photo by Todd Westphal
The drive from Phoenix to Albuquerque is a long one and we have an instore to make it to. This part of the country is dry and dusty and it’s hard to believe people spend a lifetime here without ever leaving. They could probably never imagine living where things move faster than a speeding bullet. We’re out of the hotel a little later than we should have. Todd is rushing us. We get in the van and I put on my headphones and try to zone out. It is a pretty boring and uneventful ride. We start getting hungry. When driving on highways and hunger strikes, options are limited. All of a sudden there is a sign for Del Taco. It’s amazing how I can go from amped about Del Taco one day to feeling like if I never had it again, I wouldn’t care. But here we go again and we all bite the bullet. It’s either that or some other shit like Carls Junior. While we are on line Sean got spotted by some die-hard Hatebreed fans who he took pictures with right then and there. As we were leaving another dude pulls up in the parking lot, parks in the middle of the lot, jumps out of his car, runs up to the window and says “is Sean Martin in there?” He was the brother of the dude in Del Taco who must have gotten word that Sean Michael Martin was in Del Taco. Sean being the gentleman that he is got out in the middle of his meal and took a picture with the kid. Back on the road. Long and boring drive down a stretch of road that seems like it’s taking us straight to hell. Instead we end up in Albuquerque, NM, a city in the dessert where we are parked in the back alley of the Launchpad venue, which I’ve never played before. We never made it to the instore on time and had to cancel due to some difficulties we had along the way. One thing I can say about this place is that it seems to be developing since I first came here about 5 years ago. This show is all ages and there are plenty teens and pre-teens on line so we sign and take pictures with them. Before showtime Chauncey, Todd, and I hit this diner called Lindy’s which is a small diner on the corner that I’ve eaten at before. Head back to the venue and play my set to a small but loud crowd. It was cool. I never went backstage, but just hung out at the merch table for the rest of the show. The people here are very down to earth and I even spotted a kid with an original Yak Ballz T-Shirt, the first series I ever made, and brought on my first tour with Aesop and Cage about 5 years ago. Crazy. There is a scene here and I hope to be back sooner than later. Thanks Albuquerque.