By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Hohman: So he made our beds for us, turned out the light, and we were in bed by 11 p.m. In Prague.
Did you meet any fans?
Smith: There were people singing along to the songs in Prague. That's mind-blowing, when you write songs, go to the Czech Republic and see people singing the things that you wrote.
Give me a story about a show going completely wrong.
Morrissey: In Brussels, we arrived to find out that we were the only band on the bill, and they only found out then that we were even playing. We showed up, and they were building the bar. We said, "Hey, we're Doom Town, we're playing tonight," and they were like, "Oh...well...we were getting ready for the big anniversary show next week, but...OK, yeah, set up!" Ten minutes before we played, there were maybe fifteen or twenty people there, all between the ages of 35 and 60 years old. I'm sure they were on the phone begging people: "We have this band all the way from America, and I didn't tell anybody about the show!"
Smith: But still, people bought things and were super sweet.
Morrissey: We sold more merch there than in any other city.
Did you play with any good bands?
Morrissey: We only played with good bands.
Hohman: Warsong, Hyesterese, No More Art, Blank Pages, Din from Dresden...
Morrissey: Family Man. This crazy hardcore band that we don't sound like at all, but everyone who was there to see the show, it made sense to them. We do think it's neat over there that it's all punk rock and rock & roll while the show goes on. Then, after the last band is done, it goes straight into Roxette and turns into a great big dance party. And the most hardcore skinheads stay, get down and have fun.
Smith: We met German journeymen. This is something I don't even think a lot of Europeans knew about. We were playing a show in Mannheim at JUZ. After the show, everyone's just hanging out and selling merch. And then these four or five guys come through the door, dressed in...
Morrissey: Bell-bottom pants with almost a cow-country motif. Patchwork motif. Sacks on sticks.
Smith: We thought they were some kind of weird folky band. But in Germany they keep the tradition of the journeymen artisans alive. These were all union labor guys who'd finished their apprenticeships, but they can't work within 500 kilometers of their homes for the next two or three years. So they have to journey across the country, work for free, get fed and wear these traditional outfits. And you have to learn to ply your trade for the Germans. It's great.
Morrissey: Most of these places already have bunks set up for bands, and when they arrive, these places are expected to feed them and give them a place to stay.
Advice for bands thinking of playing Europe?
Smith: Do it! Get a reliable van. Get a GPS.