"When an instrument fails onstage, it mocks you and must be destroyed!" - Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails
Last week I held a rocket launcher.
I also toured the inside of a C-135, operated an excavator, learned possibly more than I was supposed to about drone technology, looked through the night vision scope on a sniper rifle at the vast desert at dusk, controlled a bomb disposal robot, signed (and wrote menacing messages on) a bomb in a weapons bay of a B-1 Lancer, and played a two-and-a-half hour rock show for the troops with my pals.
In addition to all this and much more, and because Zivix was kind enough to cut Chris Heille and myself loose for the week, we had the opportunity to give away a bunch of jamstiks to some very deserving airmen.
Mega Commander Man-In-Charge Corporal Sergeant Master King Chief Badass Patrick Gesick (actual rank classified, c'mon people) was an audio engineering student who has worked in studios as well as in post-production for TV before joining the USAF. In a very appreciative email to Chris, Patrick said "...from an engineering perspective, this thing is absolutely incredible. The fact that it can be patched into GarageBand and the other apps which allow for better tweaking (quantizing, gates, comps etc) makes for real studio-like track making.
"Along with boosting my morale, this thing has re-sparked my enthusiasm for making music and engineering again."
Infinite thanks from Junk FM, the team at Zivix and myself to the men and women at Al Udeid for their service as well as their hospitality and generosity during our stay. I can say with relative certainty that this has been the most humbling, eye-opening and generally profound musical experience of my life thus far. Oh yeah, and here's me with that Stinger:
Back to the grind now...hello, USA!