The Academy Is...

Every night, our singer William has been doing quite the jump off the drum kit, which is about two meters from the ground, including the drum riser.

Today I am writing from Virginia Beach, where we are playing at the Verizon Amphitheatre. I must admit I was a little disappointed when I stepped off the bus and there was no beach in sight! Apparently Virginia Beach is known for its army base so on my walk in search of a beach (which I never found) there are jets flying over head! Kinda cool.

Every night, our singer William has been doing quite the jump off the drum kit, which is about two meters from the ground, including the drum riser. Two nights ago he did his final jump off the drums and landed a little too sharply on his ankle, he seems to be in a little pain but nothing to go see a doctor about! He is braving it! He thinks he will be back in shape by tomorrow.

We have made very good friends with one of Fall Out Boy's personal trainers. The Butcher (our drummer) and Chris V. (our merch guy) have been doing work outs every day, but today the Butcher and Chris were joined by myself, Tony the tour manager, Mike the other guitarist and Jack the camera guy. It was a half hour work out that has left me struggling to even type. It's a good sign of how healthy our team is. There is 11 of us on a 12 passenger bus. It is quite the family we have here, we all work together, eat together, sleep... in the same bus. It's nice.

Tomorrow we are heading to New York City to play on Conan O'Brien. We all are really looking forward to it!

Ryland, the guitarist from Cobra Starship, is possibly the funniest guy I have ever met. Last night we were all about to walk onstage... and he was preparing to walk on with us.

I said "Look man... don't you think two guitarists is enough?"

"Three should be fine" in his "Spinal Tap" English accent.

Our intro music played, Butcher started walking out first... then Ryland walked on... I walked on... Adam, the bass player, walked on.... then Ryland walked straight off the opposite side of the stage. The crowd and my guitar tech had no idea what was going on.

We get along real well with the Cobra Starship guys, sometimes there is more of them on our bus than us. It's good because they are coming to Australia with us. My home country! Something I am looking forward to!

A few weeks ago we recorded a cover of "Mayonnaise," our favorite Smashing Pumpkins song. When I started re-working a demo for it, we suddenly realized that we may have chosen one of the hardest Smashing Pumpkins songs to cover... the original is an absolute masterpiece. I listened to it about 30 times in one day to get all the parts right. It took me back to being 15 and my sister left her copy of "Siamese Dream" in the computer. I fell in love with Smashing Pumpkins instantly, particularly that song. If you go onto to our MySpace site, you can hear how the song turned out, I am quite happy with it, I think we did well and I like William's vocal delivery when we hit the first chorus!

Last night was probably our best show of the tour. We have been getting better and better ever since we started the tour but we really nailed every section of the set including "Everything We Had," which is the slowest song on our freshly released "Santi." It is a very hard song to pull off live for a few reasons, one in particular is the strings on the recording are amazing. But I think that the way we do it live is definitely doing the song justice. William last night was spot-on, note for note!

Overall, as a band I think that we have found our feet on this tour. We are all enjoying ourselves, doing signings every night which is a great opportunity to see all the old fans and the new ones. On stage we are very comfortable even though they are about 3 times the size of regular stages.

Before I leave, I would love to tell you about our free TAI TV podcast's if you haven't seen these... you have to check them out, type in TAI TV into your store search on iTunes.