On this tour, I played guitar/keys/bgvox in both bands, in our supporting act Caged Animals, and of course in DD.
Caged are old friends of ours from Brooklyn. I started playing with them off and on when they played Iceland Airwaves in 2011.
At the beginning of February, a week before departure, Darwin started having misgivings about my double duty plans. We texted back and forth about it for a bit. I was looking back at our texts and found them to be kind of funny, so I thought I would post them and give you guys some voyeurism.
As you can read, food was a central concern. “You know how I am about food,” warns Darwin’s text. Darwin was worried that my extended sound checking with Caged would either delay his meal or delay mine, with possibly grim consequences.
Food takes on this exaggerated presence on tours. Maybe because it is the primary monotony-breaker of the 8 hour drive, of the identical sound checks. Factor in Darwin’s own extraordinary interest in eating, and food inherits almost divine attributes in our van.
Darwin eats a seemingly impossible amount for that lanky body. There is frequent speculation that when his parents’ took him on a spiritual trip to India as a young boy, Darwin picked up some kind of tapeworm that’s never been dealt with. After ordering a jarring amount of eggs, sausage, bacon, and french toast, Darwin will sometimes joke, “Time to feed the worms.”
Darwin has an interesting diet. Lots of eggs. He’s a diner man. Lots of meat, too. Burgers. A Wendy’s man. Last November, at this tour’s inception, Darwin was dabbling with going gluten-free. An almost caveman diet, nearly Atkins. But tour has a way of beating down any strict lifestyle acrobatics you might attempt. Well-intentioned vegans eventually make vegetarian concessions, and gluten-free hopefuls may find themselves eating a free waffle at Super 8.
I get the feeling that I am referencing the free waffles at Super 8 too much in this blog. But I assure you, it is only in proportion to their ubiquitous presence in our lives.
Anyway, back to the Caged Animals double duty dilemma. A second concern was me not getting enough sleep. The way I am about sleep is like the way, Darwin is about food. I get grouchy when I’m ready for bed at 1 and the group drags me through parties till 2:30. Would my Caged Animals endeavor sap my nightly energy into the danger zone? And would the rest of the group have to suffer for it?
Note the nerdy, sensitive tone of these text messages. Darwin is the son of psychologist. I’m a super rational/logical double Gemini. We’ve been touring for years. Can’t you tell?
The happy ending was that my playing in Caged was no conflict at all. As Darwin correctly predicted in the middle of this conversation, “You’ll probably enjoy it cause let’s face it, there’s so little to do on tour.” The good news was, Darwin did not get annoyed. All the dinners worked themselves out without much thought. Darwin never had to wait. I liked playing the two sets. I didn’t feel any more tired than usual. I liked all the practice I got on guitar. I liked doubling the music in my day.
I hope I get to play with Caged Animals again. They have a beautiful new album coming out this fall, and maybe if the tour scheduling works out, I’ll jump back into the Caged cage this fall or winter.