A Letter Home - The Ruby Suns
NOTES FROM WHEREVER THE HELL I AM
by Ryan McPhun of the Ruby Suns
I'm sitting at gate 38, terminal 3 at LAX. Somehow today I managed to stuff 9 months worth of new gear/clothes/trinkets/Mexican blankets into 4 suitcases. The nice lady at the V Australia check in desk only charged me 100USD for my two excess bags, both weighing between 20-30 kgs. Thanks lady. I'm about to go back to New Zealand. We left for tour in the last week of February. It's November 20th today. This is a huge amount of time away to be touring/travelling the whole time.
We started the whole thing in the U.S. on our first headlining tour over there. A lot of the shows were sold out which was amazing. We had great help from the wonderful Toro y Moi of course, who keeps blowing up more and more...
Let's see, highlights of that tour....selling out the Brooklyn Bowl with Toro, watching people bowl while we played, and also getting my highest bowling score later that night. The venue gave us a free lane till we got kicked out at 4am. I'm sure we did other totally amazing things on this tour but I'm kind of forgetting them right now.
We've played a few shows since then... I mean a hundred. Nah, but almost. Oh, we got stuck in the snow in Rawlins, Wyoming! That was fun. Not really. Had to cancel our Salt Lake City show. After our D.C. Show we did some sweet late night tourism, which became a bit of a theme for the tour. We stopped by Ben's Chilli Bowl for some foodage then got some drinks and went to say hi to Obama. We yelled at the top of our lungs but he didn't want to come have a beer with us. So we checked out the big phallic monument across from his house, then walked past the pond and saw the big Abraham Lincoln sitting in his big chair. Cool beans.
Then we went to Europe after I went to Alaska for a little while. We were in Europe for what turned out to be almost five months, touring on and off the whole time. That period though started off with about 6-7 weeks of non-stop shows. Driving round the continent in a '99 Mercedes Splitter van. A couple of the seats folded right down to flat so this was a mega bonus.
During this tour we played with lots of sweet bands and played at lots of sweet festivals. I met Robyn, twice. Well, at a festival in Cologne that we played at, a friend and I ended up in Robyn's dressing room where her and her band were hanging before their show. They were super nice. Then during the show Robyn sort of danced at me for a while cause she could see me jammin away in the front there. Good times.
We made up an activity called 'speed tourism'. This is when you have your camera in your hand and you and a few of your friends run around a pretty fountain or square or landmark or whatever and take as many photos as possible whilst sprinting. Sometimes you have to run around in circles doing this. But you have to be sure to catch some snaps of your buds on their stellar tour/holiday journey.
To backtrack quickly, we started our European jaunt in Scandinavia, and we did a fair bit of driving in Norway through fjords twice the size of our fjords here. Holy crap those things are amazing. I recall yelling out curse words out the car window at lakes and waterfalls and glaciers and fjords that we were driving through and past. The scenery was just too insane and required expletives thrown towards them.
What else did we do......OH! We had a night off in Paris the night before our show there. We were hangin with some new friends at a party thing, then we decided to get some travellers and rent bikes. I think this was around midnight or so. So we each got a bike from one of those public bike rental things that seem to be showing up at lots of major cities in Europe. We basically treated ourselves to a massive sightseeing tour of Paris. We saw lots of the big monuments and ended at the Louvre where we had a bike race. We dropped the bikes off at around 5am then got some sleep.
Misha Barton went to a couple of our shows. I still have never seen this person act but apparently she's crap.
Then we had some holidays, I went to Croatia, then we did some more touring. Played some pretty great festivals and saw some great bands. Me and James almost made it onto MIA's stage at the Big Chill.
I was really stoked when, in Oslo, James Mercer [of the Shins] introduced me to his friend/bandmate Brian. He said 'Brian, this is Ryan from the Ruby Suns'. Then Brian said something like 'Oh, Ruby Suns, I've got a couple of your records. Sea Lion, that's a great record.' and I said, 'Wow, thanks'. Brian is Dangermouse.
We did some more touring and another little break, where Alistair and Graham went back to NZ for a little while to get some solid snuggles in with their ladies, then we met back up in the States for another tour with a band called Local Natives. We started this one in New Orleans and we ended up having a day off here after the show. The promoters were super nice and we stayed with them and they showed us around. We didn't do second line, as we did earlier in the year, but we still had some great parties and made heaps of new friends.
Blah blah. Played more shows. Played a small headline show with the other band that was on tour with Local Natives and we all decided to try this new drink that everyone was talking - FOUR LOCO! This shit is crazy and disgusting. But it gets you loco! Alistair pretty much tried to pick fights with the other band, who were good friends by this point. We were jumping on beds and generally acting stupid. It was awesome.But really this is probably really boring to read. Oh, we saw Stonehenge in England.
This was actually written in two parts. Before I got on the plane in LAX, and now: 3:33am on Thursday morning. I haven't spell or grammar checked it, nor have I read anything back to myself. I'm sure it's an incredible read. I have to wake up in 3 and a half hours and drive 9 hours to Wellington, then play a show. Then drive back up here to Auckland the next day and play another show. Then we're done for 2010. Nuts. Good Job Band!