Punk Rock Tour Tales #7: Max Kaspar of CHRISTMAS and Subkultura Booking

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

Christmas are an unstoppable German punk act who’ve survived thirteen releases in ten years, 500 gigs across 13 countries and 14 worn-out former band members.

Earlier this year, Christmas released their latest full-lengths Hot Nights In Saint Vandal, with the help of Kidnap Music and TNSrecords. We thought it would be a great time to quiz Max Kaspar (who’s also part of the team at EU booking agency Subkultura Booking) about his time on the road.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

A pretty big thing was our last tour, Spain in October. Totally relaxed routing, well-attended shows, brilliant atmosphere in the audience and delicious food. The people loved us, we loved them!

What’s the furthest you’ve ever driven to play a 30 minute set?

Probably Warsaw. We had 16 hours to travel home. The venue was packed and the people freaked out. The next day was really hard, but totally worth it!

Have you ever looked around on tour and thought ‘what the fuck is happening’? What had happened?

That’s exactly why I love to go on tour. Escape from reality and see people that are different from us. The best place to play is Abertillery. The people there are crazy, in a good way. We played our first UK show there and when we played the second song some men took off their pants and started to swing their genitals in the rhythm of the music. Brilliant!

When was the first / last time that you had a ‘fuck, this isn’t worth it’ moment?

When we played Wroclaw only one person showed up, the capacity was for kinda 400 persons. It was a nightmare to get to the venue and the promoter did a horrible job. We slept at the venue and got no food. Today we laugh about it, back on the day it was a disaster!

Another good story is when we played in Angouleme, France, with Pizzatramp and other local bands. For whatever reason, only five paying guests showed up. As the Pizza Tramps are professionals (in drinking) they checked the pricelist when they came in and bought a lot of beer and booze in a shop. Bampy, Pizzatramp’s driver, gave us some run and coke. Our jump-in drummer said, “No, thanks,” and Bampy just responded: “That was not a question.” He had to drink shitloads of that stuff.

When the first band was over, all alcoholic drinks had been emptied backstage. The Welsh boys and us celebrated each others shows, and crowd-surfed on the other five people in the audience. All I remember is that I kicked the monitor speaker off stage by accident and after our show (we played last) the local bands wanted to fight each other. The next day I was hungover and my knee was full of blood. I call this a success, but next time Pizzatramp come over and play at our rehearsal room, then we don’t need to drive 2000km for one show!

What are your tips for surviving a tour?

Don’t take everything too serious. Shit happens often and sometimes you can’t change it. Make the very best of every second on tour and it will be ace!

Do you have a long-serving tour vehicle? What are its quirks?

My bus is 14 years old now. Perfect for touring, but the seats in the back are not very comfortable and you can not sleep there very well. When you wake up your neck hurts. After the tour, a few days to get in shape for reality would be necessary!

What’s your soundtrack in the van?

That’s the driver’s decision. I love fast music. If you listen to ZEKE you arrive the next venue really fast!

Do you have a luxury item you take with you?

We have a small bus, but we have fresh underwear each day!

If you could choose any band alive, which band would you most like to tour with?

Probably Turbonegro. All of us love them and they are brilliant guys. I guess the most important band in my life!

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

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