Tag Archives: He Is Legend

What To Do About FILLING IN ON GUITAR WITH HE IS LEGEND

This article was written by our friend Royal “Worth” Weaver IV, we love his name but we just call him Worth. Worth is currently the touring / fill-in guitarist for heavy rock act He Is Legend.

The life of the hired guitarist is at times an interesting one to say the least.  Many tasks are expected from you as the hiree and the performer.

You are expected or required to have (sans the ability to play your instrument of course) professional equipment that won’t fall apart after 2 shows, a “marketable” appearance, the workings of how things operate at a gig/performance, and a positive attitude.  After all… you do get paid to do this.  It is your job, not only to play guitar every night, but to play guitar well. 

There are other postscripts and additions that coincide with the position of a hired guitarist.  What really separates a guy who will get the job done from someone who is far and beyond perfect for the position? 

After 12 years of being a professional guitarist and doing everything from studio sessions to multi-national tours; I have (humbly) tried to pinpoint these things that separate the mediocre from the excellent in the field of the hired guitarist.

One:  Be completely open initially to the bands intentions, attitude, and interactions.  This is a must.  This is something that can’t really be taught- you must sit back and observe where you fit as a hired gun when conversing with the band.  The fine line of playing with the band and being a member of the band is not exactly as easy to interpret as it may seem.  After months in the van/bus and another couple in the studio; one may think that he/she has the right to have a say in how band business is handled.  This is a most certain and impending doom for you and your job.  If you are asked your opinion of the new album artwork or if this song’s tempo is too fast, by all means give it.  But be cautious in raising your voice during a heated discussion amongst the band members.  The band is THEIRS.  They got the band where it is without you, and if they had concern for your input they would ask.   

Two: Be very aware of the image of the band.  Is this a super-strict Christian band?  Or is the band endorsed by Jager and Trojan?  Usually this is rather obvious from the onset of the position; but I have been in an act where a contract was enforced upon me (signed and sealed) to forbid me from cursing, drinking, smoking, and taking the Lord’s name in vain in front of fans.  Strict?  Absolutely.  But monetarily it was very rewarding (and also served as a two month vacation for my lungs and liver.).  Some bands are incredibly fickle (no long hair… no visible tattoos… no pink items of clothing… etc); but some are more lenient. 

Three:¬† Be aware of your sound/stage performance.¬† Do the members of the band act like mentally impaired 4th graders on crack while performing?¬† Or do the band members expect you to remain relatively still and play everything perfectly in time with the pulsating click track in your right ear?¬† Also, don‚Äôt put every distortion box in creation on your pedal board if you‚Äôre playing with a more mellow act.¬† Yes‚Ķ it looks amazing and expensive‚Ķ but you will be more than tempted on many occasions to turn at least three or more on for that solo part that should be waaaaaaaaaay quieter than what you are about to make it.¬† It is all about knowing where you fit in the band‚Äôs audio spectrum and selecting equipment to get you there.¬† Don‚Äôt bring out the two 4×12 cabs if you are heading on tour with Norah Jones or John Mayer‚Ķ for goodness sake use your combo amp and save yourself (and the other band members) a few chiropractic bills later on down the road.

Four:  Go above and beyond the call of duty when it is your turn to drive/sell merch/load in or out.  The band will see this extra effort and will (hopefully) recognize that you do care about your job and want the best for the band/tour.  Laziness has no place for the hired guitarist when it comes to these things.  This is the unspoken part of your job that must be performed well or your reputation will suffer severely.


Five:  Talk to fans as if you are a proud member of the band.  More often than not this is easier said than done.  Some kids go absolutely crazy over something that you are now somewhat apart of.  Embrace them and make them feel like you love what you do.  Sign every autograph (at nauseum) even when the other band members are no where to be found.  This is making a kid’s dream come true; and you never know if you just shook the future Stevie Ray Vaughan’s or Steve Vai’s hand.  Be as humble as humanly possible (even though you do have the overnight drive in a few hours), don’t take your position in the “spotlight” for granted.  This is yet another unspoken but absolutely necessary part of your position that will (hopefully) put you in good graces with the band.

After that amended list of the five do‚Äôs (or do not‚Äôs rather?); it brings me to my most recent fill in job that turned into a more permanent fixture in¬†my guitar playing life—HE IS LEGEND.

A rather odd occurence (and I will herald the almighty Myspace for this one) in me procuring this position.  After current guitarist and primary song writer Adam Tanbouz contacted me about the vacant position; I found myself in the place of that negative “here we go again with another tour”.  That disappeared when the name of the tour was shortly mentioned near the end of the conversation… ”THE PEANUT BUTT TOUR”.  See above step 2.  I thought “so maybe this band isn’t really as uptight as some others I’ve been associated with”.  I even think there was a brief talk about getting JIF to sponsor the tour… a big Keanu Reeves “woah”.  Not Jager.  Not Trojan.  Not PBR.  But JIF Peanut Butter. 

But even with those feelings in the back of my head (of the lack of up-tightness), I worked harder than I ever had before for a tour/band.  A lot was demanded from me mentally, physically, and musically; but I found myself not only loving every second of the tour; but also relishing in the friendships that were forming as a result.

Adam and I were the coffee and guitar nerds of the tour.  It was usually our mission after load in to find the best cup of iced coffee the town had to offer. I think Seattle won.  And I think we are probably the worst in the universe for tweaking and re-tweaking our guitar amps/pedals.  Adam is a rather soft spoken individual; but everything he says is quite meaningful and precise.  I admire him as a player and writer, and would walk through any ghetto in the nation with him due to his rather menacing initial appearance. 

Steve and I enjoyed one thing¬†and one thing only.¬† Sarcasm.¬† We never failed to use it to¬†the fullest extent at a moment‚Äôs notice.¬† There were a couple of times where our¬†air drumming became incessant on the over-night drives;¬†but it was all to keep us¬†from¬†ending up capsized in a median (which actually happened when I was driving—entirely different blog there).¬† Being that Steve didn‚Äôt¬†play to a click (metronome), it was rather difficult for me¬†to initially play with him.¬† But as I found out more about him and his personality I was able to see more into his musical performance on drums as well.¬†¬†And¬†Steve really likes¬†cats, the mandolin, and Queens of the Stone Age with a passion.¬† And there was that one time in Shelbyville‚Ķ ¬† probably one¬†of the funniest¬†dudes you will ever meet.¬†¬†

Schuylar Croom is one of those individuals you immediately take notice of when he enters a bar/restaurant/church/ballroom/bathroom.  An amazing writer with a huge affinity for porkskins and cheese omelets, we spent many of our conversations on the more simple things in life.  This was a bit surprising to me as Schuylar is an incredibly in-depth individual with a view of the world like few you will ever meet.  But regardless of such things… we talked mainly about cooking and foods… and of course our unearthly obsession with video games.  I don’t even think we turn off our Xbox 360s anymore.  Also a phenomenal performer and lyricist… an excellent memory of my very first show was getting smacked on my left ass cheek with a magnolia leaf during the opening song… this most certainly confirmed my theory of the afformentioned Step 2.

MattyWheelFaceDoomChair.¬† Ahhhhhh Matty.¬† Matt was my¬†”bunk buddy‚Äù (and ‚Äúdrinking buddy”)—meaning that when the hotel¬†rooms were¬†given out‚Ķ I was sleeping with¬†Matt.¬† Matt loves to sleep.¬†¬†If a nuclear explosion were to happen right after an earthquake that¬†produced¬†a marching band of rabid wolverines‚Ķ Matt would¬†still be¬†asleep.¬† Soundly.¬† But I really love this dude (not in a sleeping with him way though).¬† We¬†had¬†some¬†really dumb conversations about life‚Ķ and some really excellent conversations about life.¬†¬†We¬†were both stage right—and had a few nights where his ridiculously long hair would become entangled in the headstock of my guitar.¬†¬†Great memories of me looking up at¬†Matt‚Äôs cringing face just screaming ‚ÄùSTOPSTOPSTOP!!!!!!!‚Äù.¬†¬†We developed a part¬†in a song every night where¬†he would also intentionally bite the headstock of my guitar.¬†¬†Yes. Complete with teeth marks.¬† Great¬†guy¬†that‚Äôs hard to¬†hate.

Well passersby… hopefully I have given you an insight of what’s it like to be a professional fill in guitarist for HE IS LEGEND.  After the tour the band asked me on board full-time; so I suppose hard work does pay off after all.  As far as what to physically “do” about filling in with any band… just practice, work, have a good attitude, and have fun.  That’s why we should all be doing this “music” thing anyways.  Looking forward to letting you all hear the new tunes and seeing you out on the road. 

Much Love 

Worth

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What To Do About HAVING LONG HAIR

This article was written by Matthew Aaron Williams, aka Matt Williams, aka Matty to his close friends. Matt has beautiful flowing hair which he throws around while playing bass guitar for North Carolina rockers He Is Legend.


Some women decide to cut their hair short for a more managable and stylish look. Some men decide to grow their hair out slightly to obtain that “I’m adventurous” look. I do so much, I don’t even have time to cut my hair. My hair is kinda shaggy but I’m in a suit, so I’m kinda “badass” look. The female gender is usually known to have longer hair than the male gender. In some rare cases, though, some men have longer hair than any man should ever have. Such is the case with me. The length of my hair was recently put into perspective after cutting six inches off of it and realizing that it was still down to the middle of my back.

I will say there are obvious advantages to being a dude with long hair, and there definitely are obvious disadvantages. I’d like to take a look at some of those before I begin breaking down what to do about having long hair.

PRO: Ponytails are kinda cool lookin. Mainly if your a redneck, but it still works.

CON: No man should ever have to ask another man (or even a woman) if they have a spare hair tie laying around.

PRO: Long hair on dudes attracts attention. Especially from girls/women. (ie. “Oh my god your hair is so long and gorgeous!” “I’m so jealous of your hair!” “It smells so good!”)

CON: Those girls would never be caught dead dating you. You’re looked at more as a novelty than someone they are attracted to. They will never admit that to your face. Its the truth.

PRO: If you’re in a band, it looks really cool when you play live. Especially when you fling it around a lot. (Do I even have to mention the “windmill”? All you freakin metal heads) But seriously, I’ve had people at shows compliment me more on how cool my hair looked as opposed to how we played.

CON(S): Tangles immediately ensue after flinging your hair around on stage. Tangles that you cannot get out.  Or your hair will wrap itself around something like a guitar headstock, mic stand, drum mics, etc. Your band then yells at you after the show, which goes something like… “Dude, something kept stinging me. I looked back and realized your hair was hitting me as you were headbanging.” or “Hey, can you make sure you’re a couple more feet away from my drums before you start headbanging. You kept deadening my cymbals.” or “Dude, you totally knocked my guitar out of tune when we were trying to get your hair untangled from my headstock”.  Sometimes, whilst in the process of headbunging, your hair finds its way into your mouth and down your throat. That is a strange feeling, mainly because you start gagging, and thats as far as I’ll go with that.

Here’s what I do…

As I mentioned before, my hair is usually super tangled after a show and I don’t always get to take a shower right away. Its come to the point before, where I’ve had to just rip the knots out, and that sucks.  Sleeping with your hair up in a ponytail or doubled over will also cause you to have tangles. You really have to keep your hair healthy. Don’t wash it every day. That will strip your hair of oils that it needs to help keep it healthy and purdy lookin (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere). I’m not really an expert though. I just know what I do and it seems to work.

When I’m at home I will go several days without washing my hair, or getting it wet. When I do wash it, I use a hydrating shampoo and a hydrating conditioner (a LOT of conditioner). Both are supposed to strengthen my hair, blah blah blah. But it smells like coconuts and I love that (Just thought of another pro/con. Girls/women will want to smell your hair all the time because it smells good. Guys [mainly your friends] will make fun of you constantly for how good your hair smells.). I run a comb through my hair, once I have conditioner in it, to get any tangles out.  RINSE. I squeeze as much water out of my hair as I can before I get out of the shower. Then I towel it dry. I mainly just dab my hair and try to squeeze my hair out into the towel. I do that to avoid acquiring unwanted tangles. I then put a leave in hair strengthener in my hair because I have really fine/fragile hair. I brush my hair while its still wet and let it air dry. Hair dryers suck, and I’m usually not in that big of a hurry. I hardly ever wear my hair down, mainly because it gets all in my face and its just a hassle. I usually wear it in a ponytail, and I usually wear a hat. Unless my friends talk me into putting my hair down because they think it will attract women. They are wrong.

Every woman (and now I) knows that if you put your hair up when its wet it will take it a full day to dry. I’ve had it happen, it sucks. I also know now, along with most women, that after you get out of the shower, dry off, and get dressed you will find your head hair stuck in the strangest places on your body (I won’t mention them) for the rest of the day. That is probably the weirdest thing I’ve come to find out since having really long hair.

I would like to end by saying‚Ķ If you‚Äôre a dude, just don‚Äôt have long hair. Thats what to do about it.¬† Cut it. I look ridiculous, and so do you unless you have boobs and don‚Äôt grow hair on your face. There‚Äôs a fine line between how long is long enough and how long is too long. I‚Äôm pretty sure when your hair, as a man, gets down to your butt-crack…its time to do something about it.

Thank you. I have been dumb.

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What To Do About CATS

This article on cats was written by our good friend Schuylar Croom, frontman for North Carolina rock band He Is Legend. Schuylar has the ability to make any topic more interesting than it initially seems.

It is late enough for me to know that looking at the clock will only make things worse. There is always a point in the night where you realize that the time doesn’t matter. It’s nighttime…that is all. I live in a small duplex in what some would call a retirement community. How I lucked out with this low rent, cinder block box is beyond me, but I’m happy here. It’s always quiet and I am only a 2-minute walk from the lake and all of its wildlife. I believe that I am the only one awake in these some 50 houses and it might as well be all 50 states. It’s one million o’clock in the morning. As I light a cigarette the fake gas fireplace is whispering secrets to three adorable cats. Each of their heads turns slightly to lock eyes with me. How I made eye contact with the lot of them is still a mystery. But it is the closest I have ever felt to having a conversation with the devil.

I have never considered myself a cat person. It’s not that I hate them, although I am quick to spout that word off daily when their mischief catches me off guard, I have just always had a dog. A dog’s loyalty is like a book that you can almost recite by heart, where a cat is like watching a rerun of E! Entertainment news. But I digress; this is about my relationship with the cats.

The two cats that live with me are named Buckets and Steve. They are brother and sister and I have suspicions that they are victims of inbreeding. I cannot hold this against them although I do love to tease them about it. Buckets is very small with the brightest blue eyes. I often call her King Buckets the Princess. This is a name that she has grown attached to.  It also may have given her a complex. My only real problem with her is that she loves to knock things off of counters and tables. Cylindrical objects are her neapolitan ice cream. If you leave your chapstick on the table in the morning it will be under the couch. But mainly she just eats and sleeps. She’s a precious little princess and I guess I am glad that she keeps me company. Not to mention that she will let you draw on her with magic markers.

Some dark spirit on the other hand, no doubt, possesses Steve the Cat. His coat is the color of a storm cloud with just as much dread. His eyes the shade of Linda Blair’s in the Exorcist only slightly more sinister. The “meows” that wake me in the morning are more of a jungle roar. I do believe that Steve is as wild as any cat in Africa. He only happens to live in North Carolina and be a house cat. Besides the fact that he can’t really figure out how to cover his own droppings, (Buckets has to do it for him) he is okay to have around inside. We have developed a love/hate relationship. But I can tell he likes it. It’s the great outdoors where Steve causes most of his havoc.

Right down the street from my house is a large wooden bridge stretching over Greenfield Lake. I spend a lot of time there; it’s a great spot to reflect. Sometimes when friends are visiting we will go down to the bridge to fellowship, usually at one million o’clock, but who’s looking at the clock in the first place? One night Steve the Cat invited himself into the fold. He didn’t stray too far and would come when I made the “kiss-kiss-kiss” noise that usually only works for dogs. This was a major break-through in our relationship and he still follows close behind to this day. I imagine he thinks we walk to the Land Of The Gods, where no cat shall enter. I can see the heroic gaze in his eyes as he lies on the wooden bridge floor, staring up at the sky. I wonder if inside his tiny brain, as he looks up at the moon, he thinks about visiting it someday?

One day as six of my friends and I were sitting on the bridge in the cold night air; we lost ourselves in fellowship, which is pretty easy to do, when we realized that Steve the Cat was missing. We decided to go back home, hoping he would turn up along the way. The walk back seemed to take days. Everyone began yelling Steve’s name in the voices that they had dedicated to kittens of all kinds. Knowing that he could take care of himself I charged toward the door. I noticed the body of a large dead squirrel in just enough time to stop my Chuck from squeezing his last meal onto the porch. This was more traumatic than it should have been but when adding the body of a dead bird, it climaxed into a “what the eff” situation. We knew who the murderer was. His name is Steve the Cat and here he comes now, with yet another dead squirrel clutched in his jaws.

 After that night a rule had to be made. The cats now had a curfew. They are to be in shortly after sundown. This was working out fairly well until I agreed to cat-sit for a very close friend of mine. Normally I would have said “absolutely not” but it just so happens that this cat is a brother to Steve and Buckets. I really had no choice, Thumbs was on his way. Plus I must say that I was a little curious as to how the three would act once reunited. It wasn’t as climactic as I would have liked. Buckets did make some of the strangest noises I have heard come out of any animal. She reminded me of a tiny white wolf princess. And Battle cat Steve was actually pretty timid towards her.

Thumbs is pretty much a perfect mix between Steve and Buckets. He has her white coat and his demon eyes. His face is a little longer than the other two. I am almost 100% positive that he has Down Syndrome. A few nights ago I watched the bonding session between Steve and Thumbs. Steve let out a hiss that faded into a growl as Thumbs swatted the air in front of his face. Thumbs’ paw remained outstretched for a split second before he placed it on Steve’s shoulder. I could almost hear his deep cat voice say, “Come on mang, we bros.”

The next morning the splayed carcass of a beautiful baby duck lay frozen on the grass. Most of the poor duck had been devoured. Thumbs and Steve were running around frantically, zooming behind the bushes with a playful murderous rage set deep in their eyes. Buckets, God bless her soul, was just too dainty to even sniff the loose feathers. I hate touching dead animals. I would rather swerve around a family of deer than splatter possum entrails all over my cars undercarriage. So understand that I gagged a lot when I buried it.

So what to do about cats? I wish I knew. I can’t even decide if I like them or not. I guess this article is more of a question to cat lovers and not really informative in the least bit. For that I apologize. Sure I will keep feeding them and changing their litter. But when I go out to the porch with my coffee in the morning and almost step on the severed head of a mallard, it’s a little unnerving. I could probably get into some kind of trouble for having The Kitty Manson Family. Hopefully no one will find out. In the meantime, say a little prayer for the woodland creatures. There are evil cats everywhere.

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What To Do About FILLING IN ON DRUMS FOR EVERY TIME I DIE

This article was written by Steve Bache, drummer for the rock band He Is Legend, Steve is an amazing drummer and that’s an understatement.


Listen:  Since I’ve been back from the tour I did with Every Time I Die, I’ve been basically bombarded with emails, postcards, feather-pen-inked salutations and occasionally bumped into cruisin’ the mean streets of downtown Wilmington, with people all wondering the same wonder:  What to do about filling in on drums for Every Time I Die? The exchange more or less goes exactly like this:

Person:  Steve?

Me: What?

P: Hey dude, sup witchu?

M: Just chilling my good sir

P: So, I heard you just filled in for Every Time I Die on drums, from January 9th to February 5th.  What, did Mike “Ratboy” Novak hurt his back or somethin?  Like tryin out for the Buffalo Sabres or somethin? 

M: uhh, yeah. Weird that you know that…

P: Oh, and I bet you had to learn like 12 or 13 songs.  What did they give you, a week to learn them?

M: Yeah, who told you?  It was 12 songs.  They’re real awesome though, the songs that is, not the dudes IN the band.  Wait, the dudes in the band are great dudin’ dudes too.

P:  Cool, sounds like a swell time.  Were the other bands good?  Oh nevermind I don’t really care.

M: See ya later, square!

And on it goes.  So now I’d like to impart some of my new found wisdom about what it’s like to tour with ETID, in case this kind of opportunity comes up for anyone else (playing drums for ETID, that is).  When you first get the call, it’ll most likely be from Andy “if that fart was a dude, he’d ride a skateboard” Williams, their hair-covered stage left guitarist.  After giving him the a-ok, you’re in for a 3 day wait for the set list they want you to learn for a tour that starts in 9 days.  It’s cool. Do not panic.  Don’t even panic. Plan your next week accordingly: wake up, walk around your house and anywhere else you want to be (for me it was downtown), and listen to ETID nonstop until about 4.  Then whayergonwannado is go play along to all the songs on repeat and shuffle, I recommend those little white ipod earbuds under some gun-muffle headphones (to drown out your drums-a-ragin).  Also, 24 oz cans of Colt 45 are really helpful, my dosage was 1 can every break.  You’ll be fine.

When you get to Buffalo, make sure to try and fit in with the locals as smoothly as possible, people can be really cranky and territorial when their city touches Canada.  Try using sentences like:

‘Go Sabres!’

‘Go Bills!’

‘Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo!’

‘More chicken wings!’

Speaking of, the guys in ETID really like chicken wings, especially from Buffalo Wild Wings.  Which says a lot about the B-dub-dub.  I mean, people from Kentucky seem fairly indifferent about KFC, and you can’t even find an Outback Steakhouse in Australia.  But, I digest, err, digress. (get it? wow)

Once you get the set down and start feeling comfortable behind Ratboy’s Paul Frank knife-covered skull-encrusted drum kit (you’ll probably skip one part of one song the first night, but correct that mistake on night two, only to miss a completely different part later in the set), you can finally enjoy the finer things on tour, as well as watch a sweet ETID show every night, only from the back.  Who knows, you might even take shooters on stage in say, oh, Ft. Wayne Indiana, where girls are known to show their tatters to the bands just before being crowd-surfed into a trash can.  Maybe that trash can was there between the crowd and the stage, but i’m willing to bet that bin was dumped onto the crowd and surfed to the front just before the babe arrived.  As far as the “finer things”, I of course mean being sandwiched in a van between Britches “loft hog” Whatever His Last Name Is and Josh “Old Man Newton” Newton’s spot, known as “Old Man Newt’s spot.” Or listening to Howard Stern.  Constantly.  Even when the van’s off.  Because with Jordan “You lose your mind, dude (in a deaf accent)” Buckley behind the wheel, that’s what you’ll hear.  I guess the only other occurrence you’ll notice, is that Biggie “Biggie” Somethin Or Other can really work out alot, and still manage to Tour Manage a tour like he was running a plantation and the tour was a well paid, worry-less slave that didn’t have to do anything except eat, sleep, and play my drums.  What?  Biggie is as buff as he is organized is what I’m saying is the thing. 

Oh and one more thing, Keith “I’m the lead singer of an important, influential hard-core rock band” Buckley helps load in and out, will sleep in the loft or the floor, and doesn’t mind driving a lot, but he’s still always funny.  ALWAYS.  That, and he received via crowdsurf on the tour:

a hot dog with ketchup and mustard

a slice of pizza

a hat

a hot dog with ketchup and chili

an entire rack of shots in test tubes

a recently emptied trash can

a topless girl for said trash can

I hope this was helpful for all and any potential fill-in ETID drummers.  I’m sorry to say this advice and suggestion list is very band specific, so unless Ratboy hurts his back again, (we’ll say maybe cheering on ‘Wolf’ during a broadcast of the new American Gladiators”, everything you just read is useless.  For one helluva rock show, check out Every Time I Die as they headline the Take Action! Tour, Ratboy included, and get ready to head bang to He Is Legend’s new tunes coming soon.  I mean it.  You’ll head bang so hard, you’ll later quietly admit, “I just headbung.”

God luck and good speed,

Steve

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What To Do About ANNOYING FANS

*This article was written by our friend Schuylar Croom, frontman for North Carolina rock band He Is Legend. Schuylar has the ability to make any topic more interesting than it initially seems.


In my line of work you meet a lot of interesting people. Some more interesting than others. It seems that these days the average music fan feels that it is necessary to “out weird” the musicians in hopes that they will be remembered by the people they hold so dearly. Now I understand how these words may make me seem like a bigger snob than Sean Penn accidentally walking into Wal-Mart . But I assure you that I do my best to be kind to all of the people who hold me in high regard. However, I can’t quite understand what I have done yet to be put on that pedestal… other than growing a pretty respectable beard, in which case, upon shaving it off, received much criticism from the fans under the age of 20. I am very grateful to be loved for my exquisite facial hair, but after a certain point you start to feel less like a person and more like a character. For that I wish I would have made a different decision.

With the phenomenon of Myspace and Facebook paired with cell phone technology, the camera phone is now a must have for concert goers of today. At the site of their favorite rock and roller these kids whip their cameras out like the Guns of the Navero. I find it nerve racking to pose for a pixelated camera photo so I try my best to make a different face for each picture… offering the kids a truly unique photo that is all their own. Depending on the genre of music that the show consists of, some kids may be sweatier than others. In this case, rather than putting my arm around the shoulder of the sweaty teenager to show that we have developed a common bond, I would suggest that we all hold up the “Heavy Metal Horns” or the ever popular Peace Sign.

Often times some of the older males at the show will not want you to touch them at all. This comes from the stigma of “being hard” or proving your manliness in the photograph. This can be judged by their greeting, which usually consists of the token 4 part handshake that ends with the fingers snapped off of each other. Also, you will notice these males by the way they dress… usually a black T-shirt of an unknown band paired with basketball shorts and unusually well groomed hair which is often accentuated with a sweat band of any color. These photos are usually taken quickly and are painless. But the facial expression is key for both parties. You must produce the feeling of friendship but also keep a stern look into the camera. “Heavy Metal Horns” are also used in these photos, Peace signs are usually prohibited.

When being photographed with a female, you must be prepared to take the photo many times from numerous angles. The plus side to taking photographs with the girls is that they usually have a proper camera. However, the flashes will blind you if you are not careful. Often times females will want to take their picture with you and no less than five of their friends. This will be very time consuming because each friend has to have a different variation of the photo on their own camera as well as a shot with just you and the camera owner.

The group shots are simple. You must show no favoritism to any single girl in the group. Often times this would be my cue to be lighting a cigarette when the picture is snapped… or sneaking a sip of my beer to offer a candid feel to the shot. When the photo is of you and a single female you must devote all of your attention to her. You can judge by the persons attire as to how close to stand, or where to put your hand. Be sure to keep one eye on the boys that are close by as they may be said girls boyfriend. Usually they are standing close to you, or even the picture taker… arms crossed, concerned half smile. Give him a wink to ease his mind. This could actually gain you another fan.

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How can you talk about being at a rock show without speaking about drugs and alcohol. The people under the influence of these things can hardly open their cell phones, much less find them the moment they spot you. They have waited all month to come see their favorite band and will stop at nothing to meet them. This usually is when they come up to you asking numerous question about the band they came to see. “Oh man how is it hanging out with Blank. I bet he blanks all the blank.” This is the time that I like to make up stories about the person in question. “Oh yeah, you should really try his pineapple upside down cup-cakes. They are out of this world!”

If it’s the case that the user is a fan of your band you must take time to stand and listen to what they have to say, no matter how hard it is to understand. If you seem irritated or in a hurry you may offend them and offended music fans tend to start an uproar. It may not be instantaneous, but remember that little thing called the internet. Message boards are no new thing, and they can crank up faster than Paris Hilton in an In-N-Out bathroom. One false move and you will be labeled an A-hole by every Tom, DIck and Harry on the inter-web.

FInally there are the “Self Proclaimed Weirdo’s”. These fans will stop at nothing to be remembered… using any number of tactics to throw you off guard. “Can I lick your face?” or “Will you sign my nipples?” are just a few that i have heard in the past. Also, when I had a large beard the comments were overwhelming. “Can I have your beard when you shave?”, “Can I put your beard in my mouth”, or my favorite “Can I live inside of your beard?” Responses may vary depending on your case. Usually giving a realistic answer is the best way to get them to act normal. “No you may not live in my beard because I don’t think that it is physically possible.” or “No, you can’t lick my face, I am a human being. I don’t let strangers lick my body.”

Sometimes you can just stare off into space and create the illusion that you are extremely out of your mind on drugs. Spouting off comments about “large frogs crawling out of your hair”… like Wakem Pheni did… or as I have done, mention the energy balls that are floating around your weirdo fan. This tends to leave them feeling as though they have lost the weirdness battle because you are on a special planet all your own.

Don’t get me wrong. I actually enjoy meeting fans, but sometimes you just got to get it out there. Talk about the things that make you feel uncomfortable and find a way to have it make you stronger. So the next time you find yourself bombarded with camera phones and sweaty kids, embrace it, enjoy it, and have a little fun with it. Who knows, you could actually find an easier way to pass the time at a show.

*this article was featured on September 26, 2007

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