Derrick's Dad had died suddenly a week before we were due to leave. The funeral was set for the first day we were home (yesterday) and 2 days before we fly to America for a 2 week tour (tomorrow). Derrick was 100% certain big Mick-Core would have wanted us to continue with everything that was already lined up. This is important to mention from the beginning for several reasons; it is testament to the character Derrick has that we even went ahead with these shows. He is an incredible person on so many levels and one that I am truly proud to know and class as a friend. Second reason is that we also played every show not really knowing if things would get too much, collapse and we’d have to bail, or if the intensity of what was awaiting back home would light a fire under us. Luckily it was the latter.
So we loaded up the van (Batista) with our gear and made our way to Derby for the first show and also to meet Cobra Skulls for the first time. Actually the second part of that is somewhat a lie; we had met Devon Peralta (Cobra Skulls Vocalist/Bassist) several times at Fest in Gainesville. Derrick was always talking about getting to meet him (“I’m gonna swag straight up to Devon Peralta, ORITE MATE! and smoke a big fat banger with him, tull be deece”) and everywhere we seemed to go whilst in Florida we would bump into him. Usually followed by a Ric Flair noise (he kinda looks like him) and drunken laughing. I don’t know if he was terrified or just completely confused by Derrick but he certainly hadn’t forgotten him.
Anyway, our friend Boab…
Boab is from Cambuslang, a fucking awesome guy and he very kindly accepted our offer to come sell merch/roadie/hang out with us for a week. It’s safe to say that Boab somewhat enjoys Sean (weed). He also was the main reason we remembered to eat as he needed his “munch” on a regular basis. He also has the most incredible voice and nervous little giggle, plus is somewhat scared of myself. Not in a physical way (obviously) but because I only spoke to him in a funny voice, really loudly and about trivial things and found it fucking hilarious. For example; Boab’s real name Is Robert Steele and his brother’s name is Ricky. I would endlessly talk in this funny voice that I was going to make a Boab & Ricky podcast in which they would get stoned and discuss events of the day. Writing it down now sounds rubbish but honestly it will be fucking brilliant. The voice I also spoke to Boab in doesn’t actually sound like his voice, I can however do a good impression of him “ayyyyyye maaaaaan”.
Also with us on this trip was Boofle. Boofle is a cuddly toy about the size of a mars bar and is a constant companion of Derricks. Derrick puts on this weird voice pretending to be Boofle which is kind of like a posh little English kid speaking to his parent. For example, “Daddy I’m scared of this place, everything is unfamiliar”… again this doesn’t sound funny but it amused us for fucking days. We’d also let Boofle drink with us and I’m sure he sat on top of Derricks amp several nights too. One night when Derrick was steaming, he went to the van to see Boab and somehow Boofle ended up in Jonnys ass crack and there was a photo taken. Derrick was not fucking amused. LOLZ.
Another thing about Boab; He can only sleep when there is absolute silence. He told us this. He then proceeded to POD (Pass oot deed) with fucking huge headphones on every night listening to Lagwagon or Dear Landlord! More often than not Boab would sleep in the van on his own as he refused to be part of our getting burst go moich shenanigans.
Luke Domino: Drummer and younger brother of Jonny - LD is a quiet, thoughtful and intelligent guy. Why he is in our band then I have no idea. In all seriousness though, he is a top guy. Luke and I are very much the quiet ones when it comes to being around other bands/promoters or just people at shows. Luke has the patience of a saint and when he laughs at something you know it’s pretty funny. He was fairly amused by Deeker on a daily basis...
Derrick: “Deeker” is an absolute nightmare. He’s fiery, argumentative, likes fighting, drinking, noising cunts up and is a total liability at times. He is also probably the funniest person I have ever met in my entire life. I could spend weeks writing down the shit that comes out of this idiot’s mouth. Derrick on the other hand, is exceptionally intelligent, talented and an absolute joy to be friends with. A perfect night is when you get to meet both of them.
Jonny Domino: Jonny Domino has fucking loads of nicknames; Jonny Domino, Jonny Traffic Anarchy, Jonny Confidence, Jonny 2 houps... it goes on and on. Jonny gets a fucking hard time in our band, we mercilessly mock him and take the piss but it’s always taken with the pinch of salt it should be. We love Jonny and he is a legend. Typing that last sentence just made me feel sick. He also has 100% the worst taste in just about everything. He purchased a horrible IOWA bomber jacket whilst we were on tour and it became the stick of which to beat him with. I fucking hate that jacket. He’ll wear it more...
Me: I get called “The Wrangler” or just “Wrangler”. I fucking hate it. It makes no sense and I can’t remember how it started. Derrick and his girlfriend Abbie used to send me this song which was a cat singing... “Here comes wrangler, he’s one tough customer” It happened over and over and stuck. I fucking hate it. I would probably get described as the miserable, sarcastic one and the “enabler” of Deeker. I am the one that will be sitting drinking whisky with him at 8am or I’ll be the one that has to convince him that going out of the van to try and fight a group of people is not a good idea. We are a pretty formidable duo when we get going, much to our amusement and Jonny Dominos fear.
Cobra Skulls are a 3 piece band from the USA; Devon the bassist/vocalist, Tony who played guitar and then Luke the drummer. They were all nice guys, I didn’t really talk to them much but I absolutely loved Tony... He had a gnarly-awesome-bro-Californian-surfer-dude- had smoked a 1000 cigarettes- type accent which made him sound like a cartoon character. Although I didn’t really speak to them I would endlessly listen to him talk and then constantly annoy everyone in our van by mimicking him, I basically talked as if I was him but in our band. It wasn’t in a mocking way -I thought he was awesome - I just thought it was really funny.
The funniest was when he spotted the Simpsons was about to come on TV;
“OH. MY.GOD!!! NO WAAAAAAY DUDE! THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!!” HEY DEVON, REMEMBER WHAT I SAID? ABOUT WANTING TO WATCH THE SIMPSONS?! IT’S ON NEXT DUDE!! NOOOOO WAAAAAY!! THIS IS SO RAAAAAD.
He then watched it absolutely mesmerised and would laugh out loud with such passion at the jokes it was hard not to love Tony…. DUDE! OH MY GOD HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?! SO. RAD.!! .. I miss him already
He was also the only person I’ve ever seen play a Telecaster and thought they looked awesome. Plus he had a propagandhi chest tattoo and a D4 patch on the back of his Dickies Jacket. Which was pretty sweet. We spent a night getting really drunk with them all in a hostel and he would recite stories about well known people... He told us that Billie Joe from Green Day bought just about every single Gibson Les Paul Junior available from a certain 2 year period because he liked the way they sounded so much. As a green day fan boy I was all about these stories.
The same night we also got discussing Rancid. I FUCKING LOVE RANCID, to the point where people must be bored and feel slightly sorry for me... Derrick and I have this thing where we use Lars Frederiksen as a gauge to figure if something is a good idea or not. The dude has a fucking bat tattoo on his neck! Anyway...
We (Uniforms) were all so drunk in this hostel, there were 10 beds and it was just both bands plus our friends staying. I was drunk talking about how when Rancid recorded L.A. River Matt Freeman must have been begging Tim Armstrong not to make him rap, that he was a proud guy “born and raised in the east bay” and that rapping was not a good idea for a Rancid record. This lasted about 5 minutes with me playing out this hypothetical scenario whilst mimicking Tim Armstrong’s voice and Matt Freeman’s cookie monster singing. Cobra Skull were fucking bemused. We were on the floor in fucking hysterics.
Also touring with Cobra Skulls was a German guy called Christian; we had met him previously when we put on The Riot Before so it was awesome to see him again. He was a fucking cool guy. As the week went on we developed a really good bond with him and fingers crossed we should be seeing him again soon. He did the whole tour for absolutely zero money; he was just in it for the adventure and to listen to awesome bands.
Christian also had with him a friend whose name I can’t remember, she was also German and kind of looked like if Cameron Diaz had fallen on troubled times. I don’t mean that to sound super harsh, she was attractive and seemed nice enough but she obviously didn’t have that Hollywood shine to her that Diaz has… anyway... She was around for the first few days but I didn’t really talk to her, I didn’t really talk to many people but I just remember her being upset and bailing after her boyfriend had broken up with her via Skype one night. This was right in the middle of the band room with loads of people around... Pretty shitty really.