Guest Blog: Scorpion Child, Part 1
Shaun Diettrick Avants is the bassist for Texan rock act Scorpion Child. The band released its self-titled debut album this year and spent the summer on Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest. This blog comes from their headlining tour with Kadavar, Gypsyhawk, Wilson, and Mothership. Check out their song “Polygon of Eyes” at the bottom of the post.
September 12, 2013
It seems as though everyone, for the most part, has arrived a little too early to the Whitecrowe house and rehearsal space this afternoon. It’s barely past noon yet you can feel the excitement and anxious temperaments buzzing about. As I arrive, most of the band are loading their luggage onto the bus, last minute gear finds a spot in the over-sized trailer, and personal effects are laying claim to everyone’s bunks. We’ve all been chomping at the bit to get this tour started ever since we began to piece it together back during the Mayhem Festival in July. For almost a month, most of us have been finding ways to fill the time at home–practically all of us feeling trapped in a stasis until we can settle into what we’ve called home for the majority of this year alone. This time, however, we’ve graduated from the small confines of our trusty van and into the new, welcoming, and spacious world of the bandwagon.
By this time, Aryn has dubbed our trusty vessel The Black Pearl in lieu of eight musicians and three crew members setting sail on the highways of North America for the next month. The Texas heat is in fine form today and we can hardly wait to find ourselves in cooler temperatures. In the meantime, most of us have already started to find comfort on the bus. Although I’m not the last to arrive, most of the storage below the bus has been already taken with luggage but I manage to find some room on the other side. I throw my bag in the bed I claimed just the day before. I organize the handful of movies I brought along into a cabinet by the television. I plug in the coffee maker. A dozen vitamin bottles get organized into a row. Just as everyone has seemingly nested into their month-long home, Tom arrives just as I’m showing my wife, Liz, just how small and impractical my bunk would be if she was allowed to travel with us.
As the minutes continue to roll by, a debate sparks over the logistics of waiting to do last minute errands before we embark on our journey or before. It becomes evident that we may as well wait out the local traffic and rush hour, so we soon find ourselves split into several groups and headed to Walmart for group provisions. Two hundred dollars later we’re loaded with groceries, a new vacuum, and an ice chest, the majority of the group has arrived back at the bus. Liz and I begin to domesticate as much as we can; putting away food and supplies and organizing the kitchen area. In the meantime, Aryn and Katie have finally shown up and provide a domestic touch of their own with a throw for the couch and a mat for the countertop. It almost seems as though we’re ready to roll out.
Kadavar, however, have yet to return from the shopping experience. One can only imagine what it’s like for the Germans to find themselves in the epitome of American commerce. How overwhelming it must be to experience a place where you can obtain anything and everything you could possibly need in one stop. To us Americans, it’s a trip we’ve all made a thousand times in our lives. It’s a cultural cornerstone for almost every consumer in this country. So, as the rest of us have made our purchases and returned back to the bus, it feels like hours have passed when our European counterparts return from their first adventure. Many beers and bowls have been consumed during the wait, which effectively finds Tom and I testing out the napping potential of our bunks.
Finally, the moment to depart is upon us. After several phone snapshots of the entire cast in front of the ship, affectionate handshakes and hugs are exchanged and we all climb aboard to officially begin the journey. Our friends send us off like proud parents, waving until we’re out of sight. This is the first time most of us have felt the Black Pearl move. Everyone begins to test their sea legs in the midst of the beginning celebrations. Cowart manages to roll up a joint in all the turbulence as I find a way to brace myself and pour a christening round of whiskey drinks for the group. Doogans has gracefully succeeded at figuring out the satellite cable and soon we’re all tuned in to the Thursday night football game between the Jets and The Patriots. The sun has disappeared in the distance by this time somewhere beyond the hill country and we find ourselves truly for the first time all together in what will be the setting for thirty days. I’ve already begun to practice my very limited amount of German–most of my vocabulary involving narcotics and musical references. We explain the rules of the American football amidst casual conversation about guitar pedals and cultural differences. So far, the mood bodes well for this new family and I’m fairly sure everyone will be getting along swimmingly. It’s already been a long day and with all the consumption that’s already taken place, I find myself in my bunk attempting to genuinely sleep for the first time. I smoke some weed. I watch a Justice League movie somehow with our shitty internet. I close my eyes. Despite my beliefs that the movement of the bus will lull me to sleep, I find the results are quite the contrary.