Honolulu, Hawaii April 3rd-14th
I got really really cheap tickets thanks to my Dad’s frequent flyer miles. I had to fly from Phoenix, AZ, which was going to be a bit challenging because I didn’t have any friends there. I did meet a few nice people last time I was in Phoenix and was able to play 2 shows there and stay with my friend Brianna and her friends Tyler and Ryan. I left my van with another of Brianna’s friends in a parking lot. I kept thinking that this might be the last time I see the van. The plane ride was over 6 hours long.
Matthew, the guy who helped me put the shows together picked me up from the airport and had a lei ready for me. It was pretty great! We went to a cheap Thai restaurant and after that took me to his studio apartment where I played his electronic drum set for a long time (as if I was at Guitar Center.) Since his room was so tiny, he found me an open room in this warehouse called Astrisk. This space might be the cleanest group living space I have ever seen. A lot of bro’s and normals lived there and only a couple weirdos. The warehouse was run by this guy named Justin who seemed a little stand off-ish when I first got there. Everyone seemed a little hesitant to talk to me and it was just a tad uncomfortable. I sat in their common area alone for a couple hours and used the internet and then jet lag started to kick in like I just got punched in the face. It was only 6:45PM and I was exhausted. The room I was staying in had nothing in it and zero windows. I grabbed a bunch of couch cushions and a blanket (that may or may not have bugs on it) and slept for 12 hours in pitch black. When I awoke I laid there wondering what I was supposed to do. It’s always weird when you don’t know everyone in a house hold and you aren’t sure if everyone knows you are staying there. Sure enough when I exited my room to the common area to use the bathroom, two girls were standing in the kitchen mean mugging the fuck out of me. I introduced myself and they continued starring. I said, “uhh I’m friends with uhhh” I couldn’t remember Justin’s name and for some reason I said David. The one girl snapped at me, “there is no David that lives here.” The other girl said, “He means Justin, didn’t you get that email that he sent you?” Then the other girl sarcastically responded to me, “You guys good friends, eh?” The only thing I could think to say with my jet lagged brain was, “Sorry” and quickly raced into the bathroom. From this entire year of touring, I think this was the most awkward living situation I have ever been in.
So after that I felt uncomfortable, really uncomfortable. I sat in my solitary confinement room and used the internet for a long time. I felt depressed from the jet lag and the fact that I was all alone in Hawaii. I now know how that Irish drummer who came to the states to play me felt and why he decided to not tour. Being jet lagged and all alone with zero friends or family is terrible. I needed to get out of this warehouse and I remembered that Justin had an extra bike that I could borrow. I grabbed his bike and set out with the intention of getting lost and maybe hitting the ocean. I first hit up a grocery store to grab some lunch and try to find film. Things in Hawaii are EXPENSIVE!!! 3.99 for Avocados! I would hate to see what Whole Foods in Hawaii looks like. After the supermarket, I started biking and unluckily the chain on the bike snapped off. Luckily, I was close to a bike shop and unluckily everything was super expenisve. $20 for a bike chain. YUCK!
The first show in Hawaii took place at a bar called thirtyninehotel. Matt’s band was playing and two other bands. There were a lot of paintings on the walls and square cushion/couches to sit. The theme of the non-connecting states is sharing equipment. Since I flew to Hawaii I couldn’t bring a guitar, amp, or drum stuff. This is always an issue with shows that aren’t college oriented shows. People have crappy gear or they flat out won’t let you use their gear. The one band with a member that dressed like Jarvis Cocker (and had a Pulp pin on his jacket) had a pretty suitable keyboard, but they said they weren’t going to stick around the whole night. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I was headlining this event. Why???? The opening band were an acoustic duo with long hair that I was told sounded like the Eagles. I guess they sounded like the Eagles. The guy Ross who put the events together was named Ross and kind of reminded me of Steve Coogan. He DJ’d the night as well. He bought me a couple Island drinks because a las Hawaii doesn’t give free drinks to bands. BUMMER.
My set kinda sucked. The sound was crummy and it was dark so I couldn’t see my loop pedal. Oh well. So not even buzzed and kinda bummed. We went to a dinner across the street and ate vegan chicken on a bone(stick!!!) and fries. I got handed some greenery for free, which was nice.
The next day I recorded in the warehouse Asterisk not one, but three songs. That is when I decided to record an album while I was in Hawaii. I mean I would be there for almost two weeks. I figured what else what I do?
The show was at a place called Next Door. This looked more like a venue and it was pretty large. I was pretty worried. Matt dj’ed the event and the opening act was a 2 piece surf punk group. I had a really bad feeling about this show. I wasn’t in the right mind set…
The sound system sounded great and the first 4 songs were perfect. The St. Louis song that I had been playing solo for a month now was not working out and I messed it up the previous night as well. After that the show went down hill. The keyboard I borrowed sounded like crap and it kept cutting out. Arah from Matt’s band asked me to play another song and I tried to play Really? but it really wasn’t working out. I felt like I was a comedian bombing at the Comedy Store. Ugh. Well I sold one vinyl and fell asleep on the couch in the venue. I think the owner thought I was drunk. I think I was still jet lag. We couldn’t find a ride home so we took a super expensive cab.
During the course of the next few days I didn’t do much. I recorded 5 songs and Justin took me to a Cabaret show and to the beach. I ate some fish, which is pretty rare for me. The girl who acted like a female dog to me actually apologized to me for being so mean and seemed to almost flirt with me. It was weird. Hawaii kinda smells like someone sprayed Fabreeze everywhere.
On Saturday at the warehouse, I played a punk show with 9 other bands. THe amount of people at the show was more than the attendance of both shows I played earlier that week combined.
Terrible PA system and I only got to play 3 songs. LAME. Afterwards I took one of the guys from Asterisk to this Karaoke party that one of the promoters was having for his birthday.
After that show, I had 4 days of nothing. Went to the beach a lot and one day got taken to this waterfall where we jumped off rocks. Wakiki is tourist city and I really wasn’t impressed. I played the same 2 venues again on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday was a much better turn out, but I think it was because I played 2nd instead of last. I met this girl who drove 40 minutes to come see me play and she said she was going to come to the show tomorrow. The following show was a punk show that had at least 50 people there. I was excited because I was playing 3rd of 4 bands, but a las they made me play last and I played to 6 people. I felt defeated. Plus all the equipment I borrowed sucked!
The girl named Lan who drove 40 minutes away to see me was at the show and bought me some drinks. She ended up taking me back to her place which was in this area called the North Shore. I really felt like my trip to Hawaii took place this very last couple days. It was INCREDIBLE. We went hiking up these small mountains and watched tiny planes land. She took me to a coffee roaster place and had the best coffee I will ever drink. We also drank coconut water from coconuts, ate sure cane, sour sop, and Poke, a raw fish in soy sauce and rice (which is the best thing EVER!) Got to see some giant beached sea turtles up close, which is way cooler than you think. We laid out on the beach and went swimming. Lan made the best fish tacos I have ever had with home made tortillas.
More videos and pics coming soon!