Monday 7.14.03   7:32 p.m.
  Oakland, CA  

We just returned from a two show mini tour with our second favorite band, Umphrey's McGee.  (Our favorite band, White Lion, was not on the bill.)  On Friday, we rocked the House of Blues in Hollywood, thus bringing the metal vibe back to the Sunset Strip.  In keeping with our 80's metal heroes, both bands were ejected from a post-show party in a hotel room. We didn't even bust out the motorcycles or red snapper.  

Actually, quite a bit has happened since our last entry. Thanks to all those of you that traveled from near and far to our CD release party at the Great American Music Hall. Those of you that were there know that we were able to actually feel like Led Zeppelin that evening, as we opened the second set with a quartet version of  "No Quarter" in front of a raging crowd.  WIth Jake Cinninger from Umphrey's on guitar and vocals and Ilya's new John Bonham style hair-do, people were questioning whether we were actually a Zeppelin cover band called "The Crunge."  

High Sierra was also a heady rompdown. We played two sets, including a late night set on Friday night. According to an an innocent bystander at the late set, "They blew my mind. They also kicked my ass, tied my shoes, and walked my dog!"  On Saturday afternoon, we were asked to participate in an "improv lotto" with our friends in Umphrey's, The Slip, and Jacob Fred. The moderator picked random names from each of the bands out of a hat and had them perform together in a jamming fashion. Overall, a great weekend of playing and throwing down with some of our musician companions we don't get to see that often.

Now we're gearing up for a few more summer festivals and then a big fall tour. (Click here for tour dates.) Stay tuned as we'll be in your home town soon i'm sure...  

OM Trio with Jake Cinninger | Great American Music Hall  5.29.03

Thursday 5.8.03   1:35 p.m.
  Oakland, CA  

The speed limit in West Texas should be 120 mph. If  there aren't any viable life forms within a 900 mile radius of your vehicle, then why drive slow? Driving fast is the only thing that even gives you a glimpse of hope that you may someday EVER get out of Texas.

Officer in Cowboy Hat: You clocked in at 88 mph. Are you in some sort of rush today?
OM Trio (in full three part acapella harmony): Yes. To get out of this vast wasteland you call home. Nice hat you fuck.

So we got a speeding ticket in West Texas. Tickets in Montana and Texas on the same trip? You said it wasn't possible, but we've proved you wrong. WRONG. 

We stayed awake for our first 40 hours in New Orleans. (Once again, you said it couldn't be done.WRONG.) We had a 2 am show, and then, at 5 am, promptly cruised over to the Umprhey's Mcgee breakfast show that started at 5 am. The Umphrey's gents invited us to sit in, and then after the show engaged us in an extensive and infomative conversation that involved comparing Vito Bratta to Beethoven and reciting Dr. Dre lyrics word for word. By the time this was done, it was around 11 am. You'd think this was the end, but no. Ilya and Brian rode the wave morning adrenaline into the local gay diner and presented them with 3 OM Trio T-Shirts. (Those of you that have seen the shirt understand.) 

After New Orleans, we drove to Austin, threw down tough, and then embarked on the aforementioned journey through the bowels of West Texas. After 20 hours of driving at a tempered 84 mph, we arrived at Winton's in San Diego to close out the tour. In standard form, our San Diego faithful packed the club and raged. 

Drive to San Francisco. Tour Over.

Now we're recovering from all of the above and gearing up for our Great American show on May 29th. Many cross-country fans are flying out to this show. See you all there. 

Thursday 4.24.03   12:05 p.m.
  Ft. Lauderdale, FL    Super 8 Motel 

We rolled tough into Florida where amazingly it was 76 degrees, sunny, with a high of bikinis, and a chance of thongs. There was a cavalcade of blonde, 25 year-old, Swedish stewardesses* present at the border with cocktails and feather fans ready to facilitate our entry into "Florida life."

Blonde #1: "Are you the OM Trio?"
Pete: "Sure."
Blonde #2: "We've been awaiting your arrival for months, sir. Is there anything we can do to help make your stay    in Florida more enjoyable?"
Brian: "Oh great, thanks. We're just gonna get some rest in the hotel now but you guys can come."
Blonde #43: "REALLY? That would be such an honor. May we fan you with our homemade feather fans? Notice that our favorite OM Trio songs are engraved in the handles. Mine says 'Bulbous rocks.' "
Ilya: "Of course you may. We'd be delighted with your company. What kind of body lotion do you use to make your skin glow like that?"

You know, stuff like that. The girls in Florida are really nice. Anyway, we played in Gainesville and then the next night shared a stage with The Motet, in Tallahassee. We had never met The Motet, an Afro-Cuban-Funk machine that tours as hard as we do, and they were all extraordinarily cool. Another band that earns the respect of the Trio by being good musicians and swell men. We spent the entirety of the post-show evening hanging out and listening to Ilya's random mixes in the OM Trio van. Of particular interest to the Motet was the "Power Ballads Lives 1 & 2" collections where all listeners involved got to relive such classic nostalgia as Bon Jovi's "Never Say Goodbye," Bryan Adams' "Heaven," Meatloaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," Journey's "Open Arms," Aerosmith's "Angel," and Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now." Everybody loves that shit. We were all grinning ear to ear and air drumming the whole time.

 Last night we walked around South Beach in Miami. This time it was not Swedish girls to greet us but an army of 6 foot 5 inch Egyptian Princesses. The majority of them liked our rager "24 Hours To New Orleans," citing in one girl's words, the "rich harmonic complexity yet the simultaneous free-flowing nature of the groove." We'll attempt to communicate after Jazz Fest in New Orleans.

*The OM Trio is not politically correct, nor is it concerned with updated vernacular created to change archaic, sexist, or racially stereotypical nomenclature.


Saturday 4.19.03   4:04 p.m.
  Durham, NC    Homestead Inn and Suites 

We got to Jersey just in time for the snow. This gave us the opportunity to do something that we don't have the chance to do in CA: shovel. (And oh how we missed it.) Ilya actually braved the sleet and ice so that he could go to Compact Disc World. (Yes, he bought more.)  

Ilya: "Should I?"
Ilya: "Yes."

We played the Knitting Factory in NYC, the old-school mecca of the downtown scene where we all saw numerous shows back in the day. Brian recalled that it was during a Mike Keneally show at the Knit in 1998 that he decided to move out to the West-side and at a John Zorn's Masada show in 1996, Ilya realized that Ilya couldn't play the drums very well. Now it was time for the Trio to add their two cents to this lineage of illegal sonic activity. And we did.  

Now, once again, we're in the dirty south.  Actually, so are a lot of bands who are also on the way to JazzFest.  We played a show with the Charlie Hunter Trio in Columbia, SC that was highlighted by a double-trio jam with Charlie playing both cowbells and Pete's bass. Ilya and Derek Phillips engaged in a drum duet a la Buddy Rich/Gene Krupa, Bill Kreutzman/Mickey Hart, Bill Bruford/Jamie Muir, Butch Trucks/Jaimoe, Chester Thompson/Phil Collins, and Arthur Tripp III/Jimmy Carl Black. (First to write in who all these respective duos play for will win a special prize.** To respond click here.) On a night off, we were guest-listed by the powers that be to attend a String Cheese Incident show in Asheville, NC. While walking around the show, we were astounded at the level of creativity used to make Phish tunes into brand name logos, such as the IBM logo turned into YEM, laundry detergent Tide made into Glide, and Heineken as Hydrogen. The folks making these shirts have a lot of time and big bongs on their hands. 

The NBA playoffs are begining. Ilya has no hope for his Celtics.

**You'll get nothing and like it.

 Thursday 4.3.03   7:36 p.m.
Old Bridge, NJ  Casa de Stemkovsky


AC/DC LIVE (Deluxe 2CD Edition)
The Essential EARTH, WIND & FIRE (2CD)
POISON Greatest Hits 1986-96  (Brian and Pete Birthday Gift)
KISS Alive! (2CD remaster)
KISS Alive II (2CD remaster)
CHEAP TRICK Live at Budokan (complete 2CD deluxe)
NEIL DIAMOND Hot August Night ( 2CD remaster)
The CLASH  From Here to Eternity Live
JAMIROQUAI The Return Of the Space Cowboy
KING CRIMSON The Power to Believe
TIM SPARKS At The Rebbe's Table
DON FRIEDMAN Attila's Dreams
PLANET X Live From Oz
DON FRIEDMAN Attila's Dream
THE POLICE Outlandos d' Amour (remastered)
The POLICE Reggatta de Blanc (remastered) (Birthday Gift)
The POLICE  Zenyatta Mondatta (remastered)
The POLICE Ghost in the Machine (remastered)
The POLICE Synchronicity (remastered)
The POLICE Live (2 CD remastered)
BOB DYLAN Live 1966 (Bootleg series vol. 4)
BOB DYLAN  Live 1975 (Bootleg Series vol. 5)
DAVE ATTELL Skanks For The Memories
BOB MARLEY & The WAILERS Rastaman Vibration (2CD deluxe remaster) (Birthday Gift)
DAVID BOWIE & THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (Remastered 2 CD Motion Picture soundtrack)

DAVID BOWIE & THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (The Motion Picture) (director: D. A. Pennebaker)
CRUMB (Terry Zwigoff)
DREAMS (Akira Kurosawa)
CITIZEN KANE (Orson Welles)

JOHN BONHAM: A THUNDER OF DRUMS (Chris Welch and Geoff Nicholls)
HELL'S ANGELS (Hunter S. Thompson) (Birthday Gift from Pete)

(send Ilya donations)

 Thursday 3.27.03   11:25 a.m.
Charlottesville, VA  Red Roof Inn

We celebrated Ilya's 27th birthday in style --- Lexington, Kentucky style that is.  In all seriousness, the folks at the Fishtank made us feel as if we were at home as soon as we set foot onto Kentucky soil. The festivities were complete with Ilya's name up on the drink special board, with free White Russians for all.  

Pete and Brian found out that it's difficult to shop for Ilya's birthday because he only really wants CD's and DVD's, and he usually keeps up on said purchases. (Watch for the next Road Journal.) Thus, your illustrious bassist and keyboards were forced to engage in some sort of bait & switch / duck & cover / stop, drop & roll technique in order to keep drummer out of music store for a short period of time. It was pulled off without a hitch, and when midnight came around Ilya was delighted to be joined by Bob Marley, Poison, The Police, David Bowie, and Hunter Thompson (a book?! thanks to Pete.) True ridiculousness was confirmed when, the next day, Ilya spent the day buying himself more CD's. 

Ilya: (To himself: "I wonder what Ilya would like for his birthday?) "Hey Il, what would you like for your birthday?"
Ilya: "I don't know, maybe some CDs."
Ilya: "But didn't the guys just get you some yesterday?"
Ilya: "Yeah, but that was just like 3 or 4 CDs, we can get many, many more."

We've spent the last week visiting many of the larger college towns in the Midwest: Urbana, IL Chicago, IL, Milwaukee, WI, Ann Arbor, MI, and Lexington, KY. They treated us kindly. Fortunately, they didn't see our pre-filled NCAA Tourney brackets where we have all their teams losing. They don't look kindly on stuff like that in the Midwest. 

 Wednesday 3.19.03   6:56 p.m.
 Iowa City, IA  Econo Lodge

When you pass a van with dead bugs on the windshield, dead bugs in the grill, a dead atlas on the dashboard, mud on the doors and hubcaps, and 3 to 4 to 5 dead looking dudes half passed out inside, you know you've just passed a band traversing this great nation of ours. We seemed to pass 300 of these vans on our way to and from the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. 

This "collective" of music was insane, with what seemed like 1000 bands playing over 100 venues, each doing 45 minute sets of everything from pop music to grindcore. In preparation for our JamBase showcase, we went to see all the heavy bands we could, soaking in all the distortion, gargled vocals, and angst-ridden doom and gloom imagery. Some of these bands represented the best of the best in the heavy metal scene. The double bass assault was relentless, the screams were deafening, and our eardrums have endured irreversible damage. Bands with names like "Cephalic Carnage" were the norm. Perhaps you get the idea. There were also bands from Japan. Maybe the translation doesn't quite do them justice, but these bands had names like "Invisibleman's Deathbed" and "Electric Eelshock." The music these groups made was hilarious. Our own gig went well and we received loads of positive responses. Our new album is selling well and the JamBase interview is getting a great reception for its insightfulness and candor.

Your humble narrators have spent the last week making their first appearances in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Iowa. Holy Shit. The Heartland. The Great Plains. The Dirty South. We celebrated Pete's 30th birthday in Iowa City on the Wednesday after St. Paddy's, during Spring Break week. It went so off, it was silly. Pete is now an old fart. We love him. Send him birthday wishes or money. Fuck birthday wishes, send him money. Ilya turns 27 on Tuesday, March 25th, in Lexington, KY. Send him panties. If you're female. And hot.

 Wednesday 3.12.03   6:34 p.m.
 Fayetteville, AR  Days Inn

Brian has added a new Line 6 Ring Modulator/Tremolo/Flanger/Mayhem pedal, that in conjunction with his Delay and Loop Sampling pedals, wah-wah pedal, distortion pedal, and the big box of wood known as a Leslie cabinet, causes him to: a) sound out of his mind, b) take a long time setting up, and c) put to great use the years of practicing Liszt etudes. Yes, he studied with Kenny Barron, but our hero has attained a new level of deepness the honorable Mr. Barron could only envy from afar. Incredibly, Pete has made actual purchases of new strings and a new tuner (but only because he left his spare strings somewhere and his tuner broke after 9 years of use.) Said tuner probably broke a year and a half ago but Pete hasn't needed to tune his bass one single time in that span. Oh the agony Pete experienced in having to fork over money that wasn't going to a coffee shop clerk or into a newspaper dispensing machine. Ilya has added the other two triangles that appeared on the new album into his live set-up, although making contact with one or all three of the displayed triangles is very difficult, and caveat emptor: there is no guarantee that if you buy a ticket to see the OM Trio, Ilya will actually connect with any triangles although you'll have to respect the valiant effort.

The past week has seen our return to the Colorado area, with gigs in Steamboat Springs, Ft. Collins, Denver, and Boulder -- all falling directly after the high-class sophistication of the Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras holiday. The audience sobriety level at our gigs was zero. These concerts saw us successfully "jammin' good with Weird and Gilly." We played with Particle in Boulder and sat in at their Colorado Springs show where they asked the Trio for our unique talents to take the jams way over the top. We accepted and proceeded to take the jams way over the top. The gentlemen of Particle are all great guys and it was fun to hang with them.

Lubbock raged. Bands should go out there and rock more often. If not, this unique area of the nation will be our little secret. 

We drove to Arkansas, checked into a Days Inn (provided for us in our contract, otherwise we would rock the trusty Super 8) and experienced a new level of absurdity dealing with the whole "trying to sleep but getting woken up for no reason" issue. We outlined the whole housekeeping ignoring/not being able to read or understand the "do not disturb sign" thing in a previous road journal entry. But this was new. This was a power sander/jackhammer/what sounded like an anvil dropped on the roof  at 6:45 a.m. kind of vibe -- new. Oh yes, the Days Inn. "An 11 a.m. wake call sir? -- Sure, but how about 6:45 in the morning and our special brand of alarm. Thank you for choosing the Days Inn and please enjoy your stay."  We've decided to set up all our gear in front of our room at 6:44, turn the amps up to eleven, and see how our construction-worker friends like competing with a pissed-off Jersey metal assault of the Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane." Maybe this will happen.

We'll make future contact if we all survive the supposed anarchy of South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.

 Wednesday 3.5.03   1:07 a.m.
 Cheyenne, WY  Super 8 Motel

Anyone who tells you that you can't be pulled over for speeding in Montana is wrong.  We were stopped today for driving at a safe, comfortable 90 mph (which is actually the speed of traffic in MT). The ticket was only $40 though, and was payable in cash directly to the state trooper. He looked like the glazed and boston creme type, and $40 would have easily gotten him into sprinkles and jelly territory. If you recall from our last tour, we were issued a citation in PA while listening to Black Sabbath. Ozzy, prince of doom, worked his magic once again as we saw the party lights go on in the middle of a Sabbath jam.

Things to Do For 12 Hours While Driving from Missoula, MT to Cheyenne, WY:

Black Sabbath
Anthology : Masters of the Universe
Paul Simon Central Park Concert 1991 Disc 1
Esquivel Brings It Tough (homemade compilation)
No Doubt Rock Steady
Grateful Dead Nassau 1980 Disc 1
Fishbone Lives (homemade compilation)
Mudvayne The End Of All Things To Come
Primus Lives II (homemade compilation)
Weezer (Blue)

 Saturday 3.1.03   11:00 a.m.
 Eugene, OR  Red Lion Inn

Hotel/Motel Rating Guide

Level 1: 1 The beds resemble some sort of hard surface (wood, steel, etc.). 2 The shower either a) doesn't work or b) is too rusty/dirty to be usable. 3 There is no complimentary soap. 4 The air conditioner/heater either a) doesn't work, b) spits out some sort of smoke that may or may not be asbestos residue, or c) makes loud clanging sound when functioning. 5 It is unclear whether the towels are intended to be wash cloths or simply a joke. 6 Point 5 doesn't really matter anyway because you will be unable to shower. (See point 2) 7 Because the room doesn't include a "Do Not Disturb" sign, Housekeeping will invariably knock on your door at 8 am and say "Housekeeping!" You will curse at them loudly, but they will not hear/understand English. This will require actually going to the door and telling them to go away. This process will repeat every hour until check-out.

Level 2: 1 It is possible to sleep on the beds. 2 The shower functions, but will most likely lack the proper curtain to keep the water in the shower. This requires any subsequent shower/bathroom users to wear heavy boots or galoshes. (Canoe and paddle optional.) 3 There is complementary soap, but no shampoo. Soap may be used to wash hair as well as body.  4 The towels are slightly larger than Level 1, but their coarseness requires consideration as to whether these towels are actually floor mats. 5 The air conditioner/heater may work. If it doesn't work, it will most likely respond to a severe drop kick while wearing the boots you already donned to enter the bathroom/swamp.  Once it is working, however, it will only function on one setting: arctic. Once it is turned on it will be impossible to turn off. 6 There is still no "Do Not Disturb" sign, however housekeeping may wait until 9 am before knocking. 

Level 3: 1 The beds are 6-8 inches wider than Level 2, and may be of good quality. 2 There is soap, but still no shampoo. 3 The shower should work, but water pressure may be questionable. 4 There is some sort of makeshift lobby near the check-in desk. Why anyone would want to hang out there is unclear.  There is complementary coffee in the lobby, but it is undrinkable. 5 There is a "Do Not Disturb" sign in the room, but it doesn't matter because "Housekeeping!" chooses to ignore it. 9 am wake up is still standard. Because you actually went through the trouble of putting the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, you will be even more irate when the 9 am knock occurs.  This will lead to frantic cursing and increased adrenaline, thus making it impossible to go back to sleep. (Note: The "Do Not Disturb" sign should be stolen for use at Level 1 and 2 hotels.)

Level 4: 1 The beds are fairly comfortable. 2 There is soap, shampoo, and even possibly lotion of some kind. You will obviously take the shampoo, as you do not know when the next time you'll be staying in a Level 4 hotel will be.  3 The shower is good and may even have a specialty nozzle to change the water stream. 4 There is a desk with a lamp. 5 There is a comfortable chair or some sort of sitting device other than a bed. 6 There may or may not be a balcony. 7 The receptionist will call you sir or ma'am depending on your sexual orientation. 8 There is a lobby and possibly even a restaurant. The coffee may be drinkable. There will be multiple housekeeping bastards screaming this time.

Level 5: (Note: We can not speak from first-hand experience in Level 5 hotels, so this is based entirely on hea say)          1 There will be a fair large-breasted maiden fanning you with a large leaf of some kind immediately upon entry into the lobby. She will start fanning at 6:45 a.m. She will undoubtedly be from Central Housekeeping. 

 Thursday 2.6.03   11:59 p.m.
 Oakland, CA

Even though it may seem like we've been relaxing for the past few weeks, we've actually been quite busy. First of all, GLOBALPOSITIONINGRECORD is done and can be in your hands as soon as Feb. 18th. Without giving too much away, let it be known that we're very excited with the way it came out.

We also purchased a new van. 

The aforementioned vehicle will get its first taste of the OM Trio lifestyle starting on Feb. 19th when we begin our next mammoth tour.  We'll be hitting all our favorite spots across the country, as well as making our first appearances in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Iowa. (for tour dates click here).


 Friday 1.3.02   2:11 p.m.
 New York, NY

The New Year's show in NYC was a blast. 2:30-5:30 am. No break. Adam Levy on guitar. Ilya screaming the end of "Paradise City" like W. Axl. That's how we do.

Now we're getting ready to record. We'll begin work on our 5th album in mid-January, and we're hoping to release it in the late spring.  Stay tuned to the website for details.  The current working title for the album is Globalpositioningrecord and it'll be a representation of our new metal-electro-funk sound. Expect a bunch of new compositions as well as one or two new arrangements of old tunes. We'll keep you updated.

We'll resume touring in late January (for tour dates click here) and we're planning on doing a national tour starting in late February and ending in early May. 

Thanks for all the support in 2002 and we look forward to seeing you again soon in 2003. 

Journal Archives
Fall 2002
Summer 2002
Spring 2002