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I Went On A Tour and Now I'm Back In Tacoma WashingtonAeroplane Icon
Aramis Johnson
May 22, 2023
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I’m in a sea of people trying my hardest to hold the tears back as the opening riff of Hope by Alex G begins to play. The crowd erupts as I’m immediately transported to my desk in the freight department at the Lakewood Fastenal warehouse. That’s where I listened to Hope for the first time. Overcome by the way music can take you back to a time and place I finally let a few tears breath to honor how much my life’s changed. I’m on tour!!!



As we like to say, “all off the music baby!”. Somehow a song about feeling annoying that I named after the shitty warehouse job I had for 3 years, has landed me in Minneapolis on a surprisingly warm November night. My band Enumclaw and I as well as 2 of my closest friends have managed to get on the guest list for the Alex G show at Minneapolis’s historic First Avenue. We all look like kids in a candy store when we realize we’ve all been given a drink ticket along with our list spot.

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Days like this help remind us all of just how far we’ve come both physically (Tacoma’s 1,669 Miles from Minneapolis) and as a band who only put out their first song in February 2021. It is not lost on me just how fast everything happened. Since last fall we’ve been on 3 tours around America and wrote, recorded, and released our debut album. Despite all that it often doesn't feel real or like anything has happened yet. For the most part my lifes the same it’s always been. I still live in Tacoma, I still hang out with my same friends, I go to the same bars and restaurants, and I'm still broke! However tour makes it feel extremely real and this tour more so than any other now that our album’s out. 



Two days before we made it to Minneapolis we were In Chicago. It was halloween weekend and when we rolled into town at 2 PM the whole city of chicago appeared to be more concerned with celebrating the holiday than going to a rock show. As we walked out on stage to a sea of people in the crowd, I realized that there just might be a few people in Chicago who like rock music more than they like halloween. We walk on stage as normal but it becomes very apparent that this isn't a normal night on tour….. It's a special one. From the moment when we started until the last chord rang out it was pandemonium. 

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After we played I was hanging out at the merch booth and got to meet a fan. I noticed him in the crowd while we were playing, he knew all the words to every song. He told me he found the band from an instagram ad and was hooked. He said he had never really seen a band that looked like him before and when he saw that we were coming to town he had to come. Before he left he told me that he “wants to wake up every day and wanna be brand new too”. In those moments it's almost impossible to think of this thing we're doing as anything but real. 



Unfortunately the tour isn’t only moments like that. It's honestly nothing like what you fantasized about at 16 when you thought about going on tour. Enumclaw has yet to enter our sex drug and rock and roll era. We're far too broke for that. Most of the tour is 6 stinky boys stuck in the van for on average 5 to 6 hours a day. Stops at truck stops in the absolute middle of nowhere america and shoveling into a cramped holiday inn or trying to find the most prime spot on the floor of a friends place at the end of the night. Somewhere in that chaos you're able to carve out 30 minutes where you are able to step on stage and play the songs that brought you to all these places. For those 30 minutes I feel like I have a real purpose in this world. I feel important.  

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The sad reality of those moments is that they're fleeting and often long gone by the time you wake up the next day in some place you’ve never been before and might not ever see again. Your biggest concern is making sure you’re up early enough to be one of the first ones in the shower and to maybe have time for the shitty continental breakfast. One thing they don’t tell you about the tour is that it's a time machine. A week turns into a month but also can feel like 2 days and by the time you reach the last week of the tour you're a shell of the person you left home as. In my opinion that's the best part of going on tour, it changes you in my opinion for the better. It teaches you how to be resourceful, kind, considerate, and how to embrace change and new experiences head on. 



Just like everything in this life, the tour eventually has to come to an end. The arguments about who hasn’t slept on the floor enough are to be soon traded in for your empty apartment back home. Don't get me wrong, after 6 weeks I definitely miss my bed but it's a small sacrifice to make for the nights out in Baltimore and the excitement of our last LA show. Before the band started to tour I had never really seen anything outside of the west coast. These experiences that music has provided me are not lost on me. I got to go to Prince Edward County, Ontario Canada this past weekend and see what a “weekend at the cottage”  is like Canadian style, an experience I probably would’ve never stumbled upon if I never decided to pick up a guitar. 

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With all that being said, the tour is over and now I'm back in Tacoma, Washington. I have humbly taken off my enumclaw cap and put back on my “Aramis Johnson” hat. We just played our last show of the year with Milly and Fish Narc in Tacoma at my job actually. I went back to work the very next morning. My life is different but it's still the same and that is very humbling and exciting. For the next three months while I'm home I have the joy of working, being stressed out about moving and those awkward run ins with people you’d kind of prefer to never see again. I know my life isn’t gonna be like this forever so I'm trying my best to just enjoy what's left of this era while I can!


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