Check out our friend Mitch Revs sprucing up the Macbeth AUS office with some killer artwork. Keep your eyes peeled for more from this talented human!
Posted on March 18, 2014
Posted on March 18, 2014
Metallics are awesome...in small doses - you definitely don't want to blind anyone. The Eliot Medium Grey/Silver has just the perfect amount of reflective silver strategically placed on the pennant. We like to think this pop matches our shiny and sparkling personalities here at Macbeth. So throw on this tried-and-true classic style and let it reflect your awesomeness. Check it out online or run by the Flagship Boutique to see it in person and to try it on... It's the perfect Summer shoe so hurry before your friend with better taste grabs it before you!
Posted on March 18, 2014Being in a touring band is one of the busiest and most fun occupations in the universe but somehow it also reigns supreme in the "time spent sitting while waiting for something" championships. Going on tour? Cool, you can sit in the van 7 hours a day while we travel. Recording new songs? Awesome, wait in the other room while we track vocals and guitars for 1,000 hours. After years and years of rockin the old school flip phones and fervently avoiding smart phones like Billy Idol avoided sleeves, I broke into the fancy smart phone world. I would say that my Galaxy S3 is my number one essential item for the road as it is such a useful tool and always entertaining. For entertainment value my Nintendo DS is pulling in at a close second.
Having a pair of slip on shoes is a must when your on the road so that when you are half asleep and the van stops for a quick break you can quickly be ready to hop out. I've been wearing my Black Macbeth McQueen's for such situations. While on tour you are surrounded by people 24 hours a day and sometimes personal space is needed. I have found that having a good pair of isolation headphones can save your life especially if one of your band members is belting out "A Whole New World" from the Aladdin soundtrack while another is running through vocal warm ups that sound like weird bird calls. The van can be a very loud place so it is nice to have an escape, just put headphones in and close your eyes.
Lastly, inspiration goes a long way when it comes to the entertainment industry. Without my golden framed picture of Nick Cage I don't think I could perform night after night to the best of my abilities. All it takes is a couple hours of meditation on the photo before we go on stage and I'm good.
-Rico Rodriguez, Night Riots
Be sure to check out Night Riots on June 7th at the Troubador in LA, and help these guys get their music to the world at their Indie Go-Go Page!
Posted on March 18, 2014
Day 6: Continued
Charlotte, North Carolina always brings a certain friend to mind. A friend I'd really love to see on this trip.
Rodney was just a dude. He played in a lot of bands in Charlotte and worked at music venues. Hell of a guitar player, and also specialized in pedal steel. It seems like everyone in Charlotte knows Rodney. I met Rodney touring with my last band years ago. We were playing Charlotte and didn't have a place to stay. He was running sound at the venue that night and he said we were welcome to crash with him. So we did. Every time we went to Charlotte after that, we would stay with him. After the shows, we'd go back to his place and drink beer, put on some vinyl, and hangout in his tiny place. Maybe fix frozen pizzas, because he would usually make sure he had some for us to eat. He'd break out his special hot sauces from his hot sauce collection. Always a fan of spice, Rodney also pickled his own peppers, and was sure to send a few jars off with us when we left.
There's really no way else to put it, Rodney was the coolest. And the kindest. He never had to let random band dudes stay at his place, but he did. He would say he knows what it's like being on the road and not having a place to stay. It always touched me. Left its mark. And in those acts of Rodney's, and those moments like that between people, is where I think I find God. Or that's what God is. Simple acts of love and kindness, done for no other reason than just that.
I'd love to tell Rodney that. But I won't be seeing him this trip to Charlotte.
Rodney got cancer a few years ago. Despite all his friends raising funds for his medical bills, he did not beat it. After his funeral, there was a parade through the streets of Charlotte. Going from venues he played and to some of his favorite places. People played music, too, a somber but proud jazz funeral. I watched the video of it on YouTube and cried. It's inspiring, really. To leave a mark like that on all those people. Just from being good.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES • 81° PARTLY CLOUDY
Day 7: DC
Durham NC to Alexandria VA
I've always had a blast every time I've visited Washington, DC (or the DC area, I should clarify, since we are playing in Alexandria tonight). I love DC. The museums, the memorials, the monuments. How do you get a statue made out of you? That's how you know you've “made it.”
But what I love the most about DC is the imagination it evokes in me. Fantasizing the violent adventurism and unseen misconduct. For example, the guy behind you in line waiting for coffee is an international spy who could kill you with his bare hands in the blink of an eye. That hot wasted girl at the bar is some Congressman's daughter who's about to go and OD on coke. The dapper middle- aged gentleman next to you on the hotel elevator? Oh, that's just a senator going to strangle some tranny hooker. And the dude in the lobby with the oversized duffle bag is in charge of disposing of the body.
Everybody, everywhere. In DC.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES
Alexandria VA to Charlottesville VA (beautiful drive)
Show last night at The Birchmere in Alexandria was alright. I thought we played great. Really sweated it out. But the crowd and the venue were a little weird. Can't put my finger on what it was.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES • 73° MOSTLY CLOUDY
Charlottesville VA to Raleigh NC
Played the Jefferson Theater last night in Charlottesville. Gorgeous venue. A very small and multi-tiered theater. Charlottesville has got some charm, too.
I found some gifts there to take home to loved ones. Some small goldstone skulls for my girl (she'll like that), and a goldstone turtle figurine for our dear friends, the Tortugas (thanks for always watching our dogs). I passed by a massage parlor and thought, what the heck? A little “me” time, huh? So it was great, but I left my little bag of gifts in the parlor. Dammit. By the time I realized it, it was too late and there would not be anything to do about it. Dammit. You try and do something nice for others, but then it's cancelled out by trying to do something nice for yourself.
The frustration sometimes...
I thought our show was great. And the crowd did seem into it. Usually after our shows, people are camped out by the merch table. Buying stuff, wanting autographs, buying you drinks, taking pictures. That kind of stuff. Yet there really wasn't much of that at all. So then you get to thinking. What's wrong here? Did we not just fucking kill it up there? Could you have been better? Then you dwell. How much better do you have to be? The crowd is going absolutely shit-house crazy for Ryan Bingham (which they should, he's incredible), and his drummer is currently god's gift to rhythm. Then you remember you lost those gifts at a massage parlor. Then you have a laugh and make certain you bring everything you got next time (and also don't lose anymore gifts). Because If you lose your heart out here then you'll lose it all.
So, Raleigh tonight. Gotta get after it!
I-64 E, MAIDENS, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES • 70° SUNNY
Day 10: Jillian's
Raleigh NC to Columbia SC to Charleston SC
Show last night in Raleigh at the Lincoln Theater was much better. The crowd was... warmer.
Got up early today to make a radio performance. Driving post-show now from Columbia to Charleston for a morning radio performance. I talked to my mom yesterday, my wonderful mama, for Mother's Day, and she said she thought we had a day off today - because the show in Columbia was not on our website calendar. I told her no days off til it pays off.
Tonight was weird and fun and silly. We played a free show that a radio in Columbia was sponsoring (so technically not part of the Ryan Bingham tour). I guess we were trying to get in good with the radio station, and I think we did. However, the weird thing about it was that it was held at a place called Jillian's. Jillian's is a fine place, but for a rock show? Think Dave & Busters with a band playing on a stage. Wait, that's a little grandiose. Imagine an Applebee's with some pool tables and a few arcade games and a band playing way too loudly on a tiny makeshift stage. Like that.
Although it felt a little awkward, it was a blast. There was really no pressure you can tend to feel at a “real” show, so we just cut it loose at times and let the pieces fall where they may. The small crowd that was there was really into it and appreciate, and everyone who worked there was very sweet. Plus, free food and drinks and games! Definitely indulged in our share of pool, ping pong, air hockey, skee ball, and video games. Can you blame us? So many activities.
I-26 E, SAINT MATTHEWS, SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES • 55° CLEAR
Posted on March 18, 2014
This is the first in a new series we would like to introduce as #whatsinyourtourbag, where we ask team members and friends to describe to us their essentials on the road. Since I both work here and am in a band called Mini Death, it was easy for me to be the guinea pig.... So welcome to the world of Mini Death's tourbag, whether on the road for Macbeth or for the band - these are my must have items.
Yes, I am that ridiculous - I have some crazy thing for sunglasses so I usually travel with 3-4 pairs, in case I want to change it up and not wear the same old ones everyday. I know I am excessive - my friend Matt from Idlehands and I even made up a hashtag for my ridiculousness - #extessive. On top of sunglasses, a pair of reg specs are a necessity - I am blind as a bat, so without contacts (which I can't wear every second of everyday, believe me I tried) I need a pair of glasses so I don't walk into walls. Next, I absolutely have to have caffeine at all times or can't function - which makes a sugar-free Red Bull an essential on the road. I have a tendency to forget to eat so the Clif Bars come in handy as a quick snack - we joke around the office, but I really think I could live off of Clif Bars and Red Bull alone...oh and Vodka - hence the awesome flask that I never leave home without. I am not an alcholic...just like to have it handy. Gum - I really can't sing without gum...it's all in my head, but it helps me with nerves and also I have now convinced myself, I really can't perform without it. I am paranoid about getting sick so I consume Emergen-C almost as much as I consume caffeine.
There is a book. Yep - I always take a book with me, kidding myself I will actually finish it and read another one as well - but end up spending too much time in the worm holes of social media and interwebs on my phone. A pen - that is practical. You always need one. Yes, I am a girl and cannot live without liquid eyeliner...and yes, I am a girl, but I have boyish hair so I cannot go a day without Kevin Murphy's Undressed to tame my boyish mop. Again, girl stuff, lots of jewelry and lots of turquoise. Definitely never take of my chiefhead abalone necklace that I found at the Swap Meet. I feel naked without it. David Kennedy gave me a rad bottle opener from his James Coffee Co collection and I go everywhere with it - again, not an alcolohic, I just happen to find myself around beer bottles often. A knife - always good to have. I once found myself on the side of the road after the van had broken down and it was like 120 degrees outside, and we were all so hot that we were literally cutting clothes off with a knife - see? you never know when you will need it. And of course, knives and alcohol and lots of caffeine are all a great combo.
And lastly, I have to have my vintage tees with me - I collect old band tees; this vintage Black Flag one is one of my faves. They are good luck and a staple part of any of my outfits. And yes, I am lucky because I work here - I have one of the only pairs in existence of these radical silver Eliots. Love them! So comfy - and they are attention grabbers for sure...oh, and there is my iphone, which literally gives me anxiety to be apart from it or have it dead, but I had to use it take this picture - hence it not being in the picture.
Posted on March 18, 2014
Day 4: The New Trailer
Little Rock to Atlanta
Waking up with humorous stories from the night before is always nice. It can add to the sense of comraderie when everyone hops in the van and laughs about what drunk fool did what. Talking about other people, of course. What girl threw up, what dude had to be carried out, etc. It can especially lift your spirits when you find out your trailer is a thread away from busting an axle and the only option is to get a new one…
So we spent 3 hours in Cabot, AR getting a new rig. She seems like a damn fine one to me. The highlight of the trip of course was meeting the owners of the trailer dealership's chocolate lab, Missy. Always good to have some four-legged friend time on the road.
So now it's a day off with a 10 hour drive to Atlanta. Hunker down.
US-67 S, CABOT, ARKANSAS, UNITED STATES • 77° PARTLY CLOUDY
I've been in a van a long time today…Night has fallen, so my mind went strolling. Thinking about piss bottles. Bear with me. When you spend hours and hours everyday in a van carrying six dudes, eventually someone's going to piss in an empty plastic bottle. I remember the first time I ever heard of this concept.
Probably 12 or 13 years old. I was at a summer fishing camp in south Georgia. My final day at camp was the same day of a concert in Atlanta I was to attend. Looking forward to that show all summer long. My dad was to fly in a tiny three passenger plane down to the camp to pick me up so we could fly back to my hometown in order to make the drive to Atlanta in time for the show. Upon taking off, the pilot realized a malfunction in the landing gear, and was forced to land the plane right after take off. But not before they had to get the wheels out somehow, they were stuck. According to my dad, he was in charge of physically engaging the landing gear to get the wheels back in landing position. Furthermore, he had to hold the landing gear lever in place with his legs. They were confident the landing gear would hold, but if it did not, the lever could have viciously snapped back and broken my dad's legs. Not too mention the possibility of just flat out crashing the plane on the runway. It held. They landed. No scratches. Everyone was safe. But now my dad was forced to haul ass via automobile in order to at least have a shot at scooping me from camp and making it to the show. He didn't make it. Missed the show. Which was upsetting, but I was glad he was okay. Scary day. When I got in his truck, there was a Gatorade bottle full of his urine on the floorboard. He told me he had to do that while driving to try and make it on time. I found it gross and heroic.
The pilot of that treacherous flight that summer day was Colonel Seagraves. What a title and name. Colonel Seagraves. I took many flights with my dad and Colonel Seagraves as kid. Colonel Seagraves was probably flying the plane off his charm alone. He smelled of cigars and always had something witty to say. Usually wearing a peach colored collared shirt and white shorts, he appeared to always be on vacation. Brown and gray hair could not be set in a more immaculate part. Old, tan leathery face, around a friendly smile and the clearest, bluest eyes of a bombardier in his prime.
Of course, I cannot know for sure if this is an accurate description of Colonel Seagraves. Maybe that's just how I reconstruct his memory. The past is malleable, no doubt, and often history and story are synonymous, interchangeable. So then perhaps my dad did not really risk his life that day, maybe that's just part of his story. And maybe he just pissed in that bottle because he was lazy. I'd like to think not, and go with my original version.
And I'd also like to think that's why you don't think too hard about piss bottles.
US-78 W, MYRTLE, MISSISSIPPI, UNITED STATES
Birmingham, AL to Wilmington, NC
Plot twist. Change of plans. We intended to drive from Little Rock to Atlanta yesterday then finish the drill to Wilmington today. However, after all the time we spent getting the new trailer and crawling through a detour around a wreck on I-40 for a couple of hours, we stopped in Birmingham. More like paused in Birmingham.
Got in at 2am and back on the road at 6 so we can drive nine hours to make a radio appearance in Wilmington. That's how it goes sometimes.
I-20 W, RIVERSIDE, ALABAMA, UNITED STATES • 48° SUNNY
Wilmington NC to Charlotte NC to ???
Maybe I'd have lots to say right now, but I ended up drunk as Charles Bukowski last night. That can happen to you in a flash when the venue gives you a cheap bottle of whiskey. I'm not sure if I met Danny McBride (of “Eastbound & Down” fame) last night, but some of the other guys did. What a funny motherfucker. And now it feels like one of those Xlerator hand driers is going off in my head. You know, the ones in the bathroom that blow like hell and make an earpiercing racket. Sometimes you just gotta get drunk. You get all fired up from playing your heart out, laugh shit up in the green room with your boys in the band, go back out to the crowd, they're all wanting to hang out and drink. So you drink then.
I wish I'd gotten to see more of Wilmington. Which has nothing to do with being drunk, we just were not there for very long. Barely there. I think it's a coastal town. The crowd at the show was definitely nice and loud. I literally rocked my bandana off. Had my red bandana tied around my left wrist, but at the ending of the last song it was rendered unfurled and flew off.
Great show tonight at Tremont Hall. I had my picture taken with NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson. I sent it to my parents and they flipped out. Cute.
Now we are driving through the night to stop somewhere to sleep for a little bit. Getting up early to finish the drive to Annapolis MD for a radio event. Rip split burn.
US-74 E, ROWLAND, NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES • 81° SUNNY
Stay tuned as the adventures with Ben Jarvis and The Wild Feathers continue...if you missed the first entry, catch up and read it now
Posted on March 18, 2014
Posted on March 18, 2014
My name is Travis Hawley and I am the frontman for the Central California based band Night Riots (Formerly known as PK). We are an independent band that has amassed a notable amount of success entirely on our own. We have been fortunate enough to have been featured by such outlets as MTV, FUSE TV, Rolling Stone Magazine and have played shows with Angels and Airwaves, The Script, Youngblood Hawke… and believe it or not… Aerosmith. Yes, it's a wild world. I was asked by our friends at Macbeth to write an article on the struggles and costs of seeking success as an independent band in today’s music industry.
I think it's important to get the negative but realistic stuff out of the way first so that we can move onto the positives. The cold hard truth is that creating a flourishing and long lasting career in the music industry is extremely difficult. It is a career which relies on the strangest varying combinations of talent, personality, timing, perseverance, business savvy, and luck in order to achieve success. It is a job where you might pull the best cards out of a deck only to find yourself cheated with no authority to call the hand unfair. While there are signs pointing you in the general direction of being in "the right place" there will never be a clear path to being "successful". It is a daunting and pay-less 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job, until you literally traverse a gauntlet of poverty and struggle. Then you MIGHT have a moderate amount of success but will probably still not be guaranteed long term security. There is never a point where you are able to say "Ok, I have done everything there is to be done. Now let us just coast and relax for awhile." There will always be another song to write, a CD to design, an agent to call, a show to book, or a fan to write back. When you are independent it’s the people in your band and the small team you have assembled around you that have the power to further your career. If you let up for even a second then the band slows down. There is no record label with all of it's different connections and assets backing you. You are the bank. If you make 10k on a tour and have an upcoming album to release then it is up to you to appropriately budget that capital into different aspects to fund your future. Not only is it financially stressful, it also becomes extremely taxing to separate your personal life from the music. You find yourself staying up until 4:00am every night planning, or designing, or writing, or unproductively stressing out about what needs to be done the next day. Even worse is that as your band begins to build momentum it becomes more difficult to draw a line between creating a solid business platform and doing what you are wholly meant to do as an artist which is CREATE MUSIC. That IS why we decide we want to play music for a career after all isn't it? Unfortunately, in this day and age as an independent band there is no way around it. We must find a balance of creating and keeping the band afloat. Time management, discipline and determination become crucial allies.
While the independent route may sound overwhelming and stressful it can also be very rewarding. This is especially true if you are able to delegate your responsibilities to all the members of the band and diligently separate your creative time and your work time. Being an independent band gives us the freedom to be creative to no bounds and in complete control of everything that is associated with our band. Whether it’s writing a song or coming up with a marketing strategy to release a new music video, we are constantly able to create what WE want to create. A simple difference between an independent band and a signed band is that a signed band has a built in team with connections and capital provided by the label, whereas an independent band is a startup comprised only of the band itself and the team members that it has selected. While you are given a leg up as far as connections and capital there is also the risk that the label that you side with might have a completely different vision of what you are. It involves more people, all with strong varying opinions about your music and your career which in turn can dilute your vision. When you are using other people's money to push your music forward, you have less of a say in the decision making process of who and what exactly you are. Also decision making drags as you filter through multiple layers of opinions from people who have no real investment in your music. As an independent artist you are not given a large crew to help spread out the work load but you ARE able to slowly and carefully build your own "super team". When we started Night Riots the five of us assumed different branches of the business side of the band to be responsible for. Mikel books shows, Matt works on marketing, Nick is our business manager, Rico is our sweeper and I am in charge of aesthetic and vision. All of these areas of Night Riots intersect and we are therefore able to help each other with the different sectors of the band without overstepping or doing other people's jobs. As we have picked up momentum we have slowly and carefully added new members to our team to help distribute the workload, expand our reach and increase effectiveness. By starting from the beginning with a strong business model we have prepared ourselves for whatever comes next. If we continue as an independent band we will continue to be in complete control of our identity. If the perfect partner comes along who shares our vision and can help us move forward, then we will be prepared and confident in who and what we are. Another great part of being an independent band is that we control our our money. As we play shows, sell merchandise, and license songs we know exactly where each penny is going. There is minimal wasting of our resources and literally no middle man between our audience and Night Riots. The money that you pay for a shirt at a concert goes directly into funding future endeavors for the band.
Regardless of whether you are an independent band or a signed band it is an extremely arduous career to be in and both sides have their pitfalls. It is also a very exciting and constantly changing job that is full of opportunities and learning lessons. There is no single path for a band to journey through their career. Some groups are able to start from nowhere, get a perfect label team and immediately launch to success. Others slowly build up over many years of hardwork and create loyal, lifelong relationships with their audience without ever being signed to a label. Others work independently until a certain point where they feel ready to team up with their "dream" label. You need to be malleable and willing to persevere even when the future seems completely unclear. At the end of the day the most important matter to remember is that you have to be along for the ride. You are just an artist trying to spread your music to the world and all you can really do is focus on having a great time and learn to enjoy conquering the obstacles that stand between you and your ultimate goals, whatever they may be.
Go online now and help support Night Riots and get their new EP out to the world!
Posted on March 18, 2014
Want to hear The Maine's new album 'Forever Halloween' before it comes out? This Sunday, at 1pm, Macbeth will be hosting a signing and listening party with The Maine at the Flagship Boutique, 1053 S Coast Highway 101 Encinitas, CA 92024. Come hang out and meet the band before they play the Youth Jamz Benefit Concert that evening with our friends Night Riots.
Posted on March 18, 2014
It is definitely feeling like summer today. Had to bust out the shorts and an old pair of Langley's. Stay in style this summer with some new shoes and tees! Check them out at our store!