Wednesday, 1 April 2009

We Versus The Shark Tour Diary Part 6

Sixth Installment: Don't Panic (31/03/09)

Last night was my first experience of going directly from the hospital to the stage.

First off: generally, I'm fine. (To repeat for anyone with the last name Tobias: I'm fine.) About 10 days ago I started feeling a weird thing in my chest, which was low enough (sternum-ish in proximity) to be mistaken for a pain in my stomach. As the tour has progressed, it's sort of come and gone - mostly feeling okay in the morning, feeling kind of weird by soundcheck, and then generally feeling kind of crappy by the time we're passing out. I've been to two different walk-in clinics (Yep, for free. Thanks, UK taxpayers!) and have been told I've overexerted, strained, inflamed, etc., some muscles in my chest…No shit!

I guess this is what happens when you stop screaming for four months and then go about doing it every night for weeks on end. It's not debilitating, it just means that for the remainder of the tour, I must avoid bad food (next to impossible), loading gear (less so) and alcohol (deeply unfortunate but not soul-crushing). It's a bit of a damper on the experience to be totally honest, but wondering what I did to be dealt a lousy hand in the karma game is inefficient and useless, so I've been trying to enjoy myself despite the busted breastplate.

Feeling fucked up (physically) while singing songs about feeling fucked up (mentally) seems like a fitting coda to this era of We Versus the Shark. We've been touring fairly consistently since we put out this very angry, very screamy record and in that time, where there's been a lot of playing but not a lot of writing, it feels more and more like we need to just put the whiny baby shit to bed. We have girlfriends now. Not to put it in easy stark terms, but we're ready to write some music that's a little less on the self-flaggelation tip. Whether or not the band that plays said music is called We Versus the Shark remains to be seen.

But health concerns aside, everything's been going swimmingly. We've definitely become solid friends with our UK counterparts Pulled Apart By Horses. Neil and drummer man Lee in particular have bonded over common interests (Black Flag, tattoos, copious amounts of alcohol). We'll be sad to leave them tomorrow only to meet a new set of tourmates, Blakfish. In the meantime, I've got some photos up riiiiiight over here.

Jeff Tobias, We Versus The Shark. Blog courtesy of Flagpole Magazine: Colorbearer of Athens, GA Star Power!

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