An excerpt from the book with original videos that we posted in 2011.
The “How the Wicked Live Tour” was also important because it also locked in our involvement with community projects and issues that we were facing in real time. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was unraveling at the same time. A tsunami and massive earthquake rocked Japan and triggered three nuclear meltdowns. The entire country was in upheaval. I wanted to use our platform for good, so anytime press reached out about our trademark case, I’d use that attention to talk about what was happening in Japan. As a result, we collected donations for the Japanese Red Cross Society at every show on tour and gave out free music in exchange. We also donated merchandise to a number of silent auctions and other fundraisers too, raising over $34,000 for the effort.
When I think about my favorite tours with the Slants, that tour is definitely near the top of the list. Our band was never more unified in the work that we were doing. During the day, we’d scavenge towns for the best regional foods and thrift shops we could find. At night, we’d take the stage and raise money for a cause that we were passionate about. There wasn’t any bickering like on some of our other extended tours, we were just on a mission. It reminded me why I started the band to begin with. It was also the first and only time I got to share a stage with Perla.
Perla was playing guitar with her husband for a project called Dez Cadena and the Broken Down Bitches. When he wasn’t on tour with the Misfits, it was his punk band for the New York and New Jersey area. They thought it’d be fun to host us and have their band play with us in Brooklyn.
Staying at their place on tour felt like coming home to family. Their cozy Newark apartment was filled with guitars, records, and vintage horror movies. There was always Italian food in the kitchen: leftover pizza slices from Lombardi’s, cannoli, or homemade red sauce. It gave us a home base where we could explore NYC on our day off without worrying about parking. Both Aron and Thai were fans of Dez’s bands too, so they deeply appreciated having breakfast cooked for them by a punk rock legend. Of course, I was just thrilled to spend some time with my best friend.