Chris Arena, drummer for the New York punk band Sister Kisser, recently compiled several years’ worth of essays into a ‘zine entitled We Live In A Van. Volume one is nine different essays. While all are connected by the theme “The road is life, life is the road,” they’re not neccesarily from the same tour or even the same year.
Arena’s musings bring home the fact that, for touring bands, the show is the smallest part of the whole thing. MOst of the stories in here have mor to do with the life of a traveler, meeting new people, running into familiar faces in strange places, and the whole need to travel. As Arena puts it:
“The back alleys of my mind have been paved and are burning for some traffic. They’re waiting, all fresh and smooth, for new journeys, new experiences.”
It’s a lyrical, thoughtful experience, and rather more poetic than I expected. The rhythm in which Arena writes is a lot like the hum of an engine going down the highway. It’s steady and relaxing, and you find yourself thinking how amazing it would be to hop in a van and head on down the road, meeting people, all of you connected by music. We Live In A Van is limited to 70 copies, so if you get a copy, hand it over to a friend when you’re done. They deserve to read this.
To get a copy, you can either check out the Facebook page or e-mail at cmarena at gmail dot com. It’s $2 for a copy + $1 for shipping in the U.S. He’s also open to trades. He’ll also have copies at Long Island shows, so track him down out there.