Though there was no official new release from us this year, I like to think of this as the Year of Universe:Red. Officially releasing in December of 2010, Universe:Red was our vessel for adventure this year, and what a vessel in which to ride! Perhaps most monumental (for me anyway) about the release of Universe:Red was that it gave way to the Expanding Universe tour; the first proper US tour in UriHistory!
Aside from our main tour, we had so many great opportunities to hit the road and perform with awesome people for even awesom-er fans. We continued our beloved tradition of con performances at All-Con in Dallas and Omnicon in McAllen, and had the time of our lives doing a mini-tour of Texas with our good friends and greatest source of career-based inspiration, The Protomen. On top of all of this, we also manged to squeeze in some local shows along the way, and even resurrected the aborted souls of NEZIRU on Halloween.
2011 also saw the departure of two UriMen from the group, but in their absence we had the opportunity to share the stage with a couple of very cool and talented dudes: Dan Sandberg and Cesar Gonzalez. Thank you both for donating your time and talents to us, this won't be the last time you'll be seen on a URIZEN stage, I guarantee it!
Thanks are also in order for the bands that helped us during the Expanding Universe tour: The Protomen, Bat Castle, D&D Sluggers, Children of the Reptile, Earths Collide, Brazen Angel, Prime Mover, Centura, Come See My Dead Person, Broken End Stereo, and every other band that we shared the stage with along the way. Independent music cannot exist without a strong community of musicians, and every one of the people in these bands did us favors that we will happily return anytime they need it!
Thanks also to the people that made our lives a whole lot easier during 2011: Joshua and Loyal Family in St. Louis for your generosity and hospitality; Hoyt Parris and Pathfinder Promotions in Atlanta for your tireless dedication to metal music; Todd at All-Con and Mark at Omnicon for putting a shitload of oft-thankless work into these conventions that we love to play and attend; Rustin and the staff at Tomcats West for giving us a homebase, a great sound system, and a pay scale that helps us keep gas in the Macho Van; and of course the Damask family, who provided us with a home and a family in North Carolina and asked for nothing in return.
Perhaps the biggest thanks of all goes to our friends and family who piled into our stinky (often AC-less) Macho Van to travel great lengths for no pay with nothing provided, all for the greater glory of bringing a robot, goo monster, Kuato, and more to life every single night at every show this year: Gabe Castañeda, Casey Drinnen, Gus Ruby, and David Cerezo, there would have been no URIZEN this year without your help!
So how will we top such a monumental year? Simple: More tours! More conventions! New stage show! New album! Maybe even a stop at a little music fest in Austin called... umm... Something By Somethingwest? 2012 will be bigger and URIZEN-ier, so don't take your eyes off of us for a minute.
Thanks again for making 2011 a year that will live on in our memories forever!
Daniel // URIZEN
P.S. We played with Green Jelly this year. Green. Jelly. Seriously, what an amazingly cool fucking year this was!