Los Toxicos is a monthly feature where we get to know a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event. To nominate a fan (or yourself) for a future month, e-mail us.
Name: Kate Read
Where are you from?
As a “military brat,” I’m not really from anywhere in the traditional sense. I’ve been really fortunate to live around the world and experience cultures very different from my own. That being said, as a beach bum and taco-holic, I definitely consider San Diego to be my hometown (Chargers fan for life!). Now if only I could afford to move back there…
Tell us about yourself (who you are, what you do for a living, hobbies, etc.).
I am what you might call a perpetual work in progress. I am 32, just recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and am now 8 months and counting into the post-college job hunt (coughpleasefortheloveofgodsomeonepleasehiremecough). This came after a long hiatus from school while I was working to build a career in the horse industry. A lot of people will tell you to “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” They should probably follow this up with “unless what you love is horses, then prepare to work 12 hour days and be poor. Very, very poor.”
My life pretty much revolves around the animals in it. I have an exceedingly handsome OTTB, Santiago, and a very bossy (but always lovable) senior cat, Brooksie. My time is also divided amongst wrestling with my sister’s bull terrier, Rosie, and going on grand adventures with my parents’ golden retriever, Wendy. By now you might be concerned about my people skills and romantic future. Don’t worry guys, my mom is offering a dowry of fine scotch to the man willing to put up with me.
How did you become a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event?
One of the radio stations here used to do a late night weekend show where they would play B-sides and indie bands. I was driving around one night in 2009 when I first heard those sweet opening strings of “Sometime Around Midnight.” It was an instant “and just who the hell is this and where can I hear more??” moment. Since this was pre-Shazam, I had to memorize what time the song came on so that I could check the playlist on the station’s website once I got home. 11:57 that night I became a TATE fan. Appropriate, no?
Do any of your family or friends like The Airborne Toxic Event? Did you convert them, or did they convert you?
I am the only fan in my family, and I have a few friends who are casual fans. I have not personally been able to convert anyone, but I will be happy to go door to door with a copy of Toxic History to spread the gospel.
What does your Airborne Toxic Event collection include?
I’ve always been a bit of a minimalist when it comes to band memorabilia, so my collection is meager compared to other diehard fans. I have all five albums, the All I Ever Wanted Blu-ray, guitar picks from Mikel and Steven, setlist from the Philly Shazam contest pre-show, and a t-shirt.
What’s your favorite TATE song and album, and why?
Ugh, the dreaded favorites question! One of the reasons TATE is one of my top two favorite bands is because I literally love every song/album. I could go to a show where they played all popular songs, or all rarities, and I would probably think it was the “best show ever!” Whether it’s the newer electronic stuff, or something raw and acoustic, TATE has yet to disappoint me. My favorite song or album is whatever I am listening to at that moment.
Have you ever had a special experience at a TATE concert? Tell us about it.
I decided last minute to drive up from Virginia Beach to the free show in Baltimore last year. The night before, I checked Google Maps to estimate the drive time. Four hours, it claimed. Keep in mind this was at about 1am; turns out there are more people on the road during daylight hours.
“Awesome!” I thought, naively. I figured leaving at 11am would allow for any unforeseen traffic, we’d make it to our hotel in D.C. by 2pm (for those not from the area, D.C. is relatively close to Baltimore and we planned to do sightseeing the next afternoon, but that is a story of frustration for another day). We’d have time to nap, shower, and change before driving the hour to Baltimore. Since I hadn’t ever been to this venue I wanted to get to Baltimore around 5 to give us enough time to check out where it was located, how early people were lining up (I was determined to be in front) and grab something to eat. It was going to be a totally stress free trip.
Wrong. SO VERY WRONG. We made it up the road about 30 minutes before we hit traffic. Not slow-moving traffic. Stopped traffic. For an hour. “Okay,” I said to myself, “It’s fine, the doors don’t even open until 6:30, we have PLENTY of time.” We got moving again… for about 45 minutes, and then dead stop. This pattern lasted the entire way up to D.C. By the time we go to our hotel room it was 5. I gave my dear, patient, best friend, James, enough time to stretch his legs and change shirts, before we climbed back into the car.
Now I would like to take a moment to emphasize how good I had been up to this point. I have notoriously bad road rage, especially in stop-and-go traffic. I say things that you just do not say in polite company. Beelzebub would blush. So for me to have maintained a perky, positive attitude for those first 6 hours was no small feat. BUT, when we got back onto the beltway and I found out that that one hour to Baltimore was now going to take 2, I kinda lost my shit. I’m not even sure I used real curse words, but I pretty much laid a pox on the house of anyone who was in my way. James, used to my tirades after five arduous years of friendship, took a nap.
Stay with me, cause this is where it turns around. So we pulled into Baltimore about 7. Happily, there weren’t too many people crowding the stage at this point. I wanted to get poor James something to eat, but the restaurants nearby had at least an hour wait. So I’m frantically looking around for something, ANYTHING close by to feed my friend when he grabs my shoulder and whispers “Hey, are those your guys?” Sure enough, I looked over and there were Mikel and Adrian. Just right there. In the open. Unguarded. Like they weren’t totally just two of the coolest people ever. I honestly couldn’t decide if I wanted to squeal, faint, or puke. James poked me again, “Go ask for a picture!”
Now, I am crazy shy, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. In my head, I smoothly walked over to Mikel and was all super cool like, “Hey, sup Mikel. Wanna get in this shot?” In reality, I sorta shuffled over to him, TOTALLY flushed, and very timidly squeaked something about a photo and motioned awkwardly to James (who was holding the camera). Of course, being just one of the most awesome people ever, Mikel was like, “Well, sure!” And he and Adrian each put an arm around me. This time I was pretty sure I was gonna faint. Deep down, I am just a 13-year-old girl.
All that frustration, demonic road rage, irritable hunger pains… ALL GONE. The rest of that night was AMAZING.
What’s on your Airborne Toxic Event bucket list?
I would love to see a west coast show, especially in either San Diego or L.A. L.A. cause it’s their hometown, and San Diego cause it’s mine!
Are there any other bands you would recommend that Airborne fans check out?
My other top favorite band is Pearl Jam. If you don’t listen to Pearl Jam, you should. There is just no such thing as a bad Pearl Jam show. If you like punk with a bit of Johnny Cash, then Social Distortion is for you. Now, like most punk bands, a lot of their sound repeats itself after 30 some years, but they put on fun shows. And the Beach Boys. Only bad people don’t like the Beach Boys.