of Shadow Shadow Shade
Photos by Sam Johnson
Smurf by Smurf West: Part 2 In Crept the Nightmare
The faerie tale dream reality continued into the next day. We had impressed a man who worked for MTV who invited us to come and shoot an acoustic song in an abandoned power plant. We all crowded around a Rhodes with acoustic guitar and two snare drums and sang our hearts out as they filmed us. It was so much fun and was kind of rad to do a stripped down version of our sound.
Later that day we set off for our official showcase presented by ASCAP at the Dirty Dog. In crept the nightmare. We found ourselves being treated incredibly rudely by the staff at the Dirty Dog from the start. In fact one of the crew guys was overheard saying that 'he hated us' and then followed that with "you're already cutting into your set time," as we were still just setting up. I used to work in venues and have been known to be a ball buster, but I have always treated people the way they treat me. Besides me, my band members are the kindest people in bands that you will ever meet. Just all around sweethearts that did not deserve this shitty reception.
Our set was less than stellar and was cut by the bar down to just 20 minutes. Just to make it clear, the people from ASCAP running the show were amazingly kind and generous. All the shit I am talking about was purely the bar employees. In no way should it be reflected upon the ASCAP folks. I am more upset that my skin was not tough enough to not let it effect my performance.
Live and learn. I then proceeded to get shit faced drunk and couldn't for the life of me, shake the darkness the night had brought in. The next day was our last show, a party presented by Little Radio at the Red Eyed Fly. We were all exhausted and beaten down by the poor performance from the night before, but were happy to be playing an LA event.
We love Little Radio and are so appreciative to have been invited to play their party. After a decent set we walked over to Iron Works (a yummy BBQ joint) to meet up with our manager Mike Martinovich. It was our year anniversary of working together and we celebrated by eating a cow and a pig. It was then that we finally bumped into a friend's band.
Walking Sleep were downstairs and I swear I almost cried. It was so good to see kind faces. I only saw Walking Sleep and J.P. of Dios the whole time at SXSW, a true bummer. Let me wrap this up by saying this about SXSW, the highs were the highest ever and the lows were motherfucking low, but all was worth it.
This is a tough business and takes resilience and the ability to dust yourself off, learn, and move forward. We were so lucky to have all the opportunities that were given to us and are so grateful. The best times were when it was just us (Shadow Shadow Shade) hanging out. I love my band mates like brothers and that love is what keeps me striving to be the best I can possibly be for them. Now it is time dust off the dreams and the nightmares and get ready for the next ride, because it looks like we will be hitting the road in the near future.