Tour life might seem glamorous and fun, but it ain’t for the faint of heart. Between the homesickness and long drives, there’s also the issue of where to rest your head each night. Up-and-coming bands cutting their teeth playing tiny gig after tiny gig don’t usually get to ride in a lux tour bus much less stay in a hotel room every evening. Instead, they get to crash wherever they can while trying to save up gas money. Solid State signees Mantric — who include former members of Norwegian prog-metal outfit Extol and are set to release their debut LP, False Negative, this spring — know all about the touring life and the shady spots an underground group may have to rest their heads. We caught up with the band’s Tor Magne Glidje to get the lowdown on his strangest rest stops.
1. Creepy motel in El Paso
Someone had been drawing a big penis on the lampshade, it was beyond dirty, and the immigration police continuously kept knocking on the doors searching for Mexicans. Not something we’re used to in Norway.
2. jampacked motel rooms
Countless stays in motels where we only could afford room for one. One by one 6 or 7 people sneaked into that room, making it almost impossible to get any sleep.
3. Neo-nazi biker club
A place somewhere in Germany, owned by bikers, [who] also turned out to be Neo-Nazis. We slept on the stage and were told not to say anything to avoid trouble, which was really spooky and weird.
4. barricaded house
In the Midlands in the U.S.. we slept in a house where the windows had been barricaded from the outside and couldn’t be opened. This was in the middle of the summer, and it was hot like a Finnish sauna and claustrophobic as tomb. It made the night horrible.
5. Haunted church in Germany
When touring in Germany, we slept in a church-like building close to the border of the Czech Republic. I’m not very superstitious, but I swear something was going on in the room, like a ghost flying around, and I had to get in between the other guys with my sleeping bag to feel safe. [Laughs]