It's been two months since we've returned to San Francisco, but I am only just starting to feel settled again. After 100+ days of nomadic living, it was quite a jolt returning to the sedentary life. It was not until this week that I finally have my own room, so it's time to get down to business! There are still many of you generous contributors who have yet to receive a Battlehooch "thank you" package. I have a bunch of merchandise piled up, ready to go. I will be sending out individual emails shortly to confirm addresses, etc.
Hopefully you all have been able to follow our antics online on YouTube, Facebook & the Battleblog. Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to successfully film 6 Desolation Videos, live and off-the-grid across the country. As we are releasing one a month around the 18th, we already have three up: Utah, Florida & New York. Later this week we will drop #4: Detroit. New Orleans and Oklahoma are waiting in the wings. Additionally, AJ has been splicing together footage collected by the whole band for webisodes featuring each city/region we passed through. In that chronology, we are still in the midwest, driving toward Detroit Rock City.
Since the next two videos we will put up are based around Detroit, I'll share some anecdotes & photos from our visit there: Upon meeting for the first time, we stayed a whole weekend with our lovely booking agent, Kim Paris. She lives near downtown, which has been utterly devastated economically. There was a girl held up at gunpoint outside our bar show the first night we got there. We were so nervous about our equipment that we lugged everything out of the van into Kim's modest 2nd story apartment, completely filling it up. When it was time for bed, there was no walking room. You would have to roll or leap over AJ & Pat with their massive inflatable mattress. Luckily, our stay happened to coincide with Detroit's largest street festival of the year (Dally in the Alley), so of course we had to scout it out. It was raining, but we decided to busk anyway. I lugged the battery bank through muddy, crowded cobblestone to an alleyway between stages. Forgetting my cymbals like a doofus, I improvised with a 40oz. bottle (see below). Broke a couple in the process, but the crowd was loving it! The next morning, after scouting deserted spots for our music video shoot, I struck gold at an abandoned Packard auto factory. It was so epic that Transformers 3 was being filmed there at the same time, with a full-sized subway train hanging out of a demolished wall! Unfortunately, our shoot was plagued with trouble. Grant dropped his camera into a cinderblock wall, so we lost an angle. After collecting B-roll footage, setting up our gear and coming to terms with the lost camera, we got one full take before getting spooked by a couple of hard-looking dudes. They entered the room, checked out our expensive equipment, then casually exited. At Kim's strong suggestion, we packed up and bailed before they had a chance to return with reinforcement. Grant, Ben and I returned the next day and manually deconstructed the wall to get the missing camera. Lo and behold, it still works! The third photo is us outside Hitsville, USA where Motown got started. This tour certainly widened my view of America. Each area we visited impressed on me a certain distinctive vibe. Detroit stands out to me as being especially gritty, dangerous and epic. What a city!
Lots of love and all the best in 2011,
P.S. If you have not yet seen, we have a new video of us playing a song live while packed like sardines in the Battlevan, driving through Brooklyn. It's at the top of our Facebook page. Also, there is an extreme sports camera company called GoPro that has been featuring our music in several super rad online videos. Here's one featuring stunt kayaking: http://www.youtube.com/watch...