Austin, Texas purveyors of kinetic riffage and uber-burly grooves American Sharks dropped a sick self-titled debut back in September -- check out a stream here -- and just finished up a tour with Clutch and The Sword. Bassist/vocalist Mike Hardin checks in with this report...
Fri. Nov. 1st Memphis, TN
We arrive at Minglewood Hall a little late...as usual. Two grandpas come out to help load gear. The old timers have some great stories and surprising strength and stamina! I start getting our gear together and realize that I'm missing my cable bag. This bag has my pedals and everything in it. I start freaking out and getting in touch with everyone at the venue from the night before. Right as I feel I'm gonna burst Dave Grooman says I can borrow some of The Swords shit if need be and Bryan Richie(Bass The Sword) even takes his distortion pedal off of his pedal board. It's nice but I'm realizing that I'm probably gonna need all new shit. My $20 a day wont cut it. Im gonna have to rob. I stand on the stage going through different robbing scenarios. I come to the conclusion that I simply have got what it takes to rob. Something would go wrong. I decide I'd shoot my own foot. Something I'm always afraid I'll do when I hold a gun. Dave comes back with a bag and says I can use what's in there. He starts pulling out all of MY shit! Ladies and gentlemen I have been punk'd. The show rules and after there is a show in the room next to the large hall and a band called Tanks plays and they rule!!
Sat. Nov. 2nd Oklahoma City
The venue we play this night is a true relic. An old huge dance hall that has seen the likes of Wanda Jackson, Buck Owens to Slayer and of course Clutch! It's got a rocky parking lot with an old dog wandering around. I don't dip. I start thinking this will be a problem. I want to tuck my hair into an old trucker cap and tuck in my flannel to fit in. The natives are polite so i loosen up a bit and we do a good show. It's a pretty fun time but we mostly have home on our minds as we are heading to Austin for our day off tomorrow.
Sun. Nov. 3rd OFF
We pull into Austin around 6pm. This is a much needed break in the crazy shit that we have experienced so far on tour. My grass hasn't grown. It's cold. Things aren't how I left them. My lil lady makes me pizza and Mac n cheese. I have a Dr. Pepper too. My dogs are super pumped and Cloud gets about as much love as she can handle. I sleep for 10 hours.
Mon. Nov. 4th Corpus Christi, TX This is my first trip to Corpus Christi since I was 20 years old. It's been a while. A close friend and my nephew come to the show. We have fun shooting the shit after the show and take it to the executive surf club to have some grub. Been almost two weeks since any of us have had any booze.
Tue. Nov. 5th Austin, TX
Back home again. Laundry. We play at Emo's east. The crowd is huge and there are plenty of Sharks fans so we give em all we got. We all take it to our respective homes and get more rest.
Wed. Nov. 6th OFF
We stay in Lubbock, TX. There is nothing to do in Lubbock. We eat food and go to a hotel to sleep. How rock star of us.
Thu. Nov. 7th Albuquerque, NM
The funny thing about Albuquerque is how flat it is yet how high it is! It's called the high desert and rightfully so as it boasts a higher altitude than Denver, the mile high city. Naturally we are fucking huffing and puffing. I don't get how people can live up that high. A lot of these shows are starting to blend together. I guess that happens when you've been on tour for so long. As The band My New Life would say: Load in. Play. Load out.
Fri. Nov. 8th Tucson, AR
Finally get my Spotify back! I haven't had the opportunity to listen to my own music this tour. I take it to the back of the van and pop on my headphones. David Bowie. The show rules. Afterward I walk up the street to grab some food for the boys and myself. I get all the way to the restaurant and the dude won't let me in because I've forgotten my ID. I assure him I just wanted to order some food and that I had a walked a ways to get there. He will not let me in. I call him a piece of shit and walk off. He isn't happy about that. I am. When I return there is some drunk dude standing by our merch. He asks me to call Steve. I tell him I don't know Steve. He says "Steve is the one with the good shit, man!". He tells me a number to dial and I do, for some reason. I hand him the phone and he goes "Oh shit it's a wrong number! It's a lady! Hey lady, come over here and let me fuck you!!". I grab the phone but she has already hung up. He wants to try again. Normally I'd let him drunk prank call people all night for my amusement but I'm also still pissed about earlier. I shut it down and take it to the hotel for some sleep.
Sat. Nov. 9th Los Angeles, CA
We roll into Hollywood and stop at a coffee shop. One coffee shitter turns to the other "You gonna help that band?" I wonder if it's the look or smell that gives it away. The show is at Hollywood House Of Blues and is sold out. My mom, aunt and uncle come. My mom is a good sport about the mom jokes I tell on stage. Later my mom and I walk upstairs to my green room to have a fish sandwich. I didn't tell her but it's one of the happiest I've felt in a long time. I don't see her a lot these days.
Sun. Nov. 10th San Diego, CA
Another House Of Blues. They cater food. I eat so much Mac n cheese I feel sick. I play a show all bloated and gross. The people in San Diego have not responded well to American Sharks in the past. They are kind tonight and we have a blast.
Mon. Nov. 11th Sacramento, CA
Last night of The Heathens opening up and they rock hard. Also our friend Adele comes to the show and that is nice. We all have a blast and nobody cries.
Wed. Nov. 13th Grand Junction
We are up high in the mountains and there is nothing I hate more than being in the mountains. I can't wait to be down at sea level again.
Thu. Nov. 14th Denver
Still in the mountains. Still pissed off about it. Tonight is interesting because it's just us and Clutch. This stage seems like the biggest stage I've ever stood on and played. They film the Clutch set for a tv show so there are tv people everywhere. We play right before Clutch for like 2500 people. Afterward we head to our hotel and watch the show on TV.
Fri. Nov. 15th Wichita
Finally back down and out of the mountains. We play a show. The people are nice but it's Wichita so we don't do shit and we go to a hotel and sleep.
Sat. Nov. 16th Columbia
Read the top post an replace Wichita with Columbia. Seriously nothing cool happens. Just playing shows.
Sun. Nov. 17th Bloomington
I bet you thought you'd read here that everyone too a shitload of drugs, banged some hookers and ended up in jail. Nope. We literally drive in a van all day get to the venue, sound check, eat dinner, play, load out, sign stuff at the merch table and then go to a hotel and go to sleep. We are truly in the thick of it, ladies and gentlemen. I'm gonna do you all a favor and skip to the good stuff because the next few shows are all the same. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Crazy shit can't happen every day or we'd be dead.
Between the dates of Nov. 18-22 we record a Daytrotter, drive to Chicago to watch The Sword record a a JBTV episode and do a lot of sleeping.
Sat. Nov. 23rd. Detroit
This is it. The end. Last night of tour. When you spend a month on the road everyone gets real tight. You form a brotherhood with the bands you're traveling with. So, last night of tour is always difficult. After a month off the sauce I've been back on the last couple of days and today will be no different. Kyle from The Sword and I order up bottles of bubbly and beers and wine for our last night party. The show is sold out at 2900 people and the crowd is super hungry tonight. There is just this energy tonight. So, all tour I've been doing this running gag where I say that Kyle is sick and I pretend I have an earpiece in and I can talk to him backstage. Sometimes I pretend like he ate my guacamole. In the end it turns out he has "Titty Fever" and the only cure is "tit to mouth resuscitation". We get on stage and get to it only tonight when I get to the part where I start the joke Kyle actually has a mic back stage and starts really talking to the crowd. I'm floored and the crowd fucking loves it. I stomp all around the stage WWE wrestler style and we get everyone rolling. These are the times. The show goes off and we get super drunk and don't roll out of the venue until almost 2am. Turn out the lights, the party's over.