May 10, 2002
Life is crazy. I say that a lot, but now I really mean it. I'm sitting here in the eleventh country I've been to the last month. It's kind of wrong to say I've even traveled to some of these places because I never stopped working the whole time I was there. Everything I pick up about a place is through the people I meet and the car window I look out. I will admit that places are starting to blend together sometimes. I forget where I am. I wake up in the middle of the night completely disoriented with my surroundings, tripping over my luggage for the fifty-millionth time. I live out of three bags, granted they could each fit a whole person. That's not too bad for over a month and a half of travel. I just wish I didn't have to lug them around myself. I'm a little dude. It's not all glamorous and easy doing what we do. A lot goes into it and I don't think people get that when they see a band on MTV or something. The work load is unimaginable but the rewards are incomparable.
I think last time I left off in Australia, after the electrocution and Karaoke. I felt the most at home in Australia, especially Sydney. Did you know Australia was originally inhabited by criminals, that it was a place England would send their delinquents? You can kind of get that feeling from the locals. All the guys were like twice the size of me and all buff. I'm exaggerating, but that's O.K. The people there were the nicest and most intelligent we've encountered. Being an uneducated American, I was assuming there would be Koala's hanging from the lamp posts, kangaroos jumping down the city streets, and aborigines living in the parks. Surprisingly none of that, but the parks were over run with possums that were really aggressive. Aaron was telling me he took a nice walk through the park with his girlfriend at night and all of the sudden they were surrounded by creepy furry animals. There little eyes poking out up in the trees and stuff...like hundreds of them. The possums chased them out of the park. I thought that was pretty funny. It was so beautiful there. The weather was great and I can't forget to mention Bondi beach. You should have seen the look on the band's faces when there were like hundreds of half naked women just lying around. They were like children in a candy store...but without any money. Billy and I got to check out the local zoo in Sydney which was cool. I'm a huge animal lover. Did I mention we ate kangaroo? I know that doesn't make sense but how often can you try that? It sucked. The shows went great in Australia and I can't wait to go back and see what kind of progress we've made. I recently heard our single is number one there!
The flight to Vienna, Austria was ridiculously too long. 22 hours of flying with a two hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. When we landed there the stewardess said over the loudspeaker "We'd like to welcome you to Malaysia, but if you're caught with any drugs on you, you will be killed immediately." Lovely. It's times like those I'm glad we're a drug free band. Anyway, Vienna definitely is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to. Like the other stops on the tour we had people from all of the surrounding countries such as Hungary interviewing us. The place we played there was the smallest and weirdest of the tour. I think it use to be a car garage because my mike stand was made out of an old tire rim and a pressure gage...what the hell? It was really funny cause my scrawny ass couldn't even lift it. Putting all aside, the show was still victorious.
We headed onward to Milan, Italy next. It was one whirlwind day completely packed with press and radio...no show though. We got there and drove to the main Cathedral area in the middle of town. Right when we got of the car, a plane came over head and crashed into a huge building. It was so unexpected. It just brought back horrible resemblance's to what our country went through recently. Although it was very unfortunate for the few people who died, I was relieved to hear it wasn't terrorist related or some commercial jet filled with lots of people. It was just so weird that we were there at that moment in time. Later on we went to some rock station and Aaron and I were pulling out all the Italian we knew. Most of it was really bad things though. The DJ was like "go ahead, it's O.K. to say that stuff here". She was eating her words after some of the things that came out of our mouths. We must have sounded like such creepy perverts on the radio. After driving around I was upset with how much graffiti I saw in Milan. On like every single historic building there was just mad amounts of graffiti. I don't get why people would do that.
Anyway, we finally made our way after a month of straight work to our weekend off. I've spent much of my life in Italy. My Dad and Mom grew up there and my family has a pad just outside of Rome that we've been going to my whole life. Aaron and I have traveled there a few times in all those years of not making a record bullshit. It was exciting to go there with the whole band and crew. We pretty much just sat on our asses, drank wine and ate pasta all day long. I was sad to leave but we had to get back to work in Amsterdam!
It's a strange thing to go from Malaysia where you'll be killed if found with drugs, to a place where they're all legal along with practically everything else. I must say I was bummed I never got a chance to see the red light district the whole time we were there. The rest of the boys did. I mean, I would just be window shopping of course. That's just not something you see everyday...even in Los Angeles. The promo show in Amsterdam was cool. We actually opened for a popular band there called "Kane". They were really cool guys, a good band too. You should check them out if you get a chance.
Germany was the next stop for The Calling. We knew going into it that the Germans were going to put us to work for those few days. We had more pictures taken of us there than in every other country combined. Our face hurt from smiling so much...come on Alex, give me a smile..just a little smile smile smiley...NO! AAAAAH! We did "Top of The Pops" which is a famous music show over there. It's mandatory to play to a track of your song at most of the shows in Europe. This is a screwed up thing for us musicians, to get into it if your not frikkin really playing it. At least I can really sing but that's it. Sean decided he would play this show to millions with his guitar strap set to like the highest setting so his guitar was right underneath his chin. It was really funny looking. Nate changed all his drums to lefty and made all the symbols on his drums like 10 feet high. He had black eyeliner on and a big fake tattoo on his forehead! He had to like reach and jump out of his seat to play the songs. And Aaron wore a skirt! I got to get a copy of that tape to go with the memories. Even funnier was the next day when we did another big music show and Sean debuted his "Viking look". He found this big creepy brown furry rug and taped it around his shoulders. I don't think he wore a shirt either which made it even more ridiculous.
Norway went really great. I'm running out of adjectives. I need to go back to school. Norway reminded me a lot of Canada. The people there were very accommodating. It was a little cold for us Hollywood sunshine boys.
Sweden was awesome. It's so beautiful with a charm that's hard to explain. I like their architecture and the way their furniture is so simple and straight. Aaron and I had this one interview for a kid's show and the interviewer brought us some Swedish foods. I love gummy candies, so when she busted out the licorice I was excited until I put it in my mouth. They're HEAVILY covered in salt...to the point it makes you gag. What's that all about? Anyway, that was a lovely treat compared to what we were given next. I was handed a blue toothpaste like tube with a picture of a friendly boy smiling on it eating a piece of toast. She said "we put this stuff on our eggs or just squirt it right in our mouths". So I just squeezed a little out and, oh my god...come on...I swear it smelled like a rotting fish that someone left in their sweaty shoe in the garbage that hasn't been taken out because it's full of your little brother's dirty diapers. It was "caviar" or fish eggs made into a paste. Don't get me wrong, I really loved Sweden, but that was sick and this is coming from a guy who's eaten tongue, raw liver, frogs legs, kangaroo and beef sushi in the last month and a half. The smell was so potent that I though I should carry a travel size toothpaste tube of the stuff in my "man purse" to let others smell it. I went up to our BMG local, Marcus, who despises fish and was like, "dude smell this beautiful thing". Because I'm a little shit, when he smelled it I pushed it onto his nose. He started dancing around the room gagging and like spitting...it was all good fun though, honest.
Now looking back at the whole tour I can safely say our show in Sweden was the best. The fans there were fucking amazing and it was way too hot with lots of people drinking lots of booze...rock and roll. I was surprised to see so many of them singing along figuring the record had only been out a week. It was so frikkin hot that everyone else in the band took their shirts off except Nate thought he should just wear his underwear. When we switched instruments Nate put a banana in his boxers and stood front and center to shred on the guitar. It was a blast.
The following day we arrived in Denmark. It was a great feeling being greeted by all these female fans bearing gifts and flowers and cameras that want to take pictures of you even though you look like crap cause you've been on plane all day and haven't slept in 24 hours. A little Danish I learned "Jeg elsker danske piger"! That one's for the ladies. Wake up. O.k....proceeding on with the Danish. I had to eat a Danish pastry while I was there and it went down in the books as the best I've ever had. I mean it was no fish paste but... We played at a little club but it still was a kick ass show. Our dressing room was like three times the size as the club along the lines of the presidential suite at the Plaza. I got to play mini Bono cause the stage had a little cat walk that went out into the audience. At the closing song we all took turns walking down, it was fun.
London was our final stop or so we thought. I haven't had Starbucks in a month and a half so that was London's first gift to me. Honestly since every band I am obsessed with is from England I was the most nervous being there. I wanted to make the right impression. Of course this was a good time to get sick like I did, but I survived. Our how actually went damn good and the crowd was way more into it then I thought they'd be. I was really happy the way it turned out. I had been to London before when I was very young but this time I could really appreciate its beauty. We made our driver keep circling around the famous round about while we would say "look kids...Big Ben, Parliament..." over and over. I even got to see a really good play with Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. Before our last day Aaron got our make up lady to give him an afro for all the London TV press. His head is huge now. I started calling him Colt Forty Feinberg. On our last day we did this one long interview that wanted us to cook breakfast while answering questions. If you can't picture Aaron with a huge afro in a kitchen cooking very bad French toast with me as his helper...you're not alone. We put cocoa and cookies and multivitamins and chicken seasonings in our "eggy bread" and stunk up the whole building...wonderful fun it was!
So now we're in Italy for just an added few more days shooting a show for MTV in the states. We're appreciating life a lot more after the scariest plane flight I've ever had. We were coming in from London through some bad weather on a beat to shit plane I called the "dirty bird". Mid flight all hell broke loose and we were free falling so bad
that I was completely raised out of my seat a few times. It's good to be alive and looking back on this tour I can say that with a smile across my face.
It's once again going to be nice to go home and rest a while knowing all the hard work we just did is really paying off. It's weird to think I've completely circled the world, traveled 25 thousand miles, visited 11 countries, and completely filled up my once virginized passport to maximum capacity in a month and a half.
Thank you everyone around the world for all your support, dedication to the band, coming to the shows and giving us love we could have only dreamt of. We'll be returning to you all shortly after we spent some quality time in our home and with our OG fans in America.
All of you who helped make the "Adrienne" video have such a great first week, rock on! I almost died when I heard it was #2 after only one day or something. Keep up the good work. This one's going to number one.
All the love! See you soon!