The Antlers Tour Journal: Prologue
by Caitlin Caven
"This guy in a... really nice camper wants to put our song on the radio! Hand me a pen. I'm signing. You're signing. We're all signing."
These are The Antlers from Brooklyn. This tour journal is about them, and the two and a half weeks we are about to spend in a rented minivan. I am acting as their tour manager, representative girl, and journal-keeper. There really isn’t much literature on the unglamorous details of a self-booked tour by a largely-anonymous band on the brink of good things, so, while we battle sleep deprivation, being lost in strange states, lack of showers, and slap-fights, we’ll hopefully be able to process the experience in a worthwhile way. I will try to keep this updated as much as possible, so here is to good intentions and avoiding traffic violations.
Primer on The Antlers:
Darby, He of Pretty Hair, is in the green shirt. He plays guitar and synths, and occasionally banjo with a violin bow. He restores amps and pedals in his tiny apartment and installs art in galleries across New York. Don’t ask about his crushing childhood hula hoop contest defeat, as he still carries the psychological scars.
Peter, the only one looking at the camera, is the Antlers' wünderkind. (To clarify, he’s 22, and he doesn’t like it when I call him that.) The Antlers is his baby, the culmination of a young lifetime of writing and recording music. He grew up in a suburb of New York and now tries to avoid gunfights outside of his apartment in Brooklyn. (That is, unfortunately, true.) His interests include coffee and peer pressuring others to drink coffee.
Michael, who is wearing a black shirt and looks vaguely bemused, is the Antlers’ drummer. He is also often vaguely bemused. He has a sarcastic air that fails to really hide his genuine consideration. But in a pinch, he’s the most likely of all of us to win in a fight. So if shit goes down, Michael’s taking someone out.
As for my involvement with this outfit, I'm here at all through a mix of coincidence and serendipity. I'm a fan who became a friend who became a tour manager, and apparently my masochistic streak is just strong enough to convince me that leaving my comfortable apartment and job-that-pays-money is a solid plan. This tour is a project I am taking on outside of Soundcheck, but we at the magazine decided an account of a band's early tour would be relevant to our goals as a magazine and, hopefully, at least marginally interesting. (A girl can dream!) In a nutshell, there won't be a whole lot of journalistic distance here, but there will be a lot of "That Thing You Do!" quotes (see above) and awkward silences.
In the mean time, here is where you can download all things Antlers (for free, natch.)
- -“Two”, the first track to be released off of their forthcoming album, "Hospice".
- Cold War EP (2007, self-released)
- New York Hospitals EP (2008, self-released)
If we’re coming through your town, stop by! We’ll discuss the weather over beers.