Wisst ihr noch? Im letzten Jahr? Als Herr Rossi mitteilte, dass er rüber nach Amerika fliegen wird, um mit Divided Heaven ein paar Shows zu spielen? Ja, das ist schon eine ganze Weile her, ist mir aber noch gut im Gedächtnis kleben geblieben. Matze bekam die Aufgabe, ein paar Postkarten zu verschicken und Jeff fragte ich, ob er denn nicht Bock hätte ein kleines Tourtagebuch anzufertigen. Für beide Sachen bekam ich ein ‚Auf jeden Fall!‚ entgegengeschmettert und warum ich das in solchen kleinen Momenten immer abfeiere? Ganz einfach: Es ist so schön, wenn Musiker ohne zögern zusagen- ich meine, SCTYS ist unser kleines Baby. Wir sind meistens nie auf dem neuesten Stand oder brauchen eine gefühlte Ewigkeit bis zum nächsten Artikel. Dennoch gibt es dort draußen Musiker, die uns in jeglicher Form unterstützen und für jeden Spaß, für jedes Experiment, für jede Idee zu haben sind. Musiker, die sich die Zeit nehmen- ob für ein Tourtagebuch, Postkarten schreiben, Videoaufnahmen, oderoderoder. Danke dafür! Internetherz!
Jeff ist übrigens ein großartiger Typ: Nach all den Monaten, die seit dieser gemeinsamen Tour vergangen sind, hat er das mit dem Tourtagebuch nie vergessen. Er hatte es immer im Hinterkopf. In der letzten Woche erhielt ich eine Nachricht, in der unter anderem stand: ‚I will finish it in the next few days and send it to you.‘ In the next few days war sowas von gelogen, denn er schickte es mir kurz danach per Mail rüber. Ein langgezogenes ‚Awwwwww!‘ überkam mich. Als ich mir seine Zeilen dann direkt durchlas, gab es eine rasante Gefühlsmischung bei mir, die sich scheinbar sekündlich zwischen einem schweren Herzen, leichter Anfall von Tränen in den Augen, lautes Lachen und einem breiten Grinsen abwechselte. Besonders die Erinnerungen an Paris/Bataclan wurden erneut zum Leben erweckt und kurzzeitig kam es mir so vor, als ob das alles erst gestern passiert wäre. Ja, der Schock, der einen ‚damals‘ ereilte, sitzt einen noch immer tief vergraben in den Knochen.
Bevor es aber nun endgültig zum Tourtagebuch übergehen wird, hier noch ein kleiner musikalischer Tipp für euch: Denn am 7. Juli kam die neue EP ‚Pacific Avenue‚ von Divided Heaven raus! Stellt euch hier bitte noch dazu Luftschlangen, Konfetti und bunte Partyhüte vor, denn diese 6 Song starke Veröffentlichung macht süchtig! Ausdrucksstark, hoher Wiedererkennungswert, laut und rotzig, tanzbar und wie man nach dem letzten Ton einfach immer wieder auf PLAY drücken muss. Überzeugt euch bitte selbst davon (und zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt gibt es mehr über die EP zu lesen. Ihr wisst ja: Wir brauchen da immer ein bißchen länger, ne? Sorry!):
+++Und jetzt viel Spaß mit dem Tourtagebuch!+++
I met Matze Rossi in Enkirch, Germany in November 2015. It was the same night as the terrorist attacks in Paris, including the horrific hostage situation at Bataclan. Prior to knowing the events that were unfolding around the world, Matze Rossi and I (along with Austria’s Kinga Dula and Berlin’s Der Sandmann) shared the stage at Tom’s Musikeller in Enkirch and performed to a packed house of eager German listeners.
As the night continued into the literal and figurative darkness, Matze and I talked a bit, but mostly kept to ourselves. We hung out a bit at our the home of our promoter–the incomparable and wonderful Sascha Rinklef–before retiring to bed. He seemed tired, I was in shock. Matze wanted to sleep, I couldn’t shake the terrible news from my mind. I figured this would be the usual routine: play new city with other band, exchange pleasantries, crash in same house, say farewell in the morning, maybe cross paths again…but most likely not.
There were multiple tearful calls home to my-now-fiancé and friends. I began to think I was going to have to cancel the rest of my European Tour, that everyone’s European tours were going to be canceled, that the world was on the brink of something terrible. Despite being safe in a small German village atop an Alsatian mountain, I was scared by what happened in Paris. Really scared. These attacks were against my people, our people; people who love music, people who live everyday to sing, play, dance, run the sound, promote, publicize, work the lights, sell the merch, to do these crazy tours, to surround yourself with these crazy people and do this thing we call…music. We all become numb to the reality of terrorism around the world; we have to a certain extent to neutralize our everyday lives. These Paris attacks brought that reality to the surface; the forefront of my mind and I couldn’t shake it off. I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t stop shaking. I began to focus on my breathing…
I was finally able put my head on the pillow and tried to fall asleep, but to no avail. As I lie on the floor, awake, a small voice in my head began to sing quietly… “all for one and one for all,” I let my mind follow the thought and drift away as the voice continued… “all for one and one for all, we are best friends, we are best friends….”
Over and over, I kept focusing on this singing voice in my mind. It was Matze, it was his song “Best Friends” and it was the power of music that calmed me down and led my weary mind to sleep.
The next morning at Sascha’s breakfast table, Matze was quiet again. I tried to make conversation but gained little ground. Maybe he’s not a talker, I thought to myself. As we seperately began packing I heard chuckling. Kinga, Sascha and Matze were speaking very fast German until their laughter roared through the house. I inquired as to what was so damned hilarious when I saw Matze holding my underwear in his hand; my tighty-whities–which were actually bright purple…and dirty- in front of everybody. I had left them on the bathroom floor.
“Jeff,” he said while wearing the biggest smile, “are these your underpants?”
“Yes, Matze,” I replied, “yes they are,” as he and everyone erupted in laughter again. Never wanting to not have the last word, I added, “thank you for not stealing them.”
He handed over my dirty, purple, American Apparel underwear and smiled. The ice was finally broken and I finally felt like myself again. Matze and I became fast friends and stayed in touch. We then decided to do a short tour together in California in September the following year.
I met up with Matze Rossi in San Francisco to begin the tour at Thee Parkside. There were a lot of friends and family there that day; many lovely Germans, including our good friend Jenny. We played our sets to a fun, packed room. After the show we stayed around the venue to have some beer and sang songs well into the night on the back patio.
Next up was Joshua Tree, CA at the Joshua Tree Saloon. This show was…alright. We had a great time hanging with the locals and our visiting Czech friends. We then stayed at our friend’s house in the desert and explored the town the next morning.
After a lovely drive through the desert we made it to Victorville, CA. Upon arrival we took Matze to our favorite American-fast-food restaurant; the almighty Del Taco! This show was at Frogee’s and was incredible. We played with our brothers, Born Rivals, and Matze Rossi was awesome. He had the room in the palm of his hand. They loved him. After our full-band Divided Heaven set I walked outside and found Matze standing back against the wall of the venue, his eyes wide open and about to freak out. Turns out he smoked some weed with the locals and the high hit him like a bulldozer and he was wiggin’ out.
Matze and I had some downtime in my Los Angeles apartment before the show. On a whim I put on the Jenny Lewis record, The Voyager. Matze and I then proceeded to listen to that record five more times; we fell in love with that record. Before our show in Hollywood at the Hotel Cafe, Matze and I ate some crucial vegan doughnuts at Donut Friend, stopped by Amoeba Records and then ate again at local favorite spot, Veggie Grill. The show at Hotel Cafe was awesome; beautiful sound, great room and great crowd.
The next show was in Bakersfield, CA. We arrived into town early to be fed by our good friend, Matt Sakeld. Matt confided in us that a good friend of his had died earlier that morning in a car accident; and it was clear to see that Matt was shaken and gutted. When Matze was playing “Best Friends” at the show that night I looked over and saw Matt weeping. It was a rough night for him and we kept checking in with him throughout to make sure he was okay. Many others there that night were also devastated. I know that Matt expressed his gratitude to Matze for playing that song. It was surreal moment as we got to see the healing power of music work for someone else in real time. Our friend, Nina Hofmann from Germany, came to the show as well, en route to her semester in San Luis Obispo.
The final show of the tour was a house show in Santa Cruz, hosted by our friend To Nio. Roommates, friends, strangers, and multiple Santa Cruz German Club members made their way to To Nio’s house. The show was great: intimate and fun. I even had the opportunity to speak a little German with the crowd. It was my shitty German, but German nonetheless. Before the show we went to the beach!
I finally told him, when tour was over, how much his music helped me that cold, terrifying night in Enkirch. We hugged and went our separate ways, as us troubadours do. I hope to tour again with Matze Rossi very soon (we’re also interested in doing a split 7” EP, so if you’re the head of record label and this interests you, please be in touch, haha).