Everyone has heard about life on the road, but this semi-regular column focuses on the other side of the musicians' dual citizenship in tht world of rock and roll and reality: food, laundry, bills, lonely lovers, you know...THE DIRT.
Welcome back to another installment of DOWN TIME this time featuring the magical Montgomery Clayton Buckles of the fantastic Los Angeles scorch punk band of sound murderers, LAMPS. I've written about them before, but short story shorter—if you like the Country Teasers, the Brainbombs, the Cows, and anvils being dropped on peoples' heads, you will like these cretins.
"That is a thing that can uses gunpowder to shoot bolts into concrete, like the thing snoop had in the wire" Monty Buckles
Post Tour Depression. Do you get symptoms? Not significantly more than my usual level of operant, functional depression. Although once I get back from having fun and drinking beer and eating out and seeing friends in another city to be back in my inconsequential, solipsistic life where I remain unproductive is a bit of a casserole made of human shit.
What is the first restaurant you head for when you get home? If I have the day off, I'll head to Las Paloma, its convenient and tasty.
What do you get? I get the asada plate and a large horchata.
Do you cook at home? What's happening there? I cook soups a lot, they have a large margin for error, and I enjoy the way they make the house smell. I used to cook roasts in the crock pot with baby carrots and potato. It was easy. I should start doing that again.
Let's talk about your tour diet vs. being at home: Vastly different or so identical it hurts? The tour diet is different because I eat out more, and the attrition of the three of us finding a place convenient to eat that we can all agree on. Happily, I am able to avoid fast food in my personal life and my touring life. I try not to eat vegetarian on the road, just because I want to make sure something with a mother that loved it was murdered so I could have enough protein that I can drink without feeling too queasy.
Is there something that you find you listen to every tour? We listen to episodes of the Phil Hendrie Show on tour. It can make the most monotonous drive or oppressive gridlock enjoyable. It actually makes me look forward to driving around in the middle of nowhere. We also listen to the Stones a lot, because all three of us dearly love them. Last tour we listened to a lot of country singles I illegally downloaded from collector blogs.
Do you listen to different music at home that on tour? They overlap, but at home I'll listen to new things whereas on tour I don't have the patience or the attention span to listen to something I've never heard before and would rather have something reassuring.
When you get home do you stay in or do you need to go on a bender for the first week? I stay in, in glorious, glorious solitude. I grab a six pack of IPA, take out food, and read a book while the dog sits on my lap, then I will just go to bed at about 7 pm and just thoroughly enjoy not having to interact with any human beings. I will just stare at the ceiling while my dog lays on my chest and I will try to not expand any energy or use my brain as anything other than a reptilian organ that keeps my body functioning.
How soon before the highway starts calling? Once I go on tour I enjoy it, but its difficult because I work freelance. I am fortunate enough to have clients who I enjoy working for and enjoy their company, but work can be sporadic. It pains me considerably to have to turn down a job that would pay my bills because I have to go to another city to play in a rock show, so whenever we book a tour I live in constant fear that I am going to have to miss a lucrative job or worse, that I might lose a client. Once I get in the van or get on an airplane it's gravy.
Do you have any kind of exercise routine? Real or Fantasy? I used to ride my bike quite a bit, but there were too many close calls where I almost got reduced to a large stain on the asphalt by a negligent driver, and I feared paralysis or an injury that would leave me unable to work for an extended period. I also find the culture of smug young people riding bikes in a group propelled soley by patting themselves on the back to be so abhorrent that nowadays I'd rather drive a two-stroke humvee over a baby whale than ride my bike. Now I go to the La Cresanta YMCA where I lift weights and read a book on the exercise bike or one of the silly machines. My fantasy would be not drinking and eating correctly, but in reality I drink too much and eat poorly. When I work I get up early, walk my dog, go to work, and then drive home and cry and that takes too much time to get any exercise.
I always wanna burn my clothes when I get home, do you? or do you have a sense of 'Thread Loyalty'? I have a strong sense of thread loyalty. I am also large and bizarrely proportioned, so finding clothes that don't make me look like an escaped mental patient that ditched his uniform and stole some random, ill-fitting clothes off a line in someone's backyard is inordinately difficult, so I can't afford to just let a trusted piece of clothing slide.
What's your packing style? Sensibly prepared or jam it in a bag that morning? I am sensibly, dipshittily (I am sorry I made up a word but I couldn't think of a word that existed that articulated what I wanted to say) prepared. I do my laundry before and make sure I have enough extra socks and underwear.
How long can you be out before you start turning grey? I think for the foreseeable future. It's difficult to be objective, but we're not a bunch of smiling assholes bopping around singing songs about how much we like the summer, so our shelf life and ability to play into middle age has improved.
What's on the horizon for you guys? We're going to be recording another record soon with Chris Woodhouse. My friend Tony and I are also (and possibly have already, depending on how quick-on-the-draw the Stranger's staff is) opening a recording studio in Los Angeles, in which case Lamps would record more often. I'd like to play some more in cities other then Los Angeles, in some festivals and such. I don't give a rat's ass about supporting any local scene, and when we play in LA I find myself wishing that the people in the crowd (note: not many) would all buy some merch, then go home and slit their wrists in their bathtubs. I'd be happy if we never had to play here again.