2004 started with one helluvatime on the top of our house. We had a new years eve party with many of our friends. There was a lot of people (metal celebrity?) here, and I guess we all had a blast. I was "working" as a bartender mixing drinks (yes, free drinks...fuckin' freeloaders!) for our guests, preparing food and seeing to their comfort. I basically didn't have time to get as drunk as I would have wanted. My wife wasn't drinking at all. We'd taken a pregnancy test just the day before which came out positive. She was carrying around a glass of non-alcoholic wine through the entire evening to prevent getting "difficult" questions.
Per Wiberg dropped by but the other guys in the band had parties elsewhere.
Still a great evening! It's not like I hadn't seen enough of them already!
This had been our longest break since the previous tour. Jordan had been cancelled twice, the south American tour had turned sour after non serious promoters had fucked it all up (hold up Chile, we can't wait to come down...Brazil, Argentina...Uruguay?)
I was quite anxious to go on tour again even though time back home is always welcome. We had a looong US tour (our 4th in support of the last two albums) scheduled. It was officially in support of our DVD, "Lamentations - Live at Shepard's bush empire", but it was really a mishmash of our albums and not that particular DVD set.We had support from Portuguese old-timers (sorry Fernie but we're getting there) Moonspell and new comers Devil driver of which I knew very little apart from them being led by ex Coal chamber vocalist Dez. Anyways, the tour started in the end of January and we felt like a well oiled machine at the time. However, Martin Lopez had had some recent problems. The same problems that forced us to cancel Jordan the first time (2nd time the promoter cancelled it!). He was suffering from anxiety attacks and did not feel well at all. It all started great with us meeting up at Arlanda airport, the 5 of us, now with Per as a member/session member (whatever it will be) included in the band.
We had a flight scheduled for Frankfurt, but due to some light snow the flight had to relocate to Stuttgart (why??? It’s not the first time it’s Winter!) due to some ice on the landing strip. We ended up missing our connecting flight to Canada thanks to a well-delayed bus destined to drive us back to Frankfurt. Trouble looming! At the airport there was total chaos with several cancelled flights + lines and lines of people. No one came to help us, we’d no idea where to go, where we would stay for the evening. Eventually, after several heavy drinks we got the information thatv we had a hotel room for the evening, and were booked on the morning flight the next day. During the evening I could see Lopez was not feeling well, and damn right, he came to me later on saying he literally couldn’t do this tour as he felt extremely ill, that he had to go home! What can you do really?
I cashed a ticked for him to go back home and hook up with his psychiatrist and get some medication. The rest of us had decided after long talks with management etc to continue our trip to Canada. Lopez had promised that he would join us after a few days, which would obviously mean that we’d miss some gigs in the very beginning of the tour. We reckoned it' better to miss a few than to cancel an entire tour. Unfortunately those first gigs were in cities we’d never played before. Well....we had to get there first!!
Our flight to Calgary landed on time actually and we walked over to the connecting flight to Edmonton. Guess what!?....the flight was full, and we’re not even certain to make the next flight! Of course we missed that next one too due to it being over booked. 3rd attempt…4 hours later, myself and Peter got on the flight while Mendez and Per had to wait for the next one after that. On top of this the clock was about show time for our first gig, which obviously meant we’d officially cancelled.
We figured we could make it to the venue in time for at least apologizing for everything + meet up with the fans and talk or whatever. However, when me and Peter went to collect our instruments and bags and whatnot we’d brought with us, nothing came out on the carousel. It was gone, all our equipment!! After hours of pointless arguing with some thick headed guard we got the info that our equipment was still in Calgary. I called up Per but they’d obviously just stepped on their flight. So we had to wait for another few hours until the equipment finally came. Puhhh! Stepping on the tour bus and having that relaxing cigarette felt like a dream. And we hadn’t even started the tour! Fortunately we managed to catch a few fans in the venue and sign some stuff, hang out a little bit.