UTG TOUR BLOG: Kiros (Week 3)

Kiros-8

Under The Gun Review is excited to bring you the third of many exclusive Fall tour blogs today with an entry from Ain’t No Grave Records’ Kiros.

Currently out on the “Music With A Mission” tour, Kiros will be giving UTG readers exclusive access to their life on the road over the next few weeks, as well as details on their forthcoming Outlaws and Prodigals EP (Out September 27).

Click “read more” to view the group’s full entry and be sure to check back in a week for another installment!

Sept 13  Drive Day:  Colorado to Indiana. 

We’ve got a 22 hour drive.  I divide my time between reading (finished “The Hunger Games trilogy today), xbox, sleeping and a shift behind the wheel.  The only stops are gas stations, an oil change, Mcdonalds, a Disc Golf Course in Omaha, and Target to pick up….NHL 12 for XBOX!!!!!!!  I’ve been waiting for this for months!!  Devastatingly, the message that pops up on the screen when I insert the disc is that the Xbox needs to be updated.  Anticlimactically and painfully we’ll have to wait another 2 days until we’re able to connect it to the internet for the update.

Sept 14:  Waterloo IN

Today’s show is in the gym of Dekalb High School.  Setup and sound check are delayed as we wait for the school day to end.

Over the last couple days, one of the front windows has been making this brutal rattling sound, and after listening to it for over 20 hours yesterday fixing it is on the top of my priority list.  I find an auto glass store in town, and they completely remove and reinstall the glass, sealing it with liquid rubber compound that solidifies in moments.

Pretty neat actually.

We do an video/radio interview for Remedy FM.  Clint, the host is originally from near where we’re from in Canada.  We met him last year at Icthus festival, and it’s great to reconnect.  The interview went great, and I’ll post the links on Facebook and Twitter when it’s released.

Tonight is the smallest show of the tour so far, with only about 350 people.  It was still a great show, and I’ve got no complaints.  Lots of fun people to hang out with, and lots of people who’ve seen us/met us before from other shows we’ve played in the area.  Present are good friends of ours, the people behind Undignified Clothing.  I love seeing them, and it’s always a good hang out session.

A group of girls (encouraged by Jonny) lure me outside the venue to say goodbye, and instead surprise me by dumping a big bottle of water on me.  I’m drenched.  Jonny, I’m coming for ya.

After the show we night drive to Ohio.

Sept 15  OFF DAY, Middlefield OH

I wake up in our friend’s driveway.  We’ve stayed with Dan and Julie before, earlier in the year.  Our video blog entitled “Kiros vs. Nair” was made here, and you can see them in it for a couple seconds.  Good/bad memories involving the Nair Strips..  We also wrote a couple songs that are on our new record in their garage.

Today is a day off, and these are great people to stay with.  Julie is a top notch cook, Dan is a blast to hang out with, and their 4 year old granddaughter Brookelynn comes over to hang out.  She has me playing toys with her, and thankfully no one takes a picture of us playing with the princess castle.

Days off never actually mean days off, and there is a lot of paper work and errands to do.  More importantly, I update the X-box, and we all enjoy our first tastes of NHL 12.  It’s perfect.  Goalie fights!!!!

One of my big jobs today is making a couple new Video Blogs, including one of Jonny breaking his guitar during a guitar swing.  I try to make videos every 10 days or so when we’re on tour.  Brookelynn makes an cameo appearance in “Music With a Mission Tour Video Blog 1.”  Check both videos out on our channel,  www.youtube.com/kirosband

Sept 16  Uprise Fest,  Shippensburg PA

After breakfast we make the 5 hours drive to Uprise Fest, a big festival in Shippensburg PA.  We played it last year and really enjoyed it, and we’ve been really looking forward to coming back.

Heavy rain over the last couple days delayed setup of the main stage, and the wet and muddy ground is perilous for bus to drive on.  We manage not to get stuck.  Fortunately, we don’t play till tomorrow.  We set up merch, and divide our time between checking out some of the bands playing tonight, and hanging out at our table advertising our set time tomorrow.  I watched a bit of Skillet’s set.  Their live show is unreal, with flame throwers, a giant monster with LED eyes and teeth and smoke machines, fireworks and more.  I want flame throwers.   So bad.  One day…

We park our bus for the night alongside some of the RV’s parked on the festival grounds.  Before we turn in, we all sit down in the lounge area of the bus and catch up.  Something you wouldn’t expect on tour, is that you still need to make an effort to be connected to the people you share a vehicle with.  Just because you spend a lot of time together, doesn’t mean you’re connected.  We sit around as a band and just talk for about an hour.  This tour has been very successful for us so far as a band, but a band is made up of individuals and tonight we make sure that individually we’re all doing well.  We end the conversation by praying for each other.  We aren’t without our struggles and trials and hardships, but those things are easier to face with people who’ve got your back.

Sept 17  Uprise Fest, Shippensburg PA

I wake up early, and walk around the festival for a bit before heading back to merch and getting it re-setup.  We have an early set time today (12:30), but we have a great turn out!!   It felt so good to play a full set, especially after such short set times on the MWAM tour.

The rest of the day is swamped with autographs, selling merch, and hanging out with other bands (Awesome to chill with our old tour mates Emery and Ivoryline today!!!)  We get some extra help at our table from Monica, who along with her Mom is selling jewellery at the festival.

Strange thing about writing an entry about today, is that it was so busy, but I’ve got so little to write about it.  I’m exhausted.  I tried to nap for an hour because it’s my turn to drive.  I summon the strength from Energy Drinks, and make it almost 5 hours before our bus starts acting up (again.)  A warning light saying “Water in fuel” comes on, so I pull over at the next town, park at mechanic and hope they can get us fixed up first thing in the morning.

Sept 18  Greenville IN

I forgot that today is Sunday, so no mechanics are open.  We know today’s show is going to be huge, so we risk the drive, and hope our bus will limp the final 4 hours to Greenville Indiana.  The warning light flickers on and off, and the bus almost powers down a few times.  We stop and pour an additive into the fuel tank and hope that i’ll bring relief.  It helps, the warning light comes on less, and we arrive at the today’s show an hour before our set time.  A rushed load-in and lots of great volunteers help make it possible, and we’re good to go.

2100 people show up, and we hit the stage for one of the biggest shows of the tour.  No time for sound check, but we’ve got great sound guys, so it still sounds perfect.

We had some awesome friends drive down from Toledo for the show.  They brought with them boxes of presents!  It was like Christmas!   There were paintings of each of us, 3 toy dinosaurs (and instantly our table had all the young kids swarmed around it for the rest of the night), and two full boxes of Arizona Iced Tea.  If heaven was a beverage…

Supper included pumpkin pie (wow) and ham cooked in Pepsi (also wow).  We are truly a creative species.

One of the highlights of my night is a conversation with Matt, the bassist for the band Superchick.  We debated the question “At what point do people give up on being cool.”   When do we trade in the chucks and vans shoes for runners, and the skinny jeans for “regular fit.”   When do we start listening to “butt rock” and adult contemporary and throw away our old punk rock records.  When do I decide I’m done with my lip piercing.  Is it a matter of caring (or not caring) what other people think, or is it a matter of being culturally and socially active and relevant.  We find no closure or conclusion, but the conversation was excellent and resonated deep in the core of who I am, and, I guess whoever I’ll be one day.

We head to the hotel for showers, and to enjoy some awesome Subs and cheese bread from a pizza place called Marcos with our Toledo friends.  Then we head back to Middlefield Ohio for another day off.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • the old guy in millbrook

    Even at 52, I still listen to punk and metalcore music.  Congrats on the new album.  Come back and play Peterborough, ON.  It would be good to see the band again.  I’m doing a Christian rock radio show on Trent Radio 92.7 FM Wednesday nights  from 9 -10.  God bless.  Dave Hawkins