So much Sudanese talent in one picture. by Ahmed Gallab


Fellow Sudanese artist @doitlikedua performed in BK last night and this happened. So much Sudanese talent in one picture. Ma sha allah. 

To all young and aspiring Sudanese talents out there: we see and support you. We are here to represent our people and wave our flag proudly in the entertainment industry. Shouts to @alsarah5000 and @bas too. 🇸🇩 #sudaneseexcellence 🇸🇸 #تسقط_بس

I started 2008 working as a line cook and ended it playing on David Letterman. by Ahmed Gallab


I started 2008 working as a line cook and ended it playing on David Letterman.

My first rehearsal with @Yeasayer was May 19th, 2009. This was the day I met @jaytram. Jay is the epitome of “cool.” He has a great southern accent, dresses well, listens to great music and has a great walk. He’s a great drummer.

Rehearsals were fun. We were focused and had great synergy. “Odd Blood” was a huge success. Sold out shows worldwide.

On a day off in London, Jay & I met up with his friend Dave. After getting drunk and silly, we went back to his place. Dave kept making Manhattans and offered us acid. We got kooky. Jay and I switched pants for some reason and the next thing I know we’re scaling an extremely steep rooftop to see the sunset. I really needed to piss but Dave kept telling me to wait. I couldn’t hold it any longer and didn’t get further than his front door before I pissed all over myself. We washed the pants and tried to dry them over the stove. They caught on fire.
Jay and I went back to the hotel. We were leaving for Amsterdam that night. Our tour manager asked for passports. “oh it’s in my backpack. wait... where’s my backpack?” I ran into my hotel room and couldn’t find it. Panic. My passport and the band’s computer was in there. That computer ran all of the backing tracks for the show. I lost the backpack.

I told Chris what happened and his response was, “I don’t wanna hear it!”. I lost my shit. I’m crying and throwing up. Full blown panic attack. Jay tried to calm me down but it was no use. I went from having an amazing trip to THE WORST TRIP EVER. I thought my life was over.

The next morning I got to work rebuilding the show. I had to do it by memory. We had changed a lot of the songs so it wasn’t easy. I was also still tripping. I had the show back by next morning.

About a week later we got home and I got an email from a British taxi company. They had recovered a backpack and traced it back to me. The computer was recovered! At our next sound check @anandwilder asked, “what’s wrong with the sounds coming from the computer?” I told him that I was using the old sessions. “Use the new ones you made. They sound better.” #hardcoretourstories

Evenings were a party. by Ahmed Gallab


On April 2nd, 2008 we (Caribou) headed to Athens, GA. I was playing IN my favorite band! @pitchfork wrote about it and they even gave Sinkane a shoutout. It was surreal! 

After the show I went to say hi to some friends and was sidetracked by a tall drunk guy and his friends. They had a vibe. “Dude! We read the story and were scared that this show was going to be weird but you KILLED IT!” Then a young lady, Dotty, said, “We all play in @of_montreal and we were wondering if you wanted to play with us?” What?! Of Montreal?! “You guys really want ME to play with YOU!?” *THIS WAS THE 2ND DAY OF TOUR*

2 months later I ran into them at ATP Camber Sands Festival. A spectacle best described as the epitome of the early Oughts indie rock explosion. It contained bands like Caribou, Jay Reatard, of Montreal, Deerhunter, Born Ruffians, Black Lips, Dirty Projectors, Yeasayer, Times New Viking, Vampire Weekend, No Age, Fuck Buttons, Hot Chip, Bon Iver and many more. All of the bands stayed in chalets connected to one another. Evenings were a party. Some notable moments were doing MDMA with Jay Reatard (who was already tripping on acid and washing everything down with wine), having a push-up contest with of Montreal, and watching Jared from Black Lips trash Deerhunter’s chalet. I also met @anandwilder & Ira from @yeasayerthat day. 

I moved to Athens that summer. The night before my first rehearsal, Kevin gave me an MPC, a CD and said, “have 3 songs ready for tomorrow.” I worked relentlessly with my friend @what_evan to set up my rig that month. 

Of Montreal marked a lot of firsts for me. 1st time on a bus, big scale EU tour, playing a show with a horse, and 1st time playing on TV. It was a lot of fun although bittersweet. The band was going through a tough time and I felt like everyone’s grievances were projected onto me. Granted, I WAS a snotty 24 yr old. I take responsibility for my cockiness. Still, I dealt with a lot from those guys. What I was told would be a year of touring ended abruptly that December. My last show with them was on David Letterman. Afterward, I took a cab to my sister’s place in Brooklyn and decided to stay. #hardcoretourstories

That day changed my life by Ahmed Gallab


In October of 2007 I went to see @cariboumusic play in Cleveland.

I was very obnoxious at this show... At the end of the night, in my drunken stupor, I walked up to Dan Snaith and gave him my album. I spilt my guts to him. He thanked me and gave me his email address. Then I got kicked out of The Grog Shop.

4 months later I get an email from Dan saying that he listened to my album and loves it. They were coming through Ohio again and I asked to support them in Columbus. Dan agreed and I freaked out. I quit my job. Literally writing “I’m quitting this job for rock and roll” in my 2 week notice. I booked a tour that ended in Columbus with the Caribou show. After the 2nd show of the tour my van blew up. It couldn’t move faster than 15 miles an hour. Tour over. I was distraught. I had to find another job. The morning of my interview, I checked my email and found one from Dan. “Caribou Needs Replacement Drummer!” I thought it might have been sent by mistake but I read it anyway. Their drummer @pickapiperbrad had broken his wrist the day before and their entire tour was in jeopardy. I responded right away with my phone number then left my house. 5 minutes later my phone rang. It was Dan. “Hey man! We want to do the gig! Can you do it???” I pulled into a Starbucks parking lot and tried to make sense of what was going on.. “when do you need me?” “Tonight! You need to come to Raleigh now!”

I turned the car around, went home, packed my bags, went to the airport. 2 hrs later I was in Raleigh, NC waiting for Caribou to pick me up. We went straight to a rehearsal space and started playing. Their music is very easy to listen to but it is NOT EASY TO PLAY! I distinctly remember learning “Barnowl”. The band said, “ok so you have to learn this drum break from an Albert Ayler tune” and then left me alone for about 45 mins with the break playing on loop.... That might have been the hardest thing that I have ever had to learn in my life. 
Next morning we got to Cat’s Cradle at 10 am to start rehearsing for the show. We rehearsed all day long. At 8 PM Dan looked at me and said, “I think you’re ready.”

That day, April 1st 2008, changed my life. #hardcoretourstories

Here I am beating the shit out of the drums. by Ahmed Gallab

Here I am beating the shit out of the drums. A way of playing and hearing music that I’ve had to completely unlearn for the sake of understanding and growing as a musician. Hitting guitar strings harder doesn’t make them sound louder. And turning everything to 11 isn’t the only way to be loud. Anyway, here’s a story about Mike. 

One random day in DC we got to talking about Africa (cause you do...) and I boasted about how Sudan was the largest country in Africa (at the time it was). Mike didn’t agree. He thought it was Algeria. He spoke against a Sudanese person about what the largest country in Africa was... So, me being me, I asked him if he wanted to put a wager on it. If he was wrong he had to shave his beard into a mustache. I don’t remember what I had to do because I knew that I was right. I win, he shaves the mustache, we head to Richmond where we are gonna play at a Punk Rock Prom. En route we hit some insane traffic which got us there 4 hours late. We didn’t end up playing and needed to blow off steam so we went looking for booze and weed. As we entered the punk house we saw some guy jump and grab a chandelier from the ceiling of the dining room. It broke off and he landed on a giant kitchen table. The table splits in half and forms a ramp. Within seconds someone grabbed their skateboard and skated on it. It was that kind of party.
Anyway, Mike comes to me hours later bummed out cause he can’t seem to find any weed. By this time I was pretty hammered and too stoned. Then it hit me, “dude you look like a NARC!” His mustache made him look like someone’s dad and no one would offer him any weed. So.. the lesson of this story is: don’t bet against Sudanese people about what country was the largest in Africa 15 yrs ago. Sudanese people love to fuck with you and they will whenever you give them a chance. Even if the funniest thing that happened out of that experience doesn’t really involve them in any way whatsoever (but kinda yes indirectly), they will laugh at you and take credit for it. #hardcoretourstories

On our way out of New York by Ahmed Gallab

Van Problems

On our way out of New York, Mike missed the turn to get into the Holland Tunnel. He quickly rounded the street to get back on track but, right as we got to the end of the street, our van shut down and wouldn’t crank back on. We were conveniently next to an empty parking lot so we pushed Bunnicula (that’s what we called our van... All hardcore kids know about naming their vans) into the lot. Bryan opened the hood, Greg grabbed our spare battery and I had no idea what to do so I stood around staring at the skyscrapers. Bryan tried to jump the van from the spare battery but Greg put the cables on backwards and fried it. Bryan stared off into space for a second then went back into the van and grabbed what looked like a medicine bag. He asked us if we had bubble gum and bandaids. About 10 minutes later he told me to try to start the van again and, boom, it turned on. We all went to look at what Bryan had done and saw that he soldered the battery (yes he had solder wire and a soldering gun with him... why? We still don’t know) to work with the bubble gum and bandaids. I still have no idea what/how he got the van to turn on. Mainly because I can’t get over the fact that, if Mike hadn’t missed that turn, we would have broken down IN the Holland Tunnel... #Hardcoretourstories