Hey all, So here we are at the end of the Tyrants Return tour! I thought I'd share my thoughts about it all and let you know what's happening next, and I have no doubt the other guys will chime in with their own thoughts somewhere in this thread. What a trip! Yet another jaunt around the country and this time we not only made it back to my hometown of Broken Hill again, but we made it to Cairns, Rockhampton and Darwin for the first time as well. It's always a thrill for us to play places we've never been before and I know we were all looking forward to those shows especially - Cairns for me because I have family there I hadn't seen in over ten years (this was actually the highlight of my entire trip because of that), Rockhampton for Andy because he lived there for a few years as a kid, and Darwin because we'd all wanted to go there for ages and it didn't disappoint; in fact, Darwin surprisingly had the biggest crowd of anywhere we played all tour... including the dates in Japan! Ah, Japan. It's seriously like a second home to us now. That's both good and bad for me. This is now my fifth tour there and as much as it's awesome to always go back, it's actually sad in a way that it is so familiar now. I still remember Dungeon's first tour there in 2003 when it felt like a completely different world for all of us. Now we have our favourite places to eat, old friends we want to catch up with, and we actually know how to get from place to place from memory now. Don't get me wrong, that's pretty damn cool, but that initial magic that we felt the first time we got off of the plane all those years ago is something I'll always cherish. In Japan we reunited with some good friends of mine in Doro - Johnny, Nick and of course Doro herself (and their manager Dirk who put together some shows for Dungeon's 2005 Euro tour), and we met the two new members of the band Bas and Luca, who were awesome. Awesome is also a word I'd use to describe the incredible Jaded Heart. What a fantastic band, and top group of guys. They reminded me of the first time I'd seen Edguy play - pure professionalism and can actually pull off what you hear on the CD flawlessly live - it blew me away. All of us getting up together on stage with Doro (and our special blow-up doll guest) was amazing. It's been 5 years since I was on the same stage with Doro (and Nick and Johnny) and it was nice to be able to do that again. I have to mention that it was great travelling with our fellow Aussies over there who came over for the adventure - Ralphe, Bucko, Sanj, Red, Bonnie, Cryptor and Craig. Also great to see our friend Maru who was invaluable in making everything happen. The Doro and Jaded Heart crews/management were top guys too, as well as all at Rubicon Music. In a lot of ways this was the most difficult tour we've ever done logistically. One thing a lot of people don't know is how LORD is basically run. Essentially we're self managed and the jobs that we do are delegated to each member, mostly towards me and Andy. I look after all of the multimedia side of things - video clips, recording, photos, graphics, website, etc. and usually I'm the guy steering the ship when it comes to arrangements and compiling and arranging all of our ideas and turning them into the final forms of the songs. Andy, on the other hand is the logistics guy. He plans and books the tours, does the budgeting, looks after the pressings of CDs and merch (and is usually the guy at the merch table), does stocktaking, works out our tour itinerary, arranges gear for us... it's a MASSIVE job that you'd expect a dedicated touring company to do. While we may have nothing to tour behind if I didn't do all of my jobs, the tours themselves just would not happen at all if it wasn't for Andy's tireless hard work. On this tour, as I said, it was a logistical nightmare - we were up against it from day one. International tours coming through on a ridiculously regular basis that we had to dodge, clashing gigs, venues closing down (sometimes as soon as we found a new home the next venue would close down), poor planning from a couple of our business associates that made shows more difficult than they should have been, and then we had mother nature to contend with... gigs being cancelled due to rain or playing to a very soggy open air amphitheatre with an unusually early start to the wet-season in Cairns (we felt especially disappointed for the excellent Baton Rouge Morgue who had travelled all the way down to Australia to do the show and we were relentlessly hammered by the rain). And then the amount of tech problems we were having by the end of the tour was unprecedented. After so much abuse we give everything on the road, our stuff was bound to start breaking down, and when you throw in the element of borrowed/hired gear on our interstate shows, it's just asking for trouble. And it's not just the gear that's breaking down. We all got very sick during the course of the tour, for some of us multiple times. As usual I got Japanese Death Flu coming back from Japan which didn't hit me full on until our Broken Hill / Adelaide dates, to the degree that I couldn't sing at all in Adelaide (thanks to an awesome crowd who took over the vocals for me!). And apart from sickness, we're all pretty tired after spending so long on the road. For me personally, I've been doing this for 21 years now and non-stop album/tour/album/tour for the last 9, from just before Dungeon's "A Rise To Power" album came out. We literally haven't stopped at all since then, save for a couple of months (like literally two) when Dungeon disbanded and LORD hit the road. It's an expensive and all-consuming lifestyle that pushes everything else in your life to the wayside so you can keep forging ahead, leaving a stream of fallen comrades, lost friendships and broken relationships in your wake. Somewhere in the middle of the tour it became clear to me that I needed to take a break for a while and get some perspective and clarity back into my life. So that brings me to what's coming up (and don't panic, it's not a "LORD is breaking up OMG!!1!!1" statement or anything like that!) As we hinted when we were whoring around our last few shows, LORD is gonna take a lengthy break from the live scene in 2011. This is partly so we can concentrate on writing the next LORD album (which is gonna be awesome if we pull it off properly, but it'll take time and we simply can not rush it if we want it to be as good as we imagine it could be), but also partly to take time away from the endless travelling, waiting in hotel rooms/venues/airports/stations, stress of being in each other's pocket every day in a highly emotional and stressful environment to recharge, get personal side projects happening just as a release for us all (a couple of us have things we want to do like my Clarity project and Mark with FromBeyond for example) and find out what it's actually like to have a personal life for a little while without having to be locked away in a studio or whisked away to the other side of the country or planet and missing the people we care most about back home. How long is this break? There's no time limit on how long it will be - we'll be back when we're ready to go, basically (huge support slots notwithstanding - we can make an exception to our rule if Metallica come knocking! ). When we do return, it'll be as a fresher band with actually working gear and a slew of new stuff to show you guys, and likely a shiny new album as well. But even though you won't be seeing us in the flesh for a while, don't think you'll be missing us! We have a bunch of stuff on the boil that we plan to unleash over the next year, including new video clips and all sorts of other goodies. Trust me, you won't forget who we are while we're taking our break. I'll leave it to Andy to thank specific people in the industry or other bands later in the thread if he wants to - he'd know more than me who we've worked with since he was the logistics guy. Most of the time my head was in the next clip or recording or whatever and I was only vaguely aware of who we were playing with or who our local promoter was, etc. But I will say a big personal thank you to each and every band that we shared a stage with, everyone who lent us gear, drove us around, promoted our shows, the venues that made us feel welcome, media, tech people (sound, lights, etc.) and everyone else we've dealt with in this bizarre industry. You guys rule! Thank you so much! Last but not least, let me say thank you to YOU GUYS, the fans. As I said earlier, I've been doing this for 21 years and done MANY thousands of kilometres around the country and the globe, and the thing that keeps me wanting to get out there, even when I'm missing home and the people I love more than I can bear, when I'm completely over riding in another goddamn plane, and sick of my gear breaking down or sitting hung over on the side of the road waiting for our 5am lobby call to fly out to another city, is the people who appreciate what we do and enjoy our music. I can be having the most shit day ever and not want to step foot on another stage for the next ten years but when I see you guys going nuts out the front of the stage, it makes me proud of all of the work we've done that it's touched everyone so much that you'd learn the words and sing along, proudly wear our shirts and hoodies and want to get pictures with us. So thank you, everyone. It means the world to me. I'll leave it there. I got me a bourbon I'd like to drink and a pretty girl and a house full of insane cats that I want to spend a bit more time with, starting... NOW! CHEERS!