This is the first tour on which we have big production, which is really exciting but also presents a challenge. Some venues aren’t large enough to fit it in on the stage! We have a huge hydraulic drum riser that rises around fifteen feet in the air—it’s a blast and looks awesome! I get to play a drum solo as it rises, and it’s the first time in years that I’ve done a solo. I forgot how fun they are, and if done right, how they can really amp up a crowd!
I remember touring with Mayhem back in 2008 on the second stage. Now we’re on the main stage, and the biggest difference is that we get to be out of the sun a little more. We also get to shower on a regular basis, which I’m sure is a better thing for everyone involved! The daily catering that we get is a great variety of healthy and unhealthy stuff. We’re a rock band, so we like to eat some junk every now and then, of course. We’re also are trying something a little different (for us) on this tour: We’ve adopted “no drinking on show days for the entire band and crew” policy. A different band hosts a party each night before a day off, so the people that do drink can have a blowout and get into debauchery. I went to the first one and drank lemonade like the true metal badass that I am, ha ha!
Show days have been extremely busy for us. We get up early, eat, and then hit a full day of press. We do meet-and-greets with radio promo winners and then do a 300-person autograph signing every day. Most of the fans are great. They’re incredibly loyal and very supportive. You get the occasional one that crosses the line, usually because of alcohol. They yell in your face and spray you with their spit and are kind of obnoxious. But it’s all part of the deal of the big rock festival show.
I try to spend a solid half hour warming up before we play. I do a slightly different routine than most drummers I know. I don’t hit rubber pads. Instead I focus on stretching out my body. I roll my muscles out on hard foam rollers and lay flat on rubber La Crosse balls to dent the muscles and loosen them. This is the savior for my body. The physical nature of the music we play really takes a toll the body, so these exercises are vital. I only wish I had started these at a much younger age. So far Mayhem Festival has been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to another month!