totally didn't realize it for five minutes. Figuring they'd know where Ace was, I asked their bassist if he'd seen him. He hadn't, then offered me some of the iced tea he was drinking. It was a sweltering day and I wasn't about to turn down a chance to make the joke that I'd swapped spit with the bassist of Jacks Mannequin, so I accepted. After taking a few huge gulps I realized it was iced tea of the Long Island variety. I'd basically just taken the equivalent of three shots of rum and vodka. At 1:30 pm. On a hot day. With an empty stomach. I knew that in about ten minutes I would be, erm, just a bit tipsy. Oh crap oh crap.

I tried calling Jenn again to see if maybe I could reschedule the time for my interview. Still her voicemail. Thus began my search for the Enders backstage at Soundwave where I technically wasn't authorized to be. The 'iced tea' kicked in somewhere right before asking the dreadlocked guy from Moneen. Who when he said he hadn't seen Ace, I responded with "Raaaah, f*** my life!" and a little kick to the air. Moneen guy about peed himself laughing at me. AWESOME. But the absolute best was when I saw Keith Buckley (the Every Time I Die singer, not the actor from James Bond).



Have you seen Ace?




Ace Enders. He used to be in The Early November.

Oh! That Ace. No, haven't, sorry. What band is he in now?

Um, Ace Enders. It's pretty much just him solo.

Hahahahaha. Hey, are you drunk?

Slightly. By accident.

Hahaha. ME TOO! On purpose though. Australia is awesome!

*High five*

We should have our own comedy routine. I wish I could've talked to him more, especially about the hilarious column he writes for Alternative Press, but he had to go. I would also like to point out that Keith has one of the strangest tattoos I've ever seen: Spock crying because he doesn't have a mustache.

Eventually I found Ace and Jenn, but they were all "Let's do this interview!" before I could ask them if we could move it to later. So I interviewed Ace Enders, the former lead singer of one of my favourite bands, in a less than desired state. Needless to say, it didn't go as planned and I slightly made a fool of myself. Maybe it wasn't all that bad, but I can't bring myself to listen to the recording just yet. I know I said 'magician' instead of 'musician' several times and fumbled with my recorder because it kept beeping at me. I also made a really really dumb pun that caused him to give me that 'No, please don't' look. Then we were cut short because Jacks Mannequin finally took the stage and were super loud. On the verge of tears from screwing my interview up, I stood with The Audition and watched Jacks Mannequin play. Emo times three! A choice observation from my notebook that I don't remember writing: "Lead singer of Audition has a huge mouth. Like, an Aerosmith sized gob. Whoa."

Not wanting to waste the fact that I was miraculously still backstage, I took the opportunity to wander and somehow got recruited by the catering crew for an hour. This was a lot more interesting than it seems because I got to see the lists of 'requirements' aka the food and drink bands demand be in their trailers/tents. I also got to deliver some of them. The smaller acts shared tents and just asked for some bottled water plus a deli platter or fruit & veggie tray. The guys from Horse the Band even picked their own food up, which was considerate of them. Bands higher up on the bill had a trailer to themselves and some unusual requests. I helped deliver Red Jumpsuit Apparatus their box of goodies and had to explain to them that in Australia, light beer means a beer that is lighter in colour and flavour, not low cal as Americans think of it. You heard it here first, folks, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are a bit diva-ish. I am chock full of industry secrets.

After getting a 'Local Crew' wristband that would ensure I could get backstage again (which I unfortunately didn't get the chance to go back and use), I ventured back out to see Underoath. It ended up being more like hearing Underoath, because the crowd prevented me from actually seeing the band. I couldn't deal with that and headed towards another stage. On my way I ran into Craig Owens and chatted with him shortly then got a picture. I didn't want to bother him much, otherwise I could've talked to him all day. In person, he looks so much like Dominic Monaghan. Whom I also love. *sigh* There was a small crowd for Rival Schools, so I got a front row spot which I held through Hellogoodbye, Funeral For a Friend, and Chiodos. Standing in the same place for over four hours was well worth it, I've wanted to see Hellogoodbye for several years and Chiodos was undoubtedly the best set of the day. They even played the song I suggested to Craig (I won't say which, but if you know me you can probably guess). Usually being front row causes me ridiculous injury but this time it actually saved me because instead of pushing towards the front, people did a Wall of Death. Which is where the crowd splits at the middle then runs towards each other and start punching. Why people do this, I do not know. I just watch.

Saw a few more bands after that, nothing spectacular, then I watched NIN from very far away sitting on a bench with a friend. I was so exhausted I fell asleep during 'Head Like a Hole,' something you'd think would be physically impossible. My day still wasn't over, I was invited to the after party at Rosies. Granted, I was sitting down for most of that. It was okay, Jimmy Pop from Bloodhound Gang DJed and I was going to introduce myself as a fellow Philadelphian, but my friend said Jimmy licked his face when he said hello, so I decided against it. A few other musicians showed up, Keith Buckley was apparently in the VIP room for a bit and I'm pretty sure I saw one of the guys from Houston Calls hanging out with the ginger one from Forever the Sickest Kids. The latter is a really bad dancer, haha.

So there you go. Another patented 'How the Hell Does Danielle Always Manage to Get Into Those Sorts of Situations?!' story. Hope you enjoyed it. I'll eventually put up my interview with Ace, if I ever get up the nerve to transcribe it. :/

1 comment:

Barry said...

I once sat next to Bryan Adams at a truck stop in Northern Ontario. He asked to borrow the salt. I said "sure".

That's as close as I've ever been to fame.

Somehow it pales in comparison with your experience.