Bill the Amazing Drumbot 3000x is back with the second part of his favorite songs, in which he and Kepa chase the Suicide Machines all over Colorado:

14) Suicide Machines – Hey Ska!
Without a doubt one of my top influences as far as drums go I can honestly say that without this guy I would have never have been able to play Lightning Rod like I did on My Band Rocks. I literally stole so many things I do on a kit from watching this guy it feels wrong.. but it’s just right. This song gets my heart pumping every time with it’s catchy and fragmented melodies, it’s impromptu breaks into other genres of music and it’s wonderfully fast paced and intricately layed out drum part. “HEY, what went wrong? HEY, what is going on? HEY, I don’t know why. HEY, but I might as well try!”

Ok, so you have probably heard the story before, but I’ll re-tell it for you. A friend and I got tickets to go see this band open for Weezer, with No Doubt playing second fiddle. This took place at Red Rocks Amphitheater just south of Boulder. We were just blown away that day with having seen so much good music and when Jay said that they would be playing a small high school gym just up the road in Ft. Collins and invited everybody down we just took it literally. SO that night we are all jazzed up and undecided if we were actually gonna go see the show the next day (a lot of driving) so we took some shrooms and started tripping out to the beauty of summer nights in Boulder (kinda seems like that happened a lot now..) with no sleep I went and got my first tattoo the next day..

Yeah so somehow the guy didn’t understand why my arm was rejecting the ink (drugs maybe, i don’t know) and he had to go at it pretty hardcore (his own words) so my arm was bandaged up like it had been cut off and was bleeding like crazy all day. Again on no sleep we finally decided to hell with it and made the drive. We get there WAY early and spent about 2 hours sitting around this playground in the back of a TINY middle school in the middle of a totally rich residential area. This little uhaul van pulls up with a chevy safari van behind it and out pop the suicide machines.. Jay sees us hanging on the swings and just struts over and pisses on the swingset and lays his ass down and puts his head in between his hands. “long drive eh?”, I say. “Man, I’m wasted” he says.. “we just played this crazy 15,000 person show last night and I haven’t been able to sleep a wink.”

So I tell him “yeah we were at that, it was really great” At this, he looks up at me and kinda gives me this eye like, ‘shit, I thought you were another band’ and says, “yeah pretty different from this”. My friend Kepa chips in with, “yeah but this is gonna be WAY better, no stupid no doubt radio fangirls” Jay just laughed and started going off about how he didn’t have any clue how they got roped into playing this tiny school.. that there was supposed to be like 4 or 5 other bands there and he thought that the other bands were just fronting the money to try and get them to come headline a show for them. Said he’d be surprised if it even went off at all, and how it looked like there would be no audience at all.

We just replied “well we drove just as far as you on no sleep too so we’ll help out” He let us help him carry in the gear from the van and then we basically got in without paying s we just sat around while all these bands showed up and started setting up. By the time the first band went on we were just dead on our feet and basically falling asleep in the bleachers of the gym. By then about three bands had shown up and there were maybe about 60 kids total there to watch, most of which were just hanging on the bleachers with us as I think they thought we were with the bands or something and just all started doing what we were doing.. it was totally weird. The first band had gone on, and literally maybe five kids were even on their feet.. Jay walks up to me and says “man this is gonna be one downer of a show it looks like”

I reply about how everyone there is around to see them and they’ll all get pumped when they start up. He kinda laughed and said “well if all these kids bomb the stage, we’re gonna get hosed. You guys are gonna have to act as a fence for all these kids since we let you in for free.” Me and Kepa just laughed and said something about karate attacking anybody who messed with the band. Finally the suicide machines get setup to go and me and Kepa are now joined by my first band SKWI and we literally lead this entire pack of kids up to the “stage” (reads monitors sitting on an open gym floor right in front of some band equipment.) The show was by far the most influential and awesome musical experience of my life, I was literally arm in arm with Jay singing the songs into the microphone with him for 75% of the show.

Derek’s kit was not even 4 feet from me and I could see first hand every intricacy and to say his level of genius behind a set makes me look like a frog with no limbs is a fucking understatement. The show and the crowd went off like mad and afterwards i walk up to Jay and just shake his hand and tell him how it was the best time of my life. He just smiled all huge and said “we haven’t had a show this good in fucking forever, you guys were awesome.”

As we drove away that night (it was actually still daylight out, haha) I looked down and saw that my bandage had come mostly off my tattoo’d arm and i was bleeding again.. I didn’t care though and the fact that the tat never healed right and is totally discernable doesn’t bother me one fucking bit to this day.