Monday, November 19, 2012


It's that time of the year, again. The time when everyone posts what they're thankful for on Facebook, leaving you to question your own life and figure out what it is that you're thankful for.

I have a lot of be thankful for, I know. Willy reminds me constantly. And I try to tell them, as often as I can, how much I appreciate having a band that is as talented and fun to be with as mine. So allow me to gush a little bit.

1. Jesse. Finally, a bass player who can not only play bass well, and by EAR no less, but who can also play keyboard so I don't have to. A bass player who has character, who moves around the stage with me, who plays along when I do goofy singer things, who actually SINGS with me. Jesse, who is definitely the best looking person on stage, taking the attention way from me every night with his curly hair and Undertaker-like hat. I am so thankful for Jesse that I'm willing to put a tracking device in his neck and keep it active for the rest of his life.

2. Chris. Hands down the best drummer I've ever known, and I didn't even need to sell my first born child to get him! This is a guy who pushes himself without needing someone else to do it for him. A guy who actually really wants to be the best. He's a gaddamn show off, and even if Josh says it throws off the attention sometimes (lol), I don't particularly mind because how many other bands can say they have a drummer who can do the shit he does? I'm thankful because after going through, what 6-7 drummers in the past, he's the first guy I've ever met who can just do the things you ask him to do without an issue. "Hey Chris, how about you throw some double bass in there?" How does he answer? Does he say, "I'll work on it, later" like the French dude I played with for one show who came to rehearsal with a huge shiny kit and a zebra striped drum mat? No, he just does it. Because he's Chris and he can.

3. Josh. Okay, he annoys the hell out of me, but there's no denying that he can play circles around all the other jack-offs in this town. Plus, he knows how to write music that isn't boring and stupid. And yes, there's a lot of other things I could say about him (he's one of my best friends at this point) but I'm sticking to music. I'd murder him if he tried to leave. I would go straight up Misery on his ass and break his ankles. He knows this. I will not be forced to work with another shitty guitarist who plays in drop D because it sounds "heavy". I will never be forced to sing Paranoid again.

I'm thankful for these three guys. Not just because it's good to play with them, and write with them, but because I can hang with them. When we tour, it's not just work. It's like a vacation. A magical smelly vacation full of heavy metal and BBQ. After having spent more than a week on the road with these guys, I know there's nothing else I'd rather be doing than get cooped up in a van and driven all over the country to play in front of audiences that could go from tens to hundreds. I love it and I love them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Heading South!

So I finally downloaded an app to blog from my phone. As some of you know, I'm pretty quiet before shows. Even the day of, I try to keep my talking to a minimum. So it's kinda annoying to be in a van with my band and not able to join in much of the conversation. You don't realize how much you miss talking until you can't.

So instead, I'm gonna blog! Specifically, I'm gonna blog about the conversation they were having about what's on everyone's minds; the election. I have a confession! I was a registered Republican, as recently as when I lived in Virginia. I truly believed in conservative ideals. I liked their strong Christian values. Then Obama was elected. Suddenly I realized, all those "Christian values" were, were a thinly veiled way of controlling other people. How did I come to this conclusion? Health care.

So, I grew up without health care. I had asthma and terrible allergies and we never knew why. I had no idea I was allergic to dogs until I was in college and I started to see a pattern, but like most families, we had dogs. I loved my dogs! But I was constantly sick, I caught flus easily, my asthma was bad. My mom would take me to the doctor whenever it got serious. High fevers, ear infections, that kind of thing. As a kid, I never understood the value of those doctors visits. My mom paid cash. My dad was the only one working because it would have costed MORE for my mom to put us in daycare than it would for her to just stay home and take care of us. They made me feel like we were normal, but once I got up college and my asthma got worse, I knew that wasn't true.

One winter, I got asthma bad. Really bad. Dry air always hurts me, but my attack got so bad I couldn't breathe. I felt myself getting light headed as I struggled to breathe, so my mom did the only thing she could and took me to the ER. Some treatments later, I discovered it cost over a thousand dollars. Yes, more than a thousand dollars. I was in college and suddenly the value of health care made sense. I tried my best not to get sick, but things always happened and my asthma didn't get better.

Fast forward to my first job. Right out of college I got a good job and they offered health care. Suddenly I could see a doctor when I needed to. I saw her for asthma, she gave me Advair. I saw her for whatever I needed, and never had to worry about more than a $15 copay. I've had health insurance ever since, and now I understand that value. I understand what it's like to grow up sick, in a nation full of opportunity.

Well I'm one of those "haves" in a world of "have not"s, now. I have a good job, a home, and a family. I'm lucky but there are so many others who aren't. I don't think it's right that children should grow up without health insurance when all it would take is for us to share a little. I understand that some people think that being forced by the government to share is wrong. I get that they don't like the feeling if government control. I get it. And I'm against a lot of government regulations. I just think that maybe we, as Americans, should look at the big picture. Our country will only be stronger if we all have access to health care. That kid who gets treatment for his asthma, he might be your doctor someday. That kid who gets treatment for a birth defect, he might create the greatest invention the US has ever seen. But they can't if we don't help. And I can think of no greater Christian value than charity, especially charity that helps treat the poor and destitute. Double especially when they live in the same country--, hell, the same city as you.

If you are a "have", please think of the "have not"s. Nobody is "entitled" to health care, food, clothing... But in a country as great as ours, shouldn't we want them to have it? I do. That's why I voted for Obama. He sold me on Obamacare. Because of his campaigning on the subject of healthcare for all, he made me into one of his biggest fans. I just want to hug him for all those kids and adults who might never have to live in pain ever again.