I’m writing this outside our rehearsal studio on a resplendently polluted Los Angeles afternoon, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the black-on-black, skinny jean/beanie uniform in my many-hued Madiba t-shirt.

I’d originally planned on posting a picture of our full production set up, on account of its being super cool and Carter “Mountain Goat” Adams absolutely crushing the lighting design, but I was discouraged from doing so. Instead, I’ll offer simply that so far, so good. 

Yesterday was spent dusting off the cobwebs. We haven’t toured this ambitiously since 2016, or even played together that much save for a few one-offs, and these first few days are about rediscovering the chemistry - jamming, celebratory cocktails, and generally hanging out, reminding ourselves that we do, on balance, enjoy each other’s company. The pace is leisurely, which my jet lag appreciates, and there’s little sense of urgency, one of the benefits of having played a thousand or so shows together.

Palm trees are dancing hypnotically in the mellow breeze and, annoyingly, Phantom Planet’s “California” is stuck in my head. The only thing to do’s crank Sepultura to ear-splitting volume and meditate inside the Cavalera brothers shared rage.