Learning from the Past: The Swiss Screw Job

We’re firm believers of learning from past experiences. Dan Baird and Homemade Sin definitely has experiences that we all can learn from. Today, we revisit one of the more unfortunate events in their touring history.

As big fans, we tend to nurse old hurts—especially when it has something to with a band that we like. Today, we’re going to revisit a still sore point (with us, anyway) at around 2013 where Dan with his band were en route to another tour point.

Fans in Europe were all quite livid when this news came to light and for very good reason.

The Tale

The band along with their manager Mick Brown, were on their way into their next location one night. It all seemed to be a regular run of the mill border crossing and everything seemed fine. However, the band hadn’t even gotten a full on stop at the hotel parking when disaster struck.

The band’s van was immediately surrounded by other vehicles—there were spotlights everywhere—and yelling; A lot of yelling. Guns were raised by the Swiss Border Patrol. Dan and his band were told that they had violated a law by making use of a commercial vehicle to pass their border which was unmanned.

From there, the band and their crew were herded back into their vehicle and taken back to the border. It was there that they were kept for a four hour long search and inquiry. The border patrol took out all their equipment and gear, along with band merchandise and called it “contraband”. What was utterly disrespectful was that the border police were having their photos taken with the “contraband”.

Further, it wasn’t like they were taking photos of the “contraband—they were posing with them. If that wasn’t bad enough, the band was then told that they were to be fined £9000. They were given around twelve hours to come up with the money or all their belongings were to be auctioned off online. The border police even showed the band the already up and running eBay ad regarding their van.

The band paid up and came to realize that everything was a scam. What was even more insulting was that Dan and his band couldn’t even make an appeal to get their funds back. It seems that they had fallen under a rather silly technicality about “proper procedure about border crossing” despite never having received any sort of documentation that explained the procedure.

The band even found out that their van did not violate any code at all since it did not fit the requirements of a “commercial” vehicle. It was an altogether horrid situation perpetuated by people who have no soul.

The Lesson

When you’re a band travelling, it is critical that you read up on border crossing procedures. Know your rights and not let your belongings be seized without proper documentation and protocol. Know the avenues that you can call. Always know the number of your embassy whenever you’re visiting a foreign country.

While we’re glad that Dan Baird and Homemade Sin got past the issue and strove forward, we’re still pretty sore about the whole thing happening to begin with. Hopefully, we can all learn something from this and band together when something like this happens again.

Getting to Know Our Roots: What is Rock and Americana?

While most people would commonly dismiss the genres of Rock and Americana as one thing, things aren’t actually as simple as that. Join us as we delve into the depths of two beloved musical genres! A common misconception is that when someone says “Rock” there we’d be talking about big hair metal bands, womanizing, and outrageous behavior. However, this is hardly the case.

A lot of people have difficulty separating the music form from the person who creates the music itself. Let’s peel back all the layers and put the focus on where it really should be: the music.

What is Rock Music?

Arguably, one of the more popular genres of music, a significant amount of people may not have realized that Rock has its roots in American history. It was in the 1950s that the first form of rock, “Rock and Roll” truly came to be.

All the other offshoots came about a decade later and have their roots firmly planted in their American origins. While rock itself was born from African-American rhythm and blues, it has since evolved, taking some style along with it.

What is Americana?

This particular genre is a blend of American folk music and other genres that permeate the American music industry sphere. It incorporates a lot of the play styles and sound of other contemporary music. The thing that’s great about Americana is the fact that while it does draw from pre-existing genres, it manages to blend its form and matter in way that sets it apart entirely.

You will be able to hear the twangs or the purer forms of music where it gets its roots from but at the same thing, you’ll be treated to something completely new.

Why is it important to know both?

As Americana does touch upon the sound of Rock, it is still good to be able to set the two apart. It’s the same principle of oranges and mandarins. They may appear to be similar but the core is completely different. You will see similarities yet be treated to something that’s unexpected.

In order to give suitable respect and appreciation for Rock artists and Americana artists, the distinction must be made. It’s not about being a competition of which one is better. It’s seeing that while one thing can grow from another, it doesn’t mean that it’s an anomaly or should be treated with disdain.

Both music forms have their own special charm and the world is all the richer for it. As for those who hold American roots, they have something to be really proud of as both music genres are firmly entrenched in their identity as a culture.

To Conclude

Knowing where your music came from is akin to knowing who you are as a person. It helps develop your sense of cultural identity and must be a source of pride—not shame. Hopefully, with the information that you’ve picked up from today’s discussion, you can show more appreciation and support to those who are keeping Rock and Americana alive and well!