Dumpster Diving For Donuts—One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

My friends think I’m weird because I like to eat out of the trash. Dumpsters to be exact. “The bigger the better,” I say.

How is this okay?

Because I’m dumpster diving for donuts. The saying hold’s true, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Or next meal in this case.

Okay, okay, I haven’t done this in almost 2 years(19 months actually) but desperate times called for desperate measures. Let me set the scene: I was on tour with my band a few years back and we began to hear fables of the glorious place they called Dunkin Donuts. Now, we have those in Oklahoma, don’t get me wrong, but these stories we heard always had one thing in common: closing time. And closing time meant “time to clean out the day’s supply of leftover donuts, separated them into clean trash bags (don’t tell me unused trash bags aren’t clean) and toss them in the dumpster out back.”

When hunger strikes a touring musician and there’s a Dunkin Donuts close by it sounds a lot like open season. So obviously I’ve got stories which I won’t withhold should you choose to ask me about it some time. Keywords are “dumpster diving, raccoon, cops, and get-away car.” It’ll be a good time.

xx man donuts

I won’t try to justify dumpster diving for donuts as a healthy meal plan but it does feel good to know you’ve scored something of value (to some) for free. Sometimes we had to drive around and hit 5 other shops before we hit a gold mine. And when we did…let me tell you: there’s nothing like waking up in the crisp morning air to smell of dozens of free breakfast goodies.

Here you are all snug and cozy in your sleeping bag, sprawled out across random band equipment, inside your trailer, in a Wal-Mart parking lot, in south Chicago, in February. You reach down and dig through the mess of jelly, glazed, long johns, cake, Bavarian cream even bear claws all in search of—where is it? Ahhh…the last apple fritter. Where else would you rather be?

Now any other red-blooded american might be ashamed to admit they dug through piles of napkins, coffee cups and other garbage to snack on day-old junk food but I believe there’s a silver lining here.

When an opportunity presents itself that you just can’t pass up you’ll do anything it takes to make it happen right? Even if you have try it 5 or 6 times, sifting through “garbage” to get what you need, it ultimately comes down to how bad you want it. There came a time in my life when I realized I needed to make a change and I did everything I could to achieve it. Today I’m able to walk forward with a clear conscience because of it.

All this to say, when life gives you something you can’t pass up, especially if you’re dumpster diving for donuts, take advantage of the opportunity and do what you must to reach your goals.





Every metal, death metal, hair metal, metalcore, hardcore, mathcore, nintendocore, prog metal, djent, sludge, grunge, grindcore, “experimental”, screamo, “whatever-the-heck you think your band sounds Iike” band I’ve ever heard has a mosh call.

A mosh call is usually a one-liner command commonly filled with expletives that rings out over a dead silence in the middle of a song just before the big breakdown. The point of a mosh call is to amp up the crowd, causing them to come undone and tear the place to shreds. Then go buy t-shirts with said phrase printed on it in big block letters. Hey, mine did it too, minus the colorful language.

I won’t go into detail about some of the more memorable mosh calls I’ve heard but it certainly does cause a guy to wonder “what does he really mean?” Side note, I really love the bands that say something different every night to throw off their expectant fans: “Make this place look like a pile of bananas!” Chaos and confusion ensues.

Bananas? Really?

How can even a 5′ tall guy with a microphone have such a commanding presence and influence a crowd of strangers to go “bananas” and punch every living soul in the room in the back of the head? Why are they so willing to do what he says?

Why aren’t Christians as equally willing to step out and speak up in love? We know who’s talking. We know His voice. It’s a non-violent approach. It could get that way if we push the right buttons but we ought to do so anyways because the God of the universe says so. He’s not looking to sell t-shirts. He’s got one agenda: the rescue of sinners.

We are agents of the cause. We’ve got more than just a hallow one-liner to egg us on to doing something we don’t understand to hurt people we don’t know. We have the living Word of God to guide and instruct us to move our feet.

Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe  all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Christ is the truth and Christ is enough. Let us be ever willing to share the truth in love.

May we be ever vigilant to share the gospel and move our feet.


P.S. As blasphemous as this may be, imagine Jesus as a front man. That would be a mosh call. He could make anything sound awesome and terrifying: “You brood of vipers!”(Matt 12:34)

What’s the best/worst mosh call you’ve ever heard?


Still one of my favorite band shirts of all time

Still one of my favorite band shirts of all time

Foot-In-Mouth Faithfulness

I used to hate Arkansas.

Let me rephrase that: I used to hate I-40 east. But if you’ve ever driven even 10 miles down the interstate in my old ’93 GMC 15 passenger band van with 6 other sweaty dudes with no AC in July, you’d understand. Times have changed, freon has been recharged, vans have been totaled and replaced, and I’ve seen enough Arkansas Tourism commercials to cause me to completely recant my former beliefs. Cell reception aside, I’d take Arkansas over most anywhere else in America.

300x300 One night we played at a venue named “The Hole In The Wall” in Atkins, AR. Literally. I was standing behind our merch table watching a band perform when I sent out a tweet saying, “I still have yet to form an opinion about this…band?” Immediately after their set finished, one of the guys(who I didn’t know at the time) walked off stage, pulled out his phone and said, “Hey Clay, explain this tweet to me.”

Shocked at being called out, put on the spot and flabbergasted at the power of twitter, I started sputtering. “What the heck?” I thought. “You really can’t just say whatever you want and never face the consequences.” The band guys were gracious and humorous about the whole thing and we ended up becoming fast friends. They’re still two of the most far out and ridiculous people I’ve ever met.

Being confronted about my words really put me to thinking. Many of us are firm and decided in what we think, say, or post online but are we really faithful to what matters most when we’re up against the wall?

Many of us are faithful to our ideas about Jesus Christ, but how many of us are faithful to Jesus Himself? Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can’t see anything.

How about our faith itself?

Faith is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can’t see the way ahead.

This is where obedience comes in. We must ask ourselves, “Am I going to obey and trust Him or will I compromise my words when the waters get rough?”

Thank God for grace.

Thank God for friends with a little extra salt in their pockets to sprinkle on a situation when I say dumb stuff. Our Father does the same thing.


Texas Trip

Yesterday I got to head down south to the “Land of the Big” with my boys for a night of good ol’ fashion smokey, indoor rock n’ roll. It was the last leg of the “Quit Your Band Get A Job Tour” and final Texas show ever for A Plea For Purging and As Hell Retreats. With 7 total bands playing it turned out to be quite the place to be. I’ve never been a huge fan of Tomcats in Ft. Worth but last night totally redeemed my opinion of it. After an early load-in, the 5 of us Harps, along with our twin buddies made our way to In-N-Out Burger for a little pre-show gorgery. Aside from the burned fries I helped our fill-in guitar player Hudson knock out, the burger and strawberry milk shake proved to be a winning formula. Once back at the now packed-out venue/bar, I proceeded to take myself a little “Tomcat”nap under the merch table. We played fourth in the lineup directly after our new friends in 2X4 who were just finishing up a 2 week tour with our great pals in Mouth Of The South who played right after us as direct support for the tour package. It being our first show in about 3 1/2 weeks, it felt good to get out there and shake off the post-tour dust. It was also a good feet-wetter for Hudson, our new fill-in guitar player who will be helping us out on our September tour with A Bullet For Pretty Boy and Every Dies In Utah. A Plea For Purging closed the night out with around 10 songs, new and old, all of which left the room battered, bruised and begging for more. In the words of frontman Andy Atkins when answering the crowd’s call for ‘one more song’:

“We only came prepared for one certain last song and if it’s not what y’all want to hear, then go home and listen to it on your cd, cause we’re gonna play what I want to play.”

Well said Andy, The room went nuts anyhow. I’m not one one who normally goes out of my way to attend a show that I’m not either playing or getting into for free to see my buddies who are in town, but I would’ve been there either way last night. I was glad to be apart of Plea’s final Texas show and aside from that it was a great night full of friendly connections and old faces I hadn’t seen in awhile. Good music brings together good people.

Anyways, we’re now home and gearing up for next month’s festivities. Can’t wait to get back out there on the road and see all our friends and to make new ones. So long and choose your Path wisely! -Clay W.

Picture courtesy of @harpandlyre instagram


P.S. These were our jams on the drive