Today Is The Day European Tour Diary 2011, Part Three

Read Part one here
Read Part two here

By Jay H. Gorania

Here is the third and final installment of Jay H. Gorania’s tour diary of being out on tour in Europe this past April with Today Is The Day. Having already toured through the UK, we now find TITD and Soilent Green heading northwards into Scandinavia before working their way back down to the Mediterranean.


April 18 – Budapest, Hungary (day off)

In addition to the expected time spent relaxing, partying and sight-seeing on our day off, Steve went to the US Embassy only to find out that his best option for entering Austria without a passport was to hope for the best and simply wing it. As we were boozing and checking out comical YouTube videos in Soilent’s hotel room, Tommy went to bed early in a side room to catch up on some rest. But his fanaticism for metal showed itself in the most bizarre fashion. He turned in early, but he popped out of his room maybe ten different times over the course of an hour to randomly talk about various classic eighties metal albums, wrapping up his monologues by stating who produced the albums and when they were released, specific to month and year.

April 19 – Vienna, Austria

Fortunately, Steve’s suitcase arrived in the mail at the venue in the beautiful, age-old city of Vienna. There were numerous good bands and old friends at this show.

Reuniting with former TITD bassist John Judkins, who was there as Rwake’s touring bassist, was great, though hang-out time was sadly limited. This was the first of several dates we had with Arkansas’ sludge slingers Rwake and their tour mates: the UK’s Dragged Into Sunlight.

But the evening’s headliners weren’t shabby, by any means. It was Corrosion of Conformity, currently performing tracks from their 1980’s hardcore era as a three-piece (Reed Mullin, Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean). Their politically-charged, bare bones approach is as different as night and day from their modern, southern rock/southern metal style. The obvious fact that they’ve matured as musicians came through with the confidence with which they played, but generally speaking, they stayed true to the originals, and they played with the energy of 20-year-old kids.

April 20 – Prague, Czech Republic

Once again, we hooked up with Rwake and Dragged Into Sunlight in Prague, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. In 2008 I had a better view of the magnificent city, but this time around my direct line of vision allowed me to see Steve, Tommy and Soilent’s bassist Scott Crochet. Not quite as cool.

The show also included North Carolina’s Sourvein whose southern metal was packed full with excellently played traditional heavy metal solos and the kind of throat-shredding, hateful screams that would make Mike Williams proud.

Dragged Into Sunlight’s bleak, cold musical vision is compelling and intense on its own, never mind the visual display which includes a seizure-inducing light show. Perhaps the candle display and animal skulls looked a bit too clean for Watain’s stamp of approval?

Anyway, there was a unique appeal in their anti-rock star posturing. Aside from the drummer who faces the crowd, the rest of the musicians have their backs turned to the audience. It’s something different, something distant and not personal, augmenting the cold, detached and almost mechanical experience of their music which is difficult to pigeonhole, but to pretend that I know what I’m talking about, I’d describe it as a coarse, noisy kind of melodic, blackened doom that is atmospheric as well as aggressive.

April 21 – Malmo, Sweden

Spending time on the road means that special days occur many miles away from a person’s loved ones. In light of this, Soilent Green found it appropriate to ensure that Scott got a cake in Malmo for his birthday to make him feel more at home. So there was a whole lotta bromance going on back stage, but the festivities bled into the show as Ben urged the crowd to get the birthday boy some shots.

Scott seemed well-composed in spite of the seemingly endless river of booze pouring down his mouth, but one TITD fan wasn’t so well put together that evening. Screaming the lyrics to “Temple of the Morning Star” like an out-of-tune, drunken karaoke star, an amused Steve actually let the guy sing most of the song on the mic. Terrible, yet appropriate for the festive atmosphere.

After the show, I sat down with birthday boy Scott and Ben who were hanging out with some show goers. Spastically, I kept trying to turn around to check out a good looking girl, which made Ben laugh. “Calm down, Chim Chim!” (This is Ben’s ever-so affectionate nickname for me, referencing the chimp sidekick from the old Speed Racer cartoon). A guy from Finland seated at the table actually had the balls to say, “Every group has its gimp.”

I can handle a friend joking around, not a complete stranger. I called him out on it and told him he was out of line. He didn’t apologize. My blood began to boil.

He got up to go to the bathroom, probably at this specific moment to avoid an altercation. As soon as he was in my reachable vicinity, I jumped up and pushed him toward the wall. Almost instantly, a private security guard was in my face to end the situation.

If given the opportunity, I would have finished the Finnish guy. (Hardy Har Har)

April 22 – Oslo, Norway @ Inferno Festival

The next morning we began our extensive journey toward Oslo for Inferno Fest. On our way to the notorious hotbed of black metal, and to a fest at which black metal was in abundance, you’d think we would be blaring some Nordic black metal, right? But instead of Mayhem, we got Morrissey. That’s right, for whatever reason, either Ryan or Curran made the executive decision to play the Smiths.

While rolling down the highway, Steve asked Tommy to grab something or other from Steve’s suitcase since it was out of Steve’s reach. To everyone’s surprise, Tommy snapped his hand out of the suitcase and screamed. A chunk of flesh was sliced right off one of his fingers because Steve’s razors were in that suitcase pocket.

Prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway, the people involved with figure skater Tonya Harding were responsible for the attack of her competitor Nancy Kerrigan. And only half a year earlier, Count Grishnackh of course murdered black metal scene leader Euronymous in his Oslo apartment. Now, in 2011, did Steve Austin try to sabotage Soilent Green’s set at Inferno by attempting to disable their drummer?

Of course not, but that became a running joke. Steve felt really bad, and so did I because of what followed. Attempting to delicately hold his hand steady to look at the wound (Keep in mind that we were bouncing around in a moving van), I inadvertently squeezed the wounded finger and a stream of blood squirted up in the air.

Once we arrived and situated ourselves, I caught a few songs from Norwegian act Djerv, a female fronted band that blends hard rock, traditional metal and even punk rock, whilst not surprisingly showing traces of Norwegian-style black metal. Clearly the focal point with a strong, passionate melodic voice, Agnete Kjølsrud is reminiscent of The Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox both in terms of appearance as well as her attitude and strong stage presence. However cheesy they might have been, this band is unique. She was a little bit scary, though.

Perhaps more in line with my expectations of a band playing Inferno, France’s Temple Of Baal played through a melodic but blistering set of blackened death that favored a mid-paced gallop. It wasn’t exactly innovative, but that surely wasn’t the point anyway.

Also playing on the side stage, Today is the Day tore the universe a new arse. I’m not sure how many on hand were familiar with the band, but countless jaws were on the floor. Indeed, in spite of the imagery, lore and reputation of black metal or death metal, TITD is probably as musically hateful and violent as you can get. Because it’s real. No gimmicks. Just pure, primal rage.

Over on the main stage, Soilent Green also made quite an impression with their southern-fried bombast that of course ranged from sludge to maximum over-drive. And if a southern metal band doesn’t seem odd enough for a stereotypical perception of a Norwegian metalfest, the vocal contingent of Argentinian fans chanting for Soilent definitely took the “WTF?!?” factor to the next level.

The Black Dahlia Murder’s vocalist Trevor Strnad once told me that Soilent Green’s Ben Falgoust is the best frontman in metal. That’s a bold statement, to be sure, but there’s no question that Ben is highly entertaining by virtue of his robust singing style, animated movement and imposing stage presence. Wagging his freakishly long, ET-like fingers, he stirred the crowd at Inferno like a football coach would rouse his team at half time.

Toward evening’s end, however, the band everyone was waiting for emerged. Immortal’s performance was a show in every sense. As comical as some might perceive them to be, they really are the KISS of black metal in the best possible way. With pyrotechnics and a cloud of smoke so thick that it would choke Dracula, the band bounced across their catalogue with finesse. There is an aura to the band, and there is depth and emotion running underneath their extremely well-written songs. They were feeding off the crowd’s energy and delight.

The drinks and party spilled over to the world-class hotel where all the bands were put up. Unfortunately for me, I thought I was using my better judgment by turning in before a couple of my friends. About an hour later in the luxurious hotel’s lobby, my friends witnessed a photographer convince two gorgeous women who were at the festival to strip and make love inside the lobby’s decorative waterfall. I saw the pictures. I kicked myself for not being there.

April 23 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Red bull. Coffee. Weird named energy drinks. They helped me survive the day after Inferno.

April 24 – Brussels, Belgium

We weren’t that far from the venue when the van died right in front of an intersection. Appearing like a guardian angel, American photographer and friend Aline Cote-Miladinovich, who was with us at several shows (and who was already cool enough to get us hotel rooms in Copenhagen), came to the rescue with her friend, pulling up behind us out of sheer coincidence. Aline and Rwake’s tour manager helped car pool us to the venue in time to set up shop with very little time to spare.

Rwake, who were of course once produced by Steve Austin, loaned singer C.T. to Today is the Day for “Temple of the Morning Star.” It was our last show with Rwake and Dragged Into Sunlight, and I already missed DIS’s odd humor that was frequently about penises. Very strange.

Looking forward to a day off, a good time as any since the van problem had to be sorted, we stayed overnight with our old friend, former TITD guitar tech Kevin Lerminiau, the guitarist for Belgium’s Closure.

April 25 – Brussels, Belgium (day off)

Ah. There was time for rest and relaxation, and after the lengthy travels, we really needed the time to recharge our batteries. In the midst of shooting the shit, Kevin and I, both Pantera fans, picked at Tommy’s brain a bit to gather some random stories about Phil Anselmo. Soilent Green has known Phil and Pantera for years, both professionally and personally, but Tommy actually played with Phil’s black metal band Christ Inversion. He actually knew him since Phil sang like Rob Halford and had a crunchy, hair-sprayed mane, a frequently worn Mickey Mouse shirt, and a skin-tight pair of jeans held together at the fly by a shoe lace.

Like fan boy idiots, Kevin and I had comments along the lines of, “Dude, that’s totally sick!”

But earlier in the day while sight-seeing Brussels’ Grand Place, its historical central square, we came across the most unexpected of situations. As we were eating some grub, just sitting down on a courtyard’s curb, I heard Ryan raise his voice about some guy who was trying to kill himself. I asked him where, and he screamed, “Right there! He’s gonna kill himself.”

Standing on a milk crate while trying to bind the belt that was wrapped around his neck to a tree, a shaggy haired man in tattered clothing appeared to be doing just that. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I told Steve I needed to stop him. Steve wasn’t necessarily supportive of what I wanted to do, but not out of coldness toward the homeless-looking person.

Steve said he thought it was intrusive for me to interfere with someone who “doesn’t have anything and now some stranger won’t even let the guy choose to end this shit. It’s pretty sad that when you have lost everything, you can’t even kill yourself without someone trying to take that away from you too.”

Whether or not it was my place, I hustled over to the guy to interrupt him. I extended a handshake to the stranger, and when he reciprocated I held his hand for a moment. “I don’t know you or what’s going on, but don’t do this man. I want you to live.”

He simply said, “It’s alright.” Then he slightly backed away from the tree.

It appeared as though he wasn’t going to do it. Kevin had meanwhile run over to find some cops for help. They simply laughed about it.

But apparently I bit the guy’s bait, giving him the attention he wanted. Curran told me the reason a bunch of our crew was laughing was because the branches he tried to hang himself on definitely wouldn’t have been able to hold his body weight.

Whatever the case was, I felt like I did what I needed to do. Now, with a good deed done, I earned the right to do something bad! Ryan already beat me to it by drinking a beer named Judas that day, which was Easter Monday. Metal!

April 26 – Hamburg, Germany

Since we were still awaiting our broken-down van, a backup van and driver took us to gorgeous Hamburg. We were met by fanatical TITD and Soilent Green fans, very knowledgable about both bands’ histories, and very expressive when the bands played, quite surprising since German crowds are typically stoic. After what was a terrific show, some girls took some of us to the infamous Red Light District, a place where bad things happen!

And yet somehow I woke up the next morning with a penis only a few feet above my head. No, it wasn’t a real pecker. Above my bunk, in our room behind the venue, there was a large painting of a man wearing his birthday suit, and yes, his candle was right there. Not cool. Not cool at all.

April 27 – Berlin, Germany

Earlier in the tour, Tommy was joking about his dad being the only white guy working with a bunch of black guys, saying, “He’s a grain of salt in a pepper shaker!” Referencing that while we had a hearty Italian supper right before the show, I said that on this tour I was “a grain of pepper in a salt shaker.” Our collective sense of humor was more than just a little bit politically incorrect.

But immediately after what was a great show, our temp driver hit the road for what was going to be a long haul to Paris, twelve hours or so, one that was lengthened because we had to meet our TM and jump in our regular van in Belgium along the way.

We were all beyond the point of exhaustion, but an unhealthy amount of already-unhealthy energy drinks fueled our energy levels as well as our conversations. Just prior to our stop in Belgium, I overheard Brian telling Steve about how he felt journalists overplayed the Hurricane Katrina angle when writing about Louisiana bands the last few years. “What are you gonna say? Everyone had a story. And it sucked for everyone.”

My ears perked up like that of a dog. It was a perfect time to put my feather in my cap and turn into Joe Reporter. “Actually, I kinda wanted to get into that, Brian.”

“Aw, come on man,” he exclaimed. Less than eager to get into it, he nevertheless started to talk and he was forthcoming.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Big Easy, Soilent Green was actually on tour. While they wanted to get back home, they chose to continue touring because they simply couldn’t make it back since main roads were closed. At this point, some of them didn’t even know what was going on with their families, friends and homes since communication lines were down.

Finally making it back to his apartment, Brian said he panicked because as an emergency plan, it was understood that his mom would go there. After figuratively pulling his hair out, he was relieved and thankful to discover that some people in the apartment complex took her in to ensure that she was safe and had her needs taken care of, since she was an elderly woman.

Brian added that Tommy’s parents lost their home. So, like he said, everyone has a story, and it sucks.

And, of course, the well documented plight of their former singer, Glenn Rambo, was absolutely horrifying. Both Rambo and his mother drowned in the attic of her home when the hurricane hit and the water rose too high.

(Soilent Green has indeed endured more trials and tribulations than just about any band ever. Just a year before this hurricane, their former bassist Scott Williams was the victim of a murder/suicide.)

April 28 – Paris, France

It was great to reunite and party with Remy Cuveillier and Francis Passini, two former members of the band Four Question Marks, an opening act for TITD’s European tour in 2008; but the day in Paris was particularly cool for Curran since he had the opportunity to have supper with his mother who was vacationing there.

And we were all reunited, in a sense, with the Argentinian contingent we came across at Inferno fest in Norway. With the air of a soccer chant, they bellowed the praises of both “Patton” and “Soilent.” They came a long way for a metal trip, and considering they made the effort in spite of their nation’s weak currency speaks volumes to their fanaticism for metal.

The city itself made a huge impression on both Curran and Ryan, who at different points both said, “I was meant to be in Paris.”

I sure as hell know I wasn’t meant to be in Paris with them when a gay guy, presumably interested in one or all three of us, wasted our time at the end of the evening, saying he’d bring us to some cool parties when in fact all we did was lose sleep and follow him walking aimlessly. At least we got to check out some of the downtown area. Lying son of a bitch.

April 29 – Barcelona, Spain

Since we were late arriving at the mini festival of sorts, featuring headliners Voivod, situating ourselves in the venue was a task. In the midst of hauling gear through narrow, winding corridors and an already-wasted crowd, I had the misfortune of catching Virginia’s doom metal band Cough. I can definitely say they were one of the most boring and monotonous bands I’ve seen in my life.

“Bowww! Bowww! Bowww!” I am a fan of doom, but hearing the same, tired riff, or minute variations of it, over and over and over again is not my idea of a good time. They sufficiently stirred up feelings of misery, but not in a desirable, cathartic kind of way. I was miserable because I had to be there the entire time. I didn’t pay to get in, so I couldn’t even ask for a refund.

I didn’t get to see Voivod, but I had to see Cough? At least TITD and Soilent were badass.

April 30 – Madrid, Spain

Some bands are worth driving great distances to see. Though difficult, it’s worth it. Because I live in an isolated, small West Texas town, I have often travelled five or six hours to see good shows, including TITD and Soilent Green at the 1999 Relapse Contamination Fest in Austin.

In Madrid, there was a super fan who had travelled five hours to get there, and he was at the venue’s door before we were, hours before the show. I know where he’s coming from.

Wearing a Jerry-rigged, iron-on Temple of the Morning Star shirt, the tall dude was shy to the point of being unable to consistently maintain eye contact during a conversation, regularly dropping his eyes to the ground, especially when he was more revealing.

When he told me TITD’s music saved his life, something I’ve heard numerous times before, I was genuinely impressed and moved. But perhaps he thought I perceived his words as exaggeration. He looked me straight in the eye.

“No. I mean it. I wanted to be dead. I was going to kill myself. But Today is the Day,” he paused before chuckling under his breath. “Negative music. Just misery. But I don’t know. I wanted to live again.”

Judging by his reaction and smiles, he was on top of the world when he met and spoke with Steve.

Another uber fan also spoke at length about his appreciation for TITD, before telling me he was an educated guy, a 30-something, living once again with his parents because he has no prospects for jobs. Prior to arriving in Europe, I heard an NPR story about educated people in their 20s through to their 50s living with their parents again because of Spain’s struggling economy. For this guy, for his own unique reasons, TITD is an avenue to release frustration.

We came across more evidence of the nation’s struggling economy after the show. Ryan, Ben and I were walking through the beautiful, magnificent downtown and we passed by several hookers that were so aggressive that not only would they proposition you, they’d literally reach out and grab you in order to secure your attention. Was it a sign of the times, or maybe a local custom? In any event, they crossed the line, and it was irritating as hell.

May 1 – Barroselas, Portugal @ SWR Barroselas Metalfest

On the outskirts of Barroselas, the roads were winding through extensive wooded areas and plenty of trees. It became apparent that we were close to the SWR Metalfest once we saw growing numbers of people dressed in bullet belts and black clothing. It’s almost obligatory for metalheads to be dressed in black from head to toe, however illogical it may have been for an all-day festival on a sunny, humid day.

With an abundance of great merch on hand at the fest, metal fanatic Tommy’s head was spinning. You could tell exactly what he was thinking. “I only have this much money to work with, but I can think of about 20 things I want.”

I was a little surprised by one of his purchases. He bought a limited edition of Crowbar’s Sever the Wicked Hand. Since the album was released through E1 in North America, and through Century Media in Europe, he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to contact the right people in Europe to give him a copy of the limited edition that he wasn’t even aware existed. That’s understandable, but still, he’s in Crowbar! He plays on that album! That’s kind of like making hot dogs at your own hot dog stand, and then getting in line to pay your employee for it when you’re hungry.

Passing nearby my merch table, one of Alcest’s members was looking at some shirts, so I engaged in small talk. While telling him to have a good time at the fest, I winked at him, intending for it to essentially be the same thing as a thumbs up or something. I can understand his misinterpretation, but the dude became wide-eyed, he jolted back, and turned around mid-conversation and took off.

I didn’t mean it that way, homey.

Catching them ever-so briefly on the side stage, French black metal band Hell Militia sounded as ugly as they looked, in a good way, but their singer was terrible in the worst way possible.

Disgorge, however, faired much better with a simplistic, straight forward death metal battery that was conventional in its evil approach, yet authentic and thoroughly enjoyable.

From the same stage I was pleasantly surprised, blown away, actually, by a long-running Portuguese band called Grog. Based on an early ‘90s tech death metal foundation, they are lightning quick, proficient and lethal.

And during their set, as with probably every other band I saw there, the in-house alcoholic was running amok. He was a shaved-head, wiry old guy who was constantly screaming, jumping onstage and running into people in the crowd. Security never hassled him though. It’s almost like he was the town’s token old drunk. “Aw, bless his heart. Never mind him. He’s always like that.” Even after barfing up a about a gallon of blood ‘n booze soup, he just kept going.

During Today is the Day’s set, which Portugal-based metal journalist Jose Carlos Santos described as the best of the day, Steve directly addressed his son who was watching the performance via live streaming video online, telling him not to cuss as he just did onstage.

Some old guy told me he had a spiritual experience the last time he saw France’s Alcest. The lush guitar sound and somber tones were impressive, but the songs were simply okay and everything one would expect of a band that played a cross between post-black metal and metal/shoegaze. There was nothing spiritual about it. My friend rightfully described Alcest’s drummer’s blasts as sounding “like raindrops falling on an umbrella.” If you’re going to do any kind of blast, for any kind of music, there has to be some element of power to it.

Less than pleased after their set at Maryland Deathfest in 2009, I was hoping Atheist had improved since the release of last year’s amazing, heavy and sonically overwhelming come-back album Jupiter. Sadly, their set was a major let down.

They had the chops which one could appreciate due to the sheer talent on display, but collectively the band fit the stereotype of a prog/tech band that exhibits self-indulgent “wanking,” frantic drum fills and frantic guitar work that didn’t have much do with anything. And seriously, Kelly Shaefer’s old man Anthony Kiedis style is more fitting for, say, Styx than a metal band.

On the late night drive to our unique lodging, a boat docked at seaport, we were definitely going too fast through the twisting roads. “We need to slow down,” Scott said. “We don’t need another…”

“Don’t even say it, man,” Brian quickly interrupted. “That’s bad karma.”

For those who aren’t aware, a decade ago the band endured two major van crashes. Many bones were broken, and Ben had to have numerous surgeries as well as extensive rehab so that he could learn to walk again, which made his soldier-like response to Scott and Brian’s exchange surprising, to say the least.

“Whatever happens, happens.”

May 2 – Bilbao, Spain

I was really doing my best to snap some decent shots of Bilbao as we were making our way to the venue because I was at the end of the tour; also, it’s a large city that had more of a “true” Spanish feeling than the better known cities that are relatively more watered down with corporate and American influence.

“What’s wrong with your ADD mind?!? You’re not even listening to me,” Steve screamed at me.

Contrary to popular belief, people can walk and chew gum, or listen to a story and take pictures, at the same time. I was listening to him! Steve was in the zone. When Steve gets in story-telling mode he can, and will, talk your ear off. And whether or not one agrees with his perspective on an issue or not, it’s always entertaining. He’s very much the same guy in person as he is onstage. He’s not the fire-breathing dragon in person as he when you see him performing, he’s quite caring actually, but he’s the same person in the sense that when he’s in a room, all eyes gravitate to him inevitably because of his strong personality and distinct charm. But he sure as hell is an intense motherfucker.

He snapped at me because he thought my attention drifted away from his conversation about the time he owned a gun shop in Nashville. He had been talking about how he would be well armed as he’d regularly monitor and ward off the gang thugs that would prowl his business.

And he shared other stories about that period of time a few years ago. Coming home from work one evening, Steve said he’d had enough bullshit from a dealer living across the street who often had junkies come pick up drugs from the drug den. Steve said he already told the guy to take that business elsewhere, not across the street from his house. Apparently they got into it and the guy started approaching his lawn, prompting Steve to point his firearm directly at the guy’s head.

Setting aside his captivating delivery, the sheer content of such stories obviously attracts and maintains one’s attention. So yes, I was fucking listening!

This show at Bilbao was the third and final one at which Disgorge and Italian death metal band Grimness 69 opened. The small venue ended up being packed by the time Disgorge hit the stage, but it sucked that Grimness 69 played only to the bar staff and to the bands. It was unfortunate because their old school death metal is just as captivating as a Steve Austin story.

The next day, TITD and Soilent Green flew to Athens, Greece, to play another show with Voivod, following which TITD made their way back home and Soilent Green wrapped up their tour with a final leg in the UK.

Bilbao was the end of the tour for me, though. Spending some time soaking up some culture and alcohol downtown, I walked up to the bus station only minutes after they shut down for the day. I was literally sprinting aimlessly, more or less, to try to find another means of getting back to the hotel without having to pay an arm and a leg for a cab ride. Low and behold, some dude in an Unsane shirt who says his band opened for TITD in the past directed me only a block away to catch a train in the nick of time.

Arriving the next morning in Madrid for my connecting flight home, I found it odd that everyone at the airline desk knew my name and kept looking at me. It took at least 15 minutes for them to print my boarding passes. Maybe my name popped up because I was late for a plane that’s about to take off? The lady working at the desk ensured me I wouldn’t miss my flight. Gasping for breath as I ran up to my gate of departure, some guy working there asked, “You’re Jay Gorania? Come with me. Don’t worry. You won’t miss your flight.”

Responding to my inquiry as to why I was being walked to another security checkpoint since I had already cleared security, the airline/airport official told me I was randomly selected for additional screening. It wasn’t as cool as winning the lottery, but I guess it meant that I was special or something?

Looking a little uncomfortable when I asked him why I was selected, this airline/airport guy told me that I was “randomly selected by the United States government. It wasn’t the Spanish government.”

Was this karma in action? A redressing of balance in the universe for the fact that I was yelling at a tranny and her boyfriend on my flight to Europe?

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.