EVERYONE STARTS TO LOOK LIKE FRAZER
When you're fortunate enough to work with really great, reliable people, it's a special thing and I'd wish it on everyone. For starts, Kose, Troels & Frazer are the best at what they do. I may goof on them in diaries but when i'm touring and am onstage there's NOBODY i trust more. And to prove my point, before Kose and Troels came board we used to have all kinda tuning problems, the show would drag cause nobody really knew what Arthur wanted to do and overall, our shows were unprofessional and messy. Now, Troels & Kose have made a big difference. And from the outside it might look like they've got a fluff job but let's look at what Troels, Kose & Frazer REALLY do.
let's say we roll into a town at, say, 9am. usually some people are dropped off at the Hotel but the majority stay on the tour bus. Who wouldn't? it's got a fridge, a toilet, a bar, a microwave, a stove, dvd players, cd players, video players and satalite tv. Troels usually makes coffee around this time. Frazer is usually up as well. Sometimes Frazer makes Arthur and some of us tea if we're up. But back to Troels. So Troels will head off to the hotel and shower and stuff and when he's back it's around 10am. kose and Troles figure what they may or may not need for the show. For example, some venues dont own a PA system and need to rent one. Well, Kose has to call these people because wot you find is most people who work in England are dead lazy and couldn't be bothered to be ANYWHERE they're supposed to be. So Troels now knows they are loading the PA in around 1pm. Our bus pulls in to the venue a bit before noon and by then everyone's up and looking for breakfast, to which we usually go somewhere we're familiar with.
Of course the PA is 2 hours late ( like at the Irish Centre in Leeds ) and then everything is rushed but after the venue humpers have unloaded our gear, Troels puts the drum set together and Kose helps him line-up the amps onstage. after all that's done they sound check all the gear as Kose does a sonic test on the speakers. See, he wants to 'flatline' the E.Q. so that the music will sound great and not boomy or teeny. after all that's done (and Troels has changed some strings and gotten set list and lyrics together), they text Daddyo to come down and play his drums. daddyo beats the crap out of his drums for about 20 minutes. while this is happeneing, Frazer is counting merchandise and entering numbers in his computer so that everything matches up at the end of the night. he also goes over eveything before bed, just to be certain.
Chapple checks his bass next and then we check the guitars. then vocals. These are all HOUSE soundchecks, which mean that the monitors we have onstage are TURNED OFF at this point. After Kose is done, then the monitor guy (whomever that may be, it's a different guy at every venue but sometimes KOSE will wire the board so that he does HOUSE and MONITORS at the same time) gets each guy's mix in his own particular monitor. For example, I usally get a tiny bit of my guitar, my own vocal, MAYBE a touch of bass, and a good amount of Daddy's bass drum so i dont lose the beat. we usually place a spot of my guitar, johnny's guitar and arthur's guitar in arthur's monitor, along with arthur's vocals. nobody else gets arthur's guitar in their monitor.
daddyo gets about everything in his monitor. I've learned over the years that, if yer a guitarist, the less in your monitor, the better. and if you sing, always try to keep other vocals out of your monitor. this will keep you in tune and focussed, otherwise you leave it to the monitor guy, and he's probably thinking about Leeds United or something. Or maybe that bird over by the bar. At that point, soundcheck is done and the time is usally about 6pm, if we're lucky and 7:30 if we're unlucky. Since we dont like to eat TOO close to showtime, the earlier we get done the better. More and more you wind up chilling on the bus, because you just want to relax. sometimes i meet up with friends for a meal and a pint. If Hannah's with me then we always find a cool pub and really kick our feet up.
Once the show happens, Kose does his thing to make sure it sounds good. Troels eyes Arthur so that if we deviate from our set list or anything unexpected happens (like the guy who ran onstage in Amsterdam and grabbed a guitar and started playing along to one of the songs), Troels is on top of it. After the show, everything is always accounted for and put in it's place. i have never known to people be so good as Kose and troels when it comes to keeping track of guitar cables (leads), batteries, straps, picks, you name it. i was always so used to things getting lost that i took it for granted that we'd lose stuff. NOT THESE GUYS. Since they both started working for us in tandem (Aug 2003, although Kose has worked with us since 2002), NOTHING has been lost. EVER. They are Pros and they take their job VERY seriously. Those guys work hard and earn every penny of it.
So, after everything's packed away and the venue has cleared out, we usually find a club if anything's open. or we hang on teh bus and watch satalite tv. In the USA it's very easy to find a pub open at midnight but in England things close around 11pm but they actually start giving you the evil eye around 10:30. I hear that's gonna change so that'll be nice. SO, it's around this time that Frazer, Troels and Kose start looking for all-night Salsa clubs and things of that nature. i don;t know how they do it. I;m usually to bed by 1am when i tour but not those guys. And you can bet they'll be up by 9am the next morning.