STRAPPING YOUNG LAD drummer Gene Hoglan has posted the following message on the band's official web site:
"What's up there? We are pulling into Glasgow as I write this. The flight over to the U.K. was a piece o' cake, and we got to see the huge oil refinery fire that happened just outside London, fully ablaze as we were landing. Lighting up the sky, like a giant patio lantern. It looked like a RAMMSTEIN concert gone freakishly wrong. Or right, depending on your view of 'em.
"They tried to sweat Willy The Keyboard Guy at immigration for not having the proper documents, which had us bitin' nails for a few minutes, but then Willy slipped the agent a 20, and breezed on through. I didn't know customs agents worked on tips.
"We exited the terminal, to see our new tour bus. Wow. It's very...yellow. A giant, double-decker banana. You'll know the STRAPPING men are in town just by the bus. The very not-cool one. But, it came equipped with quips. Our driver, Little Matty (think Richard Kiel — 'Jaws' from the Bond movies), is quite a character indeed. A rather large man from Newcastle, he's had us crackin' up the whole time we've been over here. Well, when we can decipher the thick Geordie accent. Last night, he was extoling the virtues of black pudding to Dev, 'It's like an angel shitting on your tastebuds.' And a few minutes earlier, also to the Dev, he was recounting his days as a drinker;
"'Back when I drank, I used to like vodka' -Matty
"'With anything?' The Dev.
"'Yeah, another one.' without skipping a beat. That one had me in stitches.
"We've been sharing the bus with our buds THROWDOWN, a pack of righteous dudes, absolutely. Shame the tour's not a little longer, so we can hang a little more, but these five days are quickly cruisin' by.
"Got to hang with the fine ARCH ENEMY folks, very nice. Old buds Jed and Sharlee have been giggling like a couple o' schoolboys about to get into trouble, and I'm sure they'll find it! Haha!
"Unfortunately, the shows we did in Cardiff and Manchester were a little rough and quite unenjoyable for me, just loads of gear problems, which are never fun. But, it doesn't seem that anyone but me noticed how crap my playing was, so thank god for the smoke and mirrors.
"Ya know, when we're supporting, we never get soundchecks, which is totally fine by us, but I've noticed how, until we hit that first note in 'Imperial', we have no idea what that stage is gonna sound like. It's always an interesting crapshoot. C'mon, lucky 7...
"I'd like to point out that yesterday was the 4th anniversary of Chuck's [Schuldiner] passing. Indeed, the man is missed. As is Dime. Mine and STRAPPING's respect to the memories of both fine men, taken by tragedy too soon...
"Tonight looks to be yet another nightmare of stage space. Fucking fun."