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Warbringer European Tour Diary: Part One
US thrashers Warbringer have hit European soil. Frontman John Kevill gives us a view of their time on the road. Includes inflatable dolls, walls of death and Spice Girl merch wearing Swedes! Read on…
“Currently, we’re in the van rolling to Rostock, clear on the other side of Germany from where we just played. This seems like a fine time for writing cause I’ve sure as hell got nothing better to do. We have been in Europe for just over a week now, which means the tour is about 20 percent complete. I am astonished by how it can consistently rain every single day in mid-July. It’s raining pretty intensely right now, which is a bummer because we have to drive slowly in the rain, and we have half of Germany left to go on the drive today. We might be kinda late for the show.
A little over a week ago we hopped on a plane bound from Los Angeles for Stockholm. Somehow I managed to actually sleep on the flight, which definitely eases the suffering. We arrived, spent the night at a hotel, and the next morning we met our driver Rienk, who had just trucked for 18 hours all the way from Belgium to Stockholm. We loaded up the van, which at this point was a Ford Transit thats just too small to tour in comfortably; the van we were supposed to get had been crashed a week earlier and Rienk had to pull something together at the last minute. The packing was certainly difficult because we have far too much stuff for the space available. Crammed in and trying to sleep upright, we head over to Getaway Rock festival, the first gig of the tour, and our first gig ever in Sweden.
The festival site is in a pretty awesome location; there’s some kind of lake or canal right next to it, it’s a beautiful sunny day, and the festival organizers really had their shit together. Smooth sailing getting everything situated with the gear, merch, etc. We played in the late afternoon and the circle pit kicked up a huge dust cloud so at one point we couldn’t really see anything from the stage. This left us with plenty of time left to roam the festival, so we managed to see Venom, Ghost, and Graveyard that day. Venom’s drummer was pretty entertaining to watch, because he would move his arms in something like a 180 degree arc just to hit the hi-hat. Pretty radical. Ghost is a pretty sweet band, but it does not change the fact that Pope outfits look kind of dumb – even evil ones.
We had nowhere to stay that night, no show the next day, and we were still fresh off the plane. So we decide to stay at the festival, and our van, being too small for more than two dudes to sleep in, wasn’t gonna cut it. So four of us roll down to the campsite to try to bum a place to sleep. What this really leads to is partying with a wild raging hurricane of all kinds of Swedish metal campers, who hurl a tsumami of alcohol at us. We were swept up by the mighty waves.
I remember bouncing between different campsites (largely based on how rad the tunes they were playing were). This lasted for hours and hours. You see, its July and we were pretty far north, so the sun did not set. At most it got a little bit dim, but it pretty much felt like late afternoon at 3 in the morning. There were no celestial cues for when to stop drinking so we didn’t really, and it got kinda ridiculous. There was a guy who deserves special mention: some long haired skinny fella with a pretty goddamn burly voice, who was dressed in jean shorts cut so short the pockets were hanging out the bottom, an extra-small size Spice Girls T-shirt, a denim thrash jacket, and a sign around his neck that read “NO SKINNY CHICKS”. We found him rocking the fuck out and stomping about one of the campsites. When we asked him about the sign, he had this to say, at a full-volume shout: ”Most signs say no fat chicks, I say no skinny chicks! I don’t want some fucking salad, I want BACON! I want STEAK! Man, you have to PORK THE PORK!!!” ”Pork the pork” is a goddamn quotable quote.
The next day I woke up, and didn’t have any idea what time it was. I had found my way into someone’s tent where I was told I could sleep. Later, I learned that I had jacked someone’s sleeping bag – bummer. I don’t really remember, but I think I got to sleep at 5 or 6 in the morning. Apparenty I did better than some… John Laux just drank until eventually he just passed out against a tree somewhere. He was still wandering around drunk the next morning, the poor blighter. After heading back to the festival and eating, I went and slept in the van for around seven more hours. We parked it with the big sliding door open, facing the water, so there was a lovely cool breeze coming in. It was some of the best sleep I’ve ever had.
I woke up in time to see the tail end of the festival, which included our buds in Municipal Waste thrashing things up, as well as Manowar, who was headlining the festival. I’d never seen them and I am a total Manowarrior so I was pretty pumped. There’s some 100 decibel limit in Sweden. Crom laughs at your decibel limit. It was a major bummer, because I wanted Manowar to be shockingly loud. The guitars weren’t too audible at first – a common problem with open-air sound. Kinda weak, because they played some of my favorite tunes at the beginning and having no guitar reduced their power. Eric Adams still rules, though. They had some random guy from the audience come up and play guitar and he was fucking horrible. He still won the guitar, but man, this guy couldn’t play at all. There were fireworks at the end of the festival and a totally epic ending with the Crown and the Ring, and I went to get my ass in the van. Time for an overnight drive! (shoots self)
Heading to Denmark was a ten hour drive from where we were, tried to sleep upright again. It didn’t work for anyone, we were packed in that van pretty tight. We arrived at Roskilde festival feeling, in Ben Mottsman’s words, “Like a bag of dicks.” Since we had no Danish Kronor, we had to try to use bank cards to try and get some food. All of our cards rejected and frozen since we are trying to use them in Europe. Eventually the guy just gave us free food tickets out of pity for our deplorable state. We played much later and the artist area wasn’t open to us yet, so we crashed out on some random bean-bags on the floor. It had been raining so they were all wet and shitty. We were just altogether pathetic wrecks that day, so these dirty and soaked bean bags were a welcome sight.
Roskilde festival is fucking massive, and has all kinds of music, with just a little bit of metal in there. We never really play shows that aren’t specifically metal, ’cause thats how specifically-metal we are. We weren’t sure how it would go over. As it turns out the place went completely bananas when we started playing, and it remains the best show of the tour so far. Guess they needed a serious metal fix! They actually filmed the whole concert and you can find it on the Roskilde website. It came out looking pretty awesome, I think. Though if you do watch it, there is definitely a blowup doll being thrown around at one point, and it definitely sucks. Like some huge pit starts and right at that moment someone throws a blowup doll onstage and I have to keep tossing it back, and it just makes things goddamn ridiculous. I don’t know why you Euro-dudes find blow up dolls so funny. It’s just fucking unsettling. Just yesterday there was one in the hotel bar in Germany at this guys birthday. I have a theory about it… these guys get them and try to pass it off on all their friends like its a big funny joke, but then secretly they end up railing an inflatable piece of plastic that night. I’m onto you, Euro-dudes. Find some humor that’s less goddamn weird.
Anyhow, so weirdness aside, we leave the stage feeling completely triumphant about the rocking show that’s just happened. But Bruce Springsteen is on the gigantic main stage, and as we leave there is some WEAK-ass elevator saxaphone solo that goes on and on coming from there. Dude, SERIOUS weakage. Even my mom would think those sax licks are totally lame. Definitely cut into our sense of conquest and victory.
Since I’m using “weak”, “weakage”, “weak jams” etc, its time for me to introduce a bit of the current Warbringer lexicon.
Weak- Anything lame, or which sucks. Used about a million times a day. Has to be voiced with impassioned dissapointment. Many inflections exist, with differening tone of voice, volume, or length of the word, indicating which type of weakage we are dealing with. There are many.
Weak Jams- Tunes which are weak, see above. Also used quite frequently. Not our fault so many jams are so goddamn weak
Weakage- Scientific measurement pertaining to how weak something is, or in exactly which way something is weak.
Touchin’ Em All- Refers to touching all the dicks in a given area. A sure sign of some intensive levels of weakage. Usage- “Dude, this guy was doing an extended keyboard solo in a fruity power metal band. It was the opposite of heavy” “Yeah man, that dude was really touchin’ ‘em all.”
Wrong Side of the Reever- Meaning you are doing something wrong, or are in the wrong place. Reever means “river”, just pronounced obnoxiously. It’s from that goddawful movie “The Mummy”. “Hey Benny, you’re on the wrong side of the reeee-verrr!” You see, it is the wrong side because there are mummies there.
Babe- Refers to girls that are babes.
Mabe- If you see a girl from behind, and it looks acceptably babely, but you can’t see the front yet. Possibilities exist that she may or may not be a babe. This is what is known as a “mabe”, or “maybe a babe”
Nabe- Definitely not a babe. See also, N.A.B.E.- Not A Babe Evenwhendrunk
Undercover Babe- A babe who is dressed in such a way that you cannot see if she is a babe or not, but in fact is a babe. Surprise ATTACK! Very common in cold climates.
Carlos Brews/Bruise- Refers to Carlos Cruz, our drummer. When he is drinking, he is Carlos Brews. When he is mad, or wearing his mirrored shades, Carlos Bruise! Fuck with him not!
Hall of Weak Jams- A mythical place where all the weak jams of the world reside. It is totally not cool. We think that it is ruled over by Bono and the Edge, who sit atop the highest thrones of weakness. In the hall of Weak Jams there is also a room filled with mirrors, which will show you dire visions. You will see some awesome and rocking band for a moment, a favorite of yours, being awesome and rocking, then the image will fade, and will show them during the time where they made that one really shitty album that you don’t like to talk about. Abandon all Rock ye who enter here.
Beej- A funny sounding word for a blowjob.
Lord of the Beej- Alternatively known as “Beej-lord”. The one who can summon babes to himself with great power, and can coerce them to service his raging kroner. Spoken of in myth, legend, and song.
Kroner- The Danish and Swedish currencies are known as kronor, or crowns. However, it basically rhymes with “boner”. It is even possible for one to have a “Raging kroner”
Pvanzer- A cross between the words “Van” and “Panzer”. Used to describe our van, which is a Volkswagen. German-engineered for total destruction.
Bro- Obviously referring to a dude who is your bro, or any acts of dude-dom. There are also an infinite number of variations on this. Can be used in any word with an “O” syllable. Here are some examples- “Riders of Brohan” “Broseidon, Ruler of the Brocean”, “Brotalitarian Rule” by “Broseph Stalin” of “Broviet Russia”. Our primordial ancestors have evolved from “Brotoplasmic Life-forms”. This goes on and on, to ridiculous extents. This one has been around for years. It’s fucking sick-tits, bro.
Just thought of another one… macabroni and cheese
Shitty Dudes- Any trashy, poor, filthy longhaired guys. Mostly used referring to ourselves. Strangely enough, it is almost used as a compliment, to indicate people like us, kindred spirits. “Bros” if you will.
From here we proceeded to Paris to play a club show with Biohazard. I don’t think anyone in the crowd was really expecting a straight thrash metal band to be the openers, but it went over well. They were super cool dudes, and we’ll probably see them around at some point. Always seems to happen that way. A local Parisian did his part to confirm some stereotypes we silly Americans have: on a really crowded two-lane street in Paris, one guy stops his car dead in the middle of the road, stopping all traffic for about 5 minutes. The purpose? He got out of his car, went up to a quick-e-mart, and bought himself a pack of cigarettes, which we assume were smoked wistfully in front of a cafe. We were losing it over this one. Seriously man? Try that in New York or something and see what happens.
Next we were off to Krefeld, in Western Germany. There we met our Century Media A&R guy for Europe, singer for Dew-Scented, and all around rad-dude Leif Jensen. We don’t have a proper European agent and haven’t for some time, so Leif pretty much stepped up and made this tour happen. Definite hats off to this fella. He gave us the run down of any and all details for the rest of the tour over a couple beers and dinner, after which I had to go and do an interview.
The interview was about 45 minutes long, with a very young dude. The reason that this interview was four times longer than usual is cause this guy was a total diehard… with very specific, accurate questions, and a lot of them. One of them was his asking about the lyrical progression between our 3 albums, and his take on it. He compltely hit the nail on the head, probably as well as I could of possibly said it. I find a lot of the German metalheads I talk to have this very detail-oriented mindset towards the things they love, and they really know the specifics of what they are talking about. Basically, these guys are fucking true.
The show was like that too… people knew all the songs we were playing, not just the choruses, but like verse 3 line 2 type stuff as well. I love to see that, because it lets you know people have really listened to what you are doing and what you have put into the music. We played through every song we know as a band right now (about 16 tunes), we did not 1 but 2 seperate encores, by popular demand, and they were still chanting for more! Their thirst for thrashing can truly never be quenched.
At this point I am in the Pvanzer Mk-2 blitzing up to Scotland, so I am about 5 days behind on this. Catch-up will occur shortly, and you’ll hear about Bang your Head Festival, Rostock with Exodus, our attempt to build an Ikea closet, and other such adventures. Thanks for reading, we’ll be coming to your town shortly to fucking level it.
Kevill, signing off.”
Keep your eyes peeled on Terrorizer.com for more tour reports from Warbringer…
Also read our live review of when they hit London recently