Maybe we didn’t set anyone in Clutch on fire, but some thought we tried!
It was probably midnight or close to it in Richmond, Virginia. Dead Earth Politics had just finished a small, but very successful, mini tour through the southeast to get us to our prized destination; GWAR-B-Q! We were set up in a nice hotel in a quiet area and were incredibly grateful for that since we were set to play the festival the next day. Let me tell you, in an environment where bad asses from Phil Anselmo to Sleazy P. Martini are walking around and might just hear you, you best believe we wanted to be on our A-Game.
We had pulled in on Friday August 4th in time to catch the Before-B-Q line ups like Arch Enemy and Coal Chamber. The week prior had been fun as hell but we were still tired and, though we might have been missing out on some money playing a Friday show elsewhere, we were glad to relax a bit. That night we rolled into the room expecting to get some quick shut eye. It was Mason, Tim, myself and our drum tech/general-road-beast Hutch (click here if you wanna see Hutch Jell-O wrestling on this tour – sight to behold).
Have you ever been in the midst of a nice quiet meal at a restaurant when, as you sink your teeth into that filet mignon you’ve been waiting forty-five minutes for, a high pitched shrieked bellows forth from the infant who is conveniently placed right behind your seat? You know how it goes directly into your ear and immediately shatters your soul like a fragile collector’s Hummel?
Yeah that. Times ten in volume and thirty-eight in level of “shrill”. Oh yeah – and it wouldn’t stop.
Hurriedly and with more confusion than he normally has, Mason used his superior height advantage (he’s tall…) to wrench the facing from the alarm! Saved! Wait. IT’S HARD WIRED. No smoke to wave away. No plug to disconnect. Just that tenth level of Hell Dante conveniently omitted. The song went on.
We called the front desk and they said someone was on the way. Ten shrieking minutes later I picked up and called again, this time hearing another attendant on a separate phone mention our room number. “Great”, I thought, “everyone on this floor is gonna think we are the dicks who denied them sleep because we had to smoke in our hotel room.” In case it needs clarification we were not smoking in our hotel room.
I had to get outside. My ears were ringing and I didn’t want any issues for the next day’s festival. I wasn’t five minutes in the hallway when the room next door opened and one of the denizens thrust his head out the door. Neil Fallon from Clutch. We had ruined the festival. The headliner for the next day ain’t gonna get any sleep because our alarm is malfunctioning and he won’t be able to sing and we are going to be blacklisted from Gwar-B-Q, SXSW, Wacken, where ever – forever!
“Is yours going off, too?” was all I could muster up.
In he went.
Management finally came up and gave us a firm talking to for smoking in the room. I returned the heavy handed tone and took the manager down a notch or two. He apologized which we all quickly accepted. He then told us how proud the staff was for what ‘we’ were doing for the city with the festival and congratulated ‘us’ on our new bar. That is when we realized…
He was referring to the Gwar Bar and he thought we were Gwar. Interesting…
As far as the righteous Mr. Neil Fallon goes, Mason saw him the next day and apologized and explained. Neil was incredibly gracious and I watched them kick mad ass after we had a chance to kick mad ass. The festival was epic.
If you are at all interested in what kind of jams get us into festivals and on tour, you can download The Queen of Steel for free here. If you already have it (you lucky dawg) all of our other tunes are currently available alongside our shirts on Bandcamp!
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