June 19, 2004 -
Rise - Here is the latest update from the band Rise:
I hope this letter finds you well and full of summer madness ~ something I seem to be full of all the time, well the madness bit anyway!
Things are good on our fair Isle, safe from all the many horrors that beset so many people on our troubled globe. I guess having a 7 mile moat surrounding us on all sides, no oil, no tangible riches and nothing but natural wonders keeps the neds and crazies at bay (what we call gangsters and criminals in this neck of the woods). It is certainly a place ideally suited for writing songs, long thoughtful walks and big roaring fires. There is a wonderful sound of silence.
For all that I love my Island home and love Scotland, I miss America. It is a malaise I suffer with after each time we tour. It is a fantastic country - much maligned of late by many of my fellow countrymen - but then very few have been and if they have it is to Florida and Disney World ~ which is hardly the same thing.
I had a fantastic time recently visiting with DJ friends from Santa Cruz right up to Washington State. I stayed in Red Wood forests, big cities and in small towns like Arcata in Humbolt County and in picturesque places such as Skamania landing on the Columbia Gorge as well as in many small town Motels along the way.
It was so refreshing to meet so many like minded people. Wonderful to see so much of the alternative society which is alive and well in that part of America - fantastic.
In the UK many of the so called Beatniks and Hippies were absorbed into society and in many cases were just the weekend variety - it was a fashion statement or a Utopian Ďpipeí dream. But in America I found these people still doing their thing - building and maintaining an alternative. I visited places where you could fill your car with biodiesel or recharge it with electric. I went to Supermarkets where all the produce was organic and mostly animal free - businesses which were run ethically and with compassion (even organic cigarettes!!!).
Most of all the many people I met were friendly, open and polite in a way that I havenít experienced since the last time I was in America (on the East Coast). Northern California, Oregon and Washington are beautiful places and I feel so fortunate to have been. I loved being woken by the alien (to my ears) sounds of the Blue Jay - to see Black Squirrels and Humming Birds. To gaze upon magnificent Redwoods steeped in History we can only dream of. To wander trails that First Nation peoples must have trod... My imagination ran wild. To know wild cats and Bears still roamed their...
Yes it is true - America is big - man it is huge - but so are the dreams and the ideals that so many hold (although rarely shown or reflected in the mainstream media).
My trip could be summed up thus: I felt at home, at ease and welcomed.
The same could be said of our new album, POSING as HUMAN, which was one of the main reasons for our trip - it is doing really well getting airplay all over the States - in all itís many corners as well as enjoying a lot of exposure in countries like Japan and Australia.
It is so rewarding to know that so many of our thoughts and feelings are shared all over the world ~ it makes it all worthwhile.
Thanks a lot.
All the very best ~ Kris.