(Swish Blog edited by Chris Rehm (Caddywhompus) with highlights from the tour)
This past October, our boys in Sun Hotel and Caddywhompus hit the road for yet another tour. The two week trek included stops in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, D.C, and concluded with a triumphant hometown return for this year’s CHINDIG Halloween Party at One Eyed Jack’s. As anyone who has seen these bands knows, they bring rock and rollin’ good times wherever they go, and from the stories they have shared regarding this most recent tour it’s clear that things haven’t changed. Upon their return home, we had a chance to sit down with the bands and get answers to some of our most pressing questions about exactly what went down during those two weeks out on the road.
Of all the bands you shared stages with, were there any that stood out as being particularly face-melting?
Tyler Scurlock (of Sun Hotel): When we were heading through one of our favorite Tennessee music-rage-fest hotspots, Murfreesboro, we were set to play a show with local heroes Gnarwhal, Kara Stafford’s excellent sound explosion project Quietly, and a band I’d never heard of before called Self Help. Self Help turned out to be the culmination of every musical endeavor I have ever wanted to create and they’ve only got three recorded songs and a handful of house shows under their belts. In a few words, they were basically Algernon Cadwallader overdosing on Sonic Youth after making love to the ghost of Sid Vicious in a shallow, velvet grave.
You guys returned to many venues that had been stops on previous tours, but this time around you also got a chance to do shows at a few new spots. Of all these new venues, which was the most exciting for y’all to play?
Ross Farbe (of Sun Hotel): They were all rad for different reasons, but our show at SMOG at Bard College in upstate New York was specifically memorable. I had never been to that area of the U.S. It was awesome to be driving out of the cluster-fuck of NYC for what seemed like hours, and then all the sudden we were in the woods. Our timing was perfect too, it was an explosion of perfect fall colors. We got off the interstate and drove down some real country roads for a few miles, and then we landed in what felt like a summer camp. The venue was a graffiti-and-art covered garage with a half pipe on the side, pleasantly tucked into the woods. Kids were shredding gnar on the halfpipe throughout the whole show. Everyone was real chill and hospitable. They hooked us up with pizza, cash dollars, a place to stay, and some really large conical spliffs.
As we all know, things can sometimes get pretty weird on tour. Care to share a moment that was particularly absurd?
Sean Hart (of Caddywhompus): Seeing Luke Simmon at our show in Philadelphia was really weird, kind of cool, and definitely fucked up. Luke was in the original high-school line-up of Caddywhompus. He came up with the band name, and would go completely bonkers at the end of a set and destroy everything in his sight including friends’ faces, public property, his guitar and himself. When he smashed his guitar completely to bits we couldn’t play anymore, and that was then end of highschool-era Caddywhompus. Unfortunately, he’s been getting into all sorts of trouble since then, so I hadn’t heard from him or seen him in years and there he was just hanging out, wearing the exact same Nike’s he wore in high school, the stoner-casual-skater ones with the big laces. We chilled pretty hard that night and not surprisingly he managed to piss off about half the people at the show.
As a band out on the road, it’s not often that you have extra cash to splurge on eating out. Of course, exceptions can always be made. Were there any cheap eats spots that y’all just had to stop at?
Chris Rehm (of Caddywhompus): Well we rarely strayed from the To’-rrito (burrito with love for and by us while on tour), but when we did, it was for something special. I popped into Yafa Deli in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn as soon as we got into town, which happened to be around 1 AM. I snagged a bomb hoagie, chips and some aloe juice, and popped right back out – quick as a jiffy, low low prices, the service was swell, and the eats were top notch.
Okay, so you guys shared with us one of the weirder moments on tour, but was there ever a time where things got really rough? Perhaps a moment where the entire operation almost fell apart?
Alex Hertz (of Sun Hotel): The most memorable event for me (and I think I speak for everyone when I say this) is when we thought we lost Sean in New York City. It all started with a show we played at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge in Brooklyn. That night, with the exception of Chris and Sean from Caddywhompus, we slept at the venue. All seemed well until around 11 AM when we started getting ready to head to Philadelphia and we tried to get in touch with Sean. He wasn’t answering his phone nor was he responding to texts. We thought it was probable that he just left his phone in the cab he took and crashed with another friend, so we began contacting literally everyone we knew in the city who he could have met up with. Unfortunately, no one had seen him. After an hours worth of phone calls, texts, and driving around Brooklyn, we were still the last people we knew who had seen him, and that was at 2 AM the night before.
It was now nearly 1 PM. We decided we should call the Missing Persons Hotline. So we did, and much to our dismay, no one even picked up the damn phone.
Now we were freaking out and we continued to do so for the next 15 minutes, going back over the clues we had, until Chris remembered we hadn’t contacted a friend of ours from Austin who he could possibly have been with, though it was unlikely. Turns out he was still asleep in their apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan. We drove there, picked him up, and hauled ass to Philly.
Clearly, a lot of time was spent in the car driving between cities. What records did y’all rely on to keep you sane on those long, long drives?
John St. Cyr (of Sun Hotel):
“I mostly listened to this during the sunrise portion of our redeye drive from Virginia back to New Orleans. Beautiful minimal folk songs paired with gigantic drones and hypnotic rhythms”
“David Bazan and co’s ten-song epic about failing marriage, big business and eventually murder-suicide. You only think you’re depressed.”
“Tyler mostly played this on his drives. Cinematic post-rock with interstellar overtones.”
“A big slice of 90’s west-coast angular post-angst. Think Slint and Unwound by way of Joy Divison”
“SO I’M SAILING, YEAH I’M SAILING ON I’M MOVING, YEAH I’M MOVING ON”