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Riders of the Night

Category : Hasse's Blog
Everything's packed (hopefully) and the driver from the bus company gives us a call and he's telling us that he just hit Uppsala and he needs some directions. It's once again time to hit the road. We've been rehearsing at Vimus (rehearsal studio) for 5 or 6 days + maybe 2 days of production rehearsals with a PA system, all of Petrus sound effects + extra speakers in the back of the hall, moving Martin lights, and the projections and the screens. In the beginning it was another story though. I would say up until "Rainmaker", Jaime Mike and me helped each other to drive the van with a trailer behind it for endeless miles between the gigs. When you tour like that, the working days becomes very long. First you drive, then you build the stage, soundcheck, play the gig, meet the fans, pack the stuff, fill the trailer and then you spend about an hour to find the hotel, sleep for 3-5 hours and then it starts all over again. If you do this for 3 weeks, you become a Zombie (a happy one). The life on the nightrider, is a whole different scene. So far we've used 3 different companies in Europe. Starlight from Sweden, great beds but expensive, Kultour from Germany, great drivers (Lutz) but not that cozy and on the last couple of tours we've used Red Car from Germany, very "reasonable" prized, new and fresh coaches. We've also used a couple of different ones in The States but as I'm gonna give you a story from Europe later on, I don't think I need to talk anymore about buses.

Touring with a nightrider means you pretty quick create your own world in there, with your own routines. As you probably understand, it's not much you can do. You can watch the landscape, read a book, put on some coffe, watch a movie, listen to music and of course sleep. Most of the time you hang out and talk with the friends on board. Very often you have a couple of new guys in the crew, to get familiar with. The whole point travelling like this, is that after the gig while you're relaxing with a beer and maybe a movie or some music (very often music DVD:s) the bus starts rolling. After a while you go to bed and by the time you wake up, the bus is already parked outside the venue. That leaves you with a couple of hours to actually see the city you're gonna play in, which never happened with the van, as we were driving all day. The greatest thing with it though, is that you can bring almost as much as you like. If I wanna bring 4 guitars, I bring 4 guitars etc. I have to say I love to tour like this. If it's one thing that bothers me, it might be the sound some people make at night (snoring). During the years I've learned to love Tomas "deep" and "steady" (holding the beat) kind of snoring, it actually puts myself to sleep. I've also lived through HELL! when we did a week in Sweden together with Flying Food Circus. These 4 gentlemen were able to make sounds, that I did'nt think was possible, If you try to forget that week, I have only good things to say about travelling like this.

I'm gonna leave you for now with a little story about a stop we did somewhere in the middle of Poland some years ago. Our driver had done his time behind the wheel, we did'nt have a gig that night, so we stopped at this small city to kill some time and to eat. We went for lunch at the citys "Grand Hotel?" When we got into the dining room, it looked like they were waiting for some celebrities. After a while, 20 guys, 25 years old, 175cm. 90kg. Brown hair 1 cm. And they all had brown eyes and the same clothes. Am I finally reaching "The gates of delirium"? No, It was the Moldavian Rugby team who stayed at the hotel. In my opinion the food we had together with the rugby guys was kind of tasteless, so we went strolling to find another place for coffe and maybe desert. All of a sudden a Volvo S80 with a swedish registration plate, stood parked outside a restaurant. We went in and were very well taken care of by a polish man and his wife, who'd lived in Sweden and just moved back. We left the place with a table booked for the evening. When we got back, the gentleman was "diplomatically" speaking "very happy". It did'nt take long before he showed us photo's with him and the swedish king Carl Gustav and queen Silvia. He had been working for them, he also showed us pics when he was preparing food for the Noble Prize dinner at the Grand Hotell Stockholm. The evening went by and we had a splendid time, with nice food and wine. Somehow it did'nt matter how happy we were, our polish friend became happier for everytime he went into the kitchen. The more glad he looked, the moore miserable his wife looked. At the end of the evening he could hardly stand on his feet, but he made us a night we'll never forget. I don't like to make fun out of people but his swedish accent was hillarious. Actually Tomas is pretty good to copy him. Anyway, try to visualize the picture: A well dressed man 55 years old, VERY drunk, rubbing his hands against each other saying: MIIIIKKKEET TREEEVLIIT MIIINA HIIIRRAAR!!!
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