Prague, Czech Republic

The Czech Republic for me has always been a place of mystery. I remember the first time we were to play there, we were quite a ways away from Prague’s center. That was back on the Unholy Alliance (Slayer, Trivium, Mastodon, Amon Amarth) tour. Some of us decided to grab a cab and go check out the city for the day – our tour management at the time were a headache to say the least (constantly slightly sabotaging our good times with early bus calls to prevent us hanging out among many, many other things) and in their typical fashion, made getting there a dramatic event. I’ll skip the specifics – but me and Paolo were able to break off from them and stumble into a random restaurant and be completely blown away. I remember having a Goulash in a giant bread-bowl and a whopping Medieval hunk of Pork Knuckle (that is the knee). It was insanely delicious – one of those random lucky meals you don’t forget.  Continue reading

Warsawa (Var(d(roll that r))shava) III

Warsaw, Poland

I awaken. Half-alive, belching a flavor not unlike rubbing alcohol. The reminder of recently peppered glass-flakes coating my gums doesn’t like the toxic fumes emanating from my definitely acid-reflux-ing wodka-gas-chamber-stomach. Am I on a cruise ship? Better yet… a 1920’s cruise ship? Sure as hell feels like it. Alas – the reminder of why I don’t drink the hard stuff if it ain’t in a Pre-prohibition-era cocktail… My eyeballs feel like they’re swimming in a fish tank that is my skull; my stomach sloshes with each moaning turn I make to attempt to congeal onto the floor to find some water. I try to look at my hands – they’re quivering – or wait. Is that my vision quivering? 

**** vodka. Continue reading

Warsawa (Var(d(roll that r))shava) II

Warsaw, Poland

After a well-deserved sleep, Robert and I headed off to meet with Magda and Hubert (Magda’s bf, Polish soldier, and soon-to-be good new pal). The lunch spot we met up at was The Inn Under The Red Hog; a Polish communist-era themed restaurant. They had an old commie-car out front… the menus were all designed like the communist propaganda newspapers… this was a rad spot. Apparently some celebrities from back in the States will even pop into this place occasionally. Bruce Willis with your pork lard anyone? Continue reading

Warsawa (Var(d(roll that r))shava) I

Warsaw, Poland

Thanks to a few of my good friends in Poland, I am beyond delighted to say that Warsaw, Poland holds a very special place in my heart. I don’t know how many people know ****-all about Poland outside of what we learned in school… but I tell you – if you don’t and you don’t want to get out and eat what the Polish eat and see what the Polish see – you are missing out severely my closed-minded “friend.” Let’s face it – I’ve brought it up numerous times, and I’ll bring it up again: musicians have an amazing job – they travel the world essentially for free and have hours upon hours of spare time to see and eat the world. I’ve met more touring guys who hate being overseas than love it; who hate the food overseas; who could care less about the ways of life of the people around the world who make it possible for them to do what they do (and take that for granted). It pains me to think of these kinds of people. If you have a mindset like that… we probably aren’t friends and probably won’t be. You’re probably a picky, finicky, know-it-all, jaded prick anyways. Me? I know you only live once… life is short – live that shit! Continue reading

Jesse Leach, German Brats, Belgian Frites (part II)

L.A., California

I don’t know how other band-dudes’ relationships with their managers are, but I’d relate mine to that of a sibling’s bond. I look up to Justin and trust Justin like one would their older brother. Never have I been professionally steered in any direction other than the right one by him, and through his constant knowledge of food spots in his old haunts – I can certainly profess that J was one of the people responsible for putting me on the path that would lead to my food-fanaticism. Arcangel (his real last name mind you) lived in N.Y.C. when I first met him back in 2002 (initially only assigned to become Trivium’s entertainment lawyer, he later became co-manager and eventually sole-manager in 07/08), and he always seemed to have a vast array of knowledge of insanely impressive food spots. It seemed that every time we’d hang out for “band meetings” or what-have-you… we’d always be eating well. I wanted that spider-sense.  Continue reading

Revolver Golden Gods Weekend (part III)

Los Angeles

(w/ Robb Flynn, Corey Taylor, Trivium, Slipknot, Machine Head, Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandira), John Moyer (Adrenaline Mob/ Disturbed), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Lizzie Hale (Halestorm), and everyone from the Metal and Rock universe)

Machine Head was the first live Metal band I’ve ever seen. My dad used to take me to the House Of Blues Orlando whenever a rad show was coming by (school nights included!) and took me to see Machine Head on their “Year Of The Dragon” tour. By that point, I had only recently gotten into Metal with bands like Metallica, Slayer, and Pantera – I hadn’t yet delved into a band like Machine Head yet. 

I’ll never forget that show – Robb’s control over the crowd was intense, yet effortless; I remember him using his right hand for motioning the crowd on to move while still hammering on his guitar, playing with his left hand, singing simultaneously; the band was on fire that night… the entire crowd chanting “Machine Fuckin’ Head!” before they went on and in between every song. Having never heard of or head MH before that point, you can imagine an introduction of a blistering headlining set from the band would certainly strike a nerve for someone new to the metal world. (I still own the tour shirt from that very show).

I got home that night, listening to samples of their albums on Amazon.com – preparing to hit the record stores the following day to collect every cd. I had to order some of the albums through actual stores like Borders and wait (!) for the albums to show up. It was well worth the wait. I got into Machine Head on The Burning Red, then tracked backwards into The More Things Change and  Burn My Eyes. The first time I heard “Ten Ton Hammer” and “Davidian”? I was a changed person… I started playing guitar differently, writing songs differently – adding an extra intensity to my vocals like Flynn at Trivium band practices. 

Years later, Trivium were on their third tour ever, supporting Machine Head and Chimaira across North America. Man were we nervous to meet the MH guys. The tour went fantastically (it was the tour that we inducted Paolo officially into Trivium) and we ended up becoming friends with the Machine Head band and crew. Over the years, we would share many more tours together, occasionally guest-performing with each other’s bands in random spots across the globe (I played guitar for Machine Head for one bit of one tour; Robb has performed “Pull Harder” with us numerous times; I did my first failed stage dive off their stage… we even had a co-headlining tour that did 5,000-8,000 people a night). 

Nowadays, I am proud to call Robb not only a hero and a mentor, but a friend – he even helped coach me along before Shogun and In Waves to really make the albums right. The chat before Shogun was an all-encompassing lighting-of-a-fire-beneath my *** to recapture the intensity of what Trivium was on Ascendancy… to truly deliver what our band was meant to be. The discussion before In Waves was the conversation that saved the vocal performances on that record… I had hit a major slump in the studio around vocal time. We had tracked some of the verse lines 30 times with none of the performances being “the one.” Defeated, I reached out to Robb – he took me through his mental processes when he does vocals on his records. The chat inspired me to deliver some of the most intense vocals I’ve tracked to date. The very first thing I recorded after our chat was the entirety of “Chaos Reigns.” If that doesn’t show that his chat inspired me… I don’t know what will. 

So yeah, it’s always good to see our MH buddies. 

Robb, Ashley, and I all drove to a restaurant Ash and I had heard of, The Fat Dog. I had a Saison DuPont Belgian Farmhouse Ale to start up, and ordered “The Fat Dog” hotdog. The restaurant had all the things that Flynn and I dig – the right decor, booze, food from good sources… it’s funny, we’ve unknowingly picked the same restaurant in similar towns on many occasions and told each other about “a great local spot in Jackon, MI” for example. We used to do this thing… where in any hotel around the world that would have a Club Sandwich for room service, we’d judge how good that hotel is by their Club – later trading notes on our “research.” 

The Saison went perfectly with my foot-long hot dog – as damn good as any great dog coulda been. Robb had a salmon sandwich special, and Ashley had some kind of chicken sandwich that I ate half of. It was good to get out for a good bite with a long-time pal and chat old stories, other great eats, and basically be out with someone else who lives the same sorta life I do.  

From this spot, I wanted to stop by The Newsroom restaurant for one of their Immune Rocket Booster juices. It has several vegetable juices, ginger, echinacea, flax seed oil and golden seal all in one slightly-colder than room-temperature juice. Yeah – some people may be a little turned off by this intensely earthy-flavored elixir… but it’s the sort of thing that you know is good for you as soon as you start suckin it down (heh…). I like the concept of (my made up quote): “Detox to retox.” I work hard so I can play hard… I eat granola and yogurt and fruit and vegetables and drink apple cider vinegar and Kombucha so that when it’s time to eat a deep-fried ice cream bar with foie gras and marrow on-top with a bottle of sake… I can do it knowing I will retain some of my healthiness. (Hence all the yoga and eating…)

Our quest from here led us to our initial task-at-hand… acquiring badass leather jackets. I can’t tell you where we went or what we found where… all I can tell you is that what we each found was pretty damn bad ***… and you? You find your own leather jacket… 


Corey. Eat. Fries. (movie)

Pints Of Guinness Makes You Strong

Charlotte, NC

There’s no question that seeing Trivium in the midst of a touring bill that reads acts like The Amity Affliction, Upon A Burning Body, I See Stars, Motionless In White and Asking Alexandria may be just a little bit puzzling to those familiar with our usual touring-mates. Well – we’ve stated both musically and verbally that this is a whole new year for Trivium. 

Already this year in the USA alone, we’ve toured with Dream Theater, In Flames, (out with) Asking Alexandria and (will be out with) Five Finger Death Punch. I dare you to find another band who can successfully pull off all four of those different tours in a year. You’d be hard pressed to.  Continue reading