Howdy folks! My name is Eric, although an equal amount of friends call me Millertime, so whatever works! 70k 2013 was my first time onbroad, and I'm booked for next year already (and likely all the years after that: without a doubt the best time of my life, and I'd sacrifice any other vacation I could possibly take just to be able to go on this cruise every year).
Hometown: Seattle, Washington USA. Nope, the rain doesn't bother me.
What got me in to metal: My friend has been a guitar player his whole life, so he's the one who got me in to metal. I'd say it definitely it started with power metal, as being somewhat of a nerd my whole life, the over-the-top, fantastical subject matter appeals to that side of me. At first it started as kind of a joke because of how cheesy the genre could get and we'd just laugh about it, but then we really started just loving the shit out of the music. Since then, I've branched out into all sorts of genres (thrash, NWOBHM, 80's hair metal, stuff with solos) and going to metal shows is my #1 hobby.
Top 10 (couldn't choose 5, sorry!) Bands: This changes frequently, as I'm sure most can relate. So in no particular order...
- Angra: I will say they are my #1 though. Flew down to LA just to see them open for Sepultura a couple years back without thinking twice about it. I'm envious of all the Brazilians who've probably seen them countless times over the years. I had booked 70k 2013 before they were even announced, and when they were...I'm not ashamed to admit I got quite emotional. My favorite picture of the cruise was on Grand Turk in front of the ship, posing with Felipe, Kiko, and Raphael. Not sure if I'm ever taking that one off of my desktop background.
- Edguy/Avantasia: Basically anything Tobias Sammet does. Bummed I was one year late to catch him on the cruise, but I'm holding out hope for a next year repeat. Only seen Edguy once before I really got familiar with their discography, and now I'd be belting out every lyric of every song. And Avantasia will take some sort of miracle to see in the USA anytime soon.
- Gamma Ray: Probably on the top of my list of bands that I haven't seen live yet. I was really hoping they would be tagging along with Helloween on their upcoming US leg of their tour, but it's not to be.
- Primal Fear: Another band that I've seen only once before I became very familiar with most of their albums, and am craving to see again. Really hoping for them on next year's cruise, probably the top of the wishlist.
- Skeletonwitch: For when I absolutely, positively, MUST get pumped up.
- Holy Grail: Seen them numerous times opening for various bands, and have become good friends over the years. Was so stoked for them when they got on the cruise.
- Gloryhammer: A very new band, but their debut album is among the best power metal I've come across. I know it's a long-shot, but seeing as Chris Bowes (keys/vocals for Alestorm) created this band, I have hope for them as 2014 addition.
- Andrew WK: Not exactly metal, but the I Get Wet album was the soundtrack to which I learned how to drink and party. His concerts are not to be missed.
- And finally, Dragonforce: I know some long-time metalheads may roll their eyes at this, but this was the band that got me started on the path. Me and my aforementioned guitar player buddy of mine listened to the Valley of the Damned demo online more times than I could possibly imagine, and made a pact that if they ever managed to play in the USA, we would fly to where ever the very first show was. In 2005, they announced a single show in Quebec City, and we decided that was close enough, so we flew 2500 miles to their first performance in North America. We managed to meet them after the show, and when we revealed that we had flown from Seattle to see them, they could not believe we had traveled so far just to see them play. We became fast friends, and I've since seen them live over 16 times all over the west coast, and each time it's like a reunion of old friends, always accompanied with a massive amount of drinking and partying backstage or on the tour-bus. I know it's a long story, but it's not often you get the chance to become friends with your idols, so it's a story worth telling in my opinion.
Job/Occupation: I majored in Exercise Science in college, and I work at a sports medicine clinic. There, I train athletes correct running mechanics, optimizing their form and correcting strength and flexibility imbalances that lead to decreased performance and increased risk of injury. We also train to improve agility, balance, coordination, and jumping ability. Many of our clients have the potential to go on to play for college and onwards to the professional level, and it's a very rewarding experience to work with them on the ground level, and see where they go from there. I also perform DXA scans for clients, which is the clinical standard for determining body fat percentage, as well as bone density.
I also work as a carhop at a 50's style drive-in burger restaurant. I've always thought it's kind of funny how contradictory my two jobs are, but I consider it good job security: I can fatten people up, and then teach them how to lose the weight again!
Favorite Cruise Memory: Hard to pick just one, but I'd would have to say the final night of the cruise at Karaoke. They say on the website that this is a night that you wish would never end, and that is 100% the truth. Sitting around with a new family from places all over the world, being equally entertained by singers both good and bad, and drinking and partying the way that only metalheads can. Sharing in the tradition of "Tequila Suicides" with the Finns was a particular highlight: Salt gets snorted up the nose, tequila goes in the mouth, and lime gets squeezed in the eye. This will definitely happen every cruise now.
I know that's quite the wall of text, but I'm really excited to meet even more of you guys next year onbroad, and I thought this would be a good way to start!