Test Of Time – Tourtagebuch #1

Erst kürzlich ist die neue Scheibe von Test Of Time auf Bridge 9 erschienen. Um es gleich auf den Punkt zu bringen, By Design (so der Titel des Albums) ist ein echter Kracher. Frischer Oldschool-Hardcore mit Youth-Crew Attitüde, der sich vor ein wenig Melodie nicht scheut. Das ist der Hardcore, den ich nun seit über 20 Jahren liebe. Darüber hinaus sind die Jungs aus Boston zurzeit erstmalig in Europa und auch hierzulande auf Tour. Zu meiner großen Enttäuschung musste das geplante Konzert in Duisburg abgesagt werden und somit gab es keine Show im Ruhrgebiet bzw. in der näheren Umgebung. Daher hat es mich umso mehr gefreut, dass der Veranstalter der Tour, die Flix Agency aus Berlin, mich gefragt hat, ob ich das Test Of Time Tourtagebuch veröffentlichen möchte. Gefragt, gefreut und zugesagt. In den kommenden Wochen gibt es daher in mehr oder weniger regelmäßigen Abständen ein neues Kapitel aus eben diesem Tourtagebuch hier in der Vegan Rock City zu lesen. Aufgehübscht mit Fotos und einigen Songs könnt Ihr Euch auf fesselnde Geschichten freuen, die das Tourleben einer „kleinen“ Band authentisch wiedergeben. Genug der Vorrede. Lassen wir nun Test Of Time zu Wort kommen und beginnen mit einer einleitenden Vorstellung der Band. Diesen Part übernimmt dankenswerterweise Charles Chaussinand von Test Of Time persönlich. Daher nun viel Spaß.

Test Of Time – die Band stellt sich vor

Here is a quick introduction to the band so that everyone will understand these stories a little better. My name is Charles Chaussinand. I play guitar in Test of Time and am singing for the band for the first five shows or so because our singer isn’t able to come at the same time as the rest of us due to work. Jeff Novak plays drums, Mike Assatley plays guitar, Robert Cheeseman plays bass, and, typically, Todd Pollock is singing. We all live in the Boston area (aside from Jeff, who lives in Providence, RI) and this is our first European tour. The only other tour we’ve done as a band was to Central America and Mexico. We’re playing 17 shows on this tour with one off day. Along with the band, we have Katrin Flipper who is our tour manager and driver. She works with Flix Booking who was kind enough to put these shows together for us. Eva Bozevniece is also with us taking photos. She is trying to tour with bands and build up her portfolio, and through a friend of mine, we got hooked up with her. We are very lucky to have both of these incredible people with us every day for three weeks. I will attempt to include as much detail as possible so this may serve some as a „This wasn’t as hard as I thought. I can do this too“ sort of article. Test of Time is not a wildly popular band in the US. We play small shows and do decently selling our records. We have three albums out on Bridge 9 Records right now, just released a split cassette tape for this trip and self released our demo on a 7″. We aren’t able to tour the states much due to time restrictions with work, so when we get the chance to do something, we try and head places we haven’t been to too often before. If I remember correctly, I even sought out Flix to help with this.

Test Of Time - Band by Eva Bo

Test Of Time (©Eva Bo)

The trip over had us split up a bit because Jeff and I were hunting for the best deal we could find, while Mike and Robert were able to use stand-by passes on Delta as Robert’s father works for them. Jeff and I flew over to Europe together at about 10:30pm on the 22. The flight was on British Airways and we each got our own row on the first flight to London, so we were able to stretch out and sleep almost the entire way over. In London, we changed to our flight to Prague and were sandwiched into a small, very full flight, with what looked like an elementary or early middle school orchestra going on a school trip. We got to Prague and met with Mike and Robert, who had already been there for a few hours. A friend from Rhode Island living in Prague, Joe, was meeting us at the airport and had already found those two. Thankfullly, none of us had any problems getting through the airport with all our merch for the start of tour, which I was a bit nervous about. I typically will bring merch for the start of the tour when I am heading outside the country and have heard horror stories about other bands being stopped and searched without declaring what they were bringing in. Splitting up in two pairs probably helped our conspicuousness. After unloading our stuff at Joe’s, we all headed into the city to walk around for a bit and get some food.

We got to see some incredible architecture and beautiful old parts of the city There were some incredible street markets and a lot of street performers to see. About ten steps into downtown, a guy zeroed in on Mike in an attempt to sell him some „very good marijuana“. He politely declined and we continued on. We ate at an awesome vegan restaurant in the center of the old part of the city and took in the nice weather. Joe did his best to describe some of what we were seeing to us as we walked, but I feel his tour was slightly skewed. According to him, all of Prague was errected by „asshole architects“ that were trying to put up a building to screw someone else. Maybe he was in love with an architect that broke his heart, or something. Our driver/tour manager/new best friend, Katrin, was getting in at 6PM, so we headed back to meet her at Joe’s. She was sitting outside his door when we arrived, having a conversation with Joe’s landlord. I had gotten to meet her a few weeks before in Boston because she married a friend of mine from the area. She lives in Germany and recently started touring with bands full time. We weren’t getting the van until the next day, so we had nothing to do but take it easy at Joe’s which basically meant we were joking together and telling dumb stories. Katrin fit in immediately. We tried to stay up until around 9pm, which is really only like 3pm on the time we were used to, but we needed to acclimate.

As we were getting ready for bed, Mike started coming up with a plan on how to fashion himself a sleeping bag from the Delta blankets he had taken. His solution was taping four blankets together that he had gotten and fashioning them into the shape of an extrodinarily long sleeping bag. The determination that he exhibited while crafting this marvel was unlike anything else I had seen him work on. It transcended its‘ utilitarian necessity and basically became us watching art be created in front of our eyes. Upon completion, he curled himself into the womb-like sack and laid out on a couch. Robert had already fallen asleep on another couch, but around this time, woke up and got out his sleeping stuff. I was sprawled out on another couch (Yes, there were three couches and two plush chairs in this tiny room) and Jeff was going to sleep on the floor, but first, he wanted to head over to the grocery store with Joe and Katrin to get some food.

Apparently, on the way, he saw a family of hedgehogs that sent his little heart a flutter. I had probably been asleep for about a hour by the time he got back and made sure to plug and unplug his phone until he was satisfied with how much noise he had made. The outlet was a few inches from my head, so I really was privy to a front row seat. He plopped down on the floor with his sleeping bag and was ready for bed. I fell back asleep, and about another hour and a half later, I was wide awake. I felt like I had taken a nap in the middle of the day and was ready to head out into the world. I ended up watching three episodes of Mr. Show on my tablet and Terminator. This would be enough to lull anyone to sleep, you would think, but no, I was still awake after. My restlessness proved in my favor when I got to then watch the events of the evening unfold. First, there seemed there was some sort of a car race track outside the window that we had open that led only to a small street, but with the rush of cars driving by and people screaming at the top of their lungs, I assume there was some sort of amateur auto rally happening. The temperature of the room would shift between muggy and humid to breezey and chilly. A bit later, Robert woke up and stayed awake reading in the light coming in from the open window.

After this window let in a few stiff breezes, Jeff decided he was cold and needed his sweater. In his sleepy stooper, he decided it was imparative to unzip, zip, and then again unzip all of the 90 zippers on his bag. He managed to find his hoodie in the labrynth of pockets and finally get back to bed. I must have fallen asleep for a short while, and during that time, Jeff had gotten up, pushed the two plush chairs together, and was sort of sleeping across them, but basically sitting straight up with his legs extended.. He was now directly next to my head. Somewhere in the night, he got a „case of the sugars“ (he is a diabetic) and had to get some candy out of his backpack. It was the sort with the clear packaging you’d find around something like jellybeans. He jammed his little fist repeatedly into the bag, making noise that I would typically reserve for the demolition of a retirement home, over and over, without picking up any candy. I woke up and just stared at him for a moment and said „Please just dump the candy out and eat it“. He continued to wrestle with the packaging until I lifted my head again and simply said „God dammit, Jeff“ and he finally managed to work a few little sugar morsels into his paws. I finished out my midnight movie marathon with „Beetlejuice“ and finally managed to fall asleep at some point, which was very weird because I woke up not remembering even feeling tired. It was all in all a disorienting night. (22.07.2014)

What’s up next: Day 1 Prague, Czech Republic, Pre-Fluff Fest

Hinweis: Das Bildmaterial (©Eva Bo) und die Auszüge aus dem Tourtagebuch von Test Of Time wurden mir freundlicherweise von der Flix Agaency zur Verfügung gestellt. Vielen Dank Felix!