Tame Impala Tour Diary
Perth’s own Tame Impala hit the road for their first American tour and were kind enough to give us an exclusive peek into life in a van. As you can see, trips to Red Rocks, velociraptor masks and a guerilla gig in the woods outside Santa Cruz were all part of the routine. If you missed them the first time they’re about to embark on another trip across the U.S. and Canada (with soon-to-be ‘SUP darlings Yuck) starting with Coachella on April 15th. Be sure to check out their full length release Innerspeaker out now on Modular Records and whatever you do, don’t miss the chance to see ‘em play barefoot live. We’ll see you in Indio gentlemen… hopefully with fireworks.
This is Jay and I in a small studio in downtown L.A with the “gorge” back drop. Oh, wait, no. We are actually standing on the edge of a gorge at Sasquatch Festival doing an interview. To be honest, I still don’t know if it was real or not.
This is us piling back into the space capsule that is our tour van. Cool photo, hey? It’s remarkable that there’s only one truck and only one U.S. flag in the picture…
Believe it or not, this is not actually a real-life velociraptor, but in fact Nick wearing a velociraptor mask at the Chicago museum where they have the largest and fullest T-Rex skeleton in the world. It took me a long time to cease laughing before writing this.
These are the fireworks we let off on the roof of the venue on the last night of the tour. Nick had bought them a couple of states back where it was legal. It was hours after the show had finished and we let off a particularly big one and heard this cheer from way down on the ground outside. We looked over the edge of the eight-story building and it was the MGMT fanatics still waiting for them to come out and meet them. Anyway, it quickly turned into a fireworks show for the fans. At many points we feared for the condition of our eyes and faces.
This is Nick and I playing grip ball in empty Red Rocks. Do you remember grip ball? The fluffy green and pink tennis ball and the velcro paddles? How did it ever phase out of popularity? What a game! We narrowly avoided death or serious injury many times that day. Oh yeah and Red Rocks is probably the most amazing venue I’ve ever been to in my life.
This is Nick recording a song in the tour van on my 8-track which constitutes most of my mobile battery- powered silent recording studio, where you can plug in guitars and synths or whatever and everyone gets headphones so other people can sleep. The idea is that we could record hours of highway inspired repetitive Kraftwerk-esque jams.
Tame Impala are not a mornings band.
So anyway, the MGMT guys were kind enough to let us come out and act like idiots during their song “Kids” when their set was almost over and their hoards of fans were going buck-wild. That evening, Andrew and Ben came out during our set wearing chains of coat hangers hanging off their arms. During “Kids” I decided to get them back by doing the same thing. James from MGMT also did the same, and pretty soon there were coat hangers all over the stage and flying out into the audience. Some concert-goers were happy to receive.
Some people asked us if we wanted to set up in a clearing in the woods just outside Santa Cruz in California and play and drink beer while they filmed us. Strangely enough, we said yes. It was so hot that our pedals burned our feet and you couldn’t touch the cymbals. Our guitars kept going out of tune. Our amps are sitting on top of sawn off tree trunks.
Keep track of all things Tame Impala via their website.