This past Friday, April 13th, members from the Broadway Calls, Greeley Estates, Kate Perry, 3oh!3, Norma Jean, Reel Big Fish, The Aggrolites, The Briggs, The Lordz, All American Rejects and Beat Union gathered on a small stage in the Key Club of Hollywood next to Kevin Lyman, who welcomed the media with a taste of what this year’s Warped Tour holds: a true taste of musical diversity.
Although this year the participating Latin bands aren’t as promising as those of previous years (as was Go Betty Go and Allison), it remains true that the Warped Tour continues to be one of the best bets for introducing the new wave of bands like Beat Union or the ‘dirty reggae’ of The Aggrolites. We spoke to six of the bands participating in this year’s tour and with Kevin Lyman, the man behind this gigantic project, to learn about the surprises in store for this year’s tour and to learn why it is necessary for people to bid farewell to the “punk tour” label that has been placed on this event.
14 Contorted Years
It’s surreal that we’re in the 14th year of the Warped Tour, and I think that if you look around on this stage, you will see a line up that causes kids who go to a concert for the first time to be completely fascinated by it. Last year it motivated me to see kids walking around and hardly believing that they had just seen a number of bands perform all in one day.
There’s always some friend of mine who calls me last minute and says for example, ‘hey, I have this band called Broadway Calls’ and I’m like ‘great, another friend who has a band’. That’s the story of my life. Although we were full for the tour, we found a spot for them so I think that tonight in essence is what the tour is about. There are bands on this tour that have been with us for years and we’ve grown up together, and somehow we’ve learned to co-exist. For example, Kaves from The Lordz was in the 1995 Warped Tour, one of the young bands out here. They’ve had 3 major record label deals and he still believes in what he’s doing. He’s been working on a TV Project called the ‘Brooklyn Way’ and our friends over at Fuse TV got behind the TV Project.
Ultimately, if you really want to do this your whole life then you really have to figure out a way to do it. It’s not always about getting that gold record, it’s ultimately about how you are going to make this last, and I think that that’s what the Warped Tour is about. It’s about how to make the music last and I think it’s lasted a long time, probably longer than anyone expected when we started this thing. It’s important that the young bands learn from the other bands. For example, Penny Wise keeps reinventing themselves and other bands get more involved with their My Space page so that their careers can take off.
The Importance of Playing in the Warped Tour
All American Rejects
It gets us skinny! Every year we put on the pudge and then the summer comes around and the Warped Tour kicks our ass like Billy Blanks. Except it’s like the new Taebo but with instruments.
Reel Big Fish
I think it’s great playing the Warped Tour because it allows so may new fans for the band and it reminds maybe a bunch of old fans that got out of Real Big Fish that “hey! we still rock”… and also to expose ourselves to the kids who wouldn’t normally get down to a show. And by expose we mean that in the good way, not the way where you get arrested.
All American Rejects
Whatever keeps the kids coming to the shows, is great. I had forgotten that even Sublime was on the Warped Tour!
We started playing for the whole ska reggae scene in Los Angeles and everyone from low-rider cholos, to little kids, to punk rockers and even the ska enthusiasts come to our shows. It’s really cool.
Well, diversity is one of the fun parts of the Warped Tour. Because there are bands that I would have never listened to on my own or I wouldn’t have given myself the opportunity to listen to them, but thanks to the Warped Tour, I’m given the chance to realize that these bands exist. The same thing happens to the kids that go to the Warped Tour and discover new bands that they would have other wise never seen. So, diversity is something very good for the Warped Tour because it helps open peoples eyes towards other bands and other types of music. The beauty of the tour is that it gives fans the opportunity to find something new that they never imagined they would like.
It has to be a good thing to have a line up so diverse since so many people still think that all of the music has to do with skateboards and the skate-punk movement. But the Warped Tour has always tried to shake that off and since music continues to evolve and the diversity of it can only be something good. This year for example the tour has GBH, who are pioneers of the punk movement and then they have us and we’re from Birmingham, U.K. It has a hip hop band like The Lordz and Gym Class Heroes who already played in the U.K. but we would like to see them play again.
The Warped Tour has always had different styles of music and us for example we’re a hip hop band with punk influences. But in 1995 bands like CIV, Orange 9 mm, The Lordz of Brooklyn and other types of music played together and Kevin is always open to all types of music, but at the same time keeps a close connection with the punk rock scene. Good music is good music, but there’s a lot of music that comes from the street like punk or hip hop and if you mix all of that, that’s exactly what you get at this years Warped Tour.
I think this years Warped Tour is really reflective on what the tour stands for. It’s about diversity. If you look at the line up of ‘95, we had Sublime, Quicksand, L7…and everyone goes ‘it’s a punk tour’ but there were a lot of different sounds there. And then this year we have Reel Big Fish who have played the tour many times but we’re glad to have them back on board. And artists like Kate Perry and The Aggrolites who aren’t ska bands but who make good music. We have people like The Specials that show us that ska has never left (and actually I think we’re on the 13th ska wave!), and bands like Beat Union who I like very much and every time that someone goes with me to see them, they’re very impressed with the performance of these British kids.
Reel Big Fish
The Vandals, Beat Union, Say Anything…they’re so many good bands playing and I think that the first month I’m just gonna be watching other bands. We’re very excited to be part of the tour once again.
Against Me is one of the bands that I want to see, but I have so many friends in the tour this year like Set Your Goals, Street Dogs and The Aggrolites…it’s gonna be a lot of fun watching them all play.
We’re huge fans of Against Me and we want to see Reel Big Fish, Gym Class Heroes, GBH and The Bronx who we have a couple of upcoming shows with outside of the Warped Tour.
All American Rejects
We’ve had a lot of bands look out for us that we really didn’t expect like Drop Kick Murphy’s, Motion City Soundtrack…it’s a good tour for buds to hang out in. ‘Good lunch line.
Billy Talent is a band that I wouldn’t have listened to because it’s not my type of music, but in 2004 I was really impressed with their music and his live show.
We continue to be active in our charity work. We did 25 thousand pints of blood last year. But of course, the most important thing is the music. Ultimately, two months out of the year reminds me of why I started doing this. I get to be a kid again, everyone gets to be a kid again and everyone gets to love music all over again.
We’ve been working with people like Pako Zepeda to include bands like Allison and Delux in the past years and this year we have The Pinkertones on the entire tour.
Check out the Video-Shout outs from some of the bands that performed at the event.
Bands playing this year at Warped Tour 2008:
3OH!3 • A Day to Remember • Against Me! • Aggrolites • Alesana • All That Remains • All Time Low • Anberlin • Angels and Airwaves • As I Lay Dying • August Burns Red • Automatic Love Letter • Beat Union • Bedouin Soundclash • Between the Trees • Bouncing Souls • Bring Me the Horizon • Broadway Calls • Charlotte Sometimes • Cinematic Sunrise • Classic Crime • Cobra Starship • Confide • Danger Radio • Dr. Manhattan • Evergreen Terrace • Every Avenue • Everytime I Die • Family Force 5 • Forever the Sickest Kids • Four Year Strong • From First to Last • GBH • Greeley Estates • Gym Class Heroes • Horrorpops • Jack’s Mannequin • Just Surrender • Katy Perry • Ludo • Madina Lake • Mayday Parade • Maylene and the Sons of Disaster • MC Chris • Norma Jean • Oreska • Paramore • Pennywise • Pierce the Veil • Protest the Hero • Reel Big Fish • Relient K • Rise Against • Say Anything • Set Your Goals • Shwayze • Sick City • Sky Eats Airplane • Stick to Your Guns • Story of the Year • Street Dogs • The Academy Is… • The All-American Rejects • The Audition • The Briggs • The Bronx • The Color Fred • The Devil Wears Prada • The Dillinger Escape Plan • The Fabulous Rudies • The Higher • The Human Abstract • The Lordz • The Maine • The Morning Light • The Pink Spiders • The Saint Alvia Cartel • The Secret Handshake • The Vandals • We the Kings