(Ballad of Manhattan. Day 1, Night 2.)
Honestly, there wasn’t too much press to do in NYC. In Japan, we plugged out 15-20 publications a day. Here? 3-5 or 6 things tops. No sweat. Right? Nah…
I’m no city boy. I can probably handle Chicago (having lived there on-and-off a lot back in the day), Manhattan? She’s a rougher lover. It was scorching on our first press day; which, is no problem for a Florida-heat-trained-veteran… but what does that mean for grabbing a cab anywhere, especially when you’re booked way too far to walk, too far to grab a train, and all that?
It was a good press day when we actually arrived to the press we tried to make - when it’s hot in NYC - it gets a little insane.
I really wanted to do a full-on meeting with our NYC Roadrunner label; I brought my laptop with all art presentational materials (including the outstanding works of: Jon Paul Douglass, Danny Jones, Ramon Boutviseth, Megan Giese, and Wes Sumner), all early demos, final mixed and mastered copies, and my brain - ready to show NYC that Trivium has stepped it up… didn’t make the time. Work day was over. People went home. No cab to get us there on time.
We met up with our drinking pals from the label (one of which, when I was 18, helped us completely vandalize a Catskills Mountains resort RR-X-mas-party at one time… at another time drank an entire bars stash of Jaeger with us) so we knew it’d be good times.
Then it started raining. Just like the heat… the rain makes NY-ers crazed.
We played the cab shuffle for a while… me lugging my school-kid-looking backpack and laptop case (for the presentation that I rock-starred-out of) through monsoon-rain.
We first hit Von for our drink-up-meet-up. We all looked like wet pirates. Everyone’s shoes soaked - I borrowed a pair of Harlan’s white tube
socks (which, Harlan: I haven’t seen tube socks in years) and ordered Red Wagon IPA’s on draft. We all b.s.-ed, laughed, and had a good chat on life. There were a bunch of us: mgmt, label, agents… we’re friends with all of em. I talked about the wonders of Ashtanga Yoga with Darren (one of the best guys on the planet - he works for our 5B management group: this man is one of the few super-good dudes in the music industry out there), and we talked of food. Darren apparently makes some of the sickest macaroni and gravy out there - gotta get some of that next time I’m in his Long Island stomping grounds.
It’s great - every record we do, the label seems standard stoked; but with “In Waves,” it’s been an almost electric buzz… I can see Corey’s tell (it’s subtle… you have to have known him for a while to see it- it’s a half flared nostril/ dimples making a quick appearance kinda-thing), we’re finally having conversations like “which song to go to radio with,” (conversations we’ve always wanted to have - but couldn’t), and what kind of insane arena-production I have in mind (all inspired by Megan (friend/costumer/ex-roommate) and her amazing ballet/playset visions).
Pulino’s was dinner. It’s hard to grab a rez in NYC during rain… on a Friday (I think it was Friday at least) nonetheless. Ommegang Saison Draft in hand, we all crowded around the bar and ordered.
(Please, excuse the picture tint… pictures of pizza in a cool pizza joint in NYC are like painting with charcoal underwater)
Margherita, Tirolese, Funghi, Prosciutto and arugula, and Vongole were our Pizzas. All fantastic. We had the chefs selection of antipasti, and I needed the house-made sardines. The restaurant was real cool; it’s the kind of vibe that sort of makes me have a love for this city I usually have such a hard time surviving in (it feels like each time I get over to NYC, I am a little better at it). The vibe was great… all sorts of people - all just eating, drinking, and having a good time.
We hit a closet-sized-version of CBGB’s in a bar called Mars Bar. A place Justin assures me, will be gone soon (like all the rad little punk-nyc places of the golden days) - so a shot of Patron was a necessity. Next was the Three Of Cups (a metal bar at the bottom of an Italian restaurant) where I had Blue Moon draft (craft draft is a rarity in metal and rock bars) - we were all getting louder and rowdier… the early night crowd was gone by this point - it was the party-boys’ time. I think I started going off about how Lady Gaga should like our band, since she digs metal - and I was so influenced by her visuals and do-whatever-I-like-attitude; that I claimed my own house-of-Gaga-creative team, and changed our videos to a far more artistic-than-the-standard level. Thanks for the inspiration, Gaga (who I am listening to right now on the typing of episode 2 of NYC - her new record is amazing).
The last spot was Idle Hands (a bar owned by ex-label guys and a buddy Dave who manages Shadows Fall). By this point… we were all loud… disorderly… but thankfully the owners purely know the industry for working with bands. We popped the new record on the P.A., got loud, broke some glasses (me. accidentaRRy), talked some shit, laughed it up… Corey and I in the kind of drunken-amazingness that inspires the close half-hug-loud-yell-talk about how awesome things are right now.
Sleep. Few hours of sleep. Some Ashtanga and a Kashi bar… rescheduled “In Waves” presentation.
ALL of RR NYC was in the conference room - I hooked up my comp and showed the whole process: from early art projects with my good buddy Jon Paul (who was so integral to the way the record came out from all our early hangs and trips), to ridiculous all-midi-instrument demos from apple Logic dating back 2 years. The presentation went great - our label and us are bros… we got this shit figured out.
Actually… tonight (almost in London now)… we have a BBC Maida Vale performance (the kind the Beatles and Joy Division used to do) followed by a night of heavy eating and drinking with our friends from this side of the pond… then a presentation for all the heads of all the international branches of Roadrunner and Warner international. Good times: I want this record heard.
Back to NYC - it was good. Stressful at times, but nice to hang with friends.
I went home for two days to cook and make cocktails with my wife and pup.
The first night home, Jon Paul and his girlfriend Anica put together a killer viewing for our documentary that he and Wes Sumner shot. It was a great time - all the Trivs were there, friends from around town - they had a giant bag of popcorn, Trivium cupcakes, and a bunch of other awesome party favors. I drank wine from the bottle and sat cross-legged on the floor and watched the wonderful film my friends made.
Two revitalizing days at home, then it was off to one of my favorite places on earth: Paris.