preface: we at The Bottom Line Record Co. thought it'd be cool for the
guys to do a diary from the road. We had some technical glitches which
are hopefully now fixed, so we won't repeat the delay. without further
Hello to all and sundry. This is the first entry of an on-going gut probably intermittent road diary that the Bottom Line Record Company asked us to keep. It sounded like a good idea; which is to say, it IS a good idea, but as experienced roadsters we know that five months into a tour on a twelve-hour trip between Minneapolis and St. Louis, one has almost no desire to write a diary entry and an almost irresistible desire to stare mindlessly at the speeding gravel on the side of the highway. But we’ll see. It may provide a more-privileged-than-usual glimpse into the lifestyle and heart of a touring band. And certainly with a little jigging it could be made into some sort of an interactive process. But let’s take it one step at a time, shall we?
So we’ve started, amid snowstorms and missed pick-ups and Botticelli matches. When we went off the road in early November it seemed like this day would never come – five months at home after four years on the road seemed like and eternity, incomprehensible in length. But two and half months were eaten up in grueling fashion by the album, a month was spent rehearsing, a few weeks fled by on vacation and suddenly we’re on the I-90 traveling south to Boston, the road dark and the van dark and all of us quiet listening to David Bowie’s Scary Monsters.
Destiny didn’t want us to leave Toronto today, either that or it was telling us to get out and stay out. The city was hit with a nasty bit of snow and freezing rain overnight, the kind that has radio announcers searching for polite ways to say "you’re an idiot for driving." Marcus started pick-ups at 7:30 in the morning and we didn’t clear the city limits til 2"00. A little business at the border and a mandatory stop at Tim Horton’s meant that we weren’t out of Buffalo til 6:00, but with a little luck and some finesse with the accelerator pedal we should be breezing into Boston proper around 1:00AM. Spirits are up, slightly giddy, and everyone is well-rested and in reasonably good health (except Marcus, strangely). It doesn’t get better than this we know, except on stage, The road robs you of clarity of thought and emotion, and wears down the necessary boundaries between people. But none of that has happened yet, and so for the time being we’re just six guys in a van heading out in search of Big Adventure. For the time being, the rock ‘n roll clichés are true.
In the early days of the band we called each of our new evolutions a new Millennium. It was sort of a half-joke. We felt like anything was possible and so anything was possible. The first few Millennia passed in a few months, with things like First Radio Appearance and First Song With An Electric Bass. By the end of the first year we were into the 7th Millennium.
Then, as with any revolution, the pace of change slowed. Soon we forgot to count Millennia, and even forgot which Millennium we were in. Chroniclers of the band grew drowsy and ran out of ink, dogs with no I.D. tags were put out of doors and forgotten, pages from calendars were used as bookmarks and clocks were used as paperweights. But this album, this tour, the Bottom Line deal, even the new t-shirts, all of it has the feel of a new Millennium. And since we’ve forgotten which Millennium we’re in it may as well be 13. It feels like a Millennium of renewed vision and startling pants, endless horizons and Denny’s late-night. This is the feeling in the van at 9:33PM on Friday the 14th of March as we cruise down to Boston: the 13th Millennium, and welcome to it.