Askultura Hits the Road in a School Bus Filled with Beer and Dried Apricots
JT Turret The traveling circus.
How does a 10-piece ska band celebrate St. Patrick's day? The old fashioned way: by cramming into a school bus and tripping on a road to Chicago. Askultura knows that to build a following, you have to tour and the bigger the tour, the more room you have to grow. Coasting up to Chicago is a big step for the band, one too big to cram into your basic touring van.
That's why they are riding in style in the Cool Bus. The refurbished school bus is a massive spectacle, announcing to each new city that Askultura has arrived. Along with Jay Tea from the Arrogant Sons of Bitches and Ska Goes Solo tour, Askultura is blazing a trail to Chicago for two big St. Patrick's day shows. The night before they took off for tour, we chatted with singer And Mazzatoro who gave us the scoop on everything from what they eat on the road to how they acquired the beautiful touring automobile. Do the cool kids still sit in the back of the bus? It's a difficult question when every kid is cool enough to be in Askultura.
New Times: What do you pack to eat while you are busy on the road?
And Mazzatoro: Let's see, I've got olive oil. There's honey buns. There are four cases of Yuengling, some plum wine, a handle of Wild Turkey. There is champagne for the first night and a big two gallon bottle of wine and a bag of oranges. A lot of beer. A lot of ramen noodles. I see a case of Pepsi. What else is in here? Oh there is a coffee maker and a cigarette butt thing. There are Fig Newtons and chocolate wafers. There's dried apricots... Oh, there's hand sanitizer!
I like your style. You have plenty of people to feed. With 10 band members, have you ever gotten all the way to a gig and realized you forgot somebody?
With the bus, it's never happened. But when we are on our own, there is always, always one vehicle that doesn't show up on time. I guess that's just part of dealing with this many people.
The bus must be a spectacle. What's it like when you roll into a new town?
Oh, they love it. It's a full size school bus, you've got people pouring out. There is an external PA and an internal PA. It's definitely a magnet. People want to come in here and hang out. There are only two of the actual school benches left. They are right up in the front of the bus and there are coolers of beer. It's classified as an RV so we're totally legal to drive and have drinks in the back.