At about 11:00 PM, just into Indiana, our van's speedometer, odometer, clock and rear view mirror control malfunctioned. We're left with solid green blank LCD readouts and a speedometer needle resting full out. And so we move onto to NYC as if we are dead in space with no frame of reference - no time, no speed, no distance and a difficult look back. All we know is that we're moving freely forward. This is completely opposite of the time leading up to the trip, which has been consumed both day and evening keeping up with deadlines associated with upcoming New Loud EP/LP releases. The details never relent and my mind only seems to find relief during sleep. The week or so leading up the trip has been the most intense yet. I had Mark Trombino make the final changes to the EP mixes and then prepare the tracks for mastering. At the same time we are arranging a new website re-build with our designer as well as working on the physical package design for the EP. Between all that there's the back and forth with legal handling all the contracts between mix engineers and publicists, all while I'm tackling the final tracking of our LP - trying desperately to finish before mid-November if not before.
And so the day before the trip began by sending out e-mails to the few friends I have in NYC. Big hellos to King Lou, and Sarah Price as well as the swell dudes in The French Horn Rebellion who we met at Forward Fest in Madison this year. Then I began working on more vocals for the full-length: new, freshly written harmonies for Secrets and Get Lost as well as some editing on Heartattack, Every Girl I See and Rubberman. Afterward, I started making rough sketch mixes of the whole LP with everything that we have up to this point to really go over everything while we were on the road.
6:00 PM I have to pick up Jessi and Radish Beat and it was already 4. Time to shower, shave and pack. Sometime in between I also had to find time to eat, do dishes and clean any soon to be expired food from the refrigerator - how glamorous being in a band is! Our new sound guy, Nick, arrives at about 20 after 5. He's pretty nervous/excited and seems to have packed more things than Jessi and I combined. No problem. We have room. Nick helps me pack up and we're off - first to get gas. On the short trip to fill the tank. There is something wrong with the front steering in the van. It's very unpredictable. About a week ago I had the front tie rods replaced and there was supposed to be an alignment done, but something is not right. It is 6 PM now and we're already late to pick up Rad and Jessi. I don't want to chance an accident on the long highway trip, so we decide to try and go back to my mechanic, Greg, a super nice guy that works out of his house with his own lift in the back. Greg's is closed for the evening, so we decide to pull into a nearby gas station to check out the tires. All of which are down a bunch of air with the rears at about 1/2 of what they should be. After filling up the tires everything seems to fall into place and the steering gets much tighter which is a huge relief. We head down to pick up the rest of the band behindhand and are on the road by 7:30pm.
Big delays down in Chicago around 9:00 PM or so as an accident just before the loop has all the lanes blocked save for one. 5 miles out, traffic is stopped dead and Radish decides to navigate his own personal detour by way of the lake road down to Chicago's southside where we pick the freeway back up.
At about 11:00 PM, just into Indiana, our van's speedometer, odometer, clock and rear view mirror control malfunctioned. We're left with solid green blank LCD readouts and a speedometer needle resting full out. And so we move onto to NYC as if we are dead in space...