Saturday, November 17, 2012


So, there's been so much that I don't even know where to begin. One thing is for sure... I am getting used to being here. Each and every country we visit begins to feel a bit less foreign. Many people in every country we have been to so far have spoken English. People have been really receptive to our music. And what I've noticed above anything else is how warm and kind Europeans seem to be.

I get this sense that people are happier here. Walking down the streets, it almost seems like everyone is in love. Maybe it's the same in the US, and I just glaze it over... But when I see the people here, in general, I think to myself how I'd like to be a little more like them. 

Austria was almost like home to us, for awhile. We spent a good amount of time there and the crowds at the shows were really great. Switzerland and Italy were a lot of fun. Germany has been a really great time, so far. I could see myself living here. Here, or Prague. We spent a couple of days there when we had days off.  

Getting to know Maarten, our tour manager, has been one of the best parts! He and I have gotten to roam around Prague and Hamburg on our nights off. Good beer, good chats. He's proven to be invaluable on this tour. I couldn't imagine having been doing this without him. 

I should add that everyone lovingly calls him "Martiiin!" - like on the theme song for the Martin Lawrence show. I still haven't figured out whether it annoys him or not.... But he seems to be taking it pretty well :-)

Things that have happened - where do I begin?

There have been a couple of times where we had run ins with police. We were stopped at the German border and asked to hand over our passports at one point. Maarten had lost his wallet in Switzerland, and we were worried, but we made it through. We were also almost fined in Prague for driving on a pedestrian walkway... Luckily they were kind enough to realize that we weren't from there and had no idea what we were doing. 

The lead singer of Junk Love (Italy) asked Sara to teach him an American expression, and so she taught him "That's what she said." And he kept saying "What she said!" It's become an inside joke. Sara will yell "What she said!"
and I will ask "What did she say?"

We went hiking in the mountains one morning outside of Aflenz' Austria. It was totally breathtaking. A lot of Instagram pictures came of that experience.

Anyhow, we are headed to Nuremberg, Paris, and then finally Utrecht. I'm particularly excited for Utrecht because that is where our record label, Beep Beep, Back Up the Truck is. Excited to get to know the people who've been backing our music over here :-)

Caio xoxo
Jenna (Conduits)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Europe, pt. 2

So, we made it to Europe, and even to our first show in Linz, Austria. We were never sure that we would make it, however I always maintained a sense that everything would be ok. To be honest, the journey here was brutal. We finally caught our third flight in Chicago. Mind you, this was 3 days after we had left Omaha... We traveled 8.5 hours by plane, landing in Amsterdam at 7:30 am. We were immediately rushed to the van, where our tour manager, Maarten whisked us away on a ten hour drive to Linz. We got out of the van, ate real food for the first time in about 20 hours, and then got on stage for our first performance of the tour... Sleep along the way had been minimal for all of us, but we managed.

We played our second show last night in Vienna. 

Vienna.... Beautiful! Attendance was good, despite it having been All Saints Day, which is a holiday where people visit their families, their family members graves, and they reflect on those they have lost. It isn't unlike Memorial Day, except that it seems that people don't also use it as an excuse to drink copious amounts of alcohol all day with their friends who are still living. People really do typically use it as a day to mourn, reflect and visit family. I asked a fella I met in Vienna about Halloween, and he said that only in the last 10 years or so have people been dressing up for Halloween, and that it is mostly the younger demographic.

Anyway, we played a set that felt really good last night, and I give all of the credit to our TM (tour manger), Maarten....  Maarten is a god damned sound virtuoso. And just an amazing guy to be around, at that. He doesn't know it yet, but we are already plotting his extradition to the United States to be our sound guy. For forever.

So, as I type this, we are driving through the Swiss Alps... I won't bore/taunt you with how beautiful it is here in the Autumn. We just had a close encounter with Swiss Customs who asked us to pull over to check all of our passports. Maarten didn't have his passport, and I guess they could have insisted we take out all of our bags ands equipment to check the van, but he was kind enough to let us go on, anyway.

And now, will leave you with a few observations I've made so far on my very first trip to Europe.

Toilets. They are different, but they are still toilets. There are two buttons. One is for flushing #1 and one is for #2. I'm still not quite sure which is for what. I tried both, and they both just seemed to flush the toilet. More on that, later...

Food. So far, meat, cheese, bread and chocolate have been the 4 main food groups. It just sort of branches off from there.... Yesterday, in Linz, I did order Liver Dumpling Soup at our hotel. I'm part Czech and Austrian, and have been eating that soup my entire life (except for the 8 years that I didn't eat meat). It was different, but it was still Liver Dumpling Soup. I also had pho at a Thai restaurant in Vienna, and it was some of the best I have ever had.

People. They are different, but really not all that different at all. Although, I must say that I/we haven't been able to ignore the fact that Austrians all typically are really good looking. Go, Austria... We'll be back, soon ;-)

Smutty Reality/Tabloid Television. It is different, but still smut. Only a tad smuttier, as Matt, Sara and I watched Europe's version of American Idol, last night... And also managed to see an interview of the girl who sings "Call Me, Maybe", followed by cell phone photos of her topless.... I pondered why she'd agreed to do the interview... I also pondered if the reason she got the interview may have been because of the photos, but that is neither here, nor there.  As they say in America - "All press is good press!" I wonder if they say that here, also? 

Anyways, hello Switzerland. We're really excited to meet you tonight!