The winners of the No Label Needed contest and series presented by Scion were Minnesota’s Iron Thrones. As the band receive insight and instruction on the music industry from music industry professionals while recording an EP at the Machine Shop, they’re blogging about it every step of the way. Stay tuned to No Label Needed and Metal Insider to get their side of the story.
First flight was packed and somewhat turbulent. Considering it was only 45 minutes, I felt like I already needed a break and a beer by the time we landed. Instead of a proper break, we ate hot dogs & italian beef sandwiches. Curt ate cold pizza he’d packed from last night, and a banana. Pete decided to take a Dramamine, and we boarded the next flight. This was packed as well, but we boarded a little earlier, which made getting my guitar/Curt’s basses into the overheads a lot easier & quicker. As we were finding seats, a sweet older lady pointed at Curt and said “c’mere skinny”, pointing next to her. They talked about low-grade speed for much of the flight, and he ended up with her business card for her bed & breakfast. Adam sat next to some fat kid reading a huge book about ninjas, and with no sense of personal space or hygiene. For me, this flight was longer, but felt shorter to me for some reason. I learned that I can’t watch movies or read anything while flying, as it makes me sick. On a related note, Pete ordered a scotch (which you’re not advised to take with Dramamine) and unsurprisingly spent the majority of this flight in somewhat of a pleasant stupor. I ended up listening to Thrice’s Water and Air off of The Alchemy Index.
Once we landed, I texted our contact, Marc, to tell him we’d landed, and he texted back “almost there!”. I had been under the impression that we were meeting with him the next day, but going on his word we hung around the airport for an hour until finally calling him. It turns out his “almost there!” text was in reference to US almost being at our final destination, vs. him inexplicably deciding to meet us at the airport. In retrospect, I might’ve pressed the matter further from the start, but overall it ended up getting us an hour rest, which I personally think helped (the guys would beg to differ).
We were driven to the rental car by an awesome older guy with a mustache and a thick East Coast-ish accent (“Is it just yous guys?”. I gave him a dollar tip, which I hope was appropriate. (Later, I would lament the loss of said dollar, when I found a soda machine at the hotel, and my pockets & wallet bereft of cash.) The rental Van turned out to be more of an SUV, a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan to be exact. Compared to my beloved, yet piece of shit Jeep, it drives and rides like pure sexual luxury. I enjoy it quite a bit, especially the added bonus of included Satellite Radio. Also, at this point I have to hand it to my GPS unit. If I hadn’t brought it, we’d be completely fucked. And not the good kind of fucked either.
After a couple of hours of alternating good and bad metal (mostly bad), courtesy of the liquid metal station, we pulled into easily the most comfortable-looking hotel I’ve ever been in. Sure, it’s nothing like the crazy shit that kid from Home Alone 2 ended up in, but it’s damn nice. I’m sitting in it now, having just come back from a decent meal & beer at “99” (a food/pub thing similar to Applebee’s), and a pool/hot tub/pool session involving Curt in a thong, while drinking a nice little cup of surprisingly-good-for-$12 scotch (Clan MacGregor, if you’re interested) and talking about album titles, concepts, and imagery with the guys, and it’s probably the most comfortable I’ve been in years. I can only hope the rest of this trip goes as well.