Man Or Astroman? 1995 European Tour Diary

Man Or Astroman? 1995 European Tour Diary

Are you a fan of surf rock? The four-piece band consists of Star Crunch (guitar), Dr. Delecto & his Invisible Vaportron (bass), Birdstuff (drums), and Electronic Monkey Wizard (on ‘alternate-universe bass’). They worked with producer Steve Albini on their output thus far which include the which include two albums such as 1994’s ‘Destroy All Astromen!!’, and the latest ‘Project Infinity’ luckily the band found time to write a few words amongst the various doodles, diagrams and telemetry. Strap in and enjoy.


Date: Tuesday June 26th
Venue: Paradiso
City: Amsterdam, Netherlands

“In traditional Astro-style, we arrived to play on the same exact day of entry into this foreign land. In traditional Birdstult fashion, I spent the entire previous night doing the normal useless, obsessed things like ironing the money I was taking and covering my drum cases with stickers. Customs was as simple as CoCo’s mind: We all had stuffed ‘Destroy’s’ and ‘Is It’s’ in all our bags and were kind of worried. l guess that hypno-beam still works.
The show was probably a 4.89 out of 10. The venue was way toc large (we had 350 people in It, and it looked only a quarter full), plus we still felt like naked Roswell aliens without our fourth brethren, the Captain.”


Date: Wednesday June 27th
Venue; LVl.’
City: Lelder, Netherlands

“One great thing about touring Holland is the short drives (of course we drive, using let packs is just way too intimidating). The club was long and narrow with the proper size stage (small!). We’re getting treated way better than our earth or space parents have ever allowed. l think I’m going to have groceries for the next 5 months lust from what’s been left over in our dressing rooms. The show was amazing! The 3 piece brain collective read through with crystal clarity. Starcrunch is now mandating the club as a ship and making the soundman and monitor man the captain and co-pilot. Tomorrow’s show is the mighty Doo Rag!”

Date: Thursday June 29th
Venue: Effenar
City: Eindhoven, Netherlands

“On the way out of the Hotel, I snagged a brochure for the Noordwijk Space Expo. So, we headed out to see what ‘Space’ in Dutch actually meant. The facility was small but was laid out really spectacu-larly. After buying a gaggle-load of space parapher-nalia, we took the 12 guilder tour in order to receive our official (?) European Space Agency certificate. Starcrunch wanted to see of they would let us capture a few Kodak Space Moments. They actually let us shoot 5 roles of film around various rocket and lunar models. Note: You’ll probably be seeing these photos around for the rest of our career on earth. The show was really acceptable. Doo Rag were uniquely superb and I interviewed them for the Man Or Astro-Man? Rocket Reader.”


Date: Frlday June 30th
Venue: Basement, Nltetown
Clty: Rotterdam, Netherlands

“It was the morning after the show. We had been staying in some large office building/hotel. Anyway, I had been cursed with the earth disease you guys refer to as Insomnia. Technically, it’s different because we Astro-men actually recharge instead of sleep. Ok, so it was 7.00am, and l went to get breakfast. The problem no one is around · at all. I mean like Vincent Price’s ‘Last Man On Earth’.

Starving, I head for the kitchen. But to no avail. Coke and Saltines… a breakfast fit for, well fit for a morsel trained space boy. This was getting to be rather fun, as my inhibition programming ebbed with each slurp of my one litre Euro·Coke. However, The Apron was to be the major flaw In my non-plan. I should never have put it on. Busted! I was caught red-handed in the act of Coke and cracker thievery, and while wearing an orange chel’s apron… No wonder Europeans think Americans are so stupid. I think it would only take about 17 episodes like this for the entire continent to think citizens of the United States are complete star raving morons. Oh well. Yester-day’s show was really in sync. It was a great maximum-energy-released, 40 minute-space-punk set. The crowd was really into It, and everybody left after we played, so the rave DJ’s had no one to play Moby tor. What a shame…”

Date: Saturday July 1st
Venue: Atah
Clty; Enchede, Netherlands

“To get In this place you had to state your business to this drive-thru-type speaker system and then some unseen controller would cause the road spike to go under the ground. Once inside, this top secret area turned into a strange circle of cafes, movie theatres, night clubs, and bowling alleys. Weird? Needless to say, the references to our being trapped inside The Village from ‘The Prisoner’ TV series abounded. The show went well, but I think my space comrades are getting frustrated without a 4th robojock in the mix. We all agreed that if Hayden (ex-Supernova guitar player) would join us, then we would teach him the ways of the Astro-cIan…”



Date: Sunday July 2nd
Venue: Maha
Clty: Hamburg, Germany

“Ah yes, Germany · a wonderful devolutionary step in American cultural ease and acceptance from that of our European home-away-from-home, Holland. The Mark Hall is a huge venue with one large and one small room. Tonight Soul Asylum and Man Or Astro-Man? were poised against each other in two halls. Can you guess who was in which room? The show was absolute space sludge. We sound checked for an hour only to have the sampler channel and entire monitor system go. Good punk rock effort by CoCo, but those kind of shows are satisfying me less and less. No posters · No promotion – Germany sucks space dick.”


Date: Monday, July 3rd
City: Hamburg, Germany

“Being my normal Calvinist self, I never like the thought of having days off. I mean, we’re away from home base and our earth loved ones – why not work our Asstros off? Truth is, we probably wouldn’t survive foreign atmospherics if not for the off day phenomenon. I’ll be brief: Space Suit gets washed. Starcrunch and I buy rad rocket shaped lava lamps. Band buys matching solar glasses. Ashley Atomica and I eat at its revolving restaurant. I try to buy a Residents CD, but find out the CD’s at this shop are only to rent, I get 3 new books to read including ‘Is There Anyone Out There?’. We go to the Reeper-bahn and I buy dirty postcards for Bookman and Estrus honcho, Dave Crider, Hey where’d all my tour money go?”



Date: Tuesday, July 4th
Venue: Huxleys
City: Berlln, Germany

“The Fourth of July in Berlin, can it get any more patriotic than this? We did a TV interview before the show and this drug crazed cocaine came up to us while we were recording and kept trying to take his shirt off. Dinner was amazing as most our earth consumption units have been so far. With any other crowd the show would have lost control, but of course we became Man or Astro-Fish? and everyone stared at us like we were in an aquarium. Still much smaller crowds in Germany than we expected – Hey, why are those tour posters on your desk and not around town?”

Date: Wednesday, July 5th
Venue; Kersoln
Clty: Augsburg, Germany

“Small club, but propaganda visuals (posters!) in place! Massive amounts of Huevos Rancheros stickers were up, giving one a strange sense of Canadian wallpaper. We are currently battling Huevos for attendance, not that either Huevos or us were getting calls from Guinness for our German show-going’ attendance figures. The man providing the stats was Steven ‘The Invisible Tour Manager} He’s probably the nicest, most humble guy in the history of music. He’s done the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur, Jr., and he still treats us like a band instead of the bumbling space fools that we proved ourselves to be with a pretty weak show.”


Date; Thursday, July 6th
Venue: LGB
Clty; Nuremberg, Germany


“Nuremberg, the trials and tribulations ofthe 3rd Reicht… What an excellent place for humour from outer space. We showed up to this open·air, post-apocalyptic beer garden with 2 strange art buildings to either side. This place looked like the brain child of Martin Denny and Goebbles. First off, Mr Dis Organisation and Supreme Untogetherness (that’s me, for those of you keeping score on your astro-logs), locked our only set of keys in the van. Luckily, thanks to Starcrunch’s wire fishing capabilities coupled with the stroke of genius we had in leaving the sun hatch unlocked, we again had escape possibilities. Andrea from Semaphore, Germany picked up us up for an interview at Radio Z.
Somehow we all got back to the club with promo·tlonal copies of a CD where Henry Rollins interviews Wayne Kramer of MC-5. Now that’s weird. A friend from Empty Records took us to the 3rd Reicht meeting area. It was dilapidated but still ominous. The main field dwarfs Jordan-Halre Stadium (which holds 8,000) in Auburn. It was eerie standing where Hitler spoke. For half an hour none of us cracked any jokes. The show was excitement packed but we were by no means ‘tight’. The sound guy was a Rastafarian and I kept thinking that we were playing in Jamaica.”

Date; Friday, July 7th
Venue: Permn ss
City: Venlo, Netherlands

“The band apartment we were supposed to be staying at in Nuremberg wasn’t all that appealing, so we decided to tackle the 6 hour journey to Venlo as a nocturnal task. My first remembrance ofthe night was hearing whoops and hollers to the ongoing mischief of a drunken driver. We were all cheering this guy on to smash into another car or to run off the road and over the guard rail. Sick? Maybe, but you’ve never been on the road wearing a sweaty space suit for a solid week, now have you earth squat? You take entertainment when and where you can get it. The show in Venlo was both fun and technically smooth. Final note: if you ever ask for a free t-shirt you will be told to suck Astro-Peter along with the 10 or so people at this club who asked for theirs.”


Date; Saturday, July 8th
Venue: Tlvoll
Clty; Utrecht, Netherlands

“This ended up being a space extravaganza like no other. The club had spent a week decorating every inch of the place in aluminium foil and space scenery. There were even several stuffed astronauts hanging from the ceiling. The Tivoli is a large landing hangar for our tiny spacecraft and crew. Last time the place was full of Dutch denizens because we were the opening act for Mr John Spencer himself. But this night the Astro-men rang T the ears of over 6000 suckeroonies all by their lonesome. The live musical experiment went just dandy and there is professional video-tape to prove it. To top the night oft, the club made us blue space cake for a pod·show treat. Ummm, umm Good!”


Date; Sunday, July 9th
Venue: Vera
City; Groningen, Netherlands

“The world famous Vera. lf you’ve ever played there or talked to a band who’s toured Holland, you know the history of this volunteer-run club. I’m now supposing that you’ve read about another band’s tour diary of their European tour, so instead of spending this whole entry telling you how great the club is, I will merely reaffirm that it is indeed one of the best, if not thee actual thing. After solving (or at least halt-solving) one of the greatest amp buzz mysteries of all time, we suited up and were ready to take ‘the club that’s seen it all’ by meteorite crashing status. The show was pretty strong, but everyone wanted an encore. Small problem: we never play encores. In minuscule earth terms, they’re just”

Previous post
Man Or Astroman? To Unleash ‘Your Weight On The Moon’
Next post
Credit To The Nation – ‘Lair Liar’ EP (via One Little Indian)

Man Or Astroman? 1995 European Tour Diary