HORSE the band circa 2008
|“The General” Nathan Winneke
Nathan Winneke is the frenetic poetic thirty-something frontman of HORSE the band. The General, Nathan’s infamous and feared alter-ego, usually prefers to show up at about the halfway point through a bottle of whiskey. The General is the ultimate entertainer and the ultimate liability, susceptible to bloodlust and prone to speaking in tongues. His specialties include awkward bluntness, extreme sexual deviance, psychopathic role-playing benders that can last for weeks at a time, and bridge burning at the most high-impact moments imaginable. Nathan has a self-diagnosed guilt complex and a dark past including child abuse and kidnapping. He has started (and ended) his own cult, the First Church of the Mechanical Hand, in which males are granted membership following a rigorous written examination and must assume an animal totem name of his choosing. Though untamed and unpredictable, The General is probably the most endearing member of HORSE the band.
The child-like wizard of keyboards enters the tour freshly single for the first time in three years. The last time this happened Erik was busy declaring that pants were useless (and shedding them simultaneously), creating Richard Simmons style breakout dance circles in dance clubs across world, and fully realizing his cold and disinterested orgy-master persona “Lord Gold”. Erik follows the impulses of his heart to whimsical adventures wherever he travels, living out the fantasies of young girls. The flip-side to his wanton playfulness and creativity is his all-consuming hatred, which he expresses with his permanent toothy smile and periodic fits of self-righteous fury. Perpetually mourning the loss of innocence and simplicity, Erik has an irrational fear of technology, and an irresistible obsession with walking on the “heath” and experiencing other idiosyncrasies of Victorian-era fiction. Erik should prove to be the true wild card of the group.
David Isen. Stanford Graduate. Master of Computer Science. High School Valedictorian. Two-time Winner of the Newbery-Caldecott Creative Writing Medal in Elementary School. And founding guitarist of HORSE the band. A master of logical thought, a philosophical prodigy, perhaps the greatest analytical mind in any band in the world, yet David Isen struggles to find love and purpose on the lonely, monotonous road. Compulsively checking his detailed spreadsheet, custom designed for this endeavor, David looks for meaning in the numbers. The spreadsheet serves as a constant reminder of impending financial doom, so he is perpetually in a distressed state. David’s struggles with constipation are counterbalanced only by Erik’s diarrhea. The obstruction combined with the stress results in some occasionally irritable behavior, but underneath, there is always a love-able thoughtful sweetness.
Dash Arkenstone, son of legendary New Age composer and 3-time Grammy-Nominee David Arkenstone, sure has some big shoes to fill. No wonder he’s always deathly ill. That might also have something to do with his vegetarian ways, his struggle to stop drinking, and his week-long love affairs with total silence and darkness. Born in Compton, this grim bassist packs more street cred than the rest of the band combined. At the tender age of 12 he became a drug-using, panhandling runaway who hopped cargo trains to Berkeley for fun to catch Dystopia shows at Gilman. Now settled a bit, he lives with his massive vinyl collection and girlfriend in the mean streets of Van Nuys. Paying rent and keeping up with black metal limited edition color vinyl on eBay consume his waking hours, and when slumber comes, he dreams of Norway.
Newcomer and drum prodigy Jon Karel joins the band merely days before the tour is to begin. Leaving his other critically-acclaimed band (The #12 Looks Like You) behind for 3 months, he can’t pass up the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the world. He brings with him the bona-fide New Jersey package: a shit-eating grin, obnoxious attitude, and the most blatant and cheesy pick-up methods known to man. How embarrassing. Jon will face a double layered culture shock on this tour: while the rest of the band must deal with exotic customs, peoples and mores, Jon must also adjust to the incomparable culture of his new band – a collection of weirdos more shocking than anyone else he may encounter on the trip. Once he overcomes the sometimes uncomfortable growing pains, touring with this group is an experience that will scar and change him forever.
Gary Lachance is a the 39th most famous filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada. Gary never goes anywhere without at least one boombox. He knows how to start a party anywhere (see Decentralized Dance Party). He likes to jump off of very high things and almost die. The closer he thinks he came to dying, the more fun he has had. Despite the disregard for his life, he practices the Caveman Diet. He is simultaneously the most worried, cautious, and dutiful, and reckless and irresponsible person in the world. Gary often ends a night bleeding from the ears and usually has three to four trauma injuries at any given moment. Gary carried 100 pounds of video equipment around the world, never having any of it out of sight for 3 months. Gary took two years of his life to tour the world with HORSE the band and then stand and edit the footage. Gary doesn’t sit at his computer, he put it on top of piles of books and cinder blocks so he can stand in front of it (for good posture). Then he jumped off a roof and landed on concrete directly on his back to have fun.
|Sarah “Plopp” Hamilton
Plopp is HORSE the band’s official absent-minded photographess. Also plumbed from Vancouver’s creative nether regions, Plopp is a true modern marvel. There is nowhere to start and nowhere to end in describing this rare specimen, who earned her nickname by falling asleep for two hours on her lost last piece of “Plopp” chocolate bar in Sweden, while melting and grinding it deep into the buttcrack of her jeans and the upholstery during REM sleep periods. Plopp grew enormously as a human being on this tour, both physically and spiritually. At times the center of controversy, at times the last bastion of inspiration, Plopp chuckled through it all with a king size smile on her face and a king size beer in (each) hand.
Extremely minor characters:
Ed Edge plays guest triangle for HORSE the band every time he gets fired as a paramedic. This black (East Indian), vegan, straight-edge, Buddhist-turned-Christian, virgin redeemer originated on the island of Trinidad. Through a US relief project in the 1980s, he was able to come to New York City as an orphan. Learning from both Christ and Buddha, Ed practices an extreme form of selflessness. He once did Nathan’s laundry for him at 3am while suffering near heart failure. Just because he cares. He has “I’m sorry” in Tibetan script tattooed on his arm. His penis goes down to the top of his kneecap. Ed currently runs the non-profit Christ Cycles in Richmond, Virginia.