Moist Newsletter 11: Spring 1997

All right, when we were travelling with much gear and eight cramped, grumpy young men possessed of the same kind of blind enthusiasm and unquenchable zeal for touring that organised religion seems to have for crushing humour and good intentions whenever and wherever they may interfere with self flagellation, rolling around naked in brambles, or sucking green persimmons in an effort to appear holier than thou, in a stylish but unreliable old beater with barely enough room to breathe without tasting everyone else's breakfast, we may have been cold, over tired, and perhaps more intimately acquainted with the more personal sights, sounds, and smells of our travelling companions than need be, however we were rarely bored. Drowning in our own perfidious stench perhaps, but not bored. Although it's exciting and at times even slightly glamourous to travel through the playfully gnashing of teeth of an ever friendly and always polite Canadian winter in a big old bus equipped with as many frivolous, electronic tine wasting devices as possible, dodging the brutal storms and persnickety whirlwinds that seem to dog us through every ice encrusted mile of the journey, all the while wondering if the ride has suddenly become so silky smooth because that last bone shattering bump we hit was actually the beginning of an uncharacteristically friendly and freshly paved stretch of highway, or if it was a guard rail giving way and we're now air borne and travelling one hundred and fifty kilometres per hour sideways and down at the same time, sooner or later it comes down to the same five people staring vacantly at the same stretch of frozen concrete, cracking the same pathetic jokes they were glibly spouting five yeards ago in monotone voices, desperately hoping to happen upon some particularly gruesome example of road kill to break the tedium. Okay, so we may be exaggerating just the tiniest little bit. We do love that so many of you have come to join us each and every night for a sweaty, half-naked, ear splitting good time, but every now and again, usually on any drive during daylight hours lasting more than two hours or after one too many days off in a cheap hotel, we do tend to get more than a little stir crazy. While our bus is well endowed with various and sundry electronic entertainment options, any game, toy, or clever yet ambiguous household appliance with sharp, swiftly spinning blades and no instruction manual to prove it isn't a personal massage unit, ends up, after a certain amount of use, with about as much entertainment value as watching water evaporate in slow motion, and therefore cannot compare with the time honoured tradition of causing great discomfort to another human being (preferably a close personal friend) in a merciless yet comical fashion, and in such a way as to maximise embarrassment, while causing a minimum of visible physical damage. Skimping on the infliction of emotional scars during the implementation of practical jokes and the fine art of verbal wrestling is considered downright unsportsmanlike as emotional scars are not considered to be serious impediments to photo sessions, video shoots, or live performance. This basic truth of life on the road has made it necessary to formulate a few basic rules concerning the conduct of any person or persons hell bent on taking the piss out of each other, or out of anyone we happen to meet along the way and not like very much... These are known as the laws of toy land... 1) Practical jokes involving power tools are strictly forbidden unless they are exceptionally funny, completely motivated by revenge, and/or can be made to look like accidents. 2) No taunting of customs officials, or any other amateur proctologists. 3) No dumb jokes or off the cuff references to the transportation or possession of contraband, explosive devices, personal nine-millimetre perimeter securers or fresh fruit in airports or at border crossings. 4) No good natured temporary tattooing of bassist Jeff Pearce's facial extremities with permanent markers or any other implements without the prior consent of two or more band members. 5) No cats, dogs, horses, hamsters, yaks, or emu in any area where David Usher may have occasion to be, unless these animals have been washed, shaved, and laminated in clear plastic prior to their placement in these forbidden areas. NOTE: Now pay close attention to these next guidelines. They're the big ones. 6) If Paul Wilcox, hereinafter referred to as the drummer, is seen to be in possession of a half empty bottle of clear liquid, hereinafter referred to as "not-water", it will be assumed that any person or persons remaining in his immediate vicinity, for more than thirty seconds, are cognizant of both the drummer's state of mind, and his dubious reputation in such situations, and shall be held solely responsible for their own personal safety and sanity. In all other situations the drummer may be criticised harshly and consistently for a period of not less than one month, but must be eventually, if reluctantly, forgiven for all actions and activities consistent with his mandate for "spreading the love", as these actions and activities are a necessary expression of his life long devotion to the dark acts of perpetual annoyance. These actions and activities are inclusive of, but not limited to... a) Being exceedingly late for predetermined and well known bus departure times in cities where the band have far more important things to do than wait angrily in an overstuffed bus for Doctor Love to stumble in. b) Engaging in spontaneous expressions of affection that result in physical pain, emotional trauma, or shy-making closeness to any member of the band or crew. c) Bursting into improvised, "revival style" sermons, with little or no provocation, in which long passages of the Bible or any other religious text, read in a voice like an extraordinarily loud vacuu, cleaner sucking up glass at 4 A.M., figure heavily. d) That time Paul ran over our former manager Keith Maryanovich's legs with a go-cart, in a birthday related accident, the variety of which usually occurs when someone or other hits thirty years of age (really hard!). In Paul's defence, this incident had nothing to do with the gratuitous consumption of "not-water." Paul was merely experiencing a complete, yet temporary lack of respect for the sanctity of human life, and Keith just happened to be under the spinning wheels of his go-cart at the time. 7) No one who is deemed to be sleeping, that is in a state of natural or substance induced unconsciousness, may be... a) The victim of even the tiniest practical joke, no matter how funny it is. b) Viciously pestered into consciousness for the sheer, unadulterated joy of it all. c) Forcibly relocated, by any means whatsoever, unless the degree of discomfort inflicted upon the movee is vastly exceeded by the level of entertainment afforded the mover and his minions. There are some notable exceptions to this rule... Any person or persons feigning unconsciousness in a blatent effort to escape justifiable persecution, thereby detracting from the common good, by denying their peers a much needed outlet for the abundance of nervous energy flying around the bus at any given time, shall be considered a snivelling coward, pummelled into unconsciousness and will be exempt from protection under this rule for the duration of their slumber. Furthermore, keyboardist Kevin Young, drummer Paul Wilcox, and stage manager/homme-de-guerre Graeme McDonald hereinafter referred to as "the perpetrators", shall be completely exempt from any and all protection under this rule, until such time as guitarist Mark Makoway, and tour manager Stan "back-in-my-day-there-were-fewer-phone- prefixes-to-memorize" Wardle, hereinafter known referred to as "the suckers" deem that they have been fully compensated for any and all injuries suffered during their mutual unconsciousness in an incident involving several buckets of ice, a roll of duct tape, and an undetermined, yet certainly vast quantity of "not-water". And most importantly... 8) No pestering, or bedevilment of the bus driver will be tolerated, at any time, for any reason, regardless of the ratio of "not-water" to blood in the pesterer's system. No exeptions. Actually everyone copes with mid-tour "what-day-is-it-who-are-you-why-should- I-care-and-where-are-we-anyway" doldrums, otherwise known as the "are we there yet? are we there yet?" syndrome, in different ways. Take Mark, for instance. On this tour, Mark has committed himself to voluntary abstinance from every damaging and/or entertaining substance he can think of just to see if withdrawal is all it is cracked up to be. Kevin, on the other hand, whiles away the hours commiting moronic acts of petty vandalism and distributing misleading or downright false information concerning bus departure times, the location of catering, washrooms, the stage, or other members of the band or crew, to anyone foolish enough to listen to him. David adopts the role of instigator, persistently and shamelessly badgering others to perform practical jokes, sling insults and generally torment each other before teetering off blamelessly, teeheeing behind his hand, to watch the mayhem unfold from a safe distance. And of course, Paul's adventures, while for the most part far too sordid to detail in polite company have recently included accessorising his already severe look with more chrome than any self respecting Harley-Davidson motorcycle would wear. Jeff, incidently, claims not to suffer tour boredom. Nooo... Mr. Chemistry set is too busy incubating some super resistant strain of his patented "hyper contagious, 24-day, itchin to die" flu, in that germ ridden petrie dish he calls a body, to succumb to mere boredom. The boy can't even look at a picture of a tour bus without breaking into a fit of the sniffles and hacking up half a lung... ...and while we're on the subject, we'd like to respond to a recent e-mail concerning just this particular problem. Yes Erin, you're right. Encasing Jeff in a disposable plastic sanitary bubble would make him safer to be around, but unfortunatly they are suprisingly expensive and there is only room for one on the bus, so until Dave is ready to share his, we'll have to find another solution for Jeff... and soon, as Jeff's latest concoction spread through the bus in record time and resulted in the postponement of three shows in southern Ontario. The next time this happens we're just going to wall up Jeff's bunk with concrete blocks, burn all his clothing and personal possessions and charge tourists and thrill seekers a buck a head for a peek at the incredible hidden bass player. And while we're answering response to your recent letter, Ildi, there are two reasons for Dave's reluctance to go after Paul on stage. First, if the bass, keyboards or guitar go down on stage, because Jeff, Kevin or Mark suddenly find themselves wearing a flailing singer on top of their heads, the thundering majesty of the drums tends to keep things rolling along nicely. Drummer: (n) druh-mur

1. unstable yet lovable and fiercely loyal psychopath 2. one who hits things... hard, often, and without mercy. Following this logic, if you, the audience, should happen to hear something slightly odd from the stage (you know...the kind of maniacal cacophony that makes grown men's testicles shrink in fear, your skin crawl and small animals cry ou tin pain) it's probably the drummer's doing. Paul considers, and rightly so, these to be moments of divine inspiration which he would be foolish to pass up, and thinks it's a shame that the rest of the band is just too damned sloppy and uninspired to join him on one of his more curious musical journeys. Secondly, seek out a really good dictionary and find the page which includes the definition for the word "drummer". Hold the edge of this page firmly between your thumb and forefinger and rip it out. Now burn it. I don't care what it says. It's wrong. Look at it this way. Paul has spent a good portion of his life learning how to strike objects repeatedly and with brutal accuracy, in order to produce a specific sound... now stay with me here... Can anyone tell me what a singer with a drum stick in his eye socket sounds like? Any questions?

Thanks and Judicious Gushing Department

Right now we're pretty much in the exact middle of our most ambitious tour to date and we would like to thank everyone who has come out to our shows with I Mother Earth and Mudgirl, and continue to join is at our concerts with ginger. This has been a fantastic tour so far and your support for the new album and our live shows has been overwhelming. A special thanks to IME's erstwhile druh-mur Christian for keeping his pants on this time. Even more special thanks to those of yuo who joined us at our shows in October and November with Neil Young, particularly those of you who tried your level best to form a mosh pit on an assigned seating floor. In true Moist fashion our current tour seems to be getting significantly longer (thanks Jeff). Following our previously final show (thanks again plague boy) in Victoria on March 7th we will be performing at the Junos on March 9th and doing make up shows (everyone put your hands together for Jeff here) in Toronto, London, and Waterloo, before shooting our next video for Tangerine and heading off to Thailand for two weeks of promotion ending in a show in Bangkok on March 30th. After that, we're not sure, but look for us back in Canada for shows in mid-June. See you then Nauselbaum, Moist

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