It’s fair to say James Monteith has been a bit busy releasing TesseracT‘s excellent second album, Altered State. That’s why this is his first post in eight months, but he’s already taken up a new challenge – cycling to Donington. From London. Hopefully without vomiting. Yeah, right…
Just over two months ago I was minding my own business, scratching my balls, watching the clock count down to 27 May (Altered State release date), when Prog editor, Jerry Ewing emailed me about The Heavy Metal Truants bike ride. At first I thought it was a joke – especially coming from Jerry, who doesn’t look like he’s ever sat on a bike, let alone up for a 161-mile bike ride – but after a few days of harassment I realized it was for real, and after reading about the event and the charities it supports, I was very intrigued and decided I had to get involved.
Now, I’m not the most active of people, either… in fact, I’m probably one of the few musicians who see going on tour as a bit of a work out – all that head banging and drinking beer is highly energy consuming! To be honest, running for a bus wipes me out and I have accepted that I am perpetually unfit, and I don’t have the time nor the inclination to sort it out. So cycling 161 miles is a bit ridiculous, but I’m a fan of ridiculous things so I guess I’m seeing this as an epic challenge… or death.
Alongside members of Paradise Lost, Trivium and some dude called Bruce Dickinson, I will be tackling the rough terrain of the English countryside. It may look pretty, but it’s full of hills, and hills to an unfit cyclist are torture. However, the countryside is also littered with pubs, and I’m sure I’ll make it along by willing myself to the next ice cold pint of cider.
This bike ride is not just about engaging self-harm with a bunch of rock stars, it’s about raising money for some great causes. First up there’s ChildLine, a 24 hour help line that has been supporting children since the ’80s, and has helped thousands of children every year who have suffered abuse, bullying, parental separation or divorce, pregnancy etc… We’re also riding for Teenage Cancer Trust, who provide support services for young cancer victims. Cancer has probably touched all of us at some point, and for a teenager to fall victim to it is devastating, so as much support and research into treatment there is the better. Finally there’s Nordoff Robbins, a charity set up to fund music therapy to treat people with mental illnesses, suffering trauma and various other things; giving music another great purpose in life – healing. So yeah, if you have a spare few quid, please bung it my way, as it will go to three amazing causes.
So who’s least likely to make it? Well I’m definitely in the running, but I’ve been doing some secret training and am feeling quietly confident. Not Bruce – he’s like Superman: rock star, airline pilot, professional fencer… I bet he works out ten times a week doing pushups with 4x12s on his back. In all honesty, my money is on Jerry Ewing. Partly because it’s his fault I’m here and I’ll probably hate him at the 160th mile, but also because the only exercise I’ve ever seen him do is lift a drink to his lips in the Crobar. Apparently he’s been training too though…
Anyway, thanks for reading, and please give generously as this might kill me, and I don’t want to die for a few measly quid!
Oh, and Tesseract have released a new album, go listen here and then buy that too!