The Academy Is...

It's very hot outside but when I walk into an air-conditioned place, (which is pretty much all of USA) it freaks me out!

Today I'm in San Antonio, Texas! It's been raining for most of the day and it's very humid! One of the biggest frustrations I have is, in America, people are very air-conditioner happy. So I will be wearing a singlet (Australian word for wife beater or tank top). It's very hot outside but when I walk into an air-conditioned place, (which is pretty much all of USA) it freaks me out! I feel like I am in Alaska or Antarctica! It's colder inside than Australia outside in the winter! There is an old saying in Australia: "If it's hot... open a window!" I am constantly wearing jackets in the American summer!

Mike and I were just listening to a song called "Good Grief" from the first Foo Fighters album. Man, that song is so damn good! The way the whole song is big and angry the whole time -- man! We love it! It's funny because my friend's band was called Spud Gun, so when we where at the shops back in '95 and he saw the Foo Fighters' album cover with the gun, he says "Oh crap! I was gonna have a gun just like that for our album cover!” It probably would have made more sense for their band, too!

We did nine shows in a row, which is a bit of a record for this tour! We went back to Minneapolis to do that show we missed a few weeks back! This tour is usually 3 or 4 shows and then one off! So, once we had finished the show in West Palm Beach, Fla., we were all anticipating a day off. Pensacola Beach is where we are heading, says Tony, our tour manager. I'm not sure what I was expecting but James, the sound guy from Australia (we grew up together), and I were very impressed! Apart from the small waves, the beach was really nice!

It was a perfect day for a day off and we were by the beach with not a cloud in the sky! By 6 p.m., we all headed over to a place called Flounders which made me think of "The Little Mermaid" (we don't have flounder in Australia). Anyway, the food was great! It was a good crew too! A nice blend of us... 11 band and crew members from The Academy Is... and nine band and crew members from Cobra Starship, enough for a party anywhere we go! The food was sensational and some of the Caribbean drinks where served in coconuts that where carved into monkey heads. The soundtrack for the night was Bob Marley, played by a band called One Jamaica and it was pretty good! I love Bob Marley! Adam T. Siska, our bass player, is a massive Bob Marley fan!

We left there by about midnight. Danny, our bus driver, wanted to go to Wal-Mart. Turns out he loves Wal-Mart as much as me! But, after an hour of driving, he informed me that he couldn't find one!

Tomorrow we are going to have a day off in El Paso, Texas, which instantly reminds me of one of my favorite bands, At The Drive-In. When "Relationship of Command" came out in the 2000, it was a very important record for me! The first time I went to El Paso I thought it was going to be a lot more exciting than it ended up being! I love the Mexican stuff, like that movie "Desperado" (which I bought at Wal-Mart along with "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"...a $10 bargain!! Plus "Kill Bill"). They got married in El Paso, or shot... either way, I don't want to spoil the movie for you!

We just came off stage! It went pretty well, people don't seem to know us in Texas as much as other places! It's pretty good, though. By the end of our set, people seem pretty stoked about the band. We do signings every night, which, in every place we go, has been pretty crazy! People love William! Some people really freak out, crying and all!

I was just hangin' out in the Fall Out Boy dressing room, which is next door to us. Joe Trohman was the only one in there; he was jammin' on his mini orange amplifier which looks like a toy! Very cute! Joe has learned a lot of 80's metal stuff like Van Halen and early Metallica. When I walked in, he was playing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" solo. Man, I love that solo. Joe did it pretty well, as well as "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen! We talked a bunch about the "Zakk Wylde" guitar DVD I have; a lot of people in this scene don't really work on getting better as a musician, so I respect Joe for that.

We have two weeks left on tour. We are doing a bunch of stuff in July and then we are going to Australia in August. After we play seven shows in my hometown, we head to Singapore, Indonesia and Japan for festivals. Then, we head strait to Europe for festivals in Belgium, France, and Germany followed by Leeds and Reading. We have a few days off after our Europe trip, and then we start our headlining tour throughout America. It will be nice getting back into places where we can see the back wall! We will get to see the faces of the people in the crowd!

This week's T.A.I. TV has special guest Guy Ripley, who looks a lot like Ryland Blackinton from Cobra Starship!