A View From Behind The Drumkit is a new column here at Metal Injection written by Darkest Hour drummer Ryan Parrish. Follow along as he scribes down some anecdotes from his many years of touring. The first column in this series looks at eating on the road.
Imagine with me, if you will…
Cheese pizza, stacked with flavorful pepperoni's, juicy italian sausages, and crispy shards of bacon. In the peripheral sit golden brown, thickly breaded mozzarella cheesesticks oozing with goodness and emanating the stench of something that will surely block you up for days. Man, sounds fucking epic, right? Well, it is! No if's, and's, or but's about it! That colon impeding pie, along with those constipation sticks would be feverishly devoured in a matter of moments by your fellow, emaciated fiends of the perpetual touring void. Without fail, you'd find yourself with your thumb firmly lodged deep within your anus if you didn't partake of said grub at the time of their delivery. Unfortunately, for those of us whom have to take the stage relatively soon once that magnificence arrives, there's never really an appropriate time to indulge. Why? Well, as the live performance sadistically looms in the air and you've decided against your better judgement to eviscerate two or more slices beforehand, chances are you'll be oscillating all of that piquant, wholesome goodness around within the recesses of your guts like a tumble dryer. Oh yeah, cue the unprecedented, yet poetic vomiting and burping fits. With the occasional demonic stomach cramps to boot. It's a curse to have to eat right before a concert, yet, when dudes/dudettes are driving long distances, recovering from hangovers, or simply trying to catch up on sleep, inconveniently, the wrong time to eat is the only time to eat.
For example, you're starving and malnourished. You're constantly monitoring the set times, anticipating the feast of a lifetime to rear its titillating head. Yet, your stage time's closing in and dangerously soon. Whammy! Twenty minutes before you're supposed to rock out, look what' s coming backstage! That luscious bucket of greasy fried chicken and thickened, milky mashed potatoes you've been waiting for all day. Do you have time? Not at all. Will you eat too much and pay for it later? Absolutely. Its as if you're testing your abilities to defy physical law by conditioning to acclimate yourself for that regurgitated sludge that's destined to make its blazing journey from your murky depths to your tantalized taste buds. I've been there, man! I've had many a show where that cheap, one dollar item from the golden arches slides down my throat out of necessity. Meanwhile, my brain begs and pleads for me to cease and desist because "go time" is in a half an hour. Nothing leaves you more sordid or helpless than during your hour long set witnessing your bass player's face cringe and sink as if he's whimpering "Help me. If I don't take a shit in my pants right now, I'll never be the same". It's a heartbreak I can't describe.
What is my ultimate point for even examining this touring phenomenon? Simple. Eat well, my friends! This scenario happens over and over again and I don't see a real remedy or resolution. I've tried to plan my meals accordingly but by waiting to long, I usually end up so hungry that I'm supine and debilitated. On the flip, when I chow down vigorously beforehand, I'm so sick by the end of the set I've eaten the same meal twice; not by choice. You really haven't experienced all of tour's subtle profanities until you've had one of those horrifying moments where at any minute, a grande quesadilla's going to make a special appearance behind the kit and rip a sickening drum solo on your sense of smell. Yet, in the long run, at least you're eating and keeping the body guessing. So, I say, eat up my friends! When the catering looks to good to be true, you're starving, and you know if you don't eat now it'll all be gone, it's time to suck it up and dig in. Who knows? Maybe one day instead of spewing out leftovers all over our adoring fans, we can simply and more sanitarily put them in a box for later.
Darkest Hour are spending the Summer on the Summer Slaughter tour. You should probably go to it.