Rocksverige har den stora äran att få bjuda på en turnéblogg av självaste Björn “Speed” Strid i Soilwork. De befinner sig just nu ute på vägarna i Nordamerika tillsammans med Soulfly och Björn kommer lämna veckovisa rapporter. Nedan kan ni nu läsa han första lilla rapportering.
I’m sitting here at a hotel in Edmonton, Alberta writing this. We’re 1 week into our tour with Soulfly and I’m still feeling sort of fresh. There’s always a certain celebration mode when embarking a tour and you tend to drink a bit too much and realize after a couple of days that you’ve opened up just a liiiiiiittle too hard. Regardless, this tour tour has opened up real good. We flew into Los Angeles via London with Virgin Atlantic and luckily we all had 3 seats to ourselves. It’s a long trip, 11 hours from London so it definitely helps getting some space. I had smuggled a bunch of souvenir bottles with Gammeldansk (The official drink of Soilwork) with me on the plane and we all shared them on the flight over.
Luckily we had a day off before first show in LA. We played at the Fonda Theatre, which is an amazing looking place with lots of history. 1st show of a tour is always a bit scary and especially if it starts in LA and not Osnabrück in Germany.. Luckily everything fell into place and we performed 4 new songs from our new album “The Ride Majestic”. It was a great kick, especially playing “Death In General”, it works out REALLY good live and there’s a lot of emotion behind that song that is getting released, once you perform it in front of a crowd. One of my best friends, Nascar driver extraordinaire Stormin Ron Norman, also made it out to the first show with his family. It made me very happy, especially since I haven’t seen him in 2 years. He’s quite a character and is always a good time.
Next up was San Francisco. Always such an amazing view coming over the Oakland Bay bridge and seeing the skyline from the tourbus. There’s also a really nice view over Alcatraz. This time we played the Regency Ballrom, a fantastic venue with loads of history as well. Max Cavalera showed up and gave us a bottle of Maker’s Mark, that we sampled later.
A show in Portland followed at the Hawthorne Theatre, where we’ve probably played 10 times before. However, this show was definitely one of the best. Portland is also a very green and pretty city. If you wanna go for vintage shirt shopping, this is the place! Unfortunately to my disadvantage I’m usually too big for let’s say a Ratt vintage shirt, even if it’s XXXL. They tend to shrink through the years..
In other news that day, Dave had a bit too much fun and ended up on the floor in the tourbus.
Our new bassplayer Markus is definitely showing the way as far as the partying goes. He’s been with us before as a guitar tech in the mid 2000’s but now I’m happy to say that he’s with us on stage for real, rocking like there’s no tomorrow and probably drinking like there’s no tomorrow as well.
Next day we hit Seattle who offered us some really nice weather. As usual, I hit the Pike Market in Seattle to get some smoked salmon. My friend Neil Lam Sang picked me and Sven and took us there. Had a nice afternoon beer and some leek and potato soup with salmon. Fantastic. After the show, me and Sven had a nice (romantic??!) salmon dinner on the bus with aioli and toast. Had a real nice sleep after that..
Next day we played Vancouver in Canada, who, if you see her from the good side, is one of the prettiest cities in the world. Unfortunately we didn’t, which we knew before hand. Rickshaw Theater, that we’ve played a bunch of times before, is a great venue but situated in the worst part of Vancouver: Hastings. Or as they call it: ”Wastings”. The streets are literally filled with used needles and countless of people are shooting up on the street. It’s a really sad view. It does make you pretty humble in all of this, being on a nationwide tour in a bus and all. Me Sven, David and Sylvain decided to escape and hit Gastown, which was only a 15 min walk. We found a nice brewpub called Steamworks, where we spent most of the afternoon. It had a stunning view over the mountains.
We hit Kelowna the next day, another city in the province of British Columbia. It was a day off and we checked in to a hotel. Had a good steak at Montana’s and had some local Pinot Noir. Very relaxing to say the least. Ended up with a dip in the jacuzzi at the hotel. Next night we played a pretty small club called ”Level Nightclub” in Kelowna. It had a really tight and small stage but the crowd was fantastic. It was our first time in Kelowna, I hope we’ll come back!
Last night we played Edmonton, one of our favorite cities to play in Canada. Great crowd and always a hell of a party. Spent my afternoon watching opening night of NHL season. Unfortunately Toronto Maple Leafs lost against Montreal Canadiens…bummer.. As I’m finishing this up, we’re on our way through the Canadian Praries to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They call it the it the ”Paris of the Praries”.. let’s see if it lives up to it.. over and out.
/Björn Speed Strid