I'm writing this from a Thai restaurant in a Southeast Asian mall in the middle of downtown Melbourne off of Burke St. DJ and I found three things we were looking for, he called it the "Shangri-La of tour rest stops." We found:
1) a peaceful comfortable place
2) with cheap Thai food
3) and free wireless that we're stealing LOL
So we're in Melbourne right now. For the past few days we've been staying at a monastery in Box Hill. These monks have a great life. They eat delicious food, study, teach, and live in a comfortable, beautiful place. We've been getting to know them and they're really really cool.
Why are we staying in a monastery? Because we're giving up hip-hop and joining the order. JK!!! But we have loved it here.
We met a monk named Christopher who's 90 years old and really has a good perspective on things. DJ said, "Do you have any advice on life?" He quoted Shakespeare to us, "This above all, to thine ownselves be true." Apparently alcohol isn't forbidden amongst Franciscan Friars, so they have fun. True players for real.
We went into the city that night and met up with our friend Carly from the US. She took us to some rowdy bars and we had a good time. We then went back to her house and listened to the Beatles and DJ fell asleep in her friend's room. Then when I came to get DJ, Carly's New Zealand roommate was furious because we were whispering too loud. It was probably one of the most terrifying international experiences ever - to be in a random girl's house in Australia, and be yelled at by a strange New Zealander at 4 am for whispering. We left the next morning and came back to the monastery to sleep for a few hours before our Wheelers Hill show.
The first show was fun but the sound was really really crazy. Their input board was really old school, so there was no room for my guitar amp to have a mic on it... so that meant no guitar in the monitor mix. It was a blistering mix of treble, reverberations, and synths. We rocked it though, and the two-hundred people who had come out to see our show in the middle of the Melbourne suburbs loved it.
Guess what Melbourne has a lot of? Beautiful people. It's like they all come here to enjoy the prosperity and walk around and catch everyone's attention. Melbourne = New York + Barcelona. Yay.
We played an in-store yesterday at a cool punk rock record store called Fist to Face. It was a tiny room but it was packed with excited kids - it was our only under 18 show on the tour, so young kids came from hours away. It felt like a Stanford dorm show. Wherewolves backed us up with their acoustic guitars. My Aunt Dale and Uncle Ted came to the show and we made plans to meet up and see the rest of my cousins Sunday.
DJ and I then took the train into town, and since trains leave so rarely, we were on a car with a bunch of cool fans from Northern Victoria. We talked about everything, and our new friend Kotty introduced us to a vegan burger placed called "Lord of the Fries".
We went to the hotel, got some rest, and went looking for a Guitar Hero controller for the show that night at the Bang Club at the Royal Melbourne Hotel. Apparently this is a popular spot here - when we finally went on stage, 600 people were crammed into the beautiful room. The sound was awesome, Wherewolves were tight, and it was fantastic.
We packed up the gear and went out to another bar with our friend Claire and her friends to another bar where Australians were doing drunken back-flips. Into people sitting with drinks. And people were laughing. It felt like a scene from Crocodile Dundee. And they were playing AC/DC loudly - it's almost like they're proud of that hard rock export.
We came back to the hotel, fell asleep, and woke up. Today we had some work today, I'm seeing my old friend Bonnie who I met on the Matches / Something with Numbers 2005 tour, and then I'm meeting up with my family. I'm thousands and thousands of miles away from home but it feels like home.
Melbourne rating: beautiful city full of beautiful girls who want to talk to you and beautiful things, plus awesome music and awesome food. We think we'll stay.
Lars and DJ