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Straight Outta Luck formed in 2009 when Missouri transplant Ryan Jacobs met up with Natalie McFall, a veteran of the punk scenes in Fort Collins and Denver. Although he was initially reluctant to sing, Jacobs became the perfect vocalist for the band's raw, dynamic and urgent songs. McFall and Jacobs teamed up with former Mitya drummer Dan Datema, whom Jacobs had known from the punk scene back in Missouri.
A year and a half ago, Erik Landgren joined the outfit, stabilizing the lineup. Landgren and McFall had traveled in the same punk circles for years, and both had been members of Social Trend Killers at different times in that band's history. We recently spoke with the bandmembers about their first tour, which was nearly aborted last summer.
Westword: Tell us about the tour debacle.
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Erik Landgren: It was the first tour, and when we were about an hour outside Topeka, Dan was driving, and we blew a tire going seventy miles per hour. It took a fire truck to come spray the car down because the fuel line had gotten cut, and the AC and coolant lines. The tow truck dropped the van and the busted wheel off in the parking lot of the show.
Natalie McFall: Afterward, it was like a Jerry Springer episode. Some girl was trying to go home with some other dude. Her boyfriend was there. The boyfriend is trying to fight the other dude, and she was in the car, pounding on the window trying to get out.
Dan Datema: After the show, nobody left. They just moved into the parking lot and stayed there for two more hours drinking and fighting. The next morning, we got towed to a Walmart and got the tire fixed, but they didn't tell us what they didn't fix, like the AC line and the coolant line. We drove toward Lawrence, and the van overheated and shut down right at the turnpike. We MacGyvered the line and limped it to Lawrence, ten miles at a time.
Ryan Jacobs: One of my best friends from high school owns KC Autoworks. He sent the tow driver out to us in Lawrence for gas money and took us to the shop, and my friend fixed the van for free and sent us on our way — and saved the tour.
DD: When the tire first blew out, we realized the gas was pouring out of the van onto the hot pavement, and it was one of those moments of "Everybody out!" We walked down the road and stood there silently, pretty much waiting for our van to explode at any minute.
RJ: After we got the van fixed, it was the best tour you could have asked for. It's not a tour if your van doesn't break down.