I'm standing in the Rothko Chapel. The massive black canvases that ordain otherwise grey concrete walls calm me in a way that nothing else has. They're unbelievably striking. I feel like I'm swimming.
This room has an otherworldly quality. It feels like you're standing in the centre of a mountain surrounded by nothing but your own self-reflection. "It is what you make of it." I'm struck by the peace that I'm momentarily afforded. Tour is usually such a whirlwind. I think of my own mortality. Chaos.
Running on four hours of sleep, my mild case of alcohol poisoning and less mild sunburn are still throbbing. SXSW was good. I'm exhausted. Maybe it is a good time for self-reflection.
I'm surrounded by 14 of the simplest yet most unbelievably striking paintings and thinking about the past week. I'm lost within them. I'm staring into infinity. Serenity.
On Wednesday night I was standing four blocks from where three people were murdered. During SXSW, a drunk driver crashed his car into a crowd of people. He killed three and injured dozens more.
Definitely a good time for self-reflection. Serenity vs. chaos.
In a world where airplanes are stolen out of the sky, I struggle to decipher my feelings about the SX crash. I realized that I was more focused on the absurdity of a vanishing airplane than the wreck that happened blocks from where I was standing. I feel guilty. The festival went on as planned -- I played the rest of our shows and fulfilled our press obligations. For me, nothing changed.
Relatively, I had a pretty good SX. I saw a lot of shows. I tried to figure out what basketball team to cheer for so I could learn more about March Madness. We chased girls and ate BBQ. As always, we found the best coffee. Geographically, I may have been close to the accident, but emotionally I had vanished without a trace.
Let me be very clear: my heart goes out to the families of the victims. No one should die because of someone else's poor choices. It's not right and it's not fair.
What I am saying, however, is that I still don't quite know how to process the accident and I'm unsure what that says about me. Am I particularly desensitized? Should I feel a specific connection to the people and the accident? I don't. Maybe I have managed to accept my own mortality. I feel a strange sense of the inevitable. Or maybe I've managed to repress my fear of death so far into the depths of my psyche that I can't interpret what happened.
What am I supposed to feel?
I remember standing at a Future Islands show when SXSW held their moment of silence for the victims. As we, about 250 drunk people, paused, I could hear 50 bands playing off in the distance. The show just goes on.
When I think about the horrifying turbulence we experienced flying into Australia, being held up at knifepoint or getting hit by a semi in Ohio, I'm reduced to one thought: I'd rather die trying to make this dream work than live life having never followed it. I could never cope with that regret. I'd much rather try and fail.
The Arts & Crafts tour is underway and both NO and Reuben And The Dark play an inspiring show. Spirits are high. We're logging mile after mile as we drive a giant loop around North America promoting the music we believe in.
It's funny how things work. Yesterday I stopped the van to take a piss. I soon realized I was standing ten feet from 30 deer. They kept on without a concern for me. I got back in the van and we kept on driving. Serenity. Chaos.
We'll be in your city soon and we're honoured that you're having us. Be sure to say hi.
March 21 - New York, NY @ Cameo Gallery
March 22 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
March 23 - Boston, MA @ The Middle East
March 25 - Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace
March 26 - London, ON @ Call The Office
March 27 - Chicago, WI @ Shubas
March 28 - Minneapolis, MN @ Entry
March 29 - Winnipeg, MB @ Union Hall
April 1 - Edmonton, AB @ The Artery
April 2 - Calgary, AB @ Gateway @ SAIT
April 3 - Kelowna, BC @ Habitat
April 4 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza
April 5 - Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore
April 6 - Portland, OR @ Mississipi Studios
For those interested, you can buy our new (Juno nominated) record Warring here: http://smarturl.it/WARRING
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