From Allison Weiss:
Oh hey there. I’m currently sitting on a sofa in Rancho Cucamonga CA with my bassist Liam “Lil Mack” McCormack, listening to the sweet sweet sounds of my tourmates State Champs, Forever Came Calling, and Handguns. We’re playing some place called The Nitty Gritty. I think it’s a church. There’s another band rehearsing across the hall while our tour package plays in a big roomy garage to a bunch of kids jumping on each other to get to the microphone. Someone is selling nachos outside. They are not good nachos.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been on the road for over two weeks. It seems like just yesterday I was driving down to Richmond to start this thing. With no voice (I lost it in rehearsals) and a brand new band, I had no idea how things were gonna turn out. My drummer Keith and I had just spent a month auditioning musicians, trying to find bandmates to come with us on the Leaving Forever Tour. We’d only known Pete (guitar) and Liam for about 5 days before we got in a van and set out to play music with each other for a month.
The first show was crazy. Seven locals had been added, it was basically a fest. We watched band after band get on stage and realized how different we were gonna sound from everyone else. I was nervous how we’d be received, but I took it as an opportunity to play louder and harder than ever, to match the energy of all the bands we’re on the road with. No matter how much I turn up my amp, I’ll only ever sound like me, but it’s a learning experience. Nobody goes for it as hard as a pop punk band
The next couple weeks were amazing and they were difficult. We’ve driven through tornado warnings and plowed through 12-hour overnight drives. We’ve slept in the van when our friends’ floors fell through. We’ve learned about each other’s lives at lightning speed. I feel like I’ve known these guys for years. Our camaraderie is like that of a group 7th grade girls at a pajama party. We’re bound together by our cassette tapes, late night snacks, stories of our past heartaches and victories, and so many inside jokes that nobody would understand but us. On dirty carpets in four cheap sleeping bags, we are best friends forever.
Six days in, Chicago was a dream. One of my favorite cities of all time. I wanted to move there before I learned about New York. I like to say that Brooklyn is my soul mate, but I’ll always love Chicago. We played at a venue called Beat Kitchen. The sound was amazing and they fed us vegan pizza. I got to play new songs on a nice stage in front of people who knew the words. What more could I ask for? Later that night was when my band and I coined the term “#1 Ex”, that old flame that never really goes away no matter how happy and fine with it you are. We stayed up so late that night.