Venom Prison’s Ash Gray: 5 Weirdest Places I’ve Slept on Tour

Venom Prison, 2019; photo by Jake Owens

Tour life might seem glamorous and fun, but it ain’t for the faint of heart. Between the homesickness and long drives, there’s also the issue of where to rest your head each night. Up-and-coming bands cutting their teeth playing tiny gig after tiny gig don’t get to ride in a lux tour bus much less stay in a hotel room every evening. Instead, they get to crash wherever they can while trying to save up gas money. U.K. death-metal crew Venom Prison are doing alright for themselves these days, but it wasn’t that long ago that the boys and girl were staying in some pretty shady spots while on the road. We caught up with guitarist Ash Gray to get a look at what tour life is really all about, warts and all.

1. DEAD GRANDMA’S HOUSE, ITALY

In Italy, I think it was, we stayed at some guy’s grandma’s house who died the day before and all her shit was still everywhere and one of the boys slept in her bed and got a hair on him and he freaked out hard. It was pretty funny as bad as it sounds. 

2. WEIRD HOSTEL FULL OF SPIDERS, GERMANY

See, I can’t remember some of these places we’ve stayed at or where for a number of reasons, but that’s a different story … We stayed in this hostel that was tiny with about a million bunk beds and a never-ending ceiling, set our bags down, chilled out, then Ben from Venom Prison freaked out because there was, no joke, about a million spiders all over the place. It was in Germany somewhere I think.

3. ABANDONED APARTMENT, AUSTRIA

Austria, I think it was, Venom Prison were given the keys to some hotel room, but it ended up looking like an abandoned apartment. As soon as we walked in, the door fell off and, for some reason, there was a dinner table in the toilet, so I had a beer in there.

4. ON THE STAGE IN AN OLD VENUE

Stayed in an old venue on the Trap Them tour. I literally slept next to the drum kit on the stage. It was cold as hell, as well, kind of freaky and probably damp. It’s a roof over our heads, though, so that’s a plus.

5. A PLACE COVERED IN FLEAS AND SHITS

I can’t really think, to be honest: A lot of weird things happen, but off the top of my head it’s hard to pinpoint. We’ve stayed with places covered in fleas and shit or places with weed growing everywhere, which is cool. So much crazy stuff, like someone shitting themselves drunk and leaving their jeans on. Loads of stuff.