When Authentic Sellout guitarist Christian Borja pens songs, he tends to envision images that correlate with the lyrics. While he was writing “Radiate,” many of these images were post-apocalyptic. Vocalist Sulo King landing the band a gig at Wasteland Weekend was likely a lucky coincidence.
Authentic Sellout, "Apples & Oranges," August 11, 2017, Soma's Sidestage
“I got wind of [Wasteland Weekend], like, seven years ago in its first conception,” King said. “It was called ‘Road Warrior Weekend’ back then. I found out about it through some people at Comic-Con a few months before it happened because it’s always in September. Someone said, ‘Hey, you’re a huge Mad Max fan. This should be a perfect gig for you.’”
The website for Wasteland Weekend describes it as “a five-day post-apocalyptic festival” that is held in the Mojave Desert. 2017’s location was about 30 miles outside of California City and attracted an estimated 3850 attendees. Realizing they had the perfect setting for shooting a video for “Radiate,” the band hired a video crew to accompany them to the desert. Unfortunately, the plan was nearly derailed due to a packing accident on the eve of their trip.
“Christian was trying to cut a zip-tie off a lantern we had bought at Walmart, and I handed him a knife. The lantern was plastic and the zip-tie was on the handle. So, instead of cutting it off, it slid, and so did the knife. He gashed his hand right in between his thumb and index finger. We had to spend, like, four hours at the ER,” King said.
At the ER, the doctor informed Borja that no tendons had been damaged and that he would be fine. He was given eight stitches, a splint was applied, and the band headed to the desert.
“So, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to do all these solos without using my thumb,” Borja said. “It was the hardest gig I’ve ever had to do thus far. I’ve had full-blown food poisoning, the flu, an almost-broken foot, but this was by far the hardest to pull off. If you look at the video, I’m basically wearing a full splint on my hand. Everyone thought it was part of my outfit at first.”
When the band arrived at the festival on the second day, they noticed the burned-out carcass of an RV in a spot across from where they were camping. King figured that it was either just a “pretty cool prop” or that people “were just burning cars for fun.” Neither was correct.
“Someone set up an RV and they put their generator too close to the tank on the RV and it exploded. No one was injured, but their whole, brand-new RV, their truck…everything exploded. I can’t help laughing — I heard some lady was in the shower when this was all going on and had to run out of the trailer butt-ass naked while it’s burning to the ground,” King explained.