So Spermbirds the first time in the States was a big thing for us. Especially after several years everybody telling us to go. Big thanks to Andy wich was checking all the stuff, the invitation to South By Southwest and asking the Deutsche Musikinitiative if they would support us. After they gave an OK we were on our way and the flights were booked quickly.
To mention first, we never had any problems travelling on tour for the last 25 years but this time we got it all in one. After siting in the plane in Düsseldorf and being ready to go, the plane wasn`t. 4 hours sitting in the plane and getting every half hour updates from the pilot about technical difficulties, we had to leave the plane again to stand another 4 hours in the waiting line to get informed about our new flight the next day, starting early in the morning to Paris, than Salt Lake City and finaly Austin. Great. We were all pissed and tired.
Leaving Cologne the next morning at 5!! The plane took off in time to Paris. Right there, sitting again in a Delta Airlines plane, we hear that familiar voice from the pilot talking about technical difficulties again!! WHAT?? How are you suppose to trust flying after that at all. At least they could fix the problem. So off to Salt Lake City, where we have to wait 5 hours for our next plane to Austin. When we`re coming to the Check In, there is another huge waiting line because hey shut down the airport because of some security breach. Fucking Hell.
30 minutes later they open the gates, we get our plane and arrive in Austin at midnight!
Checking into our rooms we all pass out fast that night.
Next morning Andy, our fantsatic tourmanager there, pick us up to registrate for SXSW. We get a wristband to visit al shows and get a lot of free drings and food. That`s cool. Checking out the convention center and stepping outside to hear all kind of music from every direction. That`s SXSW: 1.000 bands, 4 days and al clubs and corners filled with live music all day long. Nice but also a bit overdosing if you ask me. Reeperbahn Festival from Hamburg is doing a Hamburger Stand every day acros the Convention Center so we first go and eat our first hamburger. Yammi.
It`s Thursday and we have our first show today at Trophys, a nice club with three stages for SXSW. Our stage is a corner in the drive thru. No stage, a small PA and dusty clouds flying around every time the wind blows. Hmm. Anyway. First I register Anthony, a guy that is standing around with an old Spermbirds-Shirt on. That`s cool. So at least one knows us here. We can use the backline of the band after us called All Dinosaures. Thanks to them. We play a 30 minutes set and there are around 40 people listening and singing along. Great. We have fun and Lee giving a lot of funy comments to songs like Texas Cowboy. Ful of dust but happy we finish our first show and start drinking. I started already at 2 o`clock with Whisky Coke and feel a bit dizzy. A few beers later we´re heading off to some private party with a cool DJ playing lots of old songs even from Alien Sex Fiend. Haven`t heard that for a long time. We listening to several bands, talking with people, chilling and I start drinking more Whisky.
Because of that case I don`t remember that much of the rest of the night except that we were walking through 6st Street later with a million people and hitting into that Brass-Band with 20 players blowing all kinds of trumpets and horns, giving big beats and make everybody dancing. At that time I was busy telling everybody to take care for me so I don`t get lost wasted in the middle of this.
Friday is shopping time, another private party at Ernies and Helens house and watching some bands later on. Ernies house is really cool, a bit outside and with a big garden. Great food and later Bug Girl and Adriane and the sickness playing a short set on the terrace of the house. Great day with chilling moods and good music and people. By the way, it was sunny and warm. Great for us germans coming from a rainy country. In the evening we hitiing downtown to see Helmet play. After a long waiting line and almost not getting in with that wristband (business people with badges were more important) Helmet is playing a set with only newer songs wich sucks fro me but giving all these business people only new songs is cool. No, you don`t get a party with your favorite songs here, ha!
Beppo wana see Men Without Head (remember Safety Dance, their only hit?). OMD is playing opposite of the club wich makes me think this is the oldies street. When MWH playing Safety Dance, Beppo is getting up front off the stage and start dancing. The nightmare starts after the show. Getting a taxi in Austin at 2 at night, when everythings closes and ALL people wanne go home is almost impossible. We recognize, that every crossroad we wanna wait for a taxi has already 20 other people with the same request. TAXI. So wwe walking from crossroad to crossroad, looking out for a taxi at all, getting almost into fights about where to go or stand and try out. The first taxi wants doubleprice for our way to he hotel. The next one asks us how much we wanna pay to tell us that we can get the ride for 65 Dollars and 2 hours later we finding a taxi for 40.
Happy as we are I recognize some strange noise while driving on 3rd lane on the highway with around 70 MPH and asking the driver about the noise. He mentions “sounds like a flat tyre”. Right in that moment the noise gets louder like someones knocking from outside, all of the sudden half of the gum from the tyre flying off passing my window and the car starts shaking and getting louder. Sounds like we`re driving on metal. The driver trying to slow down and getting on the right side of the highway. We`re all thinking of death, accident and our families and kids. But we make it and watching something that was suppose to be a tyre before.
We`re helping the guy to change the wheel because he doesn`t look like knowing how to do that. Another hour later we ariving at the hotel but the guy still charging us 40 dollars for that. What a brick.
Next day is shopping time again and we`re heading for some huge shopping mall. We recognize again that everything is bigger in America. Finding clothes and presents we getting to Headhunters, the club we play our second show. We all wish to see Suck Piggy from Tokio but missing them but heard that they rocked the house. Headhuners is a cool place. Small and with two floors, a bit fucked up but in good punkrock shape. No stage but a small corner were we get our stuff set up. The club is filling up and we start with Something To Prove and the crowd starts moving. Shane, a old friend from Kaiserslautern is in frist row and singing along with other fans and we all enjoy the show. After 35 minutes it`s over and we are happy about the good reactions.
While we`re standing around drinking Chad Price from All coming up to me and asking if I remember playing with All in Ulm years ago. He is working there as a bar manager. That`s funny and strange because the guy has to work hard and All is one of our all time favorite bands and seeing him carrying alcohol to the bars is a bit depressing. But we all have to make a living out of something, right? Later the club gets totally packed. Peelander C., a local band, is playing and everybody wanna see them. The floor, the stairs upstairs and every litle corner is stuffed with people. So packed that I start thinking if anyone falls off these stairs somebody gonna die. The band is doing some bizarre show with climbing up walls, stagediving from nowhere and playing some dirty punkrocktunes. Funny to watch but nervwrecking because of the stuffed club. Markus almost start a fight standing on the stairs and get grabed by some women. Another crazy night is over and the next morning we`re out of Austin.
We really enjoyed the time in Austin, meeting so many nice people helping and supporting us. Especially we wanna thank Andy for taking care of us. Without him we would have been lost and the author of this little diary would have had no fun at all. We also wanna thank Chrystal, Chris for giving Steve a nice stay at his house and Ernie and Helen for the good food and time at their house. We also wana thank the Deutsche Musikinitiative for supporting us and giving us the chance to play SXSW in Austin.
See you next year.