11 October 2006



If there is one cardinal rule while touring, it is this: never, EVER utter the words, “Things are going so smoothly, I can’t believe it!” This will ALWAYS cause hell and its fury to ascend upon every aspect of logistics: itinerary, instruments, food, health, travel- you name it and it will come apart at the seems. Mats, with boundless enthusiasm, uttered these very words after the concert in Graz, Austria on the 25th. On the morning of the 26th we were faced with a 6:10am train, one of the longest travel days on the tour, and what I will now refer to as “the Curse.” In the nearly ten years that I have worked with Peter he has never been late, usually he is always the first person in the lobby and at the gig, so when he wasn’t downstairs with us at 5:30 I was surprised but assumed he had a good reason for not being there yet; maybe he was already up and had taken a stroll outside. But when Mats was also waiting in the lobby with all of his stuff I thought maybe it would be a good idea to knock on Peter’s hotel room door,


-“Just wanted to make sure that you were up.”


I went back downstairs, “Well, it sounds like he might be ready to go…” Mats and I looked at the clock. The original plan was to put the suitcases and large horns into his girlfriend’s car so we could take the 10 minute walk to the train station while she drove the heavy stuff up to meet us.

Time to make a change if we were going make it to the train on tim, so we packed the car with all of our things. Peter would get a ride with the stuff and we would meet at the station in time to unload everything and catch our train to Krakow. Perfect plan, except that as Mats and I hoofed it up the hill his cellphone rang- things had just got much worse. Peter had gone out to the car as soon as he made it downstairs, letting the door close behind him. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but because Mats had Cursed us, on this particular morning we were leaving a motel that didn’t have an overnight staff- no one would be working at the front desk again until 6am- so the door to the lobby locked behind Peter as soon as it shut, with his key sitting on the counter of the empty desk. Since he was locked out there was no way that Peter would be able to make it to the train in time, and he had the tickets. On to plan C: Mats and I would take the train, buying new tickets to our first stop in Vienna. Peter would drive with all the gear as soon as the damn hotel re-opened and meet us there… Of course, this was just the start of the Curse. From that moment on, all traveling consisted of delayed trains, missed connections, late arrivals and some of the worst wiener schnitzel ever served to a passenger a Polish train.

The brighter notes were the gigs. Krakow on the 26th (as always, incredible- a sold out room of enthusiastic listeners from all over Poland); Berlin on the 27th (a very strong gig, one of the best on the tour, and the concert room had live acoustics which gave us more options with the sounds and overtones on the instruments. Luckily this was well recorded so there’s a good chance that this document will be released as our next album sometime during the first half of next year); Schorndorf on the 28th (surprisingly good show considering how exhausted we were from lack of sleep. Now that the trip is coming towards its end we were getting into a consistently creative groove).

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