We asked Toronto’s premiere purveyors of “true, unadulterated heavy metal” Cauldron to keep tabs on the havoc and devastation left behind in the wake of the band’s epic America’s Lost tour and dudes did not disappoint. (See earlier posts here and here.) We couldn't resist beginning the third diary entry at Orion Fest before going back in time to earlier dates. Purchase Cauldron’s excellent Tomorrow’s Lost here. Final two dates of the tour are listed on the poster below.
Myles: Upon our arrival in Detroit we made haste for Orion only to end up waiting in multiple line-ups with boxes or merchandise in hand to get our passes and actually get onto Belle Isle. Two hours later we finally arrived! Having already missed the legendary Dehaan performance, I made sure to catch Flag. It was energetic and raunchy sounding, just like I hoped it would be. After their set we were hanging out in the artist area, taking advantage of the free beer situation and discussing which member of Metallica might be introducing us when out of the corner of my eye I spotted Robert Trujillo standing over by Infectious Grooves' trailer. I took this opportunity to awkwardly introduce myself to him and then said, "So I hear that one of you guys will be introducing us tomorrow. Do you know who that will be yet?" He gave me a look that was either puzzled or panic and then told me that they were all busy and that they introduce bands when they have the time. Then one of the members of his entourage got his attention. He mumbled something incoherent at me and sauntered off with the rest of the group leaving me in the dust looking slightly unsure of what just happened. Then I turned to look at the other Cauldron guys and they were laughing at me.
Ian: One of Jason's childhood friends Jason Gauthier came with us for the weekend. Gauthier came with his Metalli-dar on because he spotted Hetfield from about a mile away standing sidestage watching some band in a tent. About ten minutes later we went to the artist area and Gauthier said, "Shit boys, it's Kirk!" Sure enough Kirk Hammett was driving by in a golf cart. We didn't get to meet him but he did yell at us to get out of his way. The next day we were ripping around in a golf cart and passed some guy in a beanie going the opposite direction. Gauthier yelled out "Lars!" to which he got a peace sign. And of course Trujillo left Myles standing there by himself with his head hanging low.
Jason: After the first night I remember lying on a sidewalk trying to get some sleep while we were waiting on a cab. I overheard this drunk chick asking Myles if he liked Battlecross to which Myles replied, "NO." She then went on to reveal that the guy she was with was in Battlecross -- nice head! How can one like a band they haven't heard? The guy was cool with the verdict though, it sounded as if he was unsure as to whether or not he even liked Battlecross.
Ian: I'd already made up my mind about Battlecross and I still haven't heard them. I just took one look at that still shot from their music video. Beards N' Camo. Nuff said.
Jason: We continued to try and find a cab for another hour or two until we finally decided that we'd just take the hit and drop the going rate of sixty dollars to put us out of our misery. About 15 minutes later we arrived back at our hotel which was pretty cool because I remembered it took a lot longer going the other way on our way into town. We went in and spent forty-two dollars on snacks from the vending machine in the lobby before we proceeded back to our room. When we got to the room I thought it was weird that the key card now went in from the front instead of in from the top like it did earlier. It was even weirder when I couldn't get the door to unlock. Fearing that we might be trapped in an episode of Sliders I decided to check the parking lot to make sure that the van was still where we parked it. Nope, not there either. This was really starting to feel like another scene out of Spinal Tap as we looked around for clues as to what could be wrong. We returned to the lobby to to enquire only no one was there anymore. We did notice though that the bar area appeared smaller than when we checked in so we decided to ask the taxi driver out front where we were. Turns out we were at an identical hotel with the same name in another town thirty-five minutes away from our "real" hotel.
Ian: After the the first cab driver dropped us off at the wrong hotel, another Checker cab pulled up twenty minutes later. I tore myself away from the forty-two dollar peanut M&M buffet feeding frenzy and motioned for him to roll his window down. He looked pretty pissed off and barked "What you want!?" at me. I told him that another Checker cab ripped us off and we didn't have any money left, but he just fired off "You fucked up. That's your own shit. You want a ride you pay me. How much money you got? You better pay more attention next time and watch where you going, otherwise you gonna end up down on Ass Fuck lane, and you don't wanna be down on Ass Fuck lane, lemme tell you! Hoo hooooo!" Once we got back to our hotel Myles realized that he left his Red Hot Chili Peppers Freaky Styley LP sleeve by the vending machine at the wrong hotel. He was carrying it around all day hoping to get it signed for his brother only to leave it in the depths of Detroit's Burmuda Triangle of shitty hotels. One of those things that's best left forgotten I guess. Our trusty tech/merch guy Inti Paredes was with us as well. Between the five of us there wasn't enough room for him in the twin beds, so he had to improvise. We gave him the keys to the van and said he might find a sleeping bag but he came back with the gig bag for Jason's bass. Inti's a bit shorter than the rest of us so upon lights out he could be heard zipping himself into the gig bag and getting some rest for the big day ahead.
Jason: When it was determined that no one from Metallica was going to introduce us we had to settle for the cranking of Cher "Emotional Fire" blasting over the PA as our intro instead. It was cool to see Johnny Z out front of the stage nodding in approval for the duration of the set. Other highlights included having someone to load our gear, our own security team, towels... Oh, and getting chauffeured around on limousine sized golf carts whizzing by various members of Metallica while failing attempts for high-fives.
Ian: For the whole weekend Jason was walking around with a Beer Store bag containing some Cauldron shirts and tapes on the off chance that he ran into one of the Metallikatz. Hesitant to leave it with Trujillo he decided to hold out for a senior member. Needless to say the bag was still full when we left on Monday morning, except for one of the tapes. I went to the bathroom in the general "artist area" and saw Cliff Burnstein -- one half of the famous Q-Prime Management team -- hanging out next to the porto-trailer. I ran back to Jason and said, "Holy shit! Cliff Burnstein is over by the toilets!" He grabbed a cassette out of the bag -- we thought it'd make a bigger impression than a CD -- and went looking for him. He'd disappeared but we quickly discovered him in the catering area having dinner with some business associates. We took a deep breath and walked up to his table. Jason said, "Sorry to bother you Cliff, but we just played today and would like to give you a tape". He looked mildly confused and replied, "Ohh-kayy...I haven't used my tape deck in years." Without thinking I blurted out "Well dust it off, bud!" After an even more confused look and a bit of silence Jason said, "We're sorry to bother you Cliff, we won't take any more of your time." We lined up for dinner and then grabbed a table where we could stake out Burnstein. He got up and left shortly after, but it was hard to tell if he had the tape or not. On our way out we looked beneath his table and under his used napkins to see if he had stashed it there, but there wasn't a trace. One can only hope he made an exception to Q-Prime's strict "NO UNSOLICITED MATERIAL" policy.
Myles: We had our photo taken by Ross Halfin. Here's how it went down: We were stalking around behind the Orion stage about fifteen minutes before Metallica were due to play. Jason had a Cauldron gift bag made up for them and because we never got a proper introduction at our set, we were trying to find them at the one place that we knew they would be at. After getting the ol' F.R.O. from the stage manager we decided to set up camp by the side of the stage. Then all of a sudden Ian spots Ross Halfin, camera in hand making his way up to the platform. Ross is a legend -- and known to be a huge asshole -- and has taken photos of all the metal gods: Ozzy, Motorhead and Metallica. You've definitely seen his work. Anyway, Jason yells to him, "Ross! Ross man! Take our picture!" He looks at us, sneers and says "No! You're too small." So I reply kind of jokingly, "Yeah right bud! We're the biggest band in Canada!" -- the shortest guy in Cauldron is 6'2" Maybe it was our attitude or maybe it was my shorts but he snapped a photo. It was a cool moment, even if it ends up in his 'Trash folder.'
And now we hop back to earlier in the tour...
Ian: We played at Dicken's Pub [in Calgary], where we were greeted by the usual drunk bleeding hobos who are attracted to our van like moths to light. We were offered free drinks and a meal as soon as we got inside, which we gladly scarfed down. Myles kept asking if they had Dicken's Cider but they didn't know what he was talking about. I guess they didn't think about it too hard. Our good bud Hard Rock Harry (HRH) showed up before our set and offered us his place to sleep at, as he always does. Pretty rowdy crowd for a Thursday night in Calgary. The whole set we were dodging flying beer, popped zits and Saxon patches. After we loaded out HRH was chatting with a short tattooed chick outside. When I started the van up the door flew open and the chick forced her way in. I figured she was friends with HRH so I didn't think anything of it. As we started driving further out of the city, she started asking where we were taking her and that she had a job interview early the next morning -- which I'm assuming she didn't get. When we got to HRH's place she started spouting all kinds of ridiculous bullshit like, "I can't believe I'm doing the groupie thing, this is fucking disgusting!" Which was funny considering everyone was ignoring her. After criticizing the beer we were drinking, how we were sitting, the Candlemass video we were watching, and how disgusting we were for "luring" a poor innocent little girl like her into the van, HRH lost it and told her to get the fuck out of his house. We'd never seen him lose it before so it was pretty scary. The next card she pulled out was, "You can't kick me out, it's three in the morning and I was just raped a week ago!" HRH just yelled "GET USED TO IT!" and slammed the door in her face. We all breathed a sigh of relief, and then went outside to make sure she wasn't slashing our tires. We also checked inside the dumpster but sadly her corpse wasn't in there...
Portland is one of those cities that we always look forward to playing on tour. This time didn't disappoint. We played at Branx with Spellcaster and a million other bands. After the show we were already pretty buzzed but followed Spellcaster's uninsured van to the liquor store for a few cases of Ranier. (It's French.) A couple listens to Whitesnake's "Bad Boys" later, we arrived at the Spellcaster apartment, pounded back a few pops and then decided to head to to the strip club down the street. We tossed our empty cans in the bushes around the corner and then went inside, surprisingly with no cover and no door guy. We grabbed two pitchers of Ranier and within a couple minutes the bartender came around to take back all the beer -- it was after last call or some bullshit. We had to pass them around and keep them out of her reach until they were finished. We promptly got the fuck out of there and went back to Spellcaster's place to drink more, which is when all hell broke loose. Bryce (guitar) threw an axe into Cory's (guitar) bedroom door. retty soon the door was being hacked down with a studded mace, deer antlers, a sword and an acoustic guitar. The guitar lasted about a minute until it was stomped to pieces by yours truly. I didn't realize a single door could create so much wreckage, it was truly amazing. At this point, for some reason beyond my comprehension, the neighbours started complaining, so we took our destructiveness to the streets. Good thing the cops don't care about anything in Portland.
We wandered the streets until we ended up where all drunks end up... the playground. After swinging the swings and trying to make each other throw up on the spinner thing, the sun started to come up, which made us realize we were starving. We caught a cab to Hot Cake House, the best twenty-four hour diner in town. Myles ordered a pile of grits 'n gravy which looked like gray alien puke. After poking around at it he passed out and got it all in his hair. Bryce ordered the steak and eggs and emptied an entire bottle of Frank's Red Hot on his plate, as well as all over the table. Not satisfied, he then dumped his coffee on his steak and only then felt it sufficient to devour. We still wanted to get maybe a half hour of sleep, tops, so we went outside to hail a cab. Needless to say, lying in the middle of the street and/or having your balls hanging out of your zipper isn't the best way to get a cab to pull over. We ended up walking back to their place through a maze of train tracks and construction zones. Myles made sure to kick over or fall into every barricade along the way. We got about two hours of sleep in broad daylight, and noticed when we got up that Cory had written "please knock" on one of the little swinging flaps that remained of his door...
Indianapolis was a pretty interesting night. From what we could tell, the city is only second to Moncton, New Brunswick for ugliest population. We pulled up to Indy's Juke Box and found Carl from Gates of Slumber having a few sips at the bar. We loaded in and then went out for "real" Mexican food with him, aka "real" diarrhea. Carl was the man and bought us a thirty pack of High Life plus beers and shots at the bar all night. As the show started filling up, we noticed a couple skinheads walk in. These guys were totally jacked with face tattoos and everything. They grabbed a couple beers and started a game of pool which just so happened to be right beside the entrance to backstage. Any time one of us would try to get past the table they'd glare at us, and if I didn't know any better I'd say they were looking for a fight. This guy with a mullet wanted to get a CD signed, so I went backstage to tell Myles. "Yeah, cool I'll be out in a minute," he said. Myles walked past the skinheads, got glared at, and then just when their attention went back to the table, he knocked over both of their beers. He must have emptied about half of them on the floor, but by some miracle the skinheads were so engrossed in their game they didn't notice right away. Myles speed walked over with a terrified look on his face, signed the CD, and then ran out of the bar.
During Gates of Slumber's set, I noticed that the pool table was vacant and that they had finally left. No sooner than that thought had gone through my head, I glanced over at the bar and saw them standing there facing the crowd with demonic grins on their faces. They both put their arms up and charged the crowd, easily knocking down the everyone there. Beer and broken glass was everywhere, and anyone left standing was singled out and shoved on the floor, chicks included. I'd never seen anything like it. I fell against a pillar and dumped my entire beer on myself. They both ran off with a couple dudes from the bar chasing after them. Those guys must have been crazy to chase after two skinheads that just toppled an entire crowd like dominoes. Later on we hung out with the Gates of Slumber guys and did a couple shots. Carl said he was living clean but it sure seemed like he was raging pretty hard. He even did the most amazing scissor kick I've ever seen, putting David Lee Roth to shame. His foot seriously went over his head and backwards. He said he "tore a hammy" and limped out of the bar while mumbling the lyrics to "Unchained."
"...thought you'd never miss me till I... OW! FUCK!...got a...fat city address...SHIT, I TORE IT REAL GOOD...non-stop...talker...what a...UHHH...rocker..."
Jason: I think we forgot to mention that our merch guy Inti "Merch Dickinson" got denied at the border and that we had to take him back across the bridge to Canada and drop him off at the nearest bus station. Well, this still happened to take three hours because now our GPS couldn't figure out how to get us back to the same boarder crossing. Instead it insisted on taking us a different crossing so we would look extra sketchy. A few punches were laid into the GPS, it still continues to fuck us over... I usually judge a city based on how our band does there but Edmonton's endless winter is really starting to overpower my love for the city. We do well and have lots of great friends here but full on winter a the end of April is something I can't take anymore. I heard a few days later I was informed that it was now full on speed-rape hot there, making up for lost time I guess.
The fucking GPS again...I mean, it warns us of toll roads so you'd think it would warn us of dirt roads that might be flooded out and sketchy back alley shortcuts that it guides us through with a million instructions, but no. And you'd think that if your route we to include boarder crossings that might be worth a mention too, nope.
Albuquerque must be the first show we ever played that had scalpers outside the show trying to sell us tickets to our own gig. That was pretty cool, still not sure we've quite made it yet though.
One thing that sucks about being the tallest band in the world is hitting your head. Its happens all the time on tour, being in unfamiliar settings and all. At least once a day one of us can be found in cursing pain, sometimes bleeding as a result. Its usually Myles though who is 2" taller than the average Cauldron member. Myles is always cranking his head off door frames, stairwells, monitors etc. Gig by gig we're making America's clubs and music venues taller, one head bang at a time.
Speaking of America, what's with Beard metal and the USA? Stay wicked USA, hope you don't miss your Krokus records!
One thing that sucks about being the tallest band in the world is hitting your head. Its happens all the time on tour, being in unfamiliar settings and all. At least once a day one of us is found in cursing pain, sometimes bleeding as a result. This seems to happen to Myles the most though who is 2" taller than the average Cauldron member. Myles is always driving his head into door frames, stairwells, monitors, hanging plants etc. We are the real deal headbangers and gig by gig we're making America's clubs and music venues taller, one injury at a time.