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Poison the Well Show Us Their Van at NYC 10 for $10 Tour Stop

This summer, the odometer of Poison the Well‘s white 2005 van will finally break the 200,000 miles as the band crisscrosses the nation as part of the 10 for $10 Tour, which boasts a hardcore bill featuring the likes of Terror, Vision, Madball, Death Before Dishonor, War of Ages and This Is Hell. We caught up with the guys before the second date of the tour in New York City. We also spent some time in said van, which, according to frontman Jeffrey Moreira, smells “like the inside of someone’s toenail.”

The van, which was around the 192,790 mark when we last saw it, has been in the band’s possession for years, and it’s gotten them through many tours. But inside, there’s nothing scandalous. Just what you’d expect to find in a band’s van: guitar picks, bottle caps, empty beer cans and cell phone boxes litter the floor. Under the seats, there are boxes of vinyl records the band will sell during the tour, empty bottles of pomegranate iced tea, and boxes of Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies and cakes.

“You should title this article, ‘Poison the Well: On the Road to Diabetes,’” jokes guitarist Ryan Primack, before taking a sip of his Yuengling. The van is fairly clean, probably because the band doesn’t really sleep in it. If they had a bus, they’d be sleeping in that. But according to Moreira, riding in a van is the only way a band like Poison the Well can make money on tour.

“We don’t have to pay a driver, we don’t have to rent a bus, or pay for the gas, which is way more than what comes into this thing,” he says. But when you trade the luxury of having a driver, you take on that responsibility yourself. And it can be a dangerous undertaking.

“I made this hole in the steering wheel by punching it when I was pissed off driving,” the singer says. “I don’t remember where we were, but I punched it, because some guy cut me off.” He’s not a fan of driving in pedestrian-heavy Manhattan, where a van and trailer are hard to navigate. “Some dude cut me off on the way over here and he had a trailer, too,” Moreira explains. “There’s a code, if you have a trailer … you have to let somebody else with a trailer in. Dude just totally cut me off, just straight up cut me off.”

The seatbelt-less van’s rear passenger side bears the brunt of one road mishap. A gaping gash, left by a Trans Am. “Our old tour manager tried to make a right-hand turn from the outside left lane, and a Trans Am tried to drive under us,” says Primack, as he rolls another cigarette. The van’s bumper is also dented. “We don’t even know how that happened. We parked it in Miami somewhere, and when we came back, we found the van like that.”

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Poison the Well
Poison the Well Tour Van
Justina Villanueva

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On the floor of the van, we also find directions to the venue and a sketch of a flower – which was done by the band’s merch guy. A tattoo artist, he’s always sketching on paper while on the road, and is even doing a sleeve for guitarist Bradley Clifford on this tour. There’s a hotel room key, from Australia (Moreira collects little mementos from the road, like posters, T-shirts, room keys, and “millions of laminates.” Primack admits to keeping nothing: “I trust my memory, and when the memories are gone, they’re gone.”) and an ice scraper, covered in tar. That’s what the band used to scrape tar from the van’s tires after drummer Chris Hornbrook drove over wet tar. Oh, and all the way in the back of the van, next to the jumper cables and the extension chords, there’s ‘show clothes,’ dirty laundry that the band intends on cleaning soon. Perhaps the source of the putrid smell inside the van.

We also found a busted camera tripod, which the band is considering selling to a fan as a piece if memorabilia, as well as Moreira’s PSP: He’s a fan of ‘God of War’ and ‘Monster Hunter Freedom.’ But, oddly enough, we found no pornography. Just old country records. “We have iPhones for that,” says Moreira. But as it turns out, the band is actually split between iPhones and G1s. Then, they show us their “traveling medicine cabinet,” a compartment inside the van’s console filled with drugs.

“Its everything you need if you get sick on the road,” the singer says. “Zinc, Emergen-C, Advil, Theraflu, Tums, various painkillers. You’ve gotta keep yourself healthy on tour.”

Primack apologizes that there was nothing too exciting on the band’s van, and points out it’s “only the second day of the tour. By the end of it, we’ll have a dead body in here.” Not super exciting, but interesting nonetheless to see what it’s like to travel like Poison the Well, on one of the summer’s hottest tours.

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