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CVLT Nation Exclusive
Embers Tour Diary
Part Four

A conversation between Steve, Kelly, Timm and Jerry…

Steve: So, tell me about your first time in Prague.

Kelly: First time in Prague was with Lesser of Two, and we played Ladronka, a fortified old castle in the center of Prague. A very incredible place. It was actually on the tourist maps, and that’s my first memory of Prague; playing this famous old castle/squat.

S: And the next time you were in Prague was on Embers tour. What do you remember from that trip?

K: That was when our vehicle blew up in the tunnel, and the engine caught on fire at the beginning of our tour, and our tour was almost completely ruined at that point because we had to replace some significant part of the engine, and they were going to get the part in time and we were going to be playing a show every day in a different city. So through punk rock connections we hooked up with Pete Rose and took his van at the last minute for the next took weeks .

S: What was the show like?

K: WE played with a band Isaiah, a really heavy band, at 007. I remember it was a decent show. It wasn’t really packed, but there some people there, and that’s where I first met Kanar the promoter who also promoted our show a couple of days ago, who I also stayed with when I went back to Prague to visit on my own time after our last tour.

S: The thing that was interesting to me was that you seemed to have a really solid connection with Kanar. How did you guys connect like that?

K: He’s just a really nice guy. He knew I was traveling through Prague and asked him about a place to stay, and he said, “no problem.” So I stayed with him in his small flat for a week before I went to Romania to travel there where I also stayed with a person through punk rock connections; a person from C-squat in New York who happened to be living in Bucharest, but that’s another story.

S: So this time when we played in Prague we received all of our records from Malarie records which is based out of Czech republic. Can you describe the history behind that?

K: Well first of all, there were no records. There were only C.D.’s, Embers C.D.’s and Lesser of Two C.D.’s.

S: I stand corrected.

K: and there wasn’t that much stuff. Martin from Malarie Records first helped with the Lesser of Two stuff back in ’99 with distribution. It was Lesser of Two, on that tour, that we met him back then and traveled with him. He made a really strong connection with Dominik; more so than anyone else in the band. In recent years he’s been less involved in punk rock. He’s raising family. He’s got a child and a wife out in the countryside somewhere in the Czech Republic in a small town.

S: So how did you feel about the show this time around?

K: I thought it was good. It was a free show so I wasn’t sure about it at first. In a café in the middle of a park. There were families there; parents, children. I guess there was also something around disabled people, mentally disabled people. There was some kind of facility nearby for them. So there were some mentally disabled people there as well as families, and punk rockers, and metal heads. It was very, very diverse. The café itself was very small, but quite a lot of punk rock people showed up even though it was a Monday, and it had been raining. We set up in the corner of the café. It was a small place and everyone packed in. We did good. Kanar milled around in the crowd during our set and passed around the hat. We made about 150 Euros in donations. So it was really awesome. We ended up selling a lot of merchandise. So it ended up being a really awesome show.

S: I was worried at first when they were like, “Oh, donations.”

K: People definitely… everyone contributed. That was really nice. We were the only band which is a little… and we were the only band the night before in Vienna at EKH. So people still showed up. People will still supportive of the band. It was nice to see that.

S: Yeah, and there was an interesting moment when we first got there where it seemed like there was a GPS failure. Did you notice that?

K: Yeah briefly. That happens though.

S: So we ended up parking and waiting for Kanar, and we ended up wandering around at this park and you had this video footage.

K: Yeah we found the playground…(at this point the recording device batteries die and our host, Talla in Leipzig, graciously provides us with fresh AA batteries.)

S: Where were we?

K: You asked me about the video I was going to submit of the little playground.

S: Yeah, and if you could give some kind of narrative…

K: Well, as we were waiting for Kanar, the promoter, to show up to the café we went wandering in the park and came upon a very strange playground. The playground was comprised of what seemed to be aerobic exercise machines that you might find in a fitness center, but for kids. People got on them and were acting really funny, and making funny faces, funny gestures. I captured it on video and I’m going to submit it.

(at this point Timm and Jerry enter the room, and off the record pranks ensue)

S: The next thing I want to put on the record is I want to ask Timm to tell us about the yogurt incident.

Timm: We were playing in Prague at 007 in 2009, and the show we went… Oh, well Steve, Jerry, Lillian, and myself all had to take the bus because we had no van because it cought fire in a tunnel earlier that day so we had to take a bus back to the promoters house. We were waiting for the bus just off the college campus where we played. A speeding car of lunatics threw yogurt at us as some kind of prank, and then cam back and threw more yogurt at us, and Jerry proceeded to throw bottles at them. I proceeded to throw their yogurt back at them while I was covered in yogurt.

K: You actually threw the yogurt back?

T: Yeah.

K: Wow, I don’t remember hearing about that. You guys retaliated.

J: I didn’t break their window of course, but it did smash…

K: Good for you.

T: Well, some of it didn’t hit us, and we were waiting for them to come by a third time because we could hear their car speeding around the area and we were like, “What do we do? Punch their car.”

K: They were fucking with the wrong fuckers.

S: What was your yogurt experience Jerry?

J: Well, my experience was when they came back around throwing a bottle at them.

K: It wasn’t a glass bottle was it?

J: Yeah, it was a glass bottle because we were drinking beers. I chucked a beer bottle at their car and hit their back window, and then they didn’t come back after that.

K: I thought you threw a plastic yogurt container. I didn’t know you threw a glass bottle.

J: Well, I hit their window.

K: Did you crack it?

J: No it just busted the bottle.

K: Damn Jerry! That’s pretty aggressive.

J: Well, that’s true because they were being really nice and they were serving us food. They were like, “Hey you look pretty hungry. Have some yogurt.”, and they threw it at us, but we didn’t get it so I threw a bottle at them.

K: Maybe they were thirsty, and wanted some beer.

S: Okay, I’m trying to do a serious interview here… (laughter) Moving on, Jerry, tell me about Pete Rose?

J: He was really sweet, big dude, sweet until his buttons were pushed, and then he would just go off. I thought he was going to kill us or kill somebody because he was so angry when the time came.

K: Are you talking about that incident when we were in the car?

J: Yeah, and then when that dud brushed up against Timm. He was like, “You fucking cunt! You don’t fuck with my friends.” And he’s like started to walk… and then we were like, “Pete. Pete. Stop. Hey, don’t worry about it.” In Copenhagen.

T: Yeah, “The guy wasn’t looking at where he was going. It’s fine.”

K: You mean the bicycle brushed up? Is that what you mean?

J: No, it was this guy that just walked. I think Timm was going into the liquor store, and this guy walked by and kind of bumped into him.

T: And I was like, “Pete, I can handle myself man. It’s Okay.”

K: I remember Pete when the car in front of us cut us off or something and we were at a light…

T: No, we were in traffic. There was a football game.

K: So what I remember is that he just put the car in park and jumped out, and we were all staring out the front window just waiting for him to start pounding on somebody. That poor person that he ran up on must have been terrified.

T: It was an old man.

K: Pete is a big dude. Can you imagine? Pete’s big old red angry face. He’s 6’5” pounding on your window.

S: Okay, two things for the record, first the person did do something unacceptable. I don’t remember what it was, and second the reason I bring up Pete Rose is because I feel that he saved our ass in Prague.

J: Yeah, he stepped up to the plate really quick.

(everyone responds in agreement)

S: After the first van we were in caught on fire.

(The recording device dies again because it runs out of memory. Some files are deleted.)

S: So, Jerry, what were some of the things that stood out this time in Prague?

J: Definitely the senior playground. It was pretty awesome.

K: Senior playground?

J: That’s what it said. It said, “Senior Fitness Center”

K: Oh, I didn’t even realize. I didn’t see that sign.

J: Well what stood out for me was the way Kanar just treated us so well. He brought us food. He took us to his place, and let us sleep there.

K: He did that last time too.

J: Yeah to me that always inspires me to be that way. When someone is taking care of you when you’re on tour. He’s just bad ass. It stands out, but it’s also standing out in every place we go because people are really taking care of us, but he was taking care of us really well.

S: And you Timm, what are some of the things that really stood out in Prague?

T: Prague is really hip. There’s a lot of hipsters there, and that is cool and all. And there’s a lot of sexy ladies there too that’s what stood out to me. When we got there…

J: What else stood out? Something in your pants?

T: Yes. But that’s what stood out to me. There were a lot of really attractive women there, and if I’d felt better and not been sick again I would have probably made a fool of myself trying to speak Czech.

S: What about the show?

T: The show was very good for being in such a venue. The venue felt like a café you would find on top of a mountain in Switzerland or something like that. It was just out of place, but it was a pretty cool spot.

S: Kelly, tell me about your first time in Leipzig.

K: I don’t really remember the show at Zoro, Steve, we played with our old band. What I do remember though is that you fell off the stage and landed on your back. The first time Lesser of Two played there you were freaking out so hard that you stepped right off the edge of the stage and landed on your back like a little beetle or something with your guitar in the air. That’s the only thing I remember.

S: I totally remember that as well, but I remember it being that I fell off the stage at the
climactic end chord at the end of our set, and I fell off the stage, the guitar flew up in the air, I landed on the floor, and the guitar landed on my head at the time the cymbals hit the last chord with the bass. It was totally fucking epic!

And we played with Dos Alluidos from Spain which were an amazing hardcore punk band, and the guy came up to me and said, “La puta madre!” (literal translation “The whore mother”)
And I said, “What did you say about my mother?”

And he’s like, “No, no, no it’s a compliment”

So that’s how I remember that.

So Jerry, what are your thoughts on the last time we played in Leipzig?

J: Last night?

S: No last time around on Embers’ tour.

J: Not the Zoro, but that bar?

T: Liwi

J: Well, actually I wasn’t really…I was in an open relationship, and that open relationship was traveling with us, and it wasn’t very comfortable for me because people would be coming up to me and saying, “Hey Jerry, isn’t that your girlfriend out there?”


“Well she’s making out with somebody out in front of the bar. Do you want me to go kick their ass.”
And I was like, “No, it’s cool. We’re in an open relationship.”

I just wish people wouldn’t have come up and told me that stuff because I didn’t want to know. So that night I wasn’t really able to focus.

But the other thing that stood out though was.. and last night too, which always makes me happy, was how women participate. Besides Kelly is in the band, and she plays awesome bass, and does great artwork. There’s women organizing our gigs, there’s a lot of women doing sound, and there’s a lot of women up in front watching us. There’s amazing women playing music like that band Axis of Desolation in Bologna. All the women who are out here actually participating, and doing a lot of work.

K: Talla is awesome.

J: Talla putting on the show for us, and taking care of us. Laura, who was doing sound last night. Just that kind of stuff stands out to me.

T: You fucking hippy.

S: So Timm, what do you remember from the last time we were in Leipzig?

T: The last time we were here we played at Liwi. I don’t remember to much. I remember there was a show across the street as well so the turn out was okay, but it wasn’t amazing, but still it was a great show from what I remember. Granted, Jani was on tour with us and him and I were probably fucked up so I can’t really remember a whole lot from last tour.

S: So what you’re saying is that Jani is a bad influence on you?

T: No, that’s where I was at the time. At the time I wanted to get fucked up all the time.

S: How long had Jani been on tour with us at that point?

T: Well, he got in the van with us when we left Bremen; so… not long.

S: You were saying Kelly? You had something to add to what Timm was talking about?

K: Well I just remember the song, “Party Hardcore With Beer” (Kelly imitating a German accent)

S: That was Jani’s song?

K: No, it was a video.

J: That was his anthem.

S: I don’t remember this.

K: Come on Timm, sing it.

T: I won’t sing it, but I will tell you that “Party With Beer” was this Norwegian dude. He was a comedian that does songs, but it’s some Norwegian guy making fun of Germans; a Norwegian faking a German accent and he would sing that song while he would dance around naked and drinks lots of beer.

S: Do you have any idea where we can find this song?

T: It was on youtube, but Jani wasn’t the person who introduced me to it anyway.

S: So what does this have to do with Jani?

T: I don’t know.

K: Nothing.

S: Oh nothing. You guys are just, uh…

T: Was that the question?

S: No, it wasn’t the question. I just thought Kelly was talking about something relevant, but apparently she wasn’t. Uh… Okay…

K: Be quick or be roadkill.

S: Kelly, I noticed that you seem to have a really strong connection with Talla and Leipzig. What’s the history of that?

K: I don’t know that I would necessarily say that I have a strong connection. I would say that because of the many times we played here and been supported here that I have come to appreciate this town and the community. Everybody seems really tight with each other; pretty supportive of music in general, and it seems to be a very progressive town. “The Portland of Europe” as you have said.

S: Thanks for calling me out on that one. “Leipzig. The Portland of Europe.” Leipziglandia.
We saw someone here today that’s been here for a while that I think Jerry has the longest history with which is Ross from Oakland.

K: What’s his band? Medication Time?

J: Yeah he was in that. Lacrymose. There was the other one he was in with Zeb, Skaven.

K: Skaven, that’s pretty famous. They have Skaven patches in Iconoclast merch.

S: A lot of people come to Leipzig because there’s a lot of art, a lot of music so there’s some ex-patriots here like him, and it’s pretty interesting.

T: I would live here.

S: Any thoughts on the last couple nights that you guys want to add?

K: Well last night was kind of crazy because Jerry hit his head really hard.

J: Yeah, I had a nice stream of blood going down my face.

T: You should have played with the blood in your face. That would have been hella metal.

K: And you were dizzy too. I was hoping that you weren’t going to pass out behind the drums.

J: Well, I think people were kind of freaked out by it at the gig which I was kind of surprised because I thought they were a little bit more barbarian.

K: From the barbarian German tribes who wandered the forest back hundreds of years ago.

S: The funny moment, well I don’t want to say funny, is when Timm sat down next to you and you were holding your head, and Timm said something to the effect of, “Oh my God, I’m going to die.” or something. It was a nadir of our bands existence at that moment. Everybody was on the ropes.

T: And we had 7 minutes before we had to play.

S: But things are better now, or are they Timm?

T: I feel better mentally. I don’t know that I’m not going to die from cancer, but it’s less likely that I’m going to die from cancer this week.

S: Could you give some background on that statement?

T: I have been sick on every European tour that we have ever gone on, and normally it takes two weeks before I get sick, but this time it took two days.

K: It was less time than that. It was almost like it was instantaneous.

T: Yeah it was maybe like 24 hours after we got here. I started feeling shitty the second morning I woke up in Bologna. And it was an unknown illness this time, and I don’t know what caused it. And going to German doctors who, “Nine Specknzie English” today… Oh, that was fun, and they couldn’t find my vein, and they were just using me as a human pin cushion to tell me in the end that they didn’t know what was wrong with me.

S: But they gave you a preliminary diagnosis?

T: Oh yeah, they said I might have blood cancer, but it was unlikely.

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