No Overtime: Slow Down Molasses tour diary

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Having Randy Bachman as your dad is probably a strange, amazing thing

Ominocity founder Chrix Morix plays in a band. Sometimes they do things, like tour, and play shows, and freak out Q Radio host Shad. Want to know more? Yes, yes you do. Read on valient internetter.

May 6, 201
Toronto, Ontario

Day 1

“Weird. Randy Bachman is at our show,” says Aaron.

I strain my eyes in the dim, subterranean light of the venue, looking for a hint of something famous. Sure enough, a hulking Bachman, hair glittering like snowflakes dropping like flies in the twilight, is hunched over at the bar.

The guitarist responsible for so many dad-rock garage classics is one of the most mercurial figures I have ever crossed paths with. Having interviewed him in advance of his solo story/acoustic show in Saskatoon, I am already well-acquainted with the brunt force of Mr. Bachman’s amazing gruff edges when he yelled at me over the phone for calling him a minute late.

Oops.

But, being one of 20 or so people in attendance, I have no idea why Bachman has chosen our show to attend out of the hundreds of options he had otherwise during Toronto’s CMW festival.

As it turns out, he has zero interest in seeing us at all.

Aaron and Jordan immediately wander over to strike up a conversation with Mr. Taking Care Of Business. It takes them a whopping five minutes to discern that: Randy Bachman’s daughter is in the opening act; Randy Bachman doesn’t shake hands no matter what; and, Randy Bachman doesn’t care the least about a band from Saskatoon called Slow Down Molasses.

Fair.

Technomancer, the opening band featuring the next generation of Bachmans, is attempting to navigate the murky world of dive bar sound checks. Patch chords crackle, fart, fizzle and die. The elder silver-maned Bachman growls menacingly and approaches the stage.

“Tell me who is doing sound here?” he rumbles, waving his arms like wild exclamation points. It’s by far the most entertaining part of the evening.

In the past 20 hours our band has collectively flown from Saskatoon to Toronto, picked up a van and gear and played a show to an enthusiastic crowd at The Drake. It’s been one hell of a day, and we have one more show to play for our new label, who has inexplicably put out our latest record. Then it all gets weirder.

Heading upstairs, I find Levi and Jordan hanging out in the lobby with Shad. The freshly crowned prince of CBC Radio looks utterly confused as Levi yells out “WHOA IT’S SHAD!”

“Hey,” says Shad, as he begins to scan for the nearest exit. Levi is roughly halfway through some bizarre and loud congratulatory proclamation before Shad skitters outside and immediately jumps into a cab that whisks him away to safety.

“That was cool,” says Levi.

It was, but more for reasons that he doesn’t yet realize.

Levi, as it turns out, has a proud history of freaking out celebrities. Years ago Levi cornered hall of famer goaltender Kelly Hrudy and attempted to explain the importance of seminal Swedish hardcore band Refused.

“We are from different worlds,” laughed Hrudy, who clearly wasn’t having any of it.

“But we are both from this planet,” retorted a bachelor party-level of drunk Levi.

Slow Down eventually takes the stage and bashes away gleefully. I have no idea what the general consensus is, but several friends who came to check us out make like Shad and flee off into the night before something disastrous happens. Post set I am certain that I have destroyed my left eardrum.

Aside from the gravy crud I invariably spill on my pants at the sloppy drunk poutine after party, the night’s cumulative weirdness is deemed a total success.

The next morning Tyson and I wake up early and head downtown to do several interviews.

“Why do your knuckles say that?” asks a beleaguered radio host, who points to my fingers which prominently display the words “ANAL COPS” in permanent black marker.

Total success.