The Academy Is...

+44 (Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker's band) is also on the tour. Our guitarist Mike Carden is the only one that has had the nerve to go talk to Travis so far... I'm a little scared of him to be honest.

I am writing you today from Minneapolis and the venue we are playing tonight is next to the "First Avenue Club," the place where Purple Rain was filmed! We are a week into this tour, and we are feeling pretty good. Adam (bass player), the Butcher (drummer) , Chris V (our friend/merch guy) and I are sitting cozy in a nice-sized dressing room listening to Jimmy Eat World's "Clarity," an old favorite when waking up tired.

For this tour, there is so much crazy stuff going on in Fall Out Boy's set (fireworks and other things... which I don't want to spoil for anyone coming to the show!) that we don't get a sound check. That means we really need to be organized and be ready to give it our all once we hit that stage.

The one good thing about not being able do sound check is that we have nothing to do until we actually walk on stage at 7:30pm every night! This usually means that our day consists of exercising, listening to music, doing interviews, playing guitar and getting to know the other bands on the tour.

Speaking of which, we have now had a chance to meet all the bands on tour. We have been good friends with Cobra Starship for quite some time now, and we have done many tours with Fall Out Boy as well. Joe Trohman and I have had many nerdy guitar gear talks already! We met Paul Wall for the first time on this tour and he is a cool guy, very friendly! +44 (Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker's band) is also on the tour. We're all big Blink 182 fans and Mark is a really nice guy. Our guitarist Mike Carden is the only one that has had the nerve to go talk to Travis so far... I'm a little scared of him to be honest (I hope he doesn't read this!) and by scared I really mean intimidated. There's always next week!

Every Sunday at 8 p.m., we put up a webisode which we call "TAI TV" on our Web site. Jack our camera guy came up with a great idea this week: "Lets make it so that the play button on the bottom left hand corner does random things to the TAI TV when we press them." For example, "things disappear or thing magically appear!" It was defiantly a crazy idea, possibly the craziest idea he has come up with yet! Jack in an interesting guy and helps make TAI TV good. We've had a great response from our fans so far.

We have also been posting new photos from tour on a site called Friends or Enemies. Every few days we try to update them.

We live in a world where the internet has to be involved in everything we do. I can't imagine what it would have been like growing up in the '60s, where the only pictures of the Rolling Stones or Beatles would have been from 3 things...magazines, television or records. That's really all they had to worry about! Once a picture goes up online it has the potential to be duplicated by anyone who sees it! Which means it's out forever!

Now we're listening to the new Black Rebel Motorcycle album. [Guitarist] Mike Carden is particularly impressed with it. The song playing is very fitting to the vibe of our dressing room.

Last night the Bulls won, which makes [bassist] Adam T. Siska and the rest of the Chicagoans on this tour very happy. I'm Australian and, until a few weeks ago, I hadn't seen a basketball game since Michael Jordan was king.

Running around the venue is a great way to get some exercise, something the Butcher has warmed to very quickly. "20 minutes," he said... which is where I will be leaving you. I've put off running for 2 days now so today I am in!

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