Thursday, September 29, 2011

W.A.S.P. - L.O.V.E. Machine - and about touring with WASP

Last year I had the privilege of going on tour with my band Warmachine around the north-eastern United States opening for the legendary Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. It was a terrific experience that I wish could have lasted longer. I was recently thinking about that tour because W.A.S.P. announced that next year they will be going on a pretty big tour (check out the details here), so for this post I decided to cover one of the songs that became a favorite of mine, and one that I watched them play every night for two weeks: "L.O.V.E. Machine" or like our drummer called it HE-LLO BEE-EE haha.

About the song

For me this song reminds me of Kiss, I'm not really sure why, but it sounds like a meaner, heavier, darker Love Gun. Maybe its the similar titles of the two songs that makes me relate them. The song is very straight forward, with lots of energy and a great melody. I didn't play the lick before the verses too well, but I faked my way through them haha. For the first half of the verse, where there is no guitar, I palm muted my notes to keep the volume a little lower and make the next section when the guitar comes in sound more powerful. However I didn't use the standard right-hand palm muting, I used my left hand to do it. That's a trick I learned from my college professor which allows your right hand to have more freedom of motion in instances like this one where the left hand does not need to move much.

I remember Mike Duda (WASP's current bass-man) playing the end of this song an octave lower than I did, but I just played it the way it is on the record. Speaking of Mike Duda, he is one of the most entertaining and energetic bass players that I have seen in a really long time, it was a treat to watch him, and if you haven't seen him I invite you to check out some live videos of the band, or better yet, go see them live next time they're around.

About the tour

As I was saying before, I was really lucky to be able to share the stage with WASP last year. It was a hard tour to do but it was a lot of fun. For one, we tried to save as much money as we could, so we went in a mini-van, no trailer. That meant having 4 guys plus all of our drums, amps, instruments, clothes, and boxes of CDs and shirts crammed into it. It was so tight that I didn't have enough room to bring an amplifier. I did the whole tour by plugging in my trusted Sans Amp directly to the sound board and cranking the bass through the side-fills on the stage. Plus our drummer had to pack his drums like a matryoshka doll and put toms inside one another and putting them all inside his bass drum; which we then strapped to the roof of the van.

We all took turns driving through the different cities. Luckily for us the weather was pretty good most of the time. But there was one drive from Wisconsin to Massachusetts that took us a whole day to complete with all of us driving straight through the night. I had the 2 am to 8 am shift if I remember correctly. We slept in cheap motels, had to pee in bottles while driving, and changed into our stage clothes in the van. But even though it sounds rough (and it was a little bit, looking back on it), we had an amazing time and I would do it all over again.

We became great friends really fast with the band and crew, who seemed to love our music and our sense of humour. Their guitar tech helped me fix my strap button when it fell off while I was playing. Their merchandise guy always gave us tips and helped us find the best spot to set up our "booth". And in the end they all wanted us to stay and finish the tour with them, but unfortunately we could only do those two weeks at that time. You can see from the picture at the top that we all had a blast together, and we still keep in touch, which I'm very happy about. Oh and of course the crowds were amazing, and very open and receptive to our music, we made a lot of fans during that tour. I can't wait to do it all again.

Do you guys have any good "road" stories? please share them in the comments box. See you soon! What will be Up Next??

1 comment:

  1. I was lucky enough to see you guys in Chicago and then follow you to Detroit. Good times indeed.