Summer Tour with Sublime With Rome begins tomorrow. I was recently informed that this will be my seventh year saying that sentence. Which means tomorrow marks eight summers on the road for me, almost a third of my life has been spent this way. How did I get here?
…When I was fifteen everything changed.
I moved. I had lived in the same house in California my entire life and I moved. I moved to Phoenix, Arizona. My parents really did everything they could not to do that to me but in the end it was necessary and now I can say, for the best. On my first day at my new school I was terrified. I wore my Black Flag t-shirt, knowing that if someone thought it was cool that we’d have at least one thing in common. It led to me meeting some of my best friends out there and my buddy who I started Tomorrow’s Nobody and one of my first bands with. Two things I’ve learned from Punk Rock: Question absolutely everything, and you don’t have to stop enjoying life just because you grow up. You however do have to be willing to give up everything holding you back from the life you’ve always wanted. Sometimes that means your bed. Ok, often times that means your bed in my case.
…It has never been easy.
I’ve given up and lost a lot to get here; A house, a car, stability, some of my best friends, and several relationships later and here I am. When we first loaded up that van, we weren’t just packing up some of the things that were most important to us, but almost everything I had. You realize what matters and what’s trivial, how important so many things we take for granted actually are. I finally woke up when I realized the dream never had to end. Letting go of the stuff and people who held me back wasn’t the only thing it took to get here though. I also worked my ass off. In High School when everyone was out partying, drinking, doing drugs, and fucking… all the things that seem to be expected of me now, I was not. My days, including school, were spent writing, drawing, making stupid videos, cartoons, flash games, and playing drums in whatever band I could put together. Comedy and music have always gone hand in hand for me. Whenever one isn’t taking up my time, the other is. Since I was fifteen years old. Even though my mom always let my bands practice at our house, she never wanted me to get drums. Just too loud I think. When I was ten and took band in school I wanted to play drums but she persuaded me not to, so I played the Alto Sax. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t drums. When I got my first job I saved up every penny I could and it all went towards buying the cheapest, shittiest drum kit I could find. My mom knew she couldn’t stop me at that point, and she’s always supported me in the endeavors I’ve been passionate enough about to accomplish on my own.
…My first tour I was on the other side of the show.
The summer of 2009 I got into a van with five of my best friends, some instruments, and never looked back. The way I tour has definitely changed since then but I’ve loved both sides. Before, there was no load in time or schedule, just a rough time that we would play. There was no guarantee or per diems, just hope we’d sell enough merch to put gas in the van to get us to the next show. No hotel rooms or a bus to sleep in, just random floors or the van. Two people always slept in the van to make sure no one stole it and/or all our gear. A friend of mine in another band would carry a gun and he pulled it on a guy in the middle of the night once. I still have no idea what I would’ve done if someone ever tried to rob our van, but you gotta do something. It’s your home. Being on the road has truly shaped who I am today and I really have no idea who I would be without it. One of the lessons touring in a van taught me, that I am very thankful for, is knowing just how little I need to be happy. Not fairytale happy but a real kind of happy. It comes with ups and downs, sacrifices, loads of self-doubt, and moments you’re not sure you’ll make it out alive. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I once heard an old southern man say “Home is where yer naked.” And if that’s true, then I’ve been home all over this world. Thank you for being so good to me.