The Vault Blog
Four continents - Part 3Posted: August 27, 2012 20:43:33 by Anders Jakobson
Being an European band it's very easy to think "well, we'll do Japan after Australia as it's in the same 'neighborhood'". Well, it really isn't. Flying from Australia (or in our case New Zealand) to Japan is about as far as from Sweden/Finland to Japan… So we had a 11 hour flight ahead of us, which in my opinion pretty much flew by quickly. The seats were very comfortable and there were a rich variety of entertainment to experience in the seat monitor, and apart from some nasty turbulence the flight was fine.
As we flew back three hours in time we landed at the afternoon in Tokyo and fortunately had the night off. We were met at the airport by some familiar faces - the head promotor Nambu and Tetsu, that we met the previous two times in Japan, and there was also a new face there, a guy called George who was a translator. A very cool guy that helped us a lot during the time in Japan.
Due to heavy traffic the ride to the hotel took a bit longer than expected, but the van was comfortable and fortunately very well air conditioned so it was nothing, especially after 11 hours of flying. We had a few minutes to throw in our bags in our rooms before we went for a "production meeting" with the promotors and Napalm Death, who arrived an hour after us. The production meeting was in reality a huge dinner with plate after plate with food to be consumed, and yes - there were some production discussions going on as well.
Napalm Death came to Japan without Shane who had to sit this tour out due to some health issues. That's really too bad. We knew about this already in Perth as Mitch called Jesper and asked if he could play the bass for the gigs and the following three benefit gigs Napalm Death will do in northern Japan. As it didn't work out time wise for Jesper, they used their sound guy A.K. as their bass player. Unfortunately A.K. missed his flight with five (!) hours, so he was nowhere to be seen this first night. He arrived early the next morning though.
Last minute rehearsal - AK had a bunch of songs to learn, but seemed happy anyway.
After a good night's sleep at the Shibuya City Hotel, same as the last two times, we virtually walked for a few minutes to the venue - Club Quattro. I love it when the accommodations and the venue are so close! Touring in Japan is really so convenient and they have an organization that works flawlessly. Everything is on time, all the equipment is top notch and basically the only thing you have to do is play. Even our "do pretty much everything"-guy Hannes had less to do during these dates as some else was taking care of the back line before and after the shows. I remember this from the first tour in 2001 and at that point it was really a surprising thing, like the first time you felt like a "rockstar" in this genre where there are no rockstar elements.
At the venue we met Pig Destroyer again for the second time on this two week stretch. They had arrived one day earlier than the rest of us and managed to do a show in Tokyo prior to the Extreme the Dojo tour. After soundcheck we had a few hours off to eat and rest, but not too much time as the shows are really early in Japan. We were the middle band on the bill and played already at ten to eight. The show was fine. I felt somewhat claustraphobic behind the kit as it was placed just in front of Danny's kit, but with little room to move so I had some cymbal stands and bass drums up my ass all during the show. That annoyed me a bit, but overall the show was fine and the Tokyo crowd went nuts during the songs. Between the songs they were pitch silent, which sort of is the Japanese way and that really feels awkward.
Live in Tokyo.
The following day we went by bullet train to Osaka for about two and a half hours. Another convenient way to travel in Japan.
The outside and inside of a bullet train.
When we got to the venue I was suddenly very confused. It wasn't the same Club Quattro as the previous times and I was told that old place had closed. That's too bad as I liked that place and it definitively has a special place in the history of Nasum as it was there the "Doombringer" live album was recorded. The new venue was really new and luxurious with almost sound proof walls. Our FOH Antti had to work a lot during the sound check as "everything was audible". It felt pretty good on stage though.
For dinner Urban, Jesper and I went to a really geniune Japanese place and had some Udon noodles. They didn't understand a single word English so to see Jesper "acting" that we wanted something vegetarian was really funny. In the end we got some Udon noodles with stripes of Tofu so it was fine and quite good. We were also swarmed by autograph hunters at the hotel. Some people have almost complete collections of all our bands so sometimes there are many record sleeves to sign…
The show in Osaka was quite hot and wet so some incidental sloppiness appeared out of nowhere. I almost dropped a stick in a break and Urban's pick slipped in the beginning of a song, both creating embarrassing errors, but nothing critical. My general feeling of the Osaka show was that it was worse than the Tokyo one. It seems like my theory of "good/bad/good/bad" applies even in Japan.
Live in Osaka.
I went back to the hotel (again very close to the venue) pretty early as I felt for a movie night. About 45 minutes I fell asleep and slept on the covers with the lights on through out the night. Tired? Well, slightly. Fortunately we had a late lobby call the following day as the bullet train to Nagoya is less than an hour. As we arrived to town we learned that there was some kind of dance/performance carnival on the streets just by the venue which meant that we couldn't use the hotel next door to the venue and instead had our accommodations 10 MINUTES away by car… Oh, the horror! Oh, the pain! Not really…
In Nagoya Jesper bought only the necessary stuff, Janne showed who's the boss and two guys found Sweden in a mall.
I got a really good feeling during the soundcheck and judging from my theory of alternating good/bad shows, the Nagoya show should be a good one… But before our show Pig Destroyer played as usual, this time with a certain bonus at the end. Apparently the Piggies have recorded a bonus CD to their upcoming "Book Burner" with only hardcore covers, so they decided to play one of these covers this night with a few people from the Nasum party as special guests. Both Jon and Janne have genuine hardcore roots - Jon with Outlast and Janne with Endstand - and they knew pretty much all of the cover songs by heart. In the end the song that was played was the Negative Approach song "Can't tell no one". It was really funny watching Janne going "all in" as he hasn't been in a band for a while. I managed to capture the song on video:
In my opinion the Nagoya show was the best one of the three in Japan. Perhaps some of that last energy reserve added some extra boost to the show, but I felt really good and in the mood for grind. At the end of the show when we played "Inhale/Exhale", Keijo did his usual thing and went into the pit. This tradition started as far as we can remember in Ilosaari, and he's been doing it almost at every show during this stretch. It adds so much to unity between band and audience and it always bring a smile to my face as the crowd goes mental and tries to sing with him in the mic. This time he had some company in the pit as Adam Jarvis from Pig Destroyer took one of the mic's and did some guest vocals. I didn't know that this would happen so I was quite surprised and truly entertained. In moments like that I get reminded that I wrote that song on an acoustic guitar back in my first apartment about 15 years ago.
One enthusiastic fan to the left, one Keijo in the pit to the right and somewhere in between is Adam.
After Napalm Death finished their set we all relocated to a taiwanese restaurant nearby for a final dinner. It was loud and it was spicy but it was fun. I think most of us were starving since it was the first meal of the day, and a pretty late one, so we ate plate after plate of the food that was served. The meal was followed by a great hugging party as we all parted ways. We were heading back to Europe, Pig Destroyer to the US and Napalm Death would continue up north in Japan to play a few benefit gigs in the parts wrecked by the tsunami last year and then stop by in South Korea for the first time. And the Japanese people - Nambu, Tetsu, George and Jumbo - would obviously get back to their normal life and plan for the next tour. It was a sweet farewell and we headed back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep.
Three brothers of the blast, one Barney, a tiny beer and one Urban.
Well, speaking for myself, I didn't sleep that much and got perhaps two and a half hours before the alarm rang early in the morning. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing as we had a long, long day of traveling to get back home. First 12 hours to Frankfurt for a shorter (for the Swedes) and a longer (for the Finns) layover before we flew back to our capitals. Those few sleep hours at the hotel worked to my advantage as I dozed through the first half of the long flight. And late on the Sunday evening we were back at home.
This part of the tour has been a weird one for sure. Not only did we play in four continents in two weeks, we flew 14 times, drifted through seven time zones, spent less than 24 hours in both Thailand and New Zealand, we broke one guitar, lost a few books and a set of headphones, ate Indian food in Australia and taiwanese food in Japan, we met a lot of crazy fans and signed a million things, one of us was almost sent back home from Australia, while someone else did a rockstar classic and another guy in the party hugged some koalas while a fourth person hugged a guy with the first ever Nasum t-shirt… Yeah, a lot of crazy and weird stuff happened during these two weeks and obviously we need to send out a bunch of thank you's to all the people we met, the bands we shared stages with, the friendly promotors and of course everyone who came to the shows. Thank you! Domo arigato gozaimasu! Tack! Kiitos!
Four continents - Part 2Posted: August 22, 2012 17:45:05 by Anders Jakobson
At the second stop in Australia, Adelaide, we were met at the airport by Robert McManus who is responsible for all these shows. At the venue, Fowlers, we met our Tasmanian support band Psycroptic who are with us during the tour. We had already met the second support band Dyscarnate from the UK in Perth. All of these new acquaintances were nice people so we had a good touring party going on.
Fowlers was another cool venue with some old school arcade games as an unexpected bonus. Not that anyone of us had the time to play them, but the sheer presence of a "Pac-Man" at a venue was quite satisfying. Come showtime the venue wasn't really filled to the brink, and being a Thursday it felt a little bit mellow but we had yet another good show and the Adelaide crowd were loud enough for us to do some encores.
Our accommodations for the night were just a short walk away and we slept at some kind of apartment hotel, i.e. a couple of rooms with a kitchen and a living room type of space. Quite nice, and it was also very nice to crawl back into a warm place as Adelaide was quite rainy and cold this day. Unfortunately none of us slept that well during the night - our bodies and minds were in different time zones.
Although we only bring the most necessary stuff, we still have a lot of (heavy) luggage to check in - at every airport…
Another morning flight later and we were in sunny Brisbane. This felt more "Australia" in some way with a few palm trees here and there to spice up the environment. This time the venue was the very nice HiFi, which was one of those venues that you feel your own hometown is missing. If there was a way to excavate the whole building and bring it back to Örebro, I would do that. In Brisbane we met Nathan who is an Internet friend of Jon's who happens to do websites for a couple of bands and artists, among others Baroness and Nathan filled us in on the current situation of the band members and crew after that tragic bus accident. Later on Nathan told us a lot of interesting stories about Metallica, which was unexpected.
When it was time for the show, I wasn't really feeling particularly excited. It's been very tough adjusting to the different time zones since we've travelled to new ones every day. I believe I've found the right rhythm and sleep when you are supposed to sleep, while others in the touring party have trouble sleeping at the nights and are forced to take a nap during the days instead. Anyway - something very unexpected got my energy level rising a few songs into the show when I noticed that Jesper stumbled into the drum riser and sat down on our spare guitar and broke its neck! Rock stars usually smash guitars, grinders breaks them with their asses!
The broken neck and the guy who broke it...
This got the show slightly more exciting than usual because every now and then we are really depending on the spare guitar when a string breaks or something, but fortunately we finished the gig without any other incidents. There were slightly more people present compared to prior shows, which was nice.
Yet again we stayed at an apartment hotel and this time on the top floor, so the view from the balcony was quite astonishing, especially during the daytime.
View from the apartment in Brisbane. Nice!
The following day we had a shorter flight, and thankfully at a later time than the previous flights. A few more hours of sleep, which always is a welcomed gift. As I keep track of the weather reports every time I have access to the Internet, I was expecting the coldest day so far, but Sydney - which was the town of the day - was warmer than expected, but obviously not as warm as Brisbane.
Another HiFi venue was the goal for the day, but to get there we had to suffer some hassle at the car rentals at the airport, and some slow Sydney traffic, and some more hassle at the apartment hotel (yes, once more we get this type of accommodation…). After the soundcheck Jesper, Urban, Janne and I wanted to go to the Sydney Opera House as that is probably something you should see when you are in the biggest city of Australia. We had to wait for ages to get a driver that could take us there, but once there it was worth all the wait. It's an astonishing building for sure. We hung out in and around the Opera House for a few hours. Unfortunately it was already quite dark when we got there so the obvious tourist pictures we took turned out too dark.
FOH Antti, pretty much before we left for the Opera House and pretty much how he was when we came back a few hours later. He and Hannes have gotten a routine where they sleep backstage for a couple of hours between the sound check and showtime - no matter how much noise there is…
The gig in Sydney turned out to be the best one so far in Australia, at least from a band point of view. Personally I made a few stupid mistakes that annoyed me, especially when they occurred in songs I've played a million times. No critical mistakes thought, it's just that you want your performance to be perfect every night. But the general feeling of the show was that it was great for all of us.
Here are some killer shots from the Sydney show by Jay Collier - More in his Facebook gallery!
After yet another short flight we were in Melbourne for two shows. A second show were added on our day of between the first one and New Zealand. For some reason this show couldn't been announced before the day of the first show, so it became some sort of a secret "after tour" show. More about that in a bit. The first Melbourne show was held at yet another HiFi, this one being the oldest of the three. Robert picked us up at the airport and after driving for a while in the busy Melbourne traffic, he announced that we had reached the venue. The door to the HiFi was really discreet and if you didn't know that it existed you would easily miss it.
All of the other band members got back to the hotel while I stayed in town to buy something warmer to wear. I should have packed a jacket because Australia was in general much colder than I had expected. Well, we were on a very busy street with loads of open stores so it was an easy problem to solve. Then I hung out at the venue until the rest showed up in time for soundcheck.
At the Melbourne show we had an old friend on the guest list. Our beloved merch guy from the US tour, Jamie Getz, was in town, and it was very nice to see him again.
It seems like the good and bad shows alternate each other. During this show I had some trouble with moving cymbal stands and at two times my china cymbal fell of the drum riser, which was really annoying. The following day I discovered a crack in the cymbal that might very well have gotten there during the double falls… Anyway, the "bad" shows are most likely something that only we think of. The response was great with the largest crowd so far. It was also the final night with Psycroptic, Dyscarnate and the blazing Captain Cleanoff that joined us in Brisbane. The finale of the official Australian tour called for a party at a bar so every one but Jon and I went there. We went to the hotel instead which despite their freezing cold rooms served us with a good night's sleep, especially when we had no flight to catch in the morning.
Keijo somewhere in the pit during the first Melbourne show, and the poster for the second.
Jesper and I who shared a room in the apartment slept very late, while Janne attended some business and Urban went to the gigantic cemetery opposite the hotel. Around 3 PM we gathered to go to the HiFi and move the back line to a much smaller venue in another part of town. The extra show was held at Bendigo Hotel which is a small venue that usually - well, at least according to the posters - book punk shows. That served us very fine and our support bands this day was two seriously ripping bands, Internal Rot and Krömosom, who kicked our asses sore with their aggressive hardcore punk before our show. As we knew that this night would be much more punk than all the other shows, we adjusted our setlist heavily with a brand new opening and a few odd songs in the list. I also believe it was the first time on the tour that we played "Detonator", the old d-beat song from "Human 2.0". It was a very fun and hot night with a great feeling in the room, despite the guy smashing a bottle in another guy's head during Internal Rot's show…
That was certainly a very aggressive and "non-Australian" move, as my general feeling after a week in Australia is that the people here are very friendly and down to earth. It was fun going here, although it obviously had been much more fun to see a lot more of the country than basically airports, apartment hotels and venues…
That concludes the Aussie part of this tour - the following day we traveled to the fourth continent on this stretch, the submerged continent of Zealandia… i.e New Zealand - home of Peter Jackson and Flight of The Conchords! Again we had some hassle at the airport, but were finally let into the country for a quite short visit. I believe we spent even less hours than in Thailand in this exciting country and that's obviously too bad. We all got a good impression of the little bit of the country that we actually saw, going from the airport to the venue in Auckland. It sure looked nice and cosy.
Kings Arms Tavern was yet another smaller venue, but it was really nice and the show turned out really good. The "kiwi's" went apeshit and we sure had a fun time although we were very tired from all the traveling and time zone skipping. Poor Jon got struck by a cold after the soundcheck and kept a low profile and there wasn't really much going on before the show. We had a backstage room in an apartment above the venue and our hostess Ami had baked us some yummy cupcakes, which obviously went straight into the biceps when consumed… Never had cupcakes in a backstage room before, so that was a really nice addition to the other stuff we chow down. And in the venue there were copies of the local fanzine Subcide Zine's special edition with an eight page Nasum interview and nothing else. Another positive thing about New Zealand.
Too bad we had to leave so early to go to Japan, where we are right now - but more about that in the next and final report!
Four continents - Part 1Posted: August 16, 2012 13:20:29 by Anders Jakobson
The weirdest part of the Farewell tour where we will cover four continents in two weeks started with the final European summer festival: Ieperfest in Belgium. The trip to Belgium began very early in Stockholm (and this time I brought all of my luggage…) with a layover in Riga, Latvia - which is a quite a weird route to Belgium, but it saved a lot of money for our eight persons strong traveling group. It was also in Riga where we Swedes hooked up with the Finns.
Landing at Brussels airport we found some other Swedish rockers at the odd sized luggage (i.e. guitars and such) pick up area. Grand Magus was also supposed to play at Ieper so we hooked up and got picked up by some festival shuttles. 90 minutes or so later we were at the festival site.
Ieper is very much a hardcore festival, but with some metal as well. It's a quite small festival compared to many others we've played this summer, but it's a long lasting one. The fact is that the festival celebrated it's 20th anniversary this year, which made our appearance appropriate in some way. Some of the other bands playing this day that we met and talked to were Eyehategod and Pig Destroyer, the latter one being a band that we will spend much more time with later on in this trip.
The show went pretty good. Lot's of hardcore moshing going on and by the end of the show both Keijo and Jon went crowd surfing. It was a good start for this trip.
Grindcore action at Ieper and can you spot Keijo in the crowd?
The following morning we had some time to kill so some of us went for a walk in Ieper, watching the massive cathedrals that were close to the hostel where we slept. Some medieval architecture mixed with WWII memorials. Epic, Bolt Throwerish stuff for sure.
Then a very long day of boring traveling started. I'll spare you the details because not much is interesting. We went back to Brussels, flew to Vienna, had a three hour layover and then flew to Bangkok for ten hours. The first of a few looooong flights.
Lunch at Brussels airport - the whole gang in the same picture for the first time…
We landed in a very hot, humid and rainy Bangkok and were met at the airport by the very friendly promotor Jockey who went with us to the the hotel. The hotel was very fresh and comfortably cool and we could rest for about an hour. We had flown through many time zones so it was actually in the afternoon we landed, just a few hours before the show.
While at the hotel room I had a strong emotional moment. It could just have been because of the not particularly comfortable flight, but obviously there were some special feelings coming up because of where we were. Months ago when we decided to include Thailand in the tour my feelings were very mixed. If not for the tour I'm pretty certain that I would never have gotten to this country, but on the other hand - Thailand is not be blamed for Mieszko's death. The Thai people didn't kill him, it was an unexpected act of nature which basically could have happened anywhere. And now I'm pretty happy that I got to experience Thailand, although we only spent 20 hours in the country…
After that hour of rest we back into the lobby. There we met our friends of Wormrot who had gotten to the hotel a couple of hours earlier. We went to the venue, which was called Barbies. It was a small club that were undergoing some rebuilding so half of the place was a building site. Unfortunately the back line and PA were not the best we have seen, but we shouldn't complain as it would have been a real hassle bringing that type of equipment with us from Europe.
Nasum live in Thailand for the first and only time.
We managed to do the best of what we had, but during the actual show I was struggling quite hard with the drum stool that felt like it would break apart at any minute. That obviously made the show a bit annoying for me. The attendance was poor but the Thai grinders - and a bunch of Americans who came there - really were into it, but I will never really understand the Asian hospitality during the shows - between the songs they are dead quiet and it's so strange. The gig felt very punk and at the end of the show we played "The Final Sleep" which is the one song that I personally - in my mind - dedicates to Mieszko. So I thought of him during the song.
We wrote a lot of autographs in Thailand. Some of the fans had brought some quite surprising stuff, like Necrony and Crematory records, but obviously a lot of Nasum stuff. Signing stuff is part of the package - it it makes someone happy I'd be happy to do it. There were also massive amounts of photos taken, and that is a little bit more strange - but again: if it makes someone happy…
Back at the hotel some of us decided that a good night's sleep - although not that long - was a good idea, while others felt like spending as many waken hours as possible in Thailand was a better idea. To each their own.
The following day was yet another long travel day, but this one was slightly more enjoyable. We had a five hour layover in Singapore, which sounded like a drag, but in the end was quite easy. Jesper, who had been to Singapore before, decided to use this time to go to the city, while the other used all the pleasures of this great airport. Some went for a massage, and others hung out by an outside swimming pool. The weather was really hot so some pool usage went on. Even the water unfriendly Jon bought a pair of swimming trunks and really enjoyed the water. He managed to challenge a member of New Zealand's olympic team (a taekwondo champion) for a swimming contest. Jon lost, but on the other hand he got a pretty mean sunburn...
Antti and Jon enjoying Singapore Slings (what else?) and then the sunburn…
Then another five hour flight to Perth with some minor trouble at the immigration, but then we were in the third continent so far - Australia and went to a backpackers hostel where all eight of us were put in the same room. We had something to eat and then went to sleep and slept for a long time. Apparently it was needed. Before we went to the venue, which were basically next doors we caught a little bit of Perth, which despite the Australian winter was comfortably hot and sunny.
We did the usual business before the show - i.e. Antti and Hannes did all the work and the rest of us just fucked around. It's not that we are divas or anything - our crew like to work and we appreciate that a lot. We couldn't have asked for a better crew!
Jon changing broken strings and Anders doing nothing.
The first show of Australia went really good. We added a few more songs to our standard set to prolong the show, and we played "Worst Case Scenario" for the first time during the tour. It just happened because for some reason we tried it out on the soundcheck and decided to do it. The crowd was small but really into the show and reading a few comments online it seems like they really liked it. Always nice, especially when you feel that you've done a good show.
Nasum's first show of Australia.
We went back to the hostel where we received the terrible news that Baroness had been in a serious bus accident. It's always scary to hear about this stuff, especially when it's a band you have some sort of personal connection to. Fortunately there were no fatal injuries in the crash, but there will obviously will be quite a long time before they will be able to tour again. We wish them all the best.
Oh man, this is getting long… We're in Adelaide now and will actually go on stage in less than an hour, so we'll save Adelaide for the next blog posting...
Resurrection, Vagos and WackenPosted: August 6, 2012 14:18:30 by Anders Jakobson
The final European festival weekend for the Farewell tour took us to Spain, Portugal and Germany. As we are two traveling parties, one from Sweden and one from Finland, we usually hook up at a layover as it's not often we have direct flights to wherever we are going. This time the final destination was Porto in Portugal, but we had completely different routes and did not meet until we both had reached the final destination. For once the flight left Sweden at a decent time, but never the less it meant that I had to leave Örebro for the roughly two hour drive to the Arlanda airport bright and early. I packed my bags into the car and got driving at 06:20, which is early for a sleepyhead as myself. I was slightly late when I got closer to the long time parking at the airport, and with about ten minutes of driving left I got a terrifying notion: I had no memory of putting my hand luggage in the car... And in the hand luggage I'd put my passport...
I stopped to have a look and, no, the hand luggage wasn't in the car! With some rising panic I quickly went to the airport police station and surprisingly rapid got a temporary - and very pink - passport for a quite large fee, and could return to the parking lot and eventually end up at the terminal where the other Swedes were waiting for me. Well, to say the least, I traveled light during this weekend...
Anyway: in Porto we were picked up by a large tourist type of bus and a Spanish older dude who didn't speak much English. Although we landed in Portugal, the first show was about five hours away into Spain so we got driving. For some reason, Portugal is in a different time zone, so suddenly we were very short on time and the drive felt very loooong. Once we got to Viveiro, we virtually had to go directly to the stage and set up our stuff for the show. No time for anything else and although it was quite stressful, it was the positive kind of stress. One focus, and no time to get nervous or whatever. So basically we went straight from the bus to perform and the show was great. Usually after a longer break, it's been a few weeks since the latest show, you feel a little bit rusty, but this show went smoothly, and the tent was packed with excited Spanish grinders.
Arty-farty renditions of the Resurrection show.
After the show we had time to cool of and meet up with some friends. Some of the Municipal Waste guys showed up and I talked a bit to Dave Witte who saw Nasum already back in 1999 during the first US tour. Although he claimed today that he was "shit faced" on that day, I remember getting a copy of his email newsletter afterwards where he spoke well about the show. This was way before the advent of blogs and social media. Some hours later we went to the hotel and shared a bus with Agnostic Front, which was cool.
Anders and Dave Witte - brothers in blasts.
The following morning we were supposed to leave at 10, but no bus was to be seen. Well one bus came, but to pick up Reel Big Fish and Pianos Become The Teeth, so we had to wait. Fortunately, the hotel was close to the ocean so at least the view was stunning. Some in the touring party had a swim in the cold water while others... didn't. An hour later or so, the same bus and driver as on the previous day came and picked us up for an even longer drive towards Vagos. At the peak of the traveling boredom, Jesper found a microphone in the bus and started some serious entertaining telling tales about the surroundings and people in the touring party. We laughed ourselves through the boredom and got back into the good mood.
People waiting and the ocean.
The show at Vagos Open Air was very late so we had some time to kill at the hotel, which was located in the charming little town of Aveiro. Urban, Janne, Antti and I went to the town center, where I could buy some very much needed underwear... It was a beautiful sunny day and the town center was really nice. On our way back we found a very large poster for Vagos and were happy to see that Nasum was the only band on the bill to be featured with the real logo.
Urban pointing out the band in which he planed to play at Vagos. The semi-naked guy in the upper right corner is NOT part of the touring party.
Everyone but Hannes, Urban and I went to the festival with an earlier shuttle, to catch Enslaved's show, but they were still playing when the later shuttle arrived. Vagos Open Air was to be the first (and also last) Nasum show in Portugal, but it was also the only festival this summer where our paths would meet with At The Gates. It was fun meeting these guys who on this trip had the Danish FOH Bo Lund who has done a few tours with Nasum, and they also have two backline techs which are friends of mine from Örebro. At The Gates became our "support band" on this festival as we were closing the whole she-bang at 01:30. You can do much worse than to have At The Gates playing right before you at a festival!
Despite the late hour the show was quite good. I felt a bit worn out from the previous show, but after struggling for a few songs it got better. Nothing out of the ordinary happened during the show, and after it we basically packed our stuff and went back to the hotel for another short night of sleep.
Vagos from beyond.
After a short drive back to Porto airport, we headed towards Wacken with a layover in Frankfurt. I was able to doze/sleep through both flights and that made up for the few hours during the night. At the Hamburg airport we got picked up by the most professional festival shuttle ever, striped with the Wacken Open Air graphics. The very comfortable van was filled with an assortment of cold drinks which made the ride to Wacken a walk in the park. Jesper and I had good memories of our previous visit to Wacken back in 2001, and this was another sign that the day would be special. It would be, because we already had gotten the news that the festival was a big mudfest, and that's not fun if you aren't properly dressed. And yes, it was a mudfest... And definitively not the best day to wear white sneakers...
For some reason the time just disappeared while we slipped around in the mud, and suddenly we were in a great hurry. The line-check got late and Urban's amp broke down. It got very stressful and backstage we were debating the set list that had to be shortened due to only 35 minutes of stage time... And then suddenly it was stage time and we played two songs before Urban's second amp broke down... We got out of the rhythm after just a few minutes and the remainder of the show became something of a race against the clock. I don't know if this was noticeable from the audience point of view, but I for one felt really stressed and didn't really enjoy the show.
With slightly negative feelings we slid back to get our first proper meal of the day, but were denied access to the Artist village and had to head toward some large crew tent for the food. While wolfing down four different types of potatoes the sky let down another burst of aggressive rain, but fortunately it slowed down and we could slid through the mud for one last time and get into the shuttle that took us back to the Hamburg Airport and some nice hotel rooms...
This was a weekend that included more or less everything, and next up is one of the most exciting trips of the whole tour - three continents in two weeks, how about that?
Behind the scenes: The Farewell tour is completely bookedPosted: July 31, 2012 12:24:38 by Jesper Liveröd
With the addition of the Ieperfest in Belgium just before our Asian/Australian trip, we have confirmed the very last show of Nasum's Farewell tour. We thought we’d share something about the thoughts behind the shows we have done and will do.
One big issue has been to figure out exactly how many shows we should play. There are a lot of opinions about that particular matter, within the band as much as with fans. How many shows is enough? How much is too much?
Initially, we talked about only doing one exclusive show in Stockholm, Sweden to end it all. That idea was quickly discarded – we knew that there were a lot of people in all parts of the world that wanted to see this thing live and to share the farewell with us. It felt presumptuous to think that everyone who wanted to see Nasum could have the possibility to go to Sweden to see us blast. Even more importantly – we wanted to take the show on the road and and show you people what Nasum was supposed to be about. Besides, we would have to prepare and rehearse almost as much for one show as for an entire world tour. So what the hell, right?
In order for the shows to feel exciting, we decided to limit the amount and spread them out over a few months. And when we are done we will not play a single note again. We wanted to avoid milking this thing too much, and even more importantly, we wanted to make sure we had enough energy to blast full throttle all the way and make the performances as totally fucking blasting as Nasum shows were meant to be. Thus, three month tours and playing every pile of bricks imaginable was out of the question.
One thing was especially important: above all, this tour must be about having a good time. It should be about celebrating the great, great genre of grindcore, about honoring the ideas and history of Nasum, but also to get a chance to hang out, party and basically spend some insane times together. Everything else is secondary. This must not be a career move, a cash-in, a degradation of Nasum's legacy or something that would take advantage of Mieszko's tragic destiny. Grindcore in general, and Nasum in particular, is supposed to be about spitting in the face of the mainstream, about musical ferocity and jagged energy. We will not become what we despise.
With the conditions set in stone, we set out booking shows. Booking a tour that covers more or less the entire world in a very limited time frame is not something that’s done in a heartbeat. Since October of 2011, we have worked constantly with a booking agency to work out where we want to play, who is interested in having us, how we can make it work personally, etc etc. It's been a fucking ton of work. Visa applications, travel arrangements, designing, printing and ordering t-shirts, online stuff, trying to make ends meet, interviews, and a thousand other things has almost killed us. Many bands have a manager that takes care of all that boring biz, but in Nasum we choose to do as much as possible ourselves.
Even though we drew the line at one, or in some cases a few, show(s) per country, we somehow ended up with a daunting 61 shows! And still, there are many, many places we have been forced to leave out. Believe us, we really tried HARD to make it to Malaysia, South Korea, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, South Africa, and especially Indonesia and South America and other countries where there has been strong demand for Nasum. In some cases we couldn't find any time, in other cases we couldn't afford the travel, and in some cases sketchy concert organizers, or even religious holidays (!), kept us out.
Looking back now, we sometimes ask ourselves if we should have limited the amount of shows even more. But every (yes, every) show we have played this summer - from the first gig in Örebro via North America to the European summer fests, from the small, packed punk shows to the enormous festival stages - have been the best shows we have ever played. And we know we wouldn't have changed a single thing. As someone put it, ”doing this tour was a good call”, a pretty good summary.
Our expectations for shows ahead, from the Wacken, Vagos, Resurrection fests in Europe to Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Japan and the final Euro tour in September/October, are through the roof.
We want to send special thanks out to Silvester, Greg, Martin and Johanna for working so hard to help us put this together, and huge kudos to our crew Janne, Antti and Hannes for going above and beyond to make the shows the blasting frenzy we want them to be. See you out there! NOW LET'S FUCKING GRIND!
Behind the scenes: Tattoos!Posted: July 23, 2012 17:19:17 by Anders Jakobson
During the years I've seen a fair share of Nasum tattoos. Some in real life, some as pictures in emails. I've sent high resolution artwork to people who want to ink Nasum stuff into their skin, and since May 23 of this year I see one tattoo daily as I graced the inside of my wrist with the "A" in the logo.
Obviously the Nasum tattoo sightings have increased during the Farewell tour, and of course it's very flattering to see what people have done. And we want to see more of it. I encourage everyone with a Nasum tattoo to snap a picture and email it to us at email@example.com and sometime in the future I'll compile some sort of gallery of all the pictures.
In the meantime, here's a few we've seen on the tour so far:
Travis Bacon from Grudges displaying two of his four Nasum tattoos. A clever mash-up with "Human 2.0" in the "Helvete" font. A quite odd logo tattoo spread over three parts of the body.
The ever so popular "Shift" icons and three versions of the "Grind Finale" artwork.
Behind the scenes: 2 year anniversaryPosted: July 21, 2012 16:10:50 by Anders Jakobson
Exactly two years ago today, the seed for the Farewell tour was planted during an Indian dinner in Stockholm. I've told this story in many interviews but since it's the anniversary, I'll tell it one more time.
It was during my Summer vacation. I decided it was about time to go to Stockholm and meet up with Jon, Jesper and Urban as it was quite some time since we last saw each other, especially all of us at the same time. We emailed back and forth for some time to set a date that suited us all.
The idea of getting together for one last time to say goodbye had been in my mind for quite some time, and I believe Jesper and I had talked slightly about it earlier, but it hadn't been properly discussed. So after a couple of drinks and some food and the usual small talk/catching up I unveiled my secret agenda for the meeting: One final Nasum show. Jesper was into it at once, while Urban and Jon were a little bit uncertain. I clearly remember Urban saying that he never even had thought of it earlier.
We discussed the pro's and con's for a while and someone - not me - suggested that we should do a tour instead of just one show, and that really got the ball rolling. Jon and Urban got into the idea and a few drinks later we had as a start decided to do a couple of rehearsals just to see how it would feel to play the songs again. And then we went and caught the last song of a Converge show.
Two years later we are a little bit more than halfway into the Farewell tour and what ever worries that have been bugging us during this two years are completely blown away: We made the right decision and we are having a hell of a good time.
Thanks for your support and hope to see you on the remaining dates of the tour!
Obscene Extreme and IlosaarirockPosted: July 17, 2012 13:55:57 by Anders Jakobson
Last week it was time for one of the highlights of the tour - Obscene Extreme in Trutnov, Czech. This was one of the first shows booked and it was really great that Nasum finally could come to this long-lasting grind festival. OEF General Curby asked us back in the day, but we never came to the festival for reasons I can't remember now, but I guess it was worth the wait.
We landed in Prague around midday, this time a slightly smaller Nasum party as Keijo and Hannes were already at the festival using the time between Roskilde and OEF for some vacation dates. At the airport we hooked up with Vomitory and we were picked up by an elderly gentleman who understood very few words in English. We wanted to eat and expected to get out of Prague and stop at the first possible place, but the gentleman drove around in Prague for an hour before he stopped at a place where we could have some fried cheese. An hour later we continued the trip towards Trutnov and because of small roads and numerous traffic jams the trip took forever.
But eventually we came to the festival site and were greeted by Curby. He had went all-in for Nasum using our Obscene Extreme logo on everything from wrist bands and key bands to the charity shirt that sold out quickly. Very flattering, of course. Due to tragic circumstances Exhumed had to cancel in the last minute so there were a huge hole in the scheduled that was filled with extra playing time for Discharge, Nasum and Exhumed, so we had to figure out a longer set. To make it a little more exciting for ourselves and the many visitors that already had seen Nasum on the farewell tour we rearranged the set a little bit more than usual and it worked fine.
Wrist band and a setlist stomped to death by muddy OEF feet…
What can we say? OEF was a highlight before the show, and after the show it will remain one of the most memorable shows on the entire tour. This was one crazy show for sure. We did however start with the live action Mr and Mrs Gasmask thing, and believe it or not (well, believe it because it's the truth) behind the masks were nobody else than Mr and Mrs OEF - Curby and his girlfriend! I said that he went all-in… Again, it was a great show with great support from the crowd. Lot's of stage diving and moshing madness. It was one of those shows where you had a smile on your face through out the whole time. Amazing!
Nasum and more or less the entire OEF. Photo by Simona ("Mrs Gasmask at Hellfest") Bezdekova - metalpictures.net.
After cooling down for a little bit and talking to grinders from Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and more or less all over the world, we unfortunately had to leave and go back to Prague in the night. We had an early flight that eventually would get us to Joensuu in the far, far east of Finland. We had rooms at an airport hotel but our driver took us to the wrong hotel and by the time we finally got to the right one, we had approximately 90 minutes before we had to be at the terminal. So we had an hour of sleep, then flew for another hour to Munich and then for two and a half hours to Helsinki and then another hour to Joensuu - all in all about 12 hours from festival to festival with just moments of sleep in vans, hotel rooms and on flights. A hellish trip for sure.
Anyway - Ilosaarirock is a great Finnish festival. It's similar to Peace & Love and Roskilde due to their wide array of different bands. The Finns in the party talked well about it and some of us Swedes had already been here back in 2004, which incidentally was the first time some of us met Janne. And it was a top notch festival. We had a nice dressing room, filled to the brink with everything on our rider, even the "strange" stuff as cigarettes, socks and duct tape! Very nice, and we could really relax before the show.
It was evident that Keijo was on his home soil (although he doesn't live in this particular part of Finland) and he even got so excited that he ended up in the crowd by the end of the show. Following the utterly cathartic OEF show, Ilosaarirock felt a little bit more mellow, but as always it was a good and fun show.
Keijo in the crowd.
A fun weekend with two great shows and one hellish trip - that's how this last festival weekend in July could be summed up. We've had a lot of fun during June and July, but it's also been very exhausting with all the insane traveling we've done back and forth and across Europe. Now we have a few weeks off before the last European festival weekend and then the very exciting trip to Asia and Oceania.
Before that we'll post some more in this blog. Stay tuned!
Extremefests and RoskildePosted: July 11, 2012 18:58:51 by Anders Jakobson
Yet again we had extremely early flights from Stockholm and Helsinki and after a layover in Frankfurt we landed in a very hot Vienna where we were picked up by our Czech driver Tomas. For the Extremefest dates we slept in what could be described as a very large van with beds or a very small bus. It had nine casket like bunks where one had to be used for our guitars and other equipment. We were really crammed but it worked surprisingly fine, especially since the bunks got comfortably cool during the nights. During the first trip from the airport they were so hot that I doubted that we would be able to sleep at all. We have not been particularly graced with long nights during this tour so far, but during these dates we actually got a good night's sleep while Tomas drove like a champion.
One bus and one Tomas, and then the sleeping area.
Extremefest was a quite original set up with three three-day festivals at the same time at three different places and with three "packages" trading places with each other from day to day. Unfortunately they were quite poorly attended and I would guess that the organizers weren't that pleased with the ticket sales. Was it because of too many European festivals at the same time or because the Austrian and Swiss shows had to change locations? I can't say, but the one in Germany felt like the best one of the three and despite a quick and stressing changeover our best show of the three.
A quite dramatic vista during the German show.
During these dates we decided to change the setlist quite a lot from night to night, mostly to "air" some songs that we hadn't played in a while. That made all nights unique and fun. The headline band on all these nights was Suicide Silence that we sort of bonded with, which we are very thankful for - considering what happened after the third show… I'll come back to that later. They are a very professional band combining death metal with heavy breakdowns. Cool stuff, and we look forward to meeting them again at Wacken.
Traveling the way we did gave us a bit more time to kill than what we usually have, so in Pratteln, Switzerland, Jesper, Urban and I took a walk with our tour manager Janne down to the river Rhine and just sat there for a while. It's really nice to get away from walls of trigged bass drums, growling vocals and all the "extreme" stuff when you are on tour. Something that is really different gives you a lot more energy. Not that we were displeased with the venue Z7 where the Swiss Extremefest was held. On the contrary, it was a sweet return as Jesper and I were there during the Napalm Death tour in 2000. It's a cool place with outstanding in-house dinners.
Hanging out down by the riverside. This is actually two photos from two different cameras and different photographers, but the angle was almost identical that it was easy to combine them into one manipulated shot.
In Germany some time were killed by doing some technical work on the bass, and since that work was done by our crew I think it's about time they get a proper introduction. Antti is our front of house, our sound engineer - a very experienced dude with lots of ideas and obviously a great talent. After the show at the squat in Bologna a couple of weeks ago some people approached him and said that he had made the impossible - getting a good sound in that room. Talented for sure. Our other crew member is Hannes, whose main chore is to take care of the monitors, but he's doing so much more. He basically takes care of all our backline - together with Antti - and make our lives a little bit easier. Both guys are really professional and super nice, funny people so we are very pleased to have them with us. And then we have Janne, of course, who keeps track of everything just like a good tour manager should do.
Hannes, Antti, some hang-around that insists he's the bass player and Janne enjoying an alcohol-free beer.
After the Swiss show we had an early flight (what else…?) to Copenhagen, so we left at 4 in the morning and had just a short hourlong drive to the airport. When we got there we realized that we had forgotten our three backdrops at Z7! Janne got hold of the production manager at the venue who was just about to leave and he put the backdrops by Suicide Silence's bus as they were heading to Copenhagen with a later flight, and luckily they were able to bring the backdrops to Roskilde. You see why I felt that bonding with them was important? I seriously thought that we had seen the last of those backdrops. On another note Janne managed to forget his laptop at the security check-in in Zürich… Shit happens on tour…
Roskilde then - well, this is a festival that has been around since 1971 (!) and they obviously know what they are doing by now. What a professionally run festival! Everything was perfect and we could relax at the super cozy backstage area and have a couple of meetings. Many months ago we were approached by a film crew who wanted to shoot the show. We finally met the crew and talked through a number of ideas. In the end the show was shot by seven different cameras, where I had one of them strapped to my chest! I felt like Iron Man. We don't know what we will do with this recording in the end, but the film crew wants to incorporate as many sourced as possible so if you were at the Roskilde show and shot something with your phone, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how to submit your video.
The fact that the show was filmed and also recorded by the Danish radio added an extra layer of tension to the show. Every little mistake felt like something massive, but in the end it was a fine show and a truly fine festival.
Next up: Obscene Extreme and Ilosaari and then a well-deserved break...
Nasum breathes blackPosted: July 4, 2012 12:34:39 by Anders Jakobson
In case you missed the announcement, Nasum will team up with Black Breath for the final leg of the Farewell tour. We feel that this is a really good package that will be completed with other bands as well. On all the Swedish dates Skitsystem will appear, and in Malmö doomsters Pyramido will play and in Stockholm Massgrav will grace the night with some blistering crust.
Speaking about the Stockholm show, this will be a FREE show. Nice, right?
There are a few TBA among the dates. These shows are booked, but can't be announced yet for different reasons. They will be quite soon, so keep visiting nasum.com - your hometown might be on the list!