we are still in the USA, embarking on the last three shows of our US tour.
Technically, we have come back to the USA, as opposed to still being here – Some bright spark thought it a good idea to send us from Chicago to Los Angeles, via Dublin, Ireland, to do a one-off show… Thanks for that…. hello friends, both domestic and foreign.

we are still in the USA, embarking on the last three shows of our US tour.
Technically, we have come back to the USA, as opposed to still being here – Some bright spark thought it a good idea to send us from Chicago to Los Angeles, via Dublin, Ireland, to do a one-off show… Thanks for that….

And so you join us, a few days later, ever so slightly jetlagged (and in James’ case, run down with a case of the flu) and post-gig San Francisco.

Last night, on our way out of LA, we watched a great film called ‘Blood Into Wine’, which left us gazing out the windows at the Californian vineyards, that border Highway 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It also confirmed the suspicion that there are few more interesting than Maynard James Keenan.

We like San Francisco an awful lot, its a slight shame that we don’t get opportunity to spend more time here on this trip. I once took a very lovely holiday here, and spent a week roaming around the city, wishing I was as hip as the good people of this beautiful hilly city. I can only imagine how strong calf muscles must be here.
One thing I feel worth mentioning, however, is that you could do with a few more clocks inside your venues… Or at least run your venues with something approaching precision or professionalism. It’s always a struggle when the people running the venue are considerably more interested in relieving people of their money, in exchange for watery drinks, rather than pay attention to the actual running of the event. To be fair it was our first headline show in the city, having been here previously with the boys in Editors and Manchester Orchestra, and it was the first time we’ve struggled with a venue in the city. So perhaps I’m being unfair. Moving on…

The band performed a secret acoustic show last night, in Los Angeles. The evening before that, we enjoyed dinner with the band’s US manager Warren, at his beautiful home. The evening prior to THAT, is ever so slightly hazy – we went out to downtown Los Angeles, to the Staples Centre (which, incidentally, clocked in at around 11 MILES from our hotel in Hollywood – despite having spent a lot of time here, its perhaps only now we’re beginning to grasp the sheer size of LA).

MUSE were performing the second of two nights at the venue, and it was a lot of fun to go and watch that show. Despite having spent time a fair bit of time on tour with them now, their show never fails to be anything less than the most exciting thing you’re likely to see in an arena at the moment… It was also particularly pleasant to see everyone on (for us at least) a somewhat more social basis.

And then afterwards, as you could probably predict, things got a bit messy. All that needs to be said, is that i was one of the first to call it a night and head towards my hotel room, and that was still at around 5am. Two of the guys, we didn’t even see again until 36 hours later, having seemingly succumbed to the sort of hangover that could keep a baby elephant in a small room. That’s what happens when you spend an evening with people who have a far more desirable hotel bar than yourself.

Los Angelians – your Staples centre, whilst incredibly far from where we tend to base ourselves in your city, was quite a nice arena – it excited the teenage basketball fan in me, when I happened upon the LA Lakers basketball nets, all folded up in a storage room, waiting to be wheeled back out after Muse departed the building. I didn’t see Kobe Bryant in the crowd unfortunately. Not sure apocalyptic planet-evacuation rock music is really his scene.

The following day, as I think I mentioned, we spent a beautiful evening in the company of warren, susan and brant, who educated us on the fact that your college football teams tend to have a significantly larger weekly attendance, than the biggest of our UK professional football teams. And yes, you say football, I say soccer, you say TomAto, I say TomAHto, etc etc, ad infinitum. Shall we agree, for the remainder of our correspondence, that we’ll call both sports football, and just hope that anyone reading, figures out from the context, which I’m talking about at a certain time. In any case, it sounds like your college football is a pretty serious deal. And there, is likely the most naive sentence, ever written by a non-American.

But for the record, tomato, is absolutely, without any confusion, pronounced the way that I pronounce it. I’m sorry US of A, but in this case, one slightly underweight scottish guy, is completely correct. Even your President has got that one wrong. And yes, I’d say that to his (handsome) face.

Tomorrow, we are back in LA, and then on Friday, we head off for our last show of the tour, in Las Vegas. It also marks the first time the band have performed in the city. For 3 of the 7 of us (myself, sound engineer Jonny, and drum tech Adam) it’s our first time in the Vegas… The band, and guitar tech Richard have all been there, and I believe have all lost money there.

On the subject of our extended touring party (i.e. those who aren’t actually in the band), it has come to my attention (actually, it’s come to my attention on a number of occasions, but I’ve never addressed it…) that various friends and family of team biffy, not only scan this blog for scurrilous gossip, but actually take note of the things I say, and more importantly the implications made… Sorry for any confusion or worry that ever arises. Most of the interesting (or worrying) things you read on this, i’ve probably just made up.
Did I mention that drum tech Adam met a new, ‘special’ (and actually quite famous) friend in LA? She probably wouldn’t appreciate me naming her, but I just figured I’d drop that in at the appropriate time. No, it wasn’t the Lohan, bless her.

So one of the members of the touring party (Simon. It was Simon) has picked up an iPad. It has been the subject of much attention, and has probably received an equal number of ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ to our close friend, and ex-colleague Martin’s babies, George and Ivor. For the record, this is yet another example of me exaggerating a fact – I don’t think we’ve ever ooohed and ahhhed over anything as much as we have those beautiful, amazing little wonders, but it makes the point I’m trying to make; The iPad, is, similar to little George and Ivor, a work of absolute fucking genius.

It’s a shame Steve Jobs doesn’t seem to be a particularly nice person, because he certainly makes a particularly nice bit of kit. Steve – if you’re reading, if someone sends you a shitty email, just don’t respond. I’ve learned that the hard way on the Biffy forum – the lunatics will always, (allways) run the asylum.
Did anyone notice the subtle mark z. danielewski reference for the well-read there..?

So, after we finish in the US on Friday, we fly home for just under a week, before embarking on a tour of Europe.
That one in particular is very exciting, as we’re going to a few new places – Estonia, the band’s first headline shows in Poland, and a good few shows up in Scandinavia, which seems to be fast becoming ‘our town’. All very exciting, and i’m pleased to report that tickets are going incredibly fast for all the shows.

And then after that, we get another week or so off, before beginning… fanfare please… THE UK ARENA TOUR.

If you’ve been with the band for a while, lets just take a moment to reflect on that. Pretty nuts, right?

I don’t want to give too much away on this one, so I’m not going to even bother making any flippant remarks.

It’s being taken very seriously though, and it’s an opportunity that nobody is willing to let pass without us attempting to put on the best show that we can.

We’re very aware of the people that have spent their money on tickets for the tour, and whilst we’ve tried to keep the prices as low as possible, we’re aware that tickets for shows of this size can often be a bit more expensive than you’d like – The one thing that I will say, is that for everyone on this side of the fence, giving you all the best experience possible is the highest of any priority. The band are planning to play songs from every record, and there are a couple of ideas being knocked around that should sate the more ‘subversive’ of the biffy fans… Yes, that 7-song b-side mashup you’ve been pining for might just happen. Sorry. I said no flippant remarks. Just can’t help myself.

And so, on that note, I’ll flit off into the humid San Franciscan night air, and leave you to ponder what might come next in our US adventure.

I’ll endeavour to drop a line to let you know how we get on in Los Angeles, and to let you know just how much Ben, James and Warren lose on Poker in Vegas.

be safe, be well, and try to stay out of California if you don’t like excruciating heat…

lots of love from those of us who survived the hottest day in recorded LA history…

tour manager neil.