Hello from Philadelphia! As I write we’re at tonight’s venue the Union Transfer, waiting for our soundcheck slot while the mighty The Fall of Troy are doing theirs. We’re on tour with them and a great NY based band called Slothrust at the minute, both serving up masterclasses in their craft each night, keeping us blow-ins from Ireland very much on our toes each night. After this we part ways to meet up and do the rest of the tour with our Sargent House label mates Mylets and Blis.
We’re two weeks into the five week tour, having journeyed from the mid-west all the way to Florida and back up along the east coast, still to further zig-zag the country all the way to California. In between the hectic schedule of shows and the mammoth amount of driving required we have managed to squeeze a little downtime in amongst it. We swam in the Gulf of Mexico the other day during our stop in Tampa FL and we’ve seen some pretty amazing scenery and skylines on our hike so far, the only minor hiccup being a brush with a state trooper the other day due to slightly fast driving by one of us (not naming names) but touch wood it’ll be a smooth ride for the rest of tour.
We first stepped foot over here in 2010 as a completely unknown opening band struggling to get enough dollars to put fuel in our van and eat, so a few years on we’re lucky to have an amazingly supportive record label in Sargent House as well be continuing to cultivate a fanbase over here. Touring is a little more comfortable than it once was, yet you still face the same difficulties in maintaining your home life especially when you’re so far from it.
You experience time in strange ways whilst on tour. On one hand you are dashing in and out of some of the most incredible cities and taking in your surroundings the best you can, and before you know it you have covered several thousand miles in what seems like a day. And on the other hand time can lurch and drag with thoughts of home and the ones we love. We watch our kids grow up and maintain relationships over a smartphone screen, family members and loved ones fall ill, all too far out of our reach, while friends are bereaved with no way of you offering that hug you so desire to give.
It’s an aspect of touring that has always lurked in the background, away from the adrenaline of the shows or the interaction with the fans at the merch table. It’s just a part of life at the end of the day and although it’s not always easy to balance I don’t think any of us would change a thing. From our earliest desires of being in a band, thrashing through punk rock covers as young teenagers we now exist as a full time band in our tenth year of existence with four albums, moving city to city playing the music we love to people who love it too and to some that don’t know it yet. Talk to ya’ll soon. Chris Wee
Photos by Colm Moore.