The Tour Blog - MONTH: October, 2012
European final tour - Part 5Posted: October 26, 2012 08:38:50 by Anders Jakobson
October 6 - This is the end
I had expected to wake up in Stockholm, but when I woke up we were parked a few miles from the Swedish capitol. I was up front with Janne, Petri and Urban while the bus drove the last miles to the venue, and was sort of surprised by the weird route our driver Udo chose for the last bit. Debaser Medis is in a part of Stockholm that I have driven to multiple times (the classic venue Kafé 44 is just nearby) so I really didn't know what he was doing. Eventually - after actually driving past the venue - we got there, just to realize that the suggested parking from the promotor was occupied by some cars. These cars drove away after a few minutes and Udo did some extreme parking, displaying the skills that only these veteran nightliner drivers possess. We all stood on the sidewalk and watched him do his magic and obviously saluted him with applauds when he was done.
We were quite early for the load-in so Urban and Jesper went to their homes, Jon was looking for his phone that never was found, Keijo checked in at the hotel to get some sleep and I also went to the hotel and did what would actually be the last interview I did as a touring member of Nasum. (Here's the interview - in Swedish).
We loaded in our gear and Antti and Hannes went to work for the last time. Before the soundcheck the other bands started to show up and my friend Maria came from Örebro with the van I rented from local stonerrock heroes Truckfighters to bring my drums and stuff back home. After the soundcheck it was time for a very particular band meeting. In the summer of 2010, I met with the Stockholm members at an Indian restaurant just a short walk from Debaser Medis. It was at this particular restaurant the idea of the Farewell tour first was discussed and it seemed very fitting to close the circle by going there again for a drink and to decide the final setlist.
The last soundcheck and the last, quite emotionally charged day-sheet.
We were not alone for this meeting, Michael from Siegfried Productions was also with us. Michael is the "leader" of the Danish film crew that shot our show at Roskilde earlier this summer. We got to see the first five minutes or so of the footage prior to the final tour and liked the style and look of it, but wasn't particularly pleased with the show itself. So we had a meeting with Michael during the Copenhagen show (a tale not told in this blog) and invited his team to do the same kind of documentation of the final show and also shoot some documentary stuff during the day as well. So Michael brought Casper and Rasmus (the latter one is responsible for the amazing "Relics" video) with him and tagged along from the Malmö show.
Anyway: we went to the restaurant only to discover that they had gone through some renovations. We were able to (sort of) locate the table we sat at two years earlier, but when we tried to get a table inside just to have a drink and talk they refused to have non-eating guests. What a failure! Instead we headed to another Indian restaurant for the drink and setlist writing… Well, when life gives you lemons - go somewhere else…
It was actually quite nice to sit down and have this final band meeting just the five of us (plus our Danish fly-on-the-wall). We also managed to come up with the last setlist, which included 33 songs…
After the band meeting it was time to head back to Debaser Medis for a meal. While going there we decided to check out the line. There had been a debate in the band about the attendance for this last show. I was a firm believer that the show would be sold out (if a free show actually can "sell out"), while some other members weren't as sure. Well, one hour before the doors opened there was a considerable line that just kept on getting longer and longer. We stood in it for a while just for the fun of it, and the line just kept getting longer and longer… A few hours after the doors all the 850 spots were taken and the line was still amazingly long so we "sold out" for sure.
A panorama shot of the longest line… At least this particular evening!
We had planned something special for this show. We had done the "Mr and Mrs Gasmask" intro for a few shows - the premiere in Örebro, at Maryland Deathfest, Hellfest, Metaltown and Obscene Extreme, and we would definitively do it on the last show. But we wanted to do something more, because this intro isn't really a surprise anymore as it's been on YouTube since May. This was one of many discussions we had prior to the tour, and at some point we thought of recreating the "Inhale/Exhale" cover even more by having some properly dressed "wedding guests" as well. Jesper bought ten gasmasks before the tour and through out it we searched for the right dresses for these ten people and found them - in Stockholm. Ten matching military protection outfits were bought and a few hours before the show we had a "dress rehearsal" with ten people that we managed to engage in this stunt.
Anders posing between Joel and Oskar from Anders's Coldworker, two of the ten people dressing up for the occasion.
It was quite surreal to see all this people in costume, and it looked really cool. We had three different missions for them, but we only needed all ten of them for the first one. Our plan was to have the wedding couple up front and then let the ten dudes appear after a while to create an effect, but the stage at Debaser Medis made it difficult to complete this idea, but the one we came up with instead worked fine.
We had plenty of time this night, but it was also a night filled with emotions and tension. Keijo was feeling slightly bad and feared for his voice, but got some snake poison medicine (!) from Finland that would make it better. It actually worked. After basically just waiting for the moment to hit the stage the time came to get dressed and get ready. All of a sudden I realized that my playing shirt was at the hotel and got extremely stressed. I more or less ran down the many stairs from the dressing room to the street and over to the hotel, which thankfully just was across the street, and down to the room and found it, quickly dressed and ran back. I don't believe I felt nervous this evening, but if I was, the nervousness disappeared during this stressing situation. Then I strapped on the camera I would have on my chest and ran to the stage to do the last adjustments to the drums. And then it was time for the last show…
The deluxe intro. Photo by Soile Siirtola - ExtreMMetal.se.
We all stood by the stage waiting during the longer version of our intro. We had heard that siren and war noises so many times by now, but this was the last time. I watched our 12 person strong gasmask stunt and it seemed to work. It was something special just as it should be, and ultimately we switched places with our performers just as the speech from "Flesh For Frankenstein" begun, and then we started the last show.
Live shots by Gustaf Sandholm Andersson.
This was a really tough show, and I didn't really get to enjoy it as much as I wanted to. It's a really strange notion when you know that you do something for the last time. You feel tense, because you want everything to be right. There are no room for mistakes… But the mistakes obviously came anyway. I made some fuck up's, Jon broke a string and Jesper lost control of his strap at some point. Shit happens and it was just matter of facing the mistakes and accepting them: The last show of Nasum wasn't better than this.
Live shots by Peter Herneheim - herneheim.se.
Another negative factor during this show was the immense heat! It was insanely hot on the stage, so hot that though I would faint after five minutes. The heat and the tension - well, that made the show really tough to get through. But of course it was a good show. We gave everything that we had - and probably more. The emotions were overflowing and besides shit-to-bits-blasting, there were room for hugs and tears. The last ten minutes of the show Jon played with tears flowing down his cheeks, which continued backstage when the show was over. It was beautiful.
Live shots by Gustaf Sandholm Andersson.
Six of our gasmask dudes returned to the stage during "Inhale/Exhale" which concluded the main set, and just stood there facing the crowd before we returned for the encores after catching a few breaths of cool air.
Photo by Soile Siirtola - ExtreMMetal.se
And then two of them returned for the absolute grind finale. Sometime during the tour I came up with the idea that we should conclude Nasum as a live band with the song "Den svarta fanan". That wasn't a particularly hard decision as many shows ended with the combination of the "Human 2.0" songs "The Idiot Parade" and "Den svarta fanan", but it was actually the last line of lyrics in "Den svarta fanan" that appealed to me. The line in Swedish is "Den svarta fanan vajar högt" which can roughly be translated to "The black banner is waving high", and what I wanted to do is to have someone wave a black Nasum banner on stage to symbolize that Nasum is over, but will forever live on. The problem was that we didn't have a proper Nasum flag for the occasion, but the solution was to use the first Nasum backdrop that was at my home in Örebro and luckily we were able to have it for the show.
The really not that black banner is waving high enough… Photo byPeter Herneheim - herneheim.se.
The end came so fast in some way. I was so focused at getting the last blasts of "Den svarta fanan" so precise and hard as possible that I didn't even notice when the two gasmask dudes came in with the banner, but all of a sudden they were there and did exactly what was planed. It was almost like they just appeared out of thin air. And then it was over.
We said our goodbyes to the audience and rushed of the stage, into the backstage and I kept on going to the stairwell as the air was cool there and just sat down on the floor soaking up the reality that Nasum was over. We had blasted shit to bits. We had done our legacy justice. We had celebrated the life and achievements of our fallen brother who wasn't with us on stage but always was there with us. I shared this moment with Urban who was my closest companion during the entire tour, my roommate at countless hotels and so on. That felt good. Ten meters away Jon was crying loud until he barfed on the floor. Classic. I don't know what Keijo and Jesper did, but apparently they were sitting together somewhere. And when I stood up I accidentally knocked over a huge bin filled with glass bottles, creating massive destruction and a huge racket in the stairwell, which actually broke the tension. Then I saw Keijo coming at me, laughing and saluting me for this rock and roll moment…
Grindcore vs champagne! Photo by Soile Siirtola - ExtreMMetal.se.
The following hours were spent cooling down, getting changed, packing up and celebrating the final show. It was emotional for sure and a whole lot of hugs was shared. It really was the end and we were parting ways. Our agent Silvester, who was one of the ten extra gasmask dudes, had bought us a big bottle of champagne so we could have a last drink together, and then it was time for the final photoshoot before we more or less parted ways. The after party continued in smaller groups as the hour got later and later…
Group shot with Nasum, crew and Black Breath minus Jamie who was somewhere else, but to fill his place Silvester stepped into the shot. Keijo's eyes says it all… Complete MADNESS! Photo by Soile Siirtola - ExtreMMetal.se.
Then it was truly over. Nasum left the building and will never return as a performing band. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us.
This is the end.
Behind the scenes: The band that almost happenedPosted: October 16, 2012 09:40:02 by Anders Jakobson
The first show of the final European tour was scheduled in Helsinki, Finland. We could not bring Black Breath to this show for different reasons (in the end Black Breath went there on their own after our mutual tour had ended), and we had many discussions about the support acts. A number of bands were in discussion and one of them was Keijo's "home band" Rotten Sound. Keijo had expressed a wish to perform with Rotten Sound at the same evening as Nasum, and although we were a bit reluctant at first we thought it was appropriate, especially since a "special show" was in the talks.
At some point during the "four continents" part of the tour, I suggested that Rotten Sound should only play songs recorded by Mieszko as a special show. Keijo liked this idea and talked to his fellow band mates who agreed on the idea. Then for some reason the idea of temporarily changing the name of the band came up, and I suggested Rotten Soundlab, as Soundlab was the name of Mieszko's studio. I was so eager to make this happen that I offered to adjust the Rotten Sound logo to this new name.
I did that at a hotel room somewhere on the other side of the world, and both the name and the logo got thumbs up from the band, but in the end this idea was canned due to different reasons, mostly because of lack of time to rehearse a Soundlab-only set, and Rotten Sound(lab) was left of the bill in Helsinki.
I still think it was a pretty good idea and I really like the logo I came up with, so here it is:
European final tour - Part 4Posted: October 10, 2012 09:39:55 by Anders Jakobson
October 2 - Blasting Czech to bits
The show at the Czech festival Obscene Extreme in July remains on of the highlights of the entire tour, and the Czech Republic really is a grindcore country for sure. The Barrak venue in Ostrava was unfortunately placed in a really depressive environment and when I woke up in the morning I wasn't entirely sure that we were at the right place. Eventually, a bit later on the day, I walked with a guy just a few streets away and found lots of shops and even a big mall, so a real city was just behind that depressing building.
The inside was better though and we had quite a good evening there. There was a support band added more or less in the last minute called Carnal Diafragma, that played what I would like to call typical Obscene Extreme grindcore which in a way was a good compliment to Black Breath and our styles.
Antti decided to stop any further communication with a nice message to the people, and Hannes was found hiding behind bags of "death" and "murder"…
This was another of those days where nothing really happened until it was time to get up on stage and play some grind in Czech for the very last time. I felt in a particularly grinding mode this day. The blast beats were working really well, so I surprised the other guys by going off our decided setlist and led us into the first three songs of "Shift", which are the most blasting block of songs we have. That was fun. And when we had finished the set I wasn't particularly exhausted. One of those nights that could have been a bit longer.
A collage of photos taken by Milan Jurkas - see more here.
October 3 - Mieszko's old home country
Next up: Poland for the very first, and last time. Our show was in Krakow at the Kwadrat venue, a quite large room that was a nightmare sound wise. I was feeling a bit under the weather for most of the day, and took it easy in our bus watching some stuff on my laptop and drinking lots of fluids, just to hopefully avoid getting worse for the remainder of the tour - which would be a total disaster. There are a few others in the tour party that coughs and feels a little bit sick, and as we are traveling in the same bus it's no surprise that something is spreading. Hopefully it will not be any worse than this.
It felt a bit special to play in Poland. As most of you, if not ALL of you, know Mieszko was originally from Poland and in a way it's quite surprising that we haven't been here before. I really wanted the Polish fans to feel extra happy about Mieszko's heritage so I instructed Keijo to say something from the stage. And so he did and there were some extra cheers which felt good. This evening we were joined by The Dead Goats and Antigama who warmed up the crowd before Black Breath crushed them as usual. I'm so happy that we share this final tour with Black Breath - they surely are one of the greatest bands of today.
During our show I felt that true band chemistry again. The almost 60 shows we've done so far since May has really payed off, and we will quit when we are as good as we can be. So strange to think about that. I know that there's only three shows left, but it's really hard to understand that the end actually is only a few more blasts away… And as usual we did the best we could in Poland, although the sound probably wasn't that good. Our FOH Antti was very disappointed after the show, but he's also his own worst critic, so I would say that the sound probably was good, but not as good as he wants it to be.
A collage of photos taken by Maciej Mutwil - see more here.
October 4 - Goodbye Europe and the world
Back in 1995 the second ever Nasum gig, and the first one outside of Sweden was in Berlin at the Knaack Club, where we returned in 2004. Now, the final non-Swedish show was also in Berlin. Just another detail that is bookending the 20th anniversary. Speaking about Knaack in 2004 - someone actually gave our merch guy Petri a CD of that particular show, that now is in my possession. Quite funny to listen to and compare to the shows we've done on this tour.
Anyway - the day in Berlin was slightly shadowed by some logistical hassle. We had gotten a message from the company that supplied the nightliner that we had to change bus in Berlin due to some booking detail that we never really understood. As the parking situation outside of the venue Magnet is a little bit tricky, we were parked at another location as we arrived a bit earlier. All of a sudden our driver said that the new bus was at the venue so we drove there, only to realize that the bus wasn't there. Our previous bus was now parked in a very bad way, so it left for a few hours without us and the trailer with our gear. Everything was in disarray and about three hours later the new bus arrived - and the old one so we could transfer our bags and stuff. Everything could have been handled way more smoothly, but in the end we got a bus that perhaps is slightly nicer and a new driver called Udo!
Udo in the middle and then the old nightliner to the left and the new one to the right. One each - one for Black Breath and one for Nasum… Well, not really…
During all this we were able to load in, do the soundcheck and check out the town. Janne, Petri and I went to a recordstore while Urban and Jesper went to big tv tower, Fernsehturm. Come showtime it was very evident that the show would be another of those stupid hot ones. Black Breath came off stage gasping for air and recommended a lot of water on stage. Not exactly what you want to hear when you are about to hit the stage. And it sure was hot, at least in the beginning of the show. Then someone got some big fans working so it got less hot. The general feeling was quite intense - the room was packed and the venue was small and it got really intimate.
October 5 - Back in Sweden and at KB again
Eleven years ago, Nasum were on a Scandinavian tour together with The Haunted and Nine. It was the first of the "Close-Up Made Us Do It" tours, that since then have appeared on and off during the years. It was quite a large tour considering it mostly covered Sweden, and got some media attention especially since The Haunted just had won a Swedish Grammy. When the tour hit Malmö and the KB venue, Swedish tv made a half-hour special interviewing all the bands. In other words: KB is another important part of the Nasum history.
It is a killer venue and one of the best on the entire tour. You feel very welcomed at KB. The people who work there are nice and helpful, and you feel appreciated, which makes it much more easy to work. After breakfast and load-in I went to the city to do some chores, most importantly to buy a pair of jeans! I had basically lived in the Black Breath sweatpants for almost two weeks, and although they served me well, I was in desperate need of a pair of proper pants. While at the store trying them on, I got a text message from Janne: "Soundcheck!". I was 15-20 minutes away so I rushed out in the pouring rain, walking fast and running some parts to get to the venue as soon as possible. Completely drenched in rain and sweat I finally reached KB and went on stage to do the usual 2-4 song soundcheck.
This night we yet again had Skitsystem on the bill, but also Pyramido - a Swedish doom band with our friend Ronnie as the vocalist. Ronnie has many ties with Nasum - he was one of the original members of Burst back in the early days, and he has also helped us out as a driver at some occasions, like when we came back from the first US tour back in 1999. I've written it before, and I write it again: this final tour is really tying all the knots together!
During the time prior to the tour our booking agency had sent out updates on pre-sales every week and the number for Malmö had been very poor, but something must have happened during the last days because the number we got now was almost 300 and in the end about 600 people showed up for the show which was great. I had a few old friends in the crowd that I spotted from the stage and had a chance to talk to after the show.
The barricades had an "N" on them, very similar to the Nasum "N"…
I believe all of us got a little bit struck by the notion that the final show was just one day away. I suddenly felt nervous, and that doesn't really happen at all anymore, and while speaking to the others I realized that they also felt a little bit strange. For me, this affected the Malmö show in a slightly negative way. I was very tense and I felt some nasty ache in my upper left arm almost from the start of the show. This was slightly alarming considering the Grind Finale was left, but it was also quite easy to connect the pain with the tension, so I wasn't that worried. Despite the pain, we did a good show although slightly different song wise. Keijo had informed us that his voice wasn't really responding to the high pitched parts so we adjusted the setlist slightly. No major changes but still a few so we could save a little energy for the last show.
European final tour - Part 3Posted: October 2, 2012 14:44:21 by Anders Jakobson
September 28 - Madness in Munich
On the second show out of three in Germany we went to the Backstage complex in Munich. Apparently we've been here before, during the long tour with Napalm Death back in 2001. I had gotten this place mixed up with the Feierwerk or possibly Hansa 39 which are two previous venues I've been to in Munich. Imagine my surprise when I woke up in what can only be described as an jungle… The entire complex is surrounded by palm trees and other plants and I had no idea where we were.
The complex has a number of halls in different sizes and we played in the "Club" which is one of the smaller ones, if not the smallest one. I believe there were four different things happening at Backstage at the same time so it felt quite weird. Would there be any people coming to our show?
I spent most of the day in pain. My back was aching badly due to unknown reasons. Maybe a combination of a weird sleeping position and a cold that only struck the back. I was feeling it already in Geneva but in Munich it was really bad. Luckily we had a nice backstage area far away from the stage so I could take it easy and take care of some internet business.
We had no extra support band this night, so it was quite an early show. But what a show! The crowd went mental which surprised us a lot. We had expected it to be a slow night, but it was quite the opposite. The small room was filled and we observed people both moshing like maniacs and singing along to the lyrics. Crazy. And when it was time for the encores the general vibe was that we could keep playing forever, so we played seven extra songs which isn't really the amount we usually play. A great night in Munich.
September 29 - Grindcore chemistry in Slovenia
The first of five Eastern dates which in total includes four completely new countries for Nasum started in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Gala Hala venue is part of bigger complex just like the Backstage Club the day before, but was located in a completely different surrounding, although that Backstage jungle would have been a nice and not at all unexpected addition. There were a lot of different houses connected via a big yard and everything was covered in graffiti and various art pieces mostly made out of recycled objects. Sort of a squat mixed with a crazy playground.
We arrived quite early - or the load in was quite late - so we had a few hours to kill in this environment. I brought out the digital camera and shot some of the stuff I saw there.
In the late afternoon we got access to the venue and could load in and set up our stuff. I was sweating like crazy just by setting up the drums, which was a sort of a premonition that the show would be really hot. After soundcheck and some food I hung out in the bus watching some shit in my laptop and then joined a totally unexpected discussion about drum fill-ins together with Urban and Hannes. That's an alternative way to warm up before a show.
After Hellcrawler, who were the local support, and Black Breath we went up on the quite small stage and played for the first and last time in Slovenia. As expected it was really hot and we were more or less soak after a few songs. The show was another good one and I felt that we had a real connection within the band on stage. Of course we have that every night, but this is one of the first times that I really thought about it. We know our songs in and out and we know every single little detail leading from one song to another. It's grindcore chemistry for sure.
September 30 - Nasum meets Ronald Reagan!
Our tour manager Janne had put together a tour book with all information about support acts, times, dressing rooms, showers and all that type of good things to know when you arrive at a venue. There's also some information about "interesting places near the venue" and on the page for Budapest, Hungary there was a note that the Heroes Square was close. That was definitively something worth seeing so Janne, Petri and I went there crossing a nice park. On the way there we met Ronald Reagan, which was quite surprising.
Further on our way to Heroes Square we found a museum with some nice statues and architecture worth capturing with the digital camera.
And then we eventually reached Heroes Square which was filled with Bolt Throweresque statues and quite impressive over all. We stayed there for a while soaking up the history.
Back at the venue Dürek Kert we had a very nice catering with some really nice people taking care of us through out the night. You couldn't really ask for more. Not that much happened before the show, we more or less just hung out passing the time. Oh yeah, our friend Curby, manager of the Obscene Extreme Fest showed up and will travel with us for a couple of days.
Today's support act was a local crusty band called Freedom Is A Lie and following Black Breath we entered the stage in front of a quite enthusiastic audience. Unfortunately the room was resonating badly so I felt that we were three milliseconds out of sync with each other the entire show. I heard more of the bounce in the far end of the room than from the monitor I had just behind me. Annoying, to say the least. The show went fine considering the conditions but it was quite tough playing the songs without some proper monitors.
October 1 - Onslaught joins the bill!
During the last couple of days we have noticed that the legendary Onslaught is virtually on the same roads in the east as us. We also heard that they had a few shows cancelled and during our stay in Budapest we got a request if their touring package could join us in Bratislava, Slovakia. We agreed to that so all of a sudden the supportless show at Randal got three support acts - Cripper, Izegrim and Onslaught! How weird… Just a couple of days earlier fanboy Urban posed in his Onslaught t-shirt besides our respective posters.
Having five bands on the bill and two complete backlines to cram into a small club was a bit of a hassle though, but we made it work. Fortunately there was another venue above the Randal club where we could hang out in complete silence, so that's where Jesper and I spent most of the night. Our nightliner lacked the proper power support from the venue so it was parked at another street and all the power was gone so there was no point in hanging out there if you wanted some time for yourself.
I think our show went fine, but we suffered from the "stagediver-that-will-not-leave-the-stage" disease. Some dude got on stage for a couple of times but apparently had problems getting down from it. At some point he even bit Keijo's leg, which was way more funny for the rest of us than for our precious singer. And then the dude more or less fell between the stage and the fence in front of it and just kept on laying there. A word of advice to stagedivers: feel free to do your business at a Nasum show but don't stay on the stage!