Proper rock band etiquette dictates: Thou must rock hard, do drugs, and have crazy tour stories.
After Crossfade last spoke with Joshua Xmas, lead singer and guitarist of Dyslexic Postcards, he and his band embarked on the Might As Well Get It On Tour in support of their first EP, Spare The Altar.
Last week, we found ourselves at the Fuck Palace, a mancave that Joshua shares with guitarist Luciano Guidini and drummer Joesmooth, listening to stories about biker bars, hard rockin', hard livin', hard drugs, and ODs in Cleveland.
DP Plays For Some Bikers
On the return leg of the tour, the band booked a show at an Orlando biker bar. Unfortunately, when they got there they found out that it wasn't just any bar. It was the clubhouse for a biker gang. Three acoustic acts were set to play before DP: some kid they had just met, Dyslexic Postcards' Road Dog Francis, and their bass player Eddy Gatoe, who also plays as solo artist Gatoe Xango.
The kid hit the stage first. "You could tell he had just learned how to play," says Joesmooth. "He sang songs like 'Fuck Bush, Fuck the government.' Shit like that."
"Then these conservative bikers made him stop playing in the middle of his set and kicked him off the stage," Josh adds.
The guys were a little concerned. But they figured if they stuck to their straight rock songs, they wouldn't have anything to worry about. After the kid, Road Dog Francis played. And surprisingly, his set went over pretty well.
Next was Gatoe. But before getting up on stage, he turns to the rest of the band and says, "I got this song. It's totally going to win them over."
The song was "Miss Adventures," about a stripper that Gatoe and a friend met one time, and the friend managed to bring back home. But when Gatoe's friend got her in bed, she demanded to be punched in the face during sex, along with other violent sex acts. The chorus of the song goes, "Punch me in my face/Slap me in my face/Put your hands around my neck/And let me get a taste." And when Gatoe played it, the crowd got pretty crazy.
"All the biker chicks were yelling, 'That's disrespectful to women!'" Josh remembers. "They were like biker feminists or something. They made Gatoe stop playing too. We didn't even get to play, they ran us the fuck out because of Gatoe's set.
"We're thinking they're going to love us. Everyone was drinking and eating BBQ. They seemed like they were kind of nice. The bartender was the lady who owned the place. And by the end of the night, she was apologizing to the bikers for us. And I'm like, 'We haven't even played yet!' Imagine if we would have played!"
The worst part was that the guys had already set everything up so they could play right after Gatoe finished his acoustic set. "We had to reload all the equipment," Josh continues. "And they're standing around us saying shit like, 'You better get the hell out of here. Someone is gonna get stabbed. Someone is gonna get stabbed.'"
Road Dog Francis Goes To The Hospital
During the band's time in New York City, where they played two shows in Manhattan and another in Brooklyn, the guys took a trip to Harlem to visit a friend, and it was obvious that Road Dog Francis was looking to cop some dope.
Joshua: We fucked with him the whole time because he was always scoping things out.
Joesmooth: At one point, I said to Francis, "Hey, I think that guy wants to deal," and I pointed out some random black dude standing on the corner, and it was like 47 degrees out. I kept saying, "He doesn't look like he's trying to get a cab."
[What the guys didn't know was that the Road Dog had already gotten his hands on some prescription morphine and other pills. The next day, they drove to Cleveland, got in at 7:30 a.m., slept all day, then played.]
Joshua: After the show, we went back to the hotel where we were staying with YOYO XO [Amanda Green and Brett "Cosmo" Thorngren's band]. Me, Luciano, and Francis stayed at the hotel, while the other guys went out to get some Taco Bell.
Luciano went to YOYO XO's room, and I went back to ours. When I got back to the room, Francis was locked in the bathroom. I knew he had scored heroin earlier, but I didn't know about the morphine and pills. I had told him, "If you're gonna do it, snort it, don't bang it. You've been clean for 10 months, it'll be too much."
So I knocked on the door of the bathroom, and I'm like, "Are you OK? Get out of there man. Did you already do it?" And he said from the bathroom, "Yeah man, I'm finishing up. This stuff is strong." And I'm like, "Alright, then come the fuck out!" And I heard the toilet flush.
He came out. I was on the phone with Jackie Ransom. He came up to me, gave me a fucking kiss on the lips, and then fell back onto the bed, bounced off, fell on the floor, and he started turning blue. I did the whole thing [to try to revive him], slapped him, put him in the shower, and tried anything to get a pulse. I ran upstairs to get Luciano."
I opened the door, it's Josh and he said, "It's not looking good, man." So I went downstairs. I opened the door and all I saw was the Road Dog's feet sticking out from the bathroom. I ran in, and I saw him there. I tried waking him up, threw some water on him, whatever. There was blood everywhere. There were needles all over the place. There was blood on the toilet, on the walls. And I'm like, dude."
Joshua: I'm like, "Fuck, man. We need to clean this place up fast 'cause we gotta call the cops." The cops came on the scene first, and then the paramedics. They got him going, got his pulse.
I thought we were going to get kicked out of the hotel for sure. I thought we were going to have to leave the hotel in the middle of the night. Then the cops go, 'Man, we've never had an O.D. in this town before!' [They were staying in a small town 20 minutes outside of Cleveland]. While they talked to us, they ended up asking for CDs.
Johann, Eddy, and Joe pulled up in the van [while this was all going on]. When Eddy saw the ambulance, he asked, 'That can't be for us?' And Johann responded, 'Of course it's for us!'"
Dyslexic Postcards will be playing Churchill's Pub on Friday, September 9, with The Independents, and Saturday, October 8, with The Vibrators. The band's also in the final stages of finishing its second recording with Brett "Cosmo" Thorngren, a twelve-inch vinyl titled Chewing On Lightbulbs to be released on IVAN Records later this year. Visit reverbnation.com/dyslexicpostcards.