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Alesana’s Shawn Milke Signs Off With “A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words”

The summer is drawing near its end. The days are getting slightly shorter, though it is hard to even notice. The nights are getting a little cooler, at least where I live on the East Coast. If you go to school in the fall, your mind is no doubt drifting back to what the heck you want to do with your life once you escape the shackles of seven periods a day with a short, crappy lunch sandwiched in the middle. If you spent the summer away from home you are either happy or sad or both, that your summer lovin’ is about to discover its untimely conclusion. If your summer found you doing something you love with people that you love then you are no doubt going to close your eyes and relive the memory over and over again. I closed my eyes a lot on the long drive home, not to sleep, but to remember. What a summer. What a tour. What a good time I have had sharing my experiences and my thoughts with each one of you throughout the whole process. To pay my thanks for the joy you all have brought me by joining me here at, I made sure I had my camera with me the whole way home. Don’t get me wrong, I could go on and on for pages about the amazing summer that I had and the travels I experienced to get home; but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The Red Chord’s Mike McKenzie on Bacon-Filled Pancakes. Yum.

“We checked in the Green Valley Ranch Hotel with the intention of resting and getting clean, but so much more awaited us. The self-proclaimed Original Pancake House was beckoning us with offerings of bacon-filled pancakes. Wow! What a concept! Could it be? Has someone enshrined crisp, salty bacon in a fluffy sweet cake like Han Solo in carbonite? Am I Jabba the Hut? I like the rancor better.”

Alesana’s Shawn Milke: “It Seems Like Only Yesterday…”

Warped Tour is winding down. Only five more shows left to go. It is amazing how time can sometimes pass in the blink of an eye. I feel like I was just sitting in our van with Patrick and Alex heading from my apartment in Maryland to meet the rest of the guys and the Bandwagon in North Carolina to begin our cross-country jaunt. So much has happened since then. It is such a bizarre feeling when something that happened seven weeks ago can feel almost as if it took place minutes ago. All else aside, I would absolutely consider this year’s Warped Tour to be a success for Alesana. Our crowds, thanks to you, have been enormous…

Alesana’s Shawn Milke: “No Rhyme, No Reason”

Allow me to begin by saying that I was blown away by your responses last week. I honestly read each and every one of them and I still cannot believe how many of you took the time to share your thoughts. Thank you. Oh, and just a heads up. I am in a very hyper mood today, which is causing my thoughts to race about a million miles a second. Needless to say, keeping this week’s blog to only one idea or concept is pretty much an impossibility. If you are lucky, I might label each section. Maybe not. Probably not.

The Red Chord’s Mike McKenzie Talks Food and Beverages

The Red Chord is currently on tour with Decapitated as part of Summer Slaughter 2010 Tour. Here’s the first installment of the Red Chord guitarist Mike “Gunface” McKenzie’s (left, second from right) tour blog, exclusive for, about the things that really matter.


I love food. Recently, I was looking through my phone to show someone a picture and I realized that every picture I took was one of three things: dogs, gear, and food. Well I won’t be bringing a fork to the dog blog, so it should be clear which subject this is about. Let’s get to my first discovery of the tour. Maybe it’s a little strange to discuss beverages in my first installment of the blog, but I want to do this chronologically.

Alesana’s Shawn Milke on the Topic of Identifying Yourself

Finding an identity is tough. Who am I? Where do I fit in? What am I good at doing? What will people remember about me after meeting me? Jocks, geeks, hippies, brainiacs, skaters, punks, metalheads, teacher’s pets. What crap. Who cares? Honestly. Do you know why we care? Because we are conditioned to care. As a society in general we are shaped from a young age to fit in somewhere. When I was in high school I played baseball, I had a 4.0, I played guitar, I dated a girl who lifeguarded and surfed, and my best friend was, for lack of a better term, a thug. Not a very good kid, but I loved him just the same. I am not just listing these things to say, “Hey, look at me and what I did.” I am trying to illustrate a point about fitting in to a certain category, especially as a teenager. By definition, I was a mutt.

Alesana’s Shawn Milke: “Procrastination. The Sure Key to Failure. Or Is It?”

I have been writing since I was a kid. I would write scripts in my little notebook that had a picture of the Ultimate Warrior (by far my favorite wrestler) on the front. They were not much, obviously. Just a few scribbles of characters names, a small description of a setting, and, if I was feeling motivated, maybe a small plot of some sort. To be honest, I sometimes read back through them only to find that they were essentially just knockoffs of films that already existed, albeit with a few minor changes here and there. Come on, cut me some slack—I was 11 years old. After “the script” was finished, I would film the story with my sister and childhood best friend, as the three acted out the plot, with each of us playing multiple characters. My camera was one of those very old, very large VHS video cameras. The quality of the image was terrible, the acting awful, and the script completely ignored. I would spend hours following the award-winning performance, “editing” the movie by attaching two VCRs together, playing the movie with one and recording the changes with the other. I was even able to add a soundtrack afterwards by recording the TV screen with a new tape in the camera and playing music with my stereo in the background. I would then cook popcorn and force my family to watch the movie. They were so good at pretending to love every second, and it always made me smile. Their support kept me motivated. It is amazing how much parents can influence the direction and success of their children.

Alesana’s Shawn Milke Says, “Destination: Farewell”

Hello, all. Is it Wednesday already? My, oh my, how time does fly. Thank you for the incredible amount of responses to the question at the conclusion of last week’s blog. It is a pretty awesome feeling to see how many of you take the time to read my writing and actually take steps to become actively involved. So again, thank you.

Alesana’s Shawn Milke Says “Please. No Flash Photography of Any Kind. Thank You.”

The kind folks at have asked me once again to write a weekly blog on their website for the duration of the Vans Warped Tour. I would like to thank them as well as you, the readers, for welcoming me back.

Taking Dawn’s Chris Babbit: “Skid Row Is Not a Glam Band!”

Chris Babbit is the lead singer of traditional heavy metallers Taking Dawn. He loves heavy metal. This makes him qualified to weigh in on some of metal's heaviest debates. Here, he makes the claim that Skid Row were not a glam band. Do you agree?