epo-555 and PowerSolo tellin’ it like it is
As promised here are the honest to Thor true accounts from Mikkel Max and Kim Kix about the Crunchy Frog all star journey to Reykjavik and New York City. Max and Kix from epo and PowerSolo respectively divulge their thrills, chills and spills from both continents and a vulcanic island in between. A sordid but interesting tale laced with Vodka Lemonade and Rock and/or Roll. Read it and weep (if you weren’t there yourself).
(Just to set the chronology and facts straight: PowerSolo and epo-555 like the royal family took seperat planes. Therefore PowerSolo arrived in Reykjavik and New York a day before epo.)
Thursday October 7th
Kim Kix: Thursday the 7th. Oct. Bo and I boarded the ferry boat to Zealand as we were heading for Papa’s (The Great Nalna) place to hook up with him and eat a good roast pork sandwich before driving to the Copenhagen Airport. We met with Jens, Yebo and Jessica and boarded the plane to Reykjavik.
A quick 2 ½ hour flight, a couple of drinks and a plastic meal. Of course the meal consisted of 96,3% cheese and only 3,7% non lethal products.
We arrived to Reykjavik in the evening. It was really cold so we were all happy to see Thor’s apartment (Thor was our great Icelandic host). We’d bought some bottles of wine and a flask of Tennessee for Thor, but we ended up drinking all of it and hit the bed way too late (early?) around 5 in the morn. Didn’t see anything of the Great Iceland…. But! We had some of that dried fish. HWUUAaaaahh!!!!!????
Friday October 8th
Kim Kix: At 7 O’clock we landed at JFK airport in New York. We were all a bit busted after the flight so it was really nice to answer 584 questions and have two fingers in you asshole at the US-immigration. Papa, Bo and I had a pretty wet flight. In lack of good food we’d ordered good wine instead. There was a stupid movie on the screen which we didn’t see and to avoid getting a numb ass and getting too bored – advice no. 1 is: Alcohol.
One of the stewardesses reminded us at a time that we’d already had ordered 18 bottles – we told her that we were nervous of flying so we ordered three more and that was it.
We checked in at the Sohotel (Soho) and headed for some schweinbrat. The heavy brothers (Papa & Yebo) recommended the Great Jones bar and restaurant. Having been regular customers there for more than six years they should know. We all had some bar-b-q, chicken and pork. And after the very delicious meal we drank some of the great Jones Vodka Lemon (80% vodka 10% lemon, the rest is in your head!!!). Aaaaahhh they sure can make goooood drinks at Jones – my new favourite place!!!
Saturday October 9th
Mikkel Max: Having spend an intoxicating night at our Icelandic friend’s in Reykjavik we arrived in New York City and headed straight to the bar in which the Frogs and Powersolo had been studying the drinks’ menu intensely for a day only to discover that Powersolo had gone home, drunk and unsavoury and the Frog and Frogette were toasted, roasted and boasted. We were soon to learn why: Great Jones’ Vodka Lemonade. The most nutritious drink in the world, the diamond dew on naked virgins’ nipples, oh yes, and it is through the lense of this monkey business that the tour is to be viewed.
Kim Kix: Having two days to spend before the first show at Pianos we thanked the Lord for giving us jetlags. Both Saturday and Sunday we woke up at 6 am. Except Jens of course, he can sleep anytime anywhere, ha, ha. Oh… I almost forgot that we spent the Saturday night at the Great Jones again. Only this time we never got anything to eat. When we got there, we went to the bar as we were waiting for Jens who was buying a new pair of slacks. We didn’t even have to wave before the bartender slammed three Margaritas on the desk. We thought: WOW! He’s nice, offering drinks while we’re waiting for a table. We fools, the bartender excused that he’d make us believe the drinks were free. He just thought that it was our ordering. What the hell – he picks a drink for us, we’re gonna finish it. But when you start with margaritas at the Great Jones Bar and Restaurant you finish with margaritas. So in the first hour Papa, Bo, Jens and I had four drinks each.( Jones margarita: 80% Tequila (good tequila), 10% Cointreau, 9% lemon. The rest is in your brain). By the time Jessica and Yebo came we were all completely pissed drunk. I think we ordered some hot wings and a couple more drinks – but around 8 pm I was too fucking drunk to talk or to smile, so I just took off in running pace towards the Sohotel where I threw up and went straight to bed, ha, ha… Jesus. What a fucking night. Bo fell off the bar stool half an hour after I left. He was even more drunk than I was and Papa was worried that Bo wouldn’t make it to the hotel, so he walked him home, leaving Jens to pay the last drinks and the hot wings. Poor guy, we owe him one I guess.
Mikkel Max: OK, Saturday, arrival. We got ripped off in a taxi bringing us to Brooklyn and then Manhattans Lower East Side. $130. Phew! But then again, we weren’t paying for the cool apartment that we were borrowing for a week. Ron Pompei, the owner whom we’ve never met, had been so kind as to show us complete and utter confidence. Unpacked and ran to the bar. The Solos had gone, but that just left us with more drinks to exterminate, digest and forget about. Vodka Lemonade, you evil friend.
Sunday October 10th
Kim Kix: Sunday morning Bo, Papa and I woke up at 6 am. Again! By 6.30 we were walking on the Manhattan Bridge. The weather was really nice and the city was still asleep. Walking around Soho, NYC at this time of day is really special. It’s so calm that it is almost spooky, but you get to see the city in a whole different way. When you watch the people… It’s like one of those zombie movies where the living dead walk in the streets in slow motion….MWAAAAooorrg!!?. Anyway we walked the whole way to Brooklyn and had breakfast there. Killer breakfast I must say. Steak and eggs and lots of (weak) coffee.
After a smoke and a break, we walked over the historical Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan. What a building. I saw a documentary on making of the bridge a few weeks ago, and it really impressed me how detailed it is when you come close to it. Many workers lost their lives in the pressure chambers under the water during the building period. It must without doubt have been one of NYC biggest construction achievements in the city’s history.
After that Papa wanted to show us Jeremy’s Alehouse, Lower East Side I think. A place where you get the biggest and heaviest drafts in NYC. Unfortunately it was closed.
Then we took a stroll up Wall Street to Ground Zero.
In the afternoon we went out to put posters for the Piano’s show the next day. After hard work we rewarded ourselves with a visit at NYC swampiest bar. The Mars Bar. One little rectangular room with a wooden bar desk with messages, names and dirty words carved in the wood and a big sign saying: “My bush would make a better president”, and of course, the VERY cheap Tennessee. They had a jukebox with all the Railthin’ Bros’ (Bo & I) favorites. The Cramps, Hank Williams, Dead Kennedy’s and even Thin Lizzi, ha, ha… Jens kept on playin’ a TL song over and over again and it pissed off the other costumers pretty much. To my joy there was a Godless Wicked Creeps record (my former band) in the juke. Someone had picked the “Sound of Speed” song from the Hystereo album.
Mikkel Max: Sunday…hmmm…late breakfast at Katz where some apparently highly skilled actress once faked an orgasm. Maybe because of the enormous amount of sausages and syrup that left our poor stomachs in doubt of the reason to live. We met Yebo and Jessie, los Froggies Supremos, who demanded that we be their slaves for a day. Naturally, we complied and left all of East Village wrapped in posters of our drop-in-the-ocean concerts so as to leave no doubt of our extreme sexiness. We love it! To show our gratitude we joined hands and mouths with our masters and the PowerLocos at Legendary Carmine’s where the plates are bigger than sombreros and more loaded with food than monkeys in heaven. This, of course, was beautifully garnished with a fine twist of that adorable lemonade at Great Jones’.
Monday October 11th
Mikkel Max: Right, so Monday was our first day of real work. Pianos’ in Ludlow Street 5 min. away from our apartment was the target. Everything was bound to be dead easy. Like peaches in cream. Like butter on corn on cobs. Like cows in the barn. Ok, first the keyboard won’t work; refuses to, in short. It turns out that airport security had dismantled all of Camilla’s gear and given it a “proper” treatment. After all, a neatly reassembled keyboard might jeopardize the safety of the land of the free. We fixed it like the true mechanics we’ve always been. Of course, we would have to have European voltage power. But the bastardos in NY left evil barriers to our true hero, Doc. Yebo. So he was late. And the band that was to warm up the coldness of the club stole, say, pretty much all of the time to test the sound, and every sound engineer in the world knows that we in the band are maddeningly time demanding, due to our complexity, some say. So, no sound check for us. However, these are merely bad excuses for our rude behaviour. Suffice to say that we played hmmm…a job that was…forgettable. Yes. No more no less. Plain boring. Not bad, but…well.
Kim Kix: The day of the first show at Pianos, Soho. It was going to be exciting to see how many people would show up. It was the Crunchy Frog label showcase so many label/business people were invited to the show. The line up was first, The Burning Primitive, then PowerOslo and epo-555, then after that a late showcase with some horrible shit. One beer ticket per person is what you get there, so a good advice is to keep that ticket in your pocket until you’re broke.
The shows went well. We kicked the devils ass once again and got new fans and a couple of enemies. Yebo and Jessi talked to a bunch of suits. But none of them was waving a check. At least not a valid one, ha, ha… Maybe there were 60 people all in all, and that’s pretty good for a Monday I guess. So a good night it was. Later Papa and I headed for the Great Jones. It was a really nice and quiet evening there. We had a couple of margaritas and we got to meet and say hi to Mark Eyeball (former Pavement bass player) who was working there. Nice guy.
Tuesday October 12th
Mikkel Max: Tuesday lies in blur. Everybody went around like ants looking at the wonders of NYC. Ebbe and Manja wanted to see Central Park and walked from Empire State Building and south for two straight hours before I met them and set them straight. OK, I know that not everyone can know where things are in the City of Monkeys but they had a map and a compass and Central Park is probably the single biggest thing in New York and the streets are divided into 1st, 2nd, 3rd street and so forth. They’re so sweet but damn…I’m happy that Ebbe is on a chair for our concerts. OK, enough of that mocking business. I myself managed to get my Visa Card maxed out that day which is not advisable in the City of Loads of Goodies so I shouldn’t be teasing. We had Indian food for dinner.
Kim Kix: Day off. I had some huge hangovers that day and the rest of the guys weren’t too alive either. We decided it was gonna be a no booze day. I spent most of the day at the hotel. I really needed to catch up a bit. Jens, Bo and Papa did some sightseeing around Manhattan. They went up the Empire State Building after qeueing for an hour and a half. They told they couldn’t see much because of the fog or the mist or whatever. Anyway I think they probably had a much much better afternoon than I had.
At the hotel we decided to go out and have a good steak. There was a restaurant guide in Jens’
“Welcome to NYC” book that was called Gallagher’s. An old famous restaurant, near Time Square and the Ed Sullivan Theatre. So we pretty much knew that it was gonna cost a fortune. Gallagher’s is an old restaurant since the 30’ies with a hall of fame known for it’s well hung T-bones and it’s long list of famous sportsmen and women, politicians, gangsters and movie stars who’s visited the place through out the years. We all had a 500 gram T-bone steak with mashed potatoes and mushrooms. It was a heavenly meal, and… yes! It cost a fortune to eat there but it was worth it.
Wednesday October 13th
Kim Kix: First day of the CMJ Music Marathon and second show for epo-555 and PowerSolo in the Empire State. The Crunchy showcase was to take place at the legendary Knitting Factory on lower east Manhattan. A big venue with three stages, on three different levels. We were playing in the smallest (100+ capacity). Kind of a dungeon but pretty cool with a shitty PA or almost none. We decided not to do any sound check before the show as it wouldn’t make any difference anyway. Worse for epo-666 who are really depending on good monitoring, they have an in-ear monitor system which they keep forgetting in a bag all the time, but when they have them it apparently works.
This night was a two beer ticket night – so it was gonna be alright. Yeah! We felt good and were ready to kick some butt. Jens, Bo and I had a good Mexican meal. Burritos, beans, burgers and chili. Just lay a good bottom before the show and the drinks.
emu-555 were starting the show at 8.00pm – it was gonna be exciting to see how many would show up. Fred Schneider of B52’s was there. He knows Yebo from when he was drumming in Junior Senior. Fred is a nice guy and he really hates Bush. No surprise. 8.00pm there’s about 30 people in the room. ebo-555 starts playing and people start coming in. eros-555 has a surprisingly good sound. Jesper (epo’s sound guy) must have been pulling hair during their 1 ½ hour sound check. But it worked and people, about 50+ were having a good time. So did epo-5555.
Mikkel Max: Energy is what comes of a boring concert. That is for us. If we’ve done something that we’re not too proud of we’ll of course want to prove that we are better than that. And Wednesday was no exception. We were going to play at the legendary Knitting Factory. How cool is that? Very! And Frog and Frogette had been working like neat little vibrating pleasers to heave the very best, cool and powerful people to the show. And who did we have to beat? Well, there was another show in town. The last debate between Trigger boy and Mr. Kerry…but hey, we’re almost a bit known in Denmark so why not? And I’ll be damned! People did show up and the ones who did got what they came for and then some. It was a night of glory and of heavy drinking. Of shaking hands with some of the coolest people in the whole wide world. Of more drinking. Of getting home somehow. After Vodka Lemonade at Jones’? I can’t remember. I seriously can’t remember.
Kim Kix: 8.45pm. 15 min. change over. 9.00pm. DONE! Rock’n’roll!!!! Playing backline equipment only. No front! First song was Baby You Ain’t Looking Right. I felt like this was gonna be the night of no return. I was sweating after the first song. That’s usually a good sign. The Atomic Child had this frantic look in he’s eyes, so I knew he was pure TNT. JC Benz was bent over his drum set, kickin’ and pounding like lobster in boiling water. Papa probably did one of his best soundman performances ever for PowerSoen. He couldn’t control anything from the deck so he was running back and forward every time there was a guitar part that had to be louder and turn the volume up on the amps. It was really funny ‘cause the stage was only 2 x 4 meters large. We played a very tight 40 minutes show. Too short if you ask me, I like it at least 50 or 55 minutes ‘cause I get warm after 15 min. hot at 35 min. I ignite at 50 and explode at 51 minutes in the show…. the time schedule was very tight, so that’s the way it was but people really got into it.
Thursday October 14th
Mikkel Max: Thursday…the last night in the land of Donkeys. And what did we do? We took the ferry to Staten Island and back because it’s just about the only free thing to do in New York and we were getting as poor on money as Europe on foreign policy. But hey…it was the last night, so we closed our eyes on monetary facts and had a wonderful dinner at Acme with the Powertools and the heavenly blessed Yebsica. Plenty of ribs, chicken, beer, drinks, TUNA, hot sauce, smiles and more. And then where? Of course…Great Jones’ VL…hmmm! For Camilla and Ebbe the night ended in a freakish party where they had their free vodka-shots poured from Camilla’s high heel shoes.
Friday October 15th
Mikkel Max:: Transportation is boring and even more boring to write about.
Saturday October 16th
Kim Kix: We flew from NYC at 8.00pm and landed in Reykjavik at 6am. Thor (our fantastic host) picked us up and drove us to his place. We went to bed early so to speak, but it was really important to get a couple of hours before the sound checks and all that.In the evening Thor had arranged a big Icelandic bar-b-q for us all. His uncle had helped him slaughter a lamb. He’d chopped it up and marinated it early in the morning so that it was ready to cook in the evening. I never tasted so delicious lamb before in my life, we had many bottles of good wine and there was enough beer and whiskey too. It was the best start on an evening that was going to by legendary.
We had done interviews with the national newspapers and radio so the show was well exposed. Grand Rokk is a real cool venue with two bars, one down stairs and one upstairs inside the venue. This was the first night on the tour we got free beer. Woohoo!
There was a support band called Dikta, then epo-555 and then us.Very nice guys those Diktas. They provided full backline. Thank you again for that!
The shows in Reykjavik are usually very late and no different on this night. Diktas started at 11.30 and epo-565 at 12.30 and then us at 2.00 am. We had a special treat for the Icelandic people that night, but it was all stopped before it began by our label, earlier in the evening when somebody had leaked top secret information from the Powerso inner circle.
Fuck! Our plan was to dress up SM muscle homo style – leather suits and rivets and big oily boots, (that’s what people want!!) but unfortunately Crunchy Cock didn’t let our artistic freedom untouched.
Mikkel Max: We slept on the plane. And when we got to Reykjavik we slept some more. When we woke up we went straight to Grand Rokk to make the sound check, which proved to us that we are not the only ones that sometimes need a bit of time to make our sound tolerable. Powersolo spend nearly two hours which again meant that we had to wait intolerably long to get to the Lamb BBQ Supreme that Thor, our Icelandic God had slaughtered with a sabre of lava.
Mikkel Max: OK, maybe the missing house sound engineer had something to do with the delay too, but harassing Powersolo about being sissies must be the meaning of life. The one that our sausages and syrup in Katz had disturbed so well. What is left to say? Well, the job in the club went absolutely schmungoodilligood. I believe we showed the Icelandic people that music does not only derive from cold islands.
Kim Kix: Well, I’m not gonna review the shows, but I can tell you that we were fuckin’ good. The venue was full and the audience was sweating, drinking, yelling, laughing and moaning. The owner of the club kept serving us beer so that at a given time JC, Bo and I had four or five beers each. So we started poring beer to the people. We played a 1 hour 45 min. set and it got crazier and crazier. We even did two brand new improvisations – a boogie and some offbeat blues fucker tune. When we played “Party In A Box” Yebo came up and started playing the floor tom along side with JC. The room was boiling. I remember thinking that if some crazy girl from the crowd would jump on me and start sucking my dick, she would drown in balls-sweat..!
We did the “Juanito” song a second time on request from the owner. He said “- If you play Juanito one more time for me, I’ll book you again in December and I’ll pay well!-“ So we just played the fuck outta Juanito one more time (we’re in it for the money!). We played an Extreme Living Room version and I threw my guitar on the floor and started undressing while two or three ice cold Reykjavik chicks started licking my salty torso. Bo and Jens just took it to hell! We all exploded in “Mean Ole Cat”, the last song. BOOM!
Sunday October 17th
Mikkel Max: That’s it. We’re back. It’s weird. Denmark is definitely not New York City and most certainly not Reykjavik. But we brought home a tiny bit of every place in our memories. Isn’t that nice?
Kim Kix: It’s been really good days and if Crunchy ask us to do it again, we’ll probably say: “-…OK…“
— and here from Crunchy HQ let’s once again clap our hands in honour of Icelandair who gave us wings to cross the oceans and supply both the Vikings and the Yankees with some crisp sounds.