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A View From Behind The Drumkit

A View From Behind The Drumkit: Do The Walrus

A View From Behind The Drumkit is a weekly column written by Darkest Hour drummer Ryan Parrish. Follow along as he scribes down some anecdotes and advice from his many years of touring. This article shows the brilliant games bands can come up with when on the road together. We present to you… The Walrus!

A person, a beer, a bottle of liquor. Those are the three key ingredients needed when delving into the electrifying world of the Walrus. Its not the animal I'm speaking about mind you, but rather the heroic act involving such significant barbarism and inexplicable liver-damaging devastation that only the chosen few can accomplish it with success. It's the circumnavigating of one's own health and disposition. It's dangerous. It's glamorous. It's absolutely ridiculous. My friends, it's called "Doing the Walrus".

The Walrus was developed by a merry band of prolific heathens on a sour summers eve (no pun intended) somewhere in Germany circa 2006. Darkest Hour, Cephalic Carnage and Dead To Fall laid waste to audiences across the great pond on a six week European tour that has forever left an embedded sense of catastrophic euphoria to everyone and everything involved with it. Not only was the tour monumental as far as shows and turnouts were concerned, but every one of us got along swimmingly. So well in fact, the tour ignited some of the strongest friendships to date. A truly rewarding summer with some truly unbelievable dudes!

How and where was this treacherous achievement born? Well, it was late when the bus came to a halt for the night in the middle of nowhere Germany. We fumbled out and aimlessly sauntered around a desolate park sipping casually on our warm beverages patiently waiting for our journey to reconvene. We were bored, tired, a bit tipsy, and conveniently equipped with enough booze to keep us eternally blitzed for the duration of the summer. Casually, we huddled together and passed a few bottles of liquor around while engaging in probably some of the most comical conversation filled with extremely pointless jargon ever spouted out by man. Soon, our attentions were diverted to the simple fact that we needed something to challenge us. Something to take us that extra mile.

Leonard, singer and die hard rocker for the maniacs in Cephalic Carnage, passed me a bottle of Jack Daniels. I took a pull and calmly chased it with a beer. "Man, what would it be like if we drank the beer and the liquor at the same time," I said. "You mean like, put both bottles to your mouth and chug at the same time?" he asked. "Yeah." Without a second to really think it over, Steve, master shredder of Cephalic, grabs the Jack, cracks a beer, and gives it a go. "That was fucking awful!" he exclaimed. Laughter erupted as each one of us, individually, attempted the challenge. John Hunt, vocalist for Dead to Fall, spilled his first attempt all over himself as he chaotically struggled to ingest the rapid flow of alcohol. As John Henry tipped back a beer and a bottle of Jack I remember thinking to myself how fucking hilarious it looked. To me, it seemed as if he had grown two oversized top incisors and had transformed into a walrus. "It looks like you have walrus teeth, JH," I drunkenly babbled. One of us, overhearing the comment, shouted "let's keep doing the Walrus"! And so, the act we had been so desperately trying to perfect, yet we were so clumsily performing, was deemed "The Walrus".

Doing a Walrus isn't just the simple act of chugging two completely unethical substances at the same time in complete grotesque equality. It's a ritual. A privilege. There are rules when doing a Walrus everyone must abide by. Simple rules that DH, CC, and DTF came up with as our night in that German park became progressively encased in debauchery. One; everyone must quietly chant "Do the Walrus" over and over, starting as a sinister whisper and then increasingly getting louder and ever so clamorous as the drinker prepares to chug. It's a motivational chant with the sole purpose of invigorating the drinker to prepare for this absolutely abominable, yet, entertaining act. Two; as the drinker careens both bottles back striving to slosh down the extravagant mixture, everyone must applaud and bark like a walrus to reiterate the drinker on a job well done. Finally, pass it on to the next person. No one involved in making a Walrus happen can exclude themselves from doing one. Your turn is coming. Embrace it.

The Walrus is an enhanced way of making any party go from a 2 to a 20 in mere seconds. It's daring, complicated, asinine, shameful, emasculating, and inhumane. Yet, it's brave, chivalrous, heroic, majestic, athletic, and just plain fucking awesome! Its something that brought that tour whole new meaning and not only that, the Walrus turned a couple of dudes in bands who play music together every night, into a couple of close friends having a blast and doing memorable and stupid shit together. We take the Walrus with us everywhere we go and we hope, whether your touring or just hanging with your best friends, you do the same. Turn up, dial out, and "Do the Walrus"!

Darkest Hour will be bringing many roadies with them this Summer on the Summer Slaughter tour. You should bring them Jack & beers to reenact the Walrus for you. Read previous entries from Ryan's journal, right here.

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Shout out to photographer Adam Zaspel.

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