A review of Europe by Matt from Hatebreed… European Tour 2004: What’s up everyone!! We just got back from Europe and I have a couple of great stories to tell. Of course, the tour went awesome—-better than expected actually. We played to thousands of people a day at these festivals and our headlining shows weren’t too bad either. It gets better and better every time we go overseas and we definitely look forward to getting back over to Europe in the near future. Japan, Australia, New Zealand—–Don’t worry, we’ll be back there in the near future also! So anyway, I don’t want to be long-winded. Let’s get to it: Playing Castle Donnington in England was probably one of the best experiences in my life. I’ve read about this festival in magazines and stuff like that, but never did I think that someday I’d be there playing it. We had a great slot on the show and there were about 8,000 people there watching us. Let me tell you, this crowd saw a killer Hatebreed set. We were so locked into our playing, one of the tightest shows ever!!! So anyway, later in the day I’m watching Slayer’s set and I get approached by Niklas (Metallica’s web-guy) and he asks if I’d be into playing with Metallica that night. As it turns out, Lars was sick and wouldn’t be making it to the show that night. The band was asking several drummers to come up and jam the set with them. WOW!!!!! That’s all I could think. I’ve been a Metallica fan forever. Anyone who is a fan of metal is a fan of Metallica, hands down. So after speaking with Niklas about it a little bit, we headed for the Metallica dressing room where I could sit and listen to the song a little bit to get all of the parts down and whatnot. Several minutes later, the band walks in. WOW!!!! Again. I had never met any of the guys previously. I have heard that they are fans of Hatebreed”s music and in some interviews, we have all joked about how much we want to tour with them. But still, here I was being asked to play a song with them. Completely insane!!!! The band was interested in me playing the song, One. This felt kind of strange to me at first and I wasn”t sure if I could actually pull it off. I”m in a band that plays really fast, 2 minute songs. Now being asked to pull off a 7 퉌_ minute, epic song without any real rehearsal for a crowd of 100,000 people seemed somewhat overwhelming!! But hey. You only live once!! So anyway, after listening to the song a bit in the band’s dressing room, I heard them reheasing the song with Joey from Slipknot in the trailer next door. Niklas came in and said that they were going to use him to do the song because he had played with them before and was a little more comfortable. And that was that. Hey, it’s a great story to tell my grandkids someday: Let me tell you about the time I almost played with Metallica.. Regardless, I’m completely flattered that they would even consider a player like me as a fill-in for one of the biggest concerts of the year. Anyone who plays an instrument out there or has ever heard of Metallica for that matter knows the weight and the importance of an experience like that. Too bad it never happened, but It’s still pretty awesome!!! Another great thing that happened on the tour (not really) was when my left eye spontaneously swelled shut and started giving me the worst pain that I’ve ever had in my life. We stayed at some hotel in London that had a really strange set up. First of all, if anyone’s in Europe in the dead of summer and you want to get a hotel with a little air conditioning—–Good Luck!!! It took us a little while but we finally found one with the air conditioning units located above the beds on the ceiling!?!?! I’m laying on my bed that night to go to sleep and something lands in my eye, felt almost like being poked or something. I ignored it for four days because I just thought it was an eyelash or something that would just work it”s way out. Finally I had to see a doctor. The first one I saw was a German doctor who misdiagnosed me as having herpes. HAHAHAAHAHA!!!! Can herpes show up in your eye? Maybe it can, I don’t know but it sounds crazy, right? He gave me some cream that I was supposed to put into my eye six times a day. I might as well have been trying to put oatmeal or yogurt in my eye. Terrible!!! I let it go a couple of days until finally I had to see another doctor because nothing was improving. I went to some emergency room where the doctor there informed me that I had a splinter of metal in my eye. How is this something that the first doctor I saw would have noticed? I kind of laughed it off at firs, OK, just take it out so I can get out of here. Then he takes out a small scalpel. Of course, this would make anyone nervous. So he puts a drop of some sort of anesthetic in my eye to numb it, and then starts to go to work, scraping my cornea to get this little piece of metal out. 1, 2, 3 and it’s done. He puts this huge bandage on my eye that makes me look like a pirate and I’m out of there. I had to wear it for 2 days and put this other type of lotion/ointment for about a week. It was pretty scary over all. Thankfully we have some great friends over in Europe that really come through for us (Schlumpf, I’m talking to you). Of course, there were a lot more crazier/cooler events that happened on tour. Once in a while, I’m sure that people like to hear some of the more unconventional things that happen while on the road. I’ll think of a couple more to add to my next journal entry. Hope you were all intrigued. Stay safe and come to see us when we roll through your city on the Ozzfest. Peace, Matt P.S.— I’m cleaning up my act a little bit. I don’t think I spoke one bad word in this whole journal entry. I’ve heard a lot of people were complaining about some of my offensive language. Hey, sometimes you have to speak abrasively to get your point across!! Didn’t mean to offend anyone. Sorry.