A while ago our booking agent Wietze informed us that we would be supporting the Finnish Prog metal band Oddland on their first mini tour outside of their own country. I had heard of the band before through my buddy Onno, who is one of the driving forces behind the Headway Festival in Amstelveen, The Netherlands. This, as it turned out, was also the main reason that Oddland was doing this mini tour: To play some more gigs around the date of their show at Headway. Oddland’s tour would consist of 4 dates, three of which would have Selfmachine as support. Unfortunately, the Headway Festival didn’t have any more room in their line-up for us, so the only tour date that we didn’t get to play was the one in my home town, at the venue I’ve been a volunteer at for close to five years. Go figure.
Anyway, this tour would mark our first time playing outside of our national borders as well. As some guy once said: “This is a new adventure,…”

26-04-‘13
The first gig we played was at Walhalla, Deventer (NL). This one was close to where Wietze lives, so he was there to welcome the Oddland guys and see us all play. But not before he called me at work to ask me to bring the guys in Oddland some good ol’ Amsterdam weed. I really don’t use the stuff myself, but fortunately my buddy Melvin worked at a coffeeshop near to where I work, so he hooked me up. From support act to drugs dealer,… this tour was off to a great start. At least this gave me a good way to break the ice.
The guys in Oddland were a cool bunch of guys. Their drummer Ville was kind enough to let all the bands use his drumkit, which made the changeover a lot easier. Local support for this evening was Cult Ellifex. A young band that turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. They played a cool mix of metalcore, prog and something atmospheric. A good match and I reckon this won’t be the last time we’ll share a stage with these guys.
We were up next and we had a great time on stage. The turn up was alright and the crowd seemed to respond well to what we were playing. Especially one guy in front trying out his breakdance moves and dancing his ass off. Hey, it’s a metal show, so everything goes! Next, we got to see Oddland play for the first time. The guys put on a really tight and great sounding show. Although our music is a bit heavier than theirs, we all felt that our combination of bands worked quite well together.
On our way back to Drunen, Stef and I got tailed by a police squad car. They followed us back all the way to Mark’s house. When Stef got out of the van and asked them if something was the matter, they responded with a question: “We see your license plate is registered to Noord-Scharwoude (the other side of the country),… what are you guys doing over here?”. Stef then went on to tell them about the tour and transporting music equipment and a whole bunch of other stuff that in no way explained what we were actually doing in Drunen (Answer: We were crashing at Mark’s place) but it seemed to satisfy the officers’ curiosity nonetheless. Lesson here: Never trust a guy from Noord-Scharwoude. The next day I was off to the Headway Festival while the other guys enjoyed this year’s first barbeque. Oddland’s singer Sakari put me on the guestlist so although I had to leave Deventer not long after their gig the previous day, we still had plenty of time to get drunk together at Headway. Good times were had all around.

Deventer Live

28-04-‘13
I was up nice and early because I had to travel all across country again before meeting up with my bandmates in Drunen. Oddland stayed over in a hotel near the Amsterdam airport which is only a few kilometers from where I live. If only they would’ve had a bigger tourbus…. We arrived at the venue ‘Jan Hertog’ in Eisden, Maasmechelen perfectly on time according to our provided schedule. Oddland was scheduled to arrive a couple of hours later, but they showed up right after we did. The only band that wasn’t there yet was the band that would provide the drumkit for the support acts and do a soundcheck. So we all just decided to put up Ville’s kit instead and let them do their soundcheck. After all, one drumkit would barely fit the stage, let alone two! Jan Hertog is without a doubt the smallest venue we’ve ever played. And we’ve had some damn small gigs. However, we were welcomed by the very friendly staff that made us feel right at home. Size matters not, the only difference is in your mind (And wallet, since we were playing for a door deal!). Even more surprisingly, they do not serve Hertog Jan beers at the Jan Hertog bar.
While we were chilling in the sun outside, Oddland’s guitarist Jussi came over to ask us if they could borrow our amps and cabs. The venue had kind of an unusual PA setup which made it impossible for them to use for their usual direct-out system. Of course this was no problem at all and Mark got to listen to his brand new Gallien Kruger amp for the first time in the audience. In the meanwhile our opening act had shown up (some miscommunication no doubt, according to our schedule they we 2,5 hours late) and did their soundcheck while the rest of us were off to the local snackbar for dinner.
After the opening act did their thing we took the stage and although I was forced to spend more time offstage than on due to the size, we gave it our all en rocked out. The crowd was a bit mellow at first but eventually they warmed up to us. Especially festival organizer Koen Rommelrock seemed to enjoy the show. All in all we had a great time. We hope to be back in that region soon!

Eisden Live
29-04-‘13
Today was an off-day in the tour. The Oddland guys went back to Amsterdam to do whatever young lads do when in Amsterdam and I stayed over in Drunen. Mark and Mike had to work, so I spent the day with John. First we want to see Iron Man 3 in Tilburg. After that I joined John for his hapkido training. This, of course, was a really silly idea. I am so not made for these kinds of exercises. I’m big, clunky and clumsy and I don’t bend well. I ended up hurting myself as soon as the warming up started. They asked me to do a sort of dive roll and I landed hard on my shoulder, which really hurt. I still finished the entire training though but it took about two weeks of healing before I could lie on my left side again. PS: John is a fr@ckin’ NINJA!

Oddmachine1blogpic

30-04-‘13
We drove over to Germany for our final show in Uelsen. It was a really nice looking venue with friendly people. Since we arrived a lot earlier than would have been necessary we got to enjoy some quality time in the sun, chilling and drinking beers. Aaaah, the good life. Unfortunately this was interrupted when the opening act arrived and some troubles/miscommunication surrounding the backline arose. After hashing that all out we were treated to a nice dinner backstage. We hung out with the Oddland guys talking about our influences, Mayones endorsements and unusual choices for covers. Oddland’s bassplayer Joni and me ended up doing an unplugged version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Speed Demon’. Crazy-ass bass lines. It was then that we came up with the idea for me to do some guest vocals on Oddland’s song ‘Sewers’. Joni always admitted to having trouble doing the growls in that song, since it was originally Ville who recorded them on the album. I spent the remaining time until showtime rehearsing their lyrics with my iPod.
The show had a decent crowd, although it was very clear that most of them were friends of the local opening act. Al the more reason to try to convince them. In the end it turned out a couple of people who saw us at our second show ever came over especially to see us play. It feels good to have returning customers!
After our show Oddland took the stage. A few songs into the set ‘Sewers’ came on and I growled my guts out with them. It was a really cool experience and I believe everybody rocked out to the vibe of the collaboration. It was the perfect way to wrap up our mini-tour! After the show we said our goodbyes and headed home. I would not be surprised if this wasn’t the last time we shared a stage with Oddland though,… To be continued!

-Steven.

OddlandSelfmachine

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