The Party’s On!
It’s been awhile but what can I say, I’ve been busy. Tour prep is almost finished. Shirts are being printed, drumsticks on order, the crew has been hired. We’ve got a nice mix of seasoned vets and rookies on the bus. “G Money” will tour manage and mix the live sound, “Moby”, fresh off Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society will handle all stringed instruments, and an old friend from my Blue Man Group days, Matthew K. will tech the drums. We hung out a lot 13 years ago so it’ll be a nice reunion. Of course the most important member of the crew (to me anyway) the lovely and talented Genevieve (aka Cookie) will be behind the merch table and also making sure every hair on every band member’s head is in the right place. Rehearsal starts in 8 days.
After all this work setting this thing up, I’m really looking forward to getting out there and actually doing the gigs. It’s like the reward for all the hours and stress that accompanies an undertaking such as this. You have no idea. Neither did I when I proposed this run.
I’ve been thinking more and more about why I want to do this. Of course I love playing our music. I’ve been behind a set of drums since I was 5 years old. It’s as natural as breathing to me. But there’s something more. This one is really for the people that have followed us and kept our music alive (dada) and have found our new stuff (7H) and given so much love and support to what we do. It’s all we can do to say thank you.
In the midst of all the tour prep, Joie and I managed to get a couple of new songs together which we feel pretty good about. We released them like an old school single with an “A” side (The Party’s On!) backed with or b/w the “B” side Famous Faces. We wrote FF on tour last year after spending a lot of time listening to classic country and Rolling Stones songs in the van, feeling the need to document some of the great and not so great days on the road. TPO! is our latest. I think the title says it all. We hope you get happy, put on the headphones or get right between the speakers and crank it up.
And with that, I wish you all the best for 2013. Start it off right, come see us on tour this winter. Get away from the daily grind, the disturbing cable news shows and blow off some steam. The Party’s On!
On the road again
It’s been awhile and I’ve been meaning to get back here to fill you in on what’s been going on. I did take off for a trip to Arizona for a week of baseball at the 2012 MSBL World Series. We won a ring last year so I had to go back to help defend the title. We lost in the semifinals but it was fun. I love the game.
But let’s get back to real life shall we? Most of you (but probably not all) know of our career in dada. The band that brought you the hit single Dizz Knee Land in the ’90s and then developed a loyal cult following over the years. We made six full length albums including a live disc and an EP. Is that all or did I miss something? Anyway, 2012-13 marks our 20th anniversary. Over the last several years I was hoping we’d do something to commemorate it. A major U.S. tour perhaps. Seemed like a good idea to me. Couldn’t get everyone on board though and the idea seemed dead in the water. What followed was the creation of 7Horse. Cut to today. I’m happy to say times have changed. Today we announce the first set of dates for dada’s 20th Anniversary Tour…with special guests 7Horse! Why not? We’ll celebrate the past, acknowledge the present and get on with the business of rocking the USA. 7Horse will open so get there early! There will be another act on second, and then dada will close out the night with fan favorites and deep cuts from our catalog. It’s gonna be a real celebration of our music and our unbreakable bond with each other and our fans. I hope you all come out and be a part of it. Personally, for me, it is and will be a huge undertaking. Organizing this has become a full time job. Looking back I don’t think I really appreciated our previous management enough. I may have been a little hard to handle back in the day. Sorry guys. The show itself will be a physical challenge to be sure. A double header everyday. I’m up for it. It’s gonna be fun. For me, this is what rock and roll is all about. Get on the bus, hit the highway. A different city every night. Some night’s it’s great. Some night’s, well… But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Come check this tour out. It might not come around again. A forty year anniversary seems like a long shot.
How to get back on tour? We’ve been looking for an opportunity to open for an act with an established audience since we came home from our last run. Nothing. Frustration sets in. A general sourness invades my psyche. I am informed by my loving wife that I’m becoming increasingly difficult to live with. Hey, what can I tell you? We were just getting into a groove out there. We did 50 shows. We were thinking about doing another 50 before we called it a year. Just wanted to keep working. Keep building. Instead, unplug the amp, pack up the drums, and start thinking about it rather than doing it. We could play in L.A. once every 6 weeks at the “World Famous Viper Room”. No wonder I’m testy. But wait a minute. What about this? I know a band we could open for. I could get the ball rolling on a tour with those guys with just one phone call. It’s kind of an unconventional move. Outside the box you could say. It’s really the opposite and in this new model music industry you gotta use everything you’ve got. Since not one date is officially confirmed this is as far as I’m going on specifics. But it’s happening. Sometimes you’ve got to get back inside the box to get out.
Down in Alabama, way down in Gulf Shores
With Isaac barreling into the Gulf this week I can’t help but think about our 3 trips down South this year. It’s an area of the country that we’d never really worked as dada and we had a good deal of trepidation about going down there. The Southern stereotypes are well known. We were more than pleasantly surprised. 7Horse has been truly embraced by a great radio station in Mobile, WZEW. They jumped on “Low Fuel” very early, we played our first big outdoor shows for them at their “Road to the Hangout” series (twice) and we returned for a fantastic club show in Mobile. This week they added “Meth Lab” to their playlist. The loyalty is much appreciated. We had a great time down there and were so moved by the reception from the locals and the support from radio that when we were writing our song “Famous Faces” (about our experiences on the road) I included the line “Down in Alabama, way down in Gulf Shores, I’m gonna get mine so you better get yours” as a small tribute. Once we were nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Now we can’t wait to get back “Down South”. Hopefully they come through Isaac in one piece with their heads above water. Literally.
State of the State Address
I thought it’d be a good idea to start writing a blog. Give you guys a different perspective on what’s going on with 7Horse. Pull back the curtain. Expose the sensitive underbelly. Here, I’m going to share with you the real life story of a band fighting for it’s life.
I’m not going to rehash the whole journey up to this point. If you just started following along you might want to read the bio and revisit some old facebook posts. No, I’ll just pick it up right now, two weeks into our second single “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” having just returned from a West Coast tour.
Radio was pretty good to us on the first go around “Low Fuel Drug Run”. Kind of a scandalous title but they didn’t let that stop them. Facing stiff competition from the likes of everybody from Bruce Springsteen to Gotye to The Black Keys, we still broke into the top 40 on the Adult Album Alternative or TripleA radio chart. I looked at the chart. We were pretty much the only unsigned band on it. Something to be proud of. We kissed so much radio ass the last six months my lips are chapped. I should say, we made a lot of friends at radio over the last several months. Stopped in, performed a stellar live acoustic set on air (DJ: “I can’t believe two guys can make so much sound”!) and provided witty banter and cool station ID’s (Phil with Joie laying down the slide guitar in the background: “Hey everybody, we’re 7Horse and you’re listening to (insert radio station call letters here) the coolest radio station in the country”). All that after a 600 mile drive to get there. Hopefully our “friends at radio” continue to play our music. Time will tell. Whether they’ll play MLZS (even a more scandalous title, oh my!) or whether radio will even survive.
I always seem to be saying to people “We’re at a critical juncture”. But now, we really are at a critical juncture. After 30,000 plus van miles this year we’ve come to the point where it just doesn’t make sense for us to go out and headline in a small club to an even smaller crowd. We can’t afford it. After all this is (as unpleasant as it sounds) a business. And it’s not some record company’s. It’s ours. We’ve gotta deal with the bottom line.
Besides the longtime fans who have shown undying support, the people that have come out to see us this year are real trailblazers. Curious types who hear a song on the radio, find out the band is coming to town and actually go check out the show. Very rare indeed. Few and far between. Most people need some reassuring words from a journalist that this new thing is cool. (We’re a little light there but building). Or perhaps a viral video or car commercial placement. Viral video? I’m accepting ideas. Car commercial? Yeah, we’re working on it. But these things don’t satisfy the itch to do the thing we are actually good at. Our show. On the road. To a roomful of people. So, just as we did in our previous life, we’ve got to get out as a support act on a bigger tour. We figure, if we can turn on a crowd of 25, imagine what we could do with 500 or 1000 or 2500.
So that’s the current challenge. Get on that tour so we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing (in one form or another in my case) since I was 18 years old. Going on the road to play rock shows. It’s what makes it all make sense.
We’ve formulated a plan to make this happen. An aggressive and bold move that seems like a high mountain to climb at the moment. The saving grace, that’s how this whole thing has felt since the very beginning. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Welcome to the new 7Horse blog!
Welcome to our new blog! We plan on keeping this pretty up to date with more stories, news etc. So stay tuned…