Greetings, Mr. Jordan, and welcome to Sentinel Daily! Thanks for taking part in our On the Road With... Series, it’s great to have 20 Watt Tombstone on board! As you might suspect, it’s a series all about touring, and you’ve got a lot of touring on the horizon… Looking forward to getting back out on the road? “Always! The road really has become almost a second home to us. If we are home to long we get restless”.
You already are already pretty seasoned road dogs – can you remember much about your first ‘proper’? tour? “Thanks! I personally have been doing this for a while but there are some buddies of ours who have been doing three hundred shows a year for over ten years in some cases. We aspire to be on that level someday but have definitely put in some miles! As far as our first tour with this band I remember it well. We were very lucky. We had a great booking agent who believed in us and booked a month long run with twenty eight shows on the southeast coast. We did it in a mini van that was so over packed it was ridiculous! Was definitely a great run and lots of memories made!”
What are the key ingredients for a top-drawer 20 Watt Tombstone Show? “We play loud. We feel like what we do translates better with volume. Most bills we are on we are one of the louder bands and its on purpose. We don’t want to chase people away either, its a happy medium. Super loud but GOOD loud, mostly we just have fun, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we try to enjoy what we do. So far the response has been positive so we will keep doing it til we cant I guess!”
A laudable aim, but you need fuel to keep up the pace – What would a dream rider be for each member of the band? “That’s tough, we really are just a couple of dirtbags from Wisco who like to play rock n’ roll! We don’t need much or want much. We are content to sleep in the van and eat tuna packets and tortillas (laughs)! For us we just want to play to people and be able to hang out with our fans. Being treated like a rock star isn’t something we really need I guess”.
But how do you go, victuals-wise, on the road? Does a band get looked after by venues and promoters these days? “We have been extremely lucky in that many of our venues we play treat us very well. You’ll always have a few that don’t put the music and bands high on their list of priorities, but we don’t deal with those kind of people much. Life is too short and the world is full of places that appreciate music. Just have to dig a bit sometimes”.
Ain’t that the truth! What’s the best thing about touring? “Travelling and seeing new places is pretty great. We get along really well so there’s very little fighting… we enjoy a lot of the same things too so that makes it easier. I’ve seen a lot I would have never seen if I wasn’t in a touring band. Meeting new people and trying new foods, playing with new bands… its all very surreal and we are humbled to be able to do it”.
But it can’t all be good times? What’s the worst thing? “Well… I would have to say some of the drives, states like Texas are VERY big and routing can be rough. Most tours we try to stay under five hours a day driving but once in a while we have to do a long one and that can suck (more laughter). The other thing that can be rough is breakdowns on the road. Tow trucks and mechanics on the road aren’t cheap and most are not sympathetic to the plight of the broke ass musician”.
Aside from your tools of the trade, what other one item do you find essential for tour purposes? “Well there’s a few. A knife is always a necessary thing. A tool kit is another one… but I would say plastic bags and flushable wipes are pretty useful as well! Plastic bags are good to use for garbage as well as dirty laundry that way the van doesn’t smell like feet and butts! A good GPS helps too but when you cant shower for a few days flushable wipes can help you not smell like a homeless person so when you’re at the merch table people actually want to talk to you!”
All good, sensible stuff… So what about a luxury – something you shouldn’t take but always seem to find in your kit once you’re on the road? “Well… in states like Colorado where its legal I would say cannabis”.
Fair enough! Now, finally, here’s your one chance to spruik the upcoming tour to the readers of Sentinel Daily – what’s in store for them if they decide to come and say hello? “We always love hanging with fans, we aren’t the type of band to go hide after our set. Come say hi, we love hearing that people enjoy our music. As far as whats in store? Lots of loud, fuzzy overdriven music and hopefully fun. We enjoy what we do and we hope the crowd enjoys it as much as we do. We also pride ourselves on having lots of variety in our merch. Usually you’ll find skatedecks, vinyl, cds, buttons, stickers, t-shirts, hats, hoodies and assorted other stuff that you can’t buy online, at our shows”.
Best get down there earl people! Thanks for taking part!
20 Watt Tombstone have a new five track EP, Death Blues vs. The Dirty Spliff, available from My 18th and our American readers can catch the band out on the road at the following dates:
11/04 – Vinnie’s Long Branch – Fort Madison, IA ( with The Maness Brothers)
12/04 – Zoobar – Lincoln, NE
13/04 – Record Bar – Kansas City, MO (with Freight Train Rabbit Killer)
14/04 – The War Goat Festival – St. Louis, MO (with Left Lane Cruiser, The Maness Brothers, & Mark “Porkchop” Holder)
26/04 – Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL (with Werewolves at Hour 30)
27/04 – The Nest – St. Cloud, MN
28/04 – SRO Bar – Oak Grove, MN
11/05 – Hijynx – Ft. Atkinson, WI
12/05 – Looney Bin – Bradley, WI (with Curio)
18/05 – Steel In Motion Hot Rods & Guitars Festival – Union, SC
19/05 – Boulevard Tavern – Charleston, WV (with The Brothers Steele)
21/05 – Brewfontaine – Bellefontaine, OH
22/05 – Southgate House Revival – Newport, KY (with Moonbow)
23/05 – Cafe Bourbon House – Columbus, OH (with Bourbon Train & Crowtalker)
24/05 – Mag Bar – Louisville, KY (with Waxeater & Baby Bones)
25/05 – The Pond – Franklin, TN (with The Creeping Cruds)
26/05 – The Thirsty Devil – Tupelo, MS
27/05 – Intracoastal Club – Houma, LA (with Smoke & Crush Diamond)
28/05 – Freetown Boom Boom Room – Lafayette, LA (with Mayrunner)
29/05 – The Shack Up Inn – Clarksdale, MS
31/05 – 529 Bar – Atlanta, GA (with Order of the Owl)
01/06 – Birmingham, AL – venue TBA
02/06 – Just One More – Melbourne, FL (with Southern Fried Genocide)
05/06 – Fubar – St. Petersburg, FL (with El Coyote & Graveyard Groupies)
06/06 – Will’s Pub – Orlando, FL (with Vonner & Howling Midnight)
07/06 – Sleepy Owl Brewery – Kingsport, TN
08/06 – Burns Alley Tavern – Charleston, SC
09/06 – LL Creek – Waycross, GA
12/06 – Island Bar – Surfside Beach, SC
13/06 – Bleu Pub – Valdosta, GA (with The Wisebloods)
14/06 – Oglethorpe Lounge – Albany, GA (with Snake Oil)
15/06 – Terrapin Beer Co. – Athens, GA
16/06 – Skylark Social Club – Charlotte, NC (with King Kack)