We ran like headless chickens on speed to make it in time for our flight from Heathrow to LAX. I was beginning to feel like that’s how all of our flights would be: barely arriving at the terminals on time. To make matters worse, we arrived at LAX at the exact same time as Air Force One, which meant that the Los Angeles airport was closed for 45 minutes while Barack Obama was making his way through the arrivals terminal. This meant that we had to wait an extra 45 minutes before disembarking our plane. Ouch! At least we took comfort in knowing that we didn’t have to do too much traveling for the next few days. Good news for us since we had probably only managed about 5 hours sleep from Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon.
We finally arrived at our hotel on Sunset Boulevard. It was time to sleep. Tomorrow we’ll be meeting the big dread-locked dude who booked our US shows, Thom. We couldn’t wait to meet him… I mean… he managed Chimaira! Here’s a picture of Thom with Corey Taylor. You understand our excitement now?
So after some much needed rest we finally got to meet Thom who arrived with our van loaned to us by the kind Oedipus dudes. We hung out. Took a drive through Hollywood Boulevard. Ate hot dogs. Heard cool stories about all the bands Thom has worked with. Visited Long Beach. You know… that sort of thing.
That same evening we went to The Rainbow Bar & Grill with Thom. He introduced us to the legend, Lonn Friend of Rip Magazine fame. After supper and drinks we walked across the road to The Viper Room to check some bands out with Thom and Lonn. The sound in that venue is spectacular. Now we were truly counting down the days till we got to experience that famous stage for ourselves!
San Diego is absolutely beautiful! Ron Burgundy had that whole whale’s vagina thing all wrong. Our first US show took place at The 710 Beach Club in San Diego with Oedipus, Split Finger and Uprooted. One thing is for certain: The professionalism and standard of US bands is very high – and they really treated us so well, too. Oedipus are a tight and incredibly entertaining band to behold. We should bring them to South Africa so you can experience them for yourselves. Kiss On The Fist is such a catchy song. You should watch the video and find out for yourself.
As for our show, we played first and the club was nicely full. We played for 30 minutes and once again we went down really well with the crowd. I’m the Observer and Poles Apart again proving popular with the punters. What is quite amazing is the fact that San Diego has quite a few South Africans inhabiting their pristine coast line. We met a few South Africans at the 710 Beach Club show. Thanks for making us feel right at home!
We visited Los Angeles not only to play shows, but to network like bosses.
And that’s exactly what we did! On one of our nights off we took a drive with Thom to catch a show from Attika 7, who are signed to Thom’s label. They played a tight show at The Slidebar in Fullerton, CA. The band features members from Biohazard and Nonpoint, as well as Rusty Coones who features in the new season of Sons of Anarchy. We met their bassist, Zach of Nonpoint fame. Here’s a backstage view of the band on the night.
Meeting Nick Oliveri was another highlight for us. We managed to catch his band, Mondo Generator live at The 3 of Clubs in Hollywood. We hung out with the band and spoke about the dangerous Great White sharks of South Africa! haha. Nick said he’d love to visit South Africa and that he almost got the chance earlier this year when Eagles of Death Metal were looking at getting him to play with them at Oppikoppi. Being a big Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age fan, I’m sure you can see why I look so excited in this picture!
Friday, 19 October 2012 proved to be one of the greatest days ever! It started off in the best way possible, breakfast with legendary producer, Ulrich Wild!
Thom hooked the meeting up for us. So there we were, myself with Sashan & Alvin having waffles and pancakes with Thom and Ulrich Wild. It was fascinating hearing Ulrich talk about what went on behind the scenes when he was working with Deftones, Otep, Seether, Dethklok etc. Such a cool dude! We gave him our promo CD and we’ve stayed in contact with him. Later that night we finally got to play at the world famous Viper Room on the Sunset Strip. All we can say is “WOW”! What a venue! The sound in that place really is top notch and the professionalism of the venue is of the highest standard we’ve ever experienced. We got on stage with the curtains drawn shut in front of us. The front of house engineer communicated via microphone and headphones with the sound engineer. She made sure everything sounded great, and when she was done tweaking our on stage sound she gave the sound engineer the go ahead. With that the curtains drew open and the voice from the PA system announced:
“Ladies and gentlemen…
please welcome…from Johannesburg, South Africa…
It was a fun show and we played to the best of our ability. The response was great and once again, I’m the Observer and Poles Apart went down the best. Again I’m left speechless when trying to describe what we felt during and after this performance. I don’t really know how to put it… but… we played at The Viper Room and it was a Friday night. A memory that will last forever, and one that not many South African bands have experienced. We are so grateful for this massive opportunity we just experienced.
It was an insane and incredible journey for us. 3 countries in 3 weeks! While traveling in the taxi on our way to LAX that Sunday afternoon to start our long trip back to South Africa I felt two emotions:
1) excited to get back to South Africa and see my family, girlfriend and friends again.
2) sadness that this 3 week adventure had finally come to an end.
We can’t wait to go back there and do it all again…
* Deity’s Muse would like to extend their eternal gratitude to the following entities for making this tour possible: Turning Tricks entertainment, Thom Hazaert Company, FeedMe Music, Music Connection, DR Strings, the Pillay and Boucher families.