Text by Negura Bunget / Negru.
The people: We had little expectations getting to the US and Canada, but to our surprise the people were more than friendly everywhere, sometimes annoyingly polite and open, and human interactions were always easy and pleasant to make. People seem to speak out directly everything there is on their mind, as opposed to a more introspective approach you find in Europe. Although we were to a lot of places we never felt unsafe to be, and never had any problems with missing things.
The audience: The same was with the audience at our gigs. Not much different from what we got in Europe, just a bit more open and direct. I was nice to see the same diversity as way more than the regular meatheads showed up at the gigs. We meet a lot of old friends and also made a lot of new ones! We thank everybody that showed up to the gigs!
The bands: We played the tour along two Canadian bands, Wolven Ancestry for the first part of the tour and then Eclipse Eternal until the end. It was an honor to share the stage with both, and we are grateful to them for all the help and support. A special mention goes to Mark Howitt, the singer of Wolven Ancestry and the main organizer of the tour.
The gigs: Similar to Europe were the gigs also. Some were small, some bigger than we expected. Overall we are more that satisfied with the turnouts we had throughout the tour. Some of the venues were quite different compared with European ones, in terms of technical arrangements and band facilities, but we are used with everything so we adapted easily.
MDF: Maryland Deathfest was the highlight of the tour. It all started from it, and then was for sure the climax of the whole tour. It was quite hectic and chaotic experiencing it overall, completely different from the European festivals we were familiar with, but things magically aligned on their proper place during the performance, which turned out to be one of the most powerful performances we ever put as a band. If nothing else and the whole tour would have been worth if only for it. But there were so many other equally meaningful experiences.
The places: US and Canada are both vast. We traveled huge distances between gigs and experienced a variety of landscapes: from the vast fir tree forest in the North of Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, the overwhelming Niagara falls, The Rocky Mountains up to the plains of Oregon and California, the Gigantic Sequoia trees, the Atlantic Ocean, then the desert in Nevada and Arizona, The Grand Canyon. Is has been a lot to grasp in such a short period of time, but I’m sure we’ll digest everything in time and discover the right meanings out of everything.
The weather: It all started quite brutal with some snow storms in Canada, then a lot of rains until we got to the US, when it suddenly changed to increasingly overwhelming heat in California, then Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida. It was hard to experience so much humidity. The pool parties were a well deserved compensation for everything, and fortunately many of the hotels we stayed at had them.
The food: US is for sure not a healthy place to be in. You have to put a lot of effort to find decent quality food. The meals are quite different from European ones, and although the size is always bigger, the quality is way lower. Some of the food combinations we experienced were awful (tacos, boiled peanuts, pancakes and sausages.). We made a pact to have this tour a fast food free one, and I’m happy to say we managed to achieve that almost entirely. It was hard, and quite expensive sometimes, it but it was well worth.
The drinks: Same quantity over quantity rule goes for the drinks. You can find all kinds of artificially flavored drinks while normal water is undrinkable. Bottled water is just normal water a bit filtered, and not spring water as it is in Europe. There’s no sparking water available, unless you are lucky to find some Perrier. The beer is nothing compared with European one. We couldn’t find a bottle of Absinth throughout the whole tour. There’s also an obsession with ice we never experienced before. Ice is everywhere and every drink can have it. Ice dispersers are everywhere.
The roads: The highway system all over US and Canada was impressive. Although even more complex than the European one, it allowed us to travel fast and easy without any problems. 700 or 800 km from one concert to the next one, day after day, was possible and we did it a lot.
Overall: It was for sure one of the most intense experience for us as a band. We had plenty of experiences touring Europe which now came handy a lot of times, but this tour took things to an even higher level. There were of course some tense moments, a lot of tiredness and stress, but we managed to survive everything. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. It took us a long time to get here, but when we did, we did it thoroughly: 33 dates in 40 days, more than 20.000 km driving on our own, circling the entire US and Canada from to East to West and then back again. We wouldn’t change a thing to this experience as is all shaped as it was supposed to be. If we would have the chance to do it again we would do it without any regrets. We are proud that we succeed in this life change endeavor.