CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With more than 200,000 miles on its tour van, Charleston pop-punk band Time and Distance is used to life on the road, so the guys in the band weren't intimidated at the prospect of a three-week tour of the Southeast, which included a stop at South by Southwest.
On March 1, singer/guitarist Greg McGowan, guitarist Mikey Harris, bassist Adrian Crowder and drummer Chris Thompson hit the road, living the "hurry up and wait" life of a touring rock band. On March 10, days ahead of the SXSW appearance, McGowan looked back at the tour so far and presented this tour diary to gazz.
DAY ONE: Spindale, N.C.
We are the worst at first days of tour. You would think we'd want to leave extra early, knowing that we'll have a thousand holdups, but we almost NEVER do. So, we started this tour on a usual note: late.
The night's show at The Ultimate Basement was small but fun. The owner was awesome and agreed to let us sleep at the venue, which was full of couches, pool tables, video games, etc. We drank some beers, played some games and passed out for the night.
DAY TWO: Aiken, S.C./Athens, Ga.
I woke up to a woman shouting, "GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!" at approximately 1 p.m. We packed our things, hit a Waffle House for breakfast and headed to South Carolina.
We showed up a few hours later to a relatively sketchy looking skatepark in the middle of nowhere. We brought in all our gear before being asked if we had called any other bands to play that night...
Long story short, we ended up not playing. These things happen, and in camp Time and Distance, we've learned to deal with them pretty well.
So we headed to Athens, Ga., where I had a friend who used to play in a band we toured with a lot "back in the day." We got into town about midnight, and after much carrying on, I think I finally got into bed as the sun was rising.
DAY THREE: Atlanta /Savannah
The Masquerade, where we were playing, is a super old, super historic venue in the Atlanta music scene. It's actually three different clubs inside one building, and almost everyone in the last 30 years who can't quite sell out an arena has played there at some point.
We were playing the mid-level venue -- Purgatory -- which was a sweet room with a nice PA and a big stage. We were stoked. We loaded in, sound checked and hung around for a few hours waiting for the show to start.
The opener was a great local band called The Captain, who were really awesome guys. We always seem to have a great time and a very attentive audience in Atlanta, and this show was no different.
We hung out talking to people for a while after the show before packing the van and heading to Savannah to stay with a friend of ours who used to live in Charleston.
DAY FOUR: Savannah
A day off! I slept until almost 4 p.m., went to Best Buy and bought a new backpack, went to a great local pizza shop with our friend, drank a beer on a downtown street and then a bottle of whiskey with my best friends in a backyard. We tried and failed to build a campfire. All in all, a solid day off.
DAY FIVE: Jacksonville
By the time we got into town, I had persuaded everyone to eat at Whataburger, a great Southern burger joint that just so happened to have a location in Jacksonville near the beach, which we also wanted to hit up. So we got some delicious food and headed over to the beach a little bit after sunset.
It was dark and cold, and we were only there about 10 minutes before we had to head over to the venue. Jack Rabbits is a place we've played a bunch of times, a sort of dive with really cheap beer and stickers all over the walls from bands who have played previously.
We arrived to find we weren't an exact genre match for the show, but we played last, and it actually turned into a pretty good show. We sold some CDs, and then drove a few blocks to the hotel we'd scored on Priceline earlier. (I am a Priceline name-your-own-price MASTER!)
DAY SIX: Columbus, Ga.
I awoke to the familiar sound of the front desk calling our hotel room to ask if we were checking out. I groggily explained we'd overslept ("accidentally"), and we all scrambled to shower and get ready as fast as we could, before stumbling out into the hallway in front of the maid and four dudes with their luggage.