Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Virginia is for lovers

Richmond Virginia - Part 1

It is inevitable, when you work in the music industry, and when your job takes over your social life, that your personal life, and professional life mix. Mostly to the advantage of your work. Sometimes to the disadvantage of your private life. But sometimes you are lucky enough to be in a position where your work enables you to see people you love and you otherwise wouldn't get to see for a long time. As it did last weekend when i went to Richmond Virginia for the Municipal Waste Terrorizer cover feature.
2 nights in America is really a flying visit. Ester http://www.e-segarra.com/ and James http://www.terrorizer.com/ left Heathrow airport Friday morning for Washington DC. Land of Obama. Its a 7 1/2 hour flight, during which i watched 3 movies, 1 of which was terrible (Mall cop?!) and 1 of which was ok (Confessions of a shopaholic) anyway, we reach Washington 15mins late. I was already worried about our 1hr 10min change over time for the flight to Richmond before we landed, as i know that when you arrive in the States, you have to be processed as if you are guilty of planning to stay illegally in the country, when really you just need to get your next flight.

The queue for immigration was HUGE. And there was no streamlining for people with flights to catch in 40mins later, and so... 40 mins later i just reached gate A8 where our Richmond flight was leaving from as the doors were closing. And they would NOT let us on. And so, we were in Washington IAD airport, with the only option for getting to Richmond on a plane now for the following day.

SO FRUSTRATING! After queuing up at the party that was the Customer services desk, phoning Myra, Phil, Dave, Anthony, telling them all that i didn't know what to do (suprised that there are no buses to RVA from IAD - its only 2.5 hours away) - i had a lovely phone call from Dave and Phil - they were coming to get us! Yes! Municipal Waste are gonna save our asses!!

After a drink in the bar, and Ester's suitcase arriving, there they were - our knights in denim, ready to take us to Richmond.

I can't tell you what a big surge of love i felt for those dudes then, Dave said to me "Talita, you always come and meet us at the airport in London, we can repay the favour, its no bother, anytime"

You know sometimes when you work with bands, you work real hard, always going above and beyond the call of duty and you don't even get a "how are you?" - sometimes it doesnt matter how much you do, you're just a cog in a wheel - and to do my job - you accept that. So, you see its always a big pleasure when you're treated like a real friend. When people are happy to see you, and remember whats going on in your life to ask you about it etc. And so i was really delighted with Dave showed up - he's a real great guy and straight up, and has always treated me like a gent. Phil and i will always will be close friends, so any chance we get to hang out is great to me - and i have expectations of Phil because we're good friends - if he hadnt hung out - there would have been trouble!! ;-)

So driving back to Richmond in the rain, sitting in the back of Dave's car, eating special chocolate he'd bought for me, and catching up, i was really happy.

Myra, one of my 6 closest girly friends on planet earth lives in Richmond, and i was so excited to get some time with her. I hadn't seen her since 2008 and i didnt think i was going to get a chance to see her in 2009 at all. When we arrived at the hotel after a couple of hours drive from DC she was sitting on the bench outside armed with chocolate and wine. I love Myra.

I was feeling a bit tired, but not too bad, and i wasn't about to let the side down when i'd just got to RVA, so we went out to Nara, this sushi bar/metal bar in RVA where Andy "Fossegrim" was working behind the bar - known for his vocals in Cannabis Corpse, and for his other band Battlemaster. So drinking and "hanging" and "chilling" - i got to meet Drew and Brian and other Richmondites, and i also got to see my USA counterpart Anthony, which was cool. As were those beer batter onion rings. Yum.

I finally hit my hotel bed about 2am, but i was up at 7am (12noon UK time). Phil came and met us for breakfast, we went and picked up PABLO, the old Municipal Waste van (now the Cannabis Corpse van). I got to listen to the new Cannabis Corpse stuff for their EP out on Tankcrimes later this year, and then we picked up Ester and James and went to get the photoshoot underway.

The location was a front porch in Oregon hill. On the way there, John Campbell from Lamb of God drove past and stopped to talk to MW and told me to make them look good.

I had my work cut out.

Ester is a great photographer however, and the shoot went great, on the porch and in Myra's friend Sarah's back yard -

Interview at Tony Foresta's favourite eating establishment Mojo's in Oregon hill, then off to the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour at the Richmond National.

Holy crap. What a load of shit bands. No re-entry policy so i couldn't even escape. I was excited about seeing Suffocation though, i just had to stand, zombified, through a load of bad metalcore shite first.

At one point i managed to get outside with Ester and we sat on a bench by the Richmond Collesium. There was 1000+ white middle aged Americans queing to get in there. I stopped one lady with a starts and stripes neckerchief:

Me - "Excuse me, what are all those people queuing up for?"

Stars n strips - "Thats for Glen Beck! Have you not heard of Glen Beck?"

Me - "No. Who is he?"

SnS - "He's the best radio presenter in the world. He's fantastic. You should check him out. You'll love him. Everyone loves him. How have you not heard of him? You're missing out!"

Me - "Oh wow. I'm English. From England. I'm not sure we have him in England"

SnS - "Well you should do. If you don't have him there now, you soon will!"

After asking Phil later about this guy, turns out hes a very patriotic, right-wing, pretty nationalist broadcaster. Somehow i don't think he's gonna be popular in the UK!! (duh!)

This is what it says on Wikipedia about him:

"The 9/12 Project is a campaign that was announced by Beck on March 13, 2009. It is named for nine principles and twelve values, extolled by Beck, that he says embody the spirit of the American people on the day after the September 11 attacks.[20] His twelve values are honesty, reverence, hope, thrift, humility, charity, sincerity, moderation, hard work, courage, personal responsibility, and gratitude.[21]
His nine principles are: America Is Good; I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life; I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday; the family is sacred; if you break the law you pay the penalty; I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results; I work hard for what I have and I will share it with whom I want to; it is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion; the government works for me—I do not answer to them, they answer to me.[22]"

I was fascinated by his "crowd".
Whilst sitting on the bench with Ester i decided to get a picture taken in front of a statue to a Policeman. We were about to take the photo, when a rather large woman who was on her mobile phone jumped up "Hold on a minute" she said to the person on the phone and cradling it under her double chin she shouted to us "No no no, you dont want her there, come here, stand here in front of this, i'm a professional photographer, the picture will be much better from here, i know, i do this for a living."

I look at Ester trying to control my laughter.

We went back in to watch Suffocation who were pretty awesome but didn't play "Entrails of you" which is my favourite Suffocation track.
I got to see Phil's twin brother Josh, who is awesome!
Here's Phil and i looking bummed at the crap deathcore band, and me looking stoked to see Josh!!

I was really looking forward to partying with Myra Saturday night. Unfortunately i was beginning to get pretty fucking tired. And after Suffocation my eyes glazed over and i though i would pass out. Jet lag is an arshole. It was 4am UK time, and i was pretty done for. Phil and Myra dropped us off at the hotel, and after ordering chinese and spilling down my front whilst falling asleep, i was out like a light.

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