Skip to main content

Tour Diary: We head out on the road with All Them Witches

All Them Witches drummer Robby Staebler gives us a band's-eye account of life on the road. Spoiler: Contains many arty shots and "fat spliffs"

I always wanted to be in a touring band. When I was 18 my father asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I quickly responded “I want to keep playing music in a band”. His responsible side immediately kicked in as he spoke sternly: “I wouldn’t count on that”.

He was right. How could I? It was an insane idea. So I didn’t count on it, I just never stopped the pursuit of what I enjoy doing. Neither one of us could have known what a life on the road would be like. I had my ideas and fantasies, none of which were based in reality. Now my life is that reality – surrounded by my closest friends, spending more time with each other than our own families or counterparts. Learning patience [that stretches] to the ends of the earth and silently observing and absorbing our unfolding stories, day by day, until we can audibly demonstrate our experiences on stage for the ones who care to hear.

The road goes on forever and the bad jokes never end…

The first key to successful touring starts with good rest. However difficult it may be to find it, we eventually do. Sometimes it just takes a few days. Or a week.

{Guitarist Charles Michael] Parks takes his existence seriously. He stays focused and dedicated to himself more than most people. Here [above] he enjoys a nice floor sleep through the sounds and lights of an early morning hellscape in one of the cheapest hotels on the planet.

Glasgow, UK. Rainy and slimy back alley area. We just played King Tuts to a very excited crowd. Now we play the uphill game of loading gear in the middle of the night avoiding rats and toxic trash.

This tour was our first time in Ireland. Ben and our UK merch seller Greg (old Greg) stay focused on the passer-bys and the fresh sights to behold [above].

Somewhere in the UK around 2am waiting to reach our hotel.

PISS STOP. When you gotta go you [just] make it work.

Most of the time we can’t stay out in the town we just played – [in the van] is when we drink a few beers and blast some inspiring music. Cue Ol Dirty Bastard’s I Can’t Wait.

Outside the city limits we get the real feeling of a place. This is somewhere in Sweden. We stayed in a small camp ground under unobstructed star light. We got there late – after midnight – after a 12 hour drive and are greeted by a massive skeleton of a tree. Ben gets excited. We all get excited.

Allan enjoying the moody weather and strong vibes of the coast line. We try to stop whenever we can to soak up the scenery or the rain.

It’s the little things that count. We returned to stage to clear out when we noticed little white sticks all over the place. Someone was kind enough to shower us in spliffs after a gig in Leeds.

Late nights make strange faces. Fat spliffs do the same.

A reminder of how lucky we are to be here and to meet people all over the world through our practices of art and language. Like recordings of the past this bombed out church in Bristol still stands. Although unoccupied, its statement is still being made.

To find out more about All Them Witches you can visit their official site or head over and follow them on Facebook.

From the archive

From the archive

From the archive

Get Involved

Trending Features