Atlas Road Diaries - 3 - Bridging The Gap
Whoop whoop. That's the sound of the poliiiice. We've been pulled over roughly every other day in Germany. As much as we want to believe that it's due to our enormous street cred or overall badass demeanor, it's because our van is riding low due to the equipment in the back. Now, there's a million things running through our minds. None about us getting into any trouble, but instead what joke or prank can we pull off in this rather serious moment. I'm a firm believer that the Big man upstairs has an incredible sense of humor, but I can't get the image of God himself watching us in his heavenly Lazy Boy, White Russian in his left hand and in his right a big ass lighting bolt with Atlas Road Crew etched on the side. I swear we are one perfectly timed joke away from securing our tickets into the pearly gates or being struck down right where we stand.
Speaking of heaven, I've always imagined that everyone has their own version of heaven when they leave this Earth. Like a personalized summer camp. The geographic makeup, the people and weather is all personalized to the individual. Maybe for you it's a beach, or the countryside but for me the mountains have always had a mysterious aura about them. I'm saying this because I just got my first glimpse of the Alps. I think back in high school, It was Switzerland's "leave me out of it" mentality that I related to, leading to my curiosity about this specific mountain range but who knows, who cares even. Here's the good stuff. We're crossing over a bridge into Austria, below us is a river. Icy blue and about 100 yards wide, winding across the land as far as you can see The terrain around it looks like Pennsylvania on 81. Rolling hills of lush green grass. There's a small Austrian village to the left. All the buildings are cream colored with burnt orange roof tiles. And off to the horizon are the Alps. They're similar to the Rockies. Sharp, jagged snow-capped peaks and the perfect blend of sun and clouds makes every color a little bit sharper. It's a beautiful sight. Now did I have some great epiphany or emotional awakening after seeing these majestic mountains for the first time? Maybe, who knows, who cares? I'm with my best friends driving through the alps. Someone make me a White Russian.
We've been asking each other recently where's the youth around here? Our crowds have been primarily made up of older people. Most of whom will mention that they have kids our age who are into the DJ scene. Which is understandable. Currently we are all in a phase of "entering the beat lab". Using our computers to replicate the music that has been swarming our generation the past couple years. A random giggle notifies the rest of that something juicy is brewing in those headphones. Back home in the states we have a primarily college aged fan base. Although we do bridge the generational gap well through our music and our parents spreading the word throughout their friends and colleagues, the first rows at the stage are always the same. Twenty somethings grappling with the idea of adulthood, sharing the same age-related issues of "what do I do now?" or "they're getting married?!" They understand us and we understand them. But here we are in Slovakia, playing for members of a generation that grew up during the Cold War, we don't have that common ground to share. Different ages, different problems, different cultures. I'm no historian but I don't think Uncle Sam was welcomed at the dinner table all too much around these lands. Yet the five of us for 90 minutes a night have connected with people regardless of age, race, class religious or political views, and in a world full of "conquer and divide" I'm very proud to be apart of that. We're not politicians or religious crusaders. Were barely musicians, but we're first hand seeing the generational and cultural gap get smaller and smaller with every show. Granted the scale of this bridge is microscopic but it's still a bridge. And that's just as beautiful as dem mountains. But for now, DJ Drohan is giggling like a tickle me Elmo, world peace will have to wait for a moment.