Friday, March 30, 2012

How the music died on March 29...

I would like to begin by apologizing to all the people who came down to Thessaloniki on March 29, from all over the place, to see us and a couple of other cool bands, play some live music in Biologica Squat in the University Campus. The gig didn't happen. I'm really sorry you wasted your time, money and energy, trying to stay awake late at night, to come and hear some nice music, only to have to go back home without it.

We had no idea what was going on, and we're still not fully aware of what happened. We certainly don't understand why it happened.

The gig was supposed to involve three acts. Nataraya (from Thessaloniki, Greece), Zone of Alienation (from Great Hobonia) and Keira is You (from Poland). We gathered at the venue, set up our stuff, did our soundcheck, ate some food, and while we were hanging around there waiting to play, all of a sudden there were people running in every direction and a group of people wearing helmets, matching jackets and holding planks of wood and crowbars, suddenly started smashing up the venue. Some people from the venue set off fire extinguishers, some flares went off, and we all moved further away from the venue to not get ourselves involved in something we had no understanding of.

I won't go into details of who was who, because I don't even understand it myself. The moral of the story is that the music died. The gig didn't happen. Most of our equipment was full of fire-extinguisher powder and some of it was damaged. Keira is you came all the way from Poland, and had their drumkit smashed and a laptop stolen. I didn't see Nataraya after the event, so I've no idea what happened to them. Our guitar was thrown off the stage, our cymbals were thrown on the ground and a radio deck we used as part of our performance was damaged. We also had approximately 7 euros in loose coins stolen from our merch stand.

None of the bands got to play any music, and of course none of us even came close to covering our transportation costs. At least we ate something. Keira is you were so traumatized by the whole scene that they didn't even want to stay in Thessaloniki. We took off together for Great Hobonia as soon as the roads were clear again (cops had surrounded the campus when we first wanted to leave, and our tour vans are far from stealthy).

The person from Keira is you, whose laptop was stolen, is so upset that he declared he's never going on tour again. The rest of the band wanted to cancel their show at Larissa tonight, and they are thinking that most likely they're not coming back to Greece again. This is a pretty good insight into how music dies.

As for us, this was our last money that we spent on fuel to come to Thessaloniki to play. The strings on our guitar are on there for more than 5 years now. The tubes on the amplifier had been recently replaced, and as the amplifier was turned on during the chaos, they were damaged. The amplifier still plays, but it just won't sound as good. It crackles. As you guessed it, we're not going to change them. We can't afford it. One of our guitar cables was also damaged. It makes weird noises now. Guess what? We can't afford to replace that either. So next time you see us, when we sound like shit, don't wonder why. Next time you see us looking a bit weary, it's probably because we're hungry. We have no money. We had almost no money before trying to play this show, but we're trully fucked now.

We have spent the past decade of our lives touring, playing shows and making music, doing it the DIY way. We suffer all the hardships of the road, to come and entertain you. We get harassed by border guards and cops all along the way, we don't get enough sleep, we don't get enough to eat, we rarely have access to clean toilets or any kind of washing facilities and our clothes are disintegrating on us. We've driven for 28 hours straight in old beat up vans that barely worked. The money we make barely ever covers our transportation costs. There's nothing left. So when things go wrong, like this time, we're fucked. The 7 euros we made from our merchandise, that was subsequently stolen, would have meant about a week's worth of food. How many of you survive on 7 euros per week for food? Well, we do, quite often. But not now, because it's not even there anymore.

We spent most of the morning today trying to repair Keira is you's drumkit, so they can play in Larissa tonight. They probably will. But it won't sound as good as it would have, if their drumkit was intact. Guess what? They can't afford a new one! Do you know why? Because they're not making enough money for that. They won't be able to replace the stolen laptop either. So that means no internet access for them, which means no more tour updates, no more ability to book DIY shows through the internet, and no more ability to record or upload their music themselves. Their DIY wings have been clipped. One member has already declared that he's never going on tour again, and the rest of the band won't go to Greece again. So if you live in Greece and would like to see bands like them play live somewhere near you, forget it. It's not going to happen anymore.

Do you start feeling how the DIY music scene is dying?

Are you happy just going to mainstream shows and paying way over the top to see a band that's not even got half the passion that we have? Do you like the music you listen to being entirely controlled by evil capitalist corporations? If not, we've got a request for you, from both Zone of Alienation and Keira is you:

Send us an Acer E-Machine. Either the original one, stolen from the band, or any other one. We're not picky. We just need one to keep on doing what we're doing.

Send us a new or used Gretsch drum kit, or at least some new Remo drumheads. For details of sizes contact us.

Send us some new Ernie Ball regular slinky .10 guitar strings.

Send us some EL34 and 12AX7 tubes, matched pairs preferable.

Send us a Paiste 2002 Sound Edge hihat. 14" or 15", both acceptable.

Send us some cymbal stands.

Send us food, money, or both.

Give us fuel for our tour vans.


You either start taking the above requests seriously, or you'd better start making your own music. Don't expect us to last much longer under such circumstances.