Warped Tour: The Final Run – Part 3

We’re almost midway through the final run of Warped Tour, and the end is nigh.  Not only are fans feeling a little upset, but musicians are experiencing some bittersweet emotions as well.  In our third article of the Warped Tour series, we speak to some of the artists on the tour and learn how this tour has influenced them, on a professional and personal level.


The Dollyrots

Image courtesy of The Dollyrots

Kelly Ogden has always wanted to be a mermaid.  Growing up in Florida, the bassist/vocalist was always at the beach or swimming in a pool, a lake or a spring.  Being suited to both land and sea has been a theme in Kelly’s life, and has been woven into the imagery and songwriting on The Dollyrots’ album, Whiplash Splash.  Being half human and half fish seems a fitting metaphor for the way the duo (Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas) now split their time between downtown Los Angeles and coastal Florida, or how they manage to balance touring life on the road with parenthood at home.  Whiplash Splash is the Dollyrots’ sixth studio LP, and their first since 2014’s Barefoot and Pregnant.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

TD:  Warped was a staple of our youth and a place for us to learn as a young band; so, we are a bit sad for it to end, but honoured to be a part of the final run.  Times change, musical styles change, and we’re excited to see what comes next for punk rock.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

TD:  In the early days, I think it was very punk rock in the classic sense, and a place for weirdos to go hang out for a day, get sunburned, and watch all their favourite bands.  Now, I think there are still a lot of us weirdos, but the style of music has changed.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

TD:  A sweaty, heart pounding cacophony of your favourite music, all being played at once.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

TD:  We’re doing a lot of touring this year.  Next up: the East Coast, USA, headline tour in July/August, and then we’re heading overseas with our buddy, Jaret, from Bowling For Soup.  Can’t wait to get out and see everyone!  Kelly is also working on a duets album with Jaret that will be coming out around Thanksgiving.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

TD:  Please say ‘HEY!’.  We’re always answering on social media, and love to meet you guys for hugs at merch after we play.  Check out our Patreon if you wanna see more of our crazy life as a family and band, and get new Dollyrots’ tunes every month!


Failed To Study

Image credit to @kristinmaxinephoto

Failed To Study is a female-fronted alternative rock band out of Ontario, California.  With a national touring background, it’s no surprise that Failed To Study scored two dates on the final run of Vans Warped Tour 2018.  FTS recently took some time to re-evaluate their line up and sound, and have recently released a new single, ‘Midnight’, that shows off the polished vision that they were looking for in their music.  The answers are by vocalist Kristin Crofford.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

KC:  Warped Tour is something we strived to be a part of since we were extremely young, and at one point thought we might not have what it takes to make it.  Actually, performing on the tour, and the final run, is an indescribable feeling.  Being on stage, and thinking of all of our heroes and idols who have been where we are, is an unbelievable and exhilarating feeling.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

KC:  Warped has always been the first major stepping stone for smaller sized bands.  Warped has always greeted smaller bands on the tour with open arms, and given so many opportunities that have never been considered in other larger festivals.  Not only that, but they always allow a very diverse setting for music of all genres, and give people the chance to experience all of these new bands and sounds that they may have never discovered in the past.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

KC:  A place for those who feel like they don’t belong, like their music doesn’t belong; they belong here.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

KC:  At the moment, we have a few opportunities up in the air, but we are constantly in and out of the studio working on more music to release later in the summer.  We are also working hard with our booking agent over at the Wavelink Agency for possibly touring routes throughout the rest of 2018.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

KC:  We want them to know that we are so, so thankful for them.  They are the reason we got this opportunity and any future opportunities.  We write for them, and work hard for them.  We can’t wait to be on the road again to see all of them, listen to their stories and be their shoulders to lean on.  See you all very soon.


Hard To Hit

Image credit to Chris Cochran

Hard to Hit is a self-branded ‘West Coast pop punk’ band from San Diego that believes pop punk deserves breakdowns.  They signed to Manic Kat Records last summer, put out a sophomore EP that winter, and are touring and writing to have a full-length album out in 2019.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

HTH:  We were super excited.  Warped Tour has been a staple in our genre for years.  Matt was saying he’s been to something like fifteen of them, so to be able to play was really cool for us.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

HTH:   Warped Tour had a huge impact in crossing alternative, punk and hardcore music into the more mainstream/popular force that it is today.  Everyone has heard of Warped Tour, and it allowed smaller, lesser known bands to take part in the same festival as the biggest names in the genre.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

HTH:  A hell of a time that allows people to see their favourite bands, and discover their soon-to-be favourites, all at the same place.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

HTH:  We’re touring the West Coast again at the end of July with our label mates Right On, Kid! and Noise Brigade.  It’s gonna rule.  We also have another tour coming up this fall that we haven’t announced yet.  We’ll be heading East, at least relative to San Diego, for the first time, and we’re stoked.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

HTH:  Let’s be friends.  We’re just five dudes that like the same music you do.  Come say hi at a show.

 


Antonio Hancock

Image credit to James Harper

Antonio Hancock, also known as Saxl Rose, began his musical career at the early age of four when he’d visit his father on the road.  It was during this time that he began to pick up instruments, such as the saxophone and piano.  Soon after graduating high school, he went on to form the rock/metal band Listen For The Light, and joined the pop punk band Chasing Morgan as a drummer.  In 2016, however, he released a debut single ‘Adore You’ – produced by Briley “Maestro” Harris.  In 2017, Tony released his first full-length album. 

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

AH:  It’s a feeling I can’t quite capture with words.  I haven’t missed a Warped Tour since I became aware it even existed.  I remember hearing bands like Blink 182 talk about it, and I always thought how crazy it would be to be a part of a tour like this. The fact that it’s the last one, while it is sad, makes it even more special to me and the people around me.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

AH:  The impact has been massive.  So many bands and artists have gotten their start on Warped Tour, and so many bands and artists have created defining moments in their career on the Warped stages.  It’s unreal.  I’ve seen bands go from the small stage to the main stage in just a year or two’s time, and you can literally see how their fanbases grow.  It’s incredible.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

AH:  Best day ever.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

AH:  So much!  I just played on stage with Paramore, which was amazing.  After the Warped dates, I’m doing some more Emo Nite dates in Baltimore, then finishing up my sax project.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

AH:  Thank you to everyone that has been following my musical journey thus far.  Thank you to my brothers in Listen For The Light for their support.  Thank you to all of my friends and family, Grace Town stand up!  It’s been one BIG experiment for me really, just having fun with the sax covers and the performances; but, I’m so happy that people want to see and hear me play.  I’ve been playing sax for over twenty years, and this is something I’ve prayed for all my life.  I couldn’t be happier.


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Small Talks

Image credit to Lily McLaughlin

Cayley Spivey began writing songs in her bedroom, and booking shows at a local coffee shop to create her own scene in her hometown of Myrtle Beach, SC.  As her passion grew, so did her music, eventually leading her to find a unique sound under the project name Small Talks.  Small Talks is a musical group created to give a voice to the intangible experiences and emotions that come with the simple act of being human.  For Cayley, it’s all about connecting with the people around her through music, and wanting to give a lifelong memory for her audience at every show.  She brings energy and surprises to every show, while providing fans with a place to be themselves regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, or race.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

ST:  Being a part of the last Van’s Warped Tour feels like being given a once in a lifetime experience, because it is.  We are grateful, and wanna bring our best selves out there, and work extremely hard to make the absolute most of it.  We know this is something people can only dream of, and that we were extremely lucky to have this experience shared with us.  I wish every music lover could experience it.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

ST:  Warped Tour created a home where people can completely forget about everything besides music.  It brought people together, and has helped others find their purpose.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

ST:  Think about when you find yourself lost in a song, and you feel a sense of euphoria, that’s Warped Tour; but, all day, live, and in full colour.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

ST:  In 2018, we will be dropping a sound drastically different from our history.  We can’t wait to see what people take from it.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

ST:  You are so important, you are our purpose, and we are so grateful to be sharing life at the same time as you.  Thank you for allowing us to be ourselves.  Thank you for creating Small Talks.


Inventure

Image credit to Joe Flannery

Inventure is a metalcore band from Ocean County NJ. Their sound is the perfect blend of technical riffs, in your face breakdowns, and melodic choruses that are sure to catch attention. Check out their new full-length, Sociopath, today!

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

I:  It feels amazing to be a part of the final run.  It is a bittersweet feeling.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

I:  Warped Tour definitely played a huge part in uniting the music community.  It was the perfect place for fans of all genres to come together and have a great time.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

I:  Warped Tour could be described as an all you can eat buffet of awesome music.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

I:  We will be releasing more content centred around our full-length Sociopath.  We also have another surprise brewing that everyone can expect to see sometime in the fall.  There are plans to play more shows, as well as perhaps going on another small tour.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

I:  We would like to say, thank you for supporting everything we have done this far, and keep an eye out for more stuff from us!

 


The Living Strange

Image credit to Jack Maraghy
The Living Strange is the kind of band that typically ends up on the floor wearing bright colours and inducing hearing loss.  The Brooklyn-based alternative rock quartet is led by songwriter, Elijah Sokolow.  Sokolow is joined by Ben Shafrir (drums), Nico Sleator (synth), and Miles Blue Spruce (bass).  They pride themselves on the number of times people have told them, they can’t tell if what they’re hearing is a guitar or a synth.  The Living Strange’s answers are provided by vocalist, Elijah Sokolow.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

ES:  It’s awesome to be a part of the last ever Warped Tour.  When this band started, I never would have anticipated this; but then again, life is strange.  We’re thrilled to play and watch some friends play as well.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

ES:  Warped Tour has been a big platform for modern rock in the US.  I’m sure there are many musicians today that came away from the festival with inspiration for what they’d like to create.  In the age of the internet, live performance is really important for people to connect with other like-minded people.  I’d say Warped Tour has influenced musical culture by providing a platform for those types of connections.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

ES:  If you told someone in Brooklyn that you could see The Living Strange, Darkwing, and Reel Big Fish all at the same place, they’d say that the tour is warped.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

ES:  Later this year, we will be releasing our official debut full-length, GUNK.  In support of that, we’ll be touring around the States; as well as, throwing our own festival, Strangefest, in NYC.  On top of that, we have a few special concept releases we aim to get out before 2019.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

ES:  O proud death, what feast is toward in thine eternal cell, that thou so many princes at a shot?  Also, stream our album, GUNK, out on August 16th.


Wide Awake

Image credit to Jen Miller

Wide Awake is a five-piece rock/metal band from St. Louis, Missouri.  The band is comprised of C.J. Erxleben, Chase Politte, Jordan Siegler, Collin Reagan and Chris Richey.  They recently released their single, ‘Hole’, in May of this year.  Vocalist, C.J., has provided the answers to our probing questions.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

CJE:  I have grown up going to Warped Tour; so, to be a part of not just the tour in general, but the final run, is a true honour.  If you told 2007 me that I would be playing Warped Tour in 2018, I would not have believed you.  We are beyond excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this last year.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

CJE:  As someone who has been attending since my first year in 2007, I can speak for our local community when I say, it has really given a lot of us a sense of home.  You get to see a ton of amazing bands, see all your friends, meet people you look up to, and just have an overall great time every year.  I think all of that is something that I know myself, and many others will miss.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

CJE:  Something I wish everyone, for the rest of forever, could experience.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

CJE:  We are currently writing new music and booking tours throughout the rest of the year.  We have really put our hearts into some of our new material, and it is the best reflection of the band and how we all feel about the things we go through.  Needless to say, we are really excited to share that with everyone.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

CJE:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  We appreciate every bit of support anyone has ever given us.  Keep supporting local bands, the touring bands through your city, and the bands that you love.  Go to their shows, scream their music at the top of your lungs, and have an amazing time doing it.  Don’t let anyone tell you who you should be, and love everyone for who they are.  We will talk to you all very soon.





Blue Heaven

Image credit to @pri0la_

Based in Frederick, Maryland, Connor Bowen, Matt Full, Ryan Sprenkle and Levi Miller formed the indie pop group, Blue Heaven.  Signed to No Sleep Records, the group released their debut demo in 2016.  They grew their discography in June 2018 by releasing a self-recorded and self-produced full-length album, Volume One.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

BH:  So honoured!  We all grew up going to Warped Tour to see all of our favourite bands.  Playing Warped Tour was quite literally a dream of ours as kids, and getting to be a small part of this last run feels phenomenal.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

BH:  A massive one.  It’s a ritualistic event for people who love music falling under the ‘punk’ umbrella, and it was almost a rite of passage for us as kids growing up.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

BH:  Rock and roll summer camp.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

BH:  We’ll be going on a Midwest tour with our friends in Salt Creek this August!  More dates to come in the fall. 

Do you have any last words for your fans?

BH:  Thank you so much for all the love and support we’ve received for our LP, Volume One.  We’ve worked on this record for a long time, and it feels fantastic to see people so excited about it!


8 Graves

Image credit to Dimitry Mak

The roller coaster of human emotion; twisting and turning within all of its rages, through deep valleys, and over triumphant loops.  While we are all present for our own ride, it’s rare to take a seat on someone else’s.  This is the experience inherently present in each song 8 Graves produces.  Listening to a song, you’re ripped down by the introspective realities, and then catapulted back up by the defiant strength we sometimes find in those moments.  The pain and the progress; the push and the pull are present in every measure, begging to hide away, yet demanding to be heard.  8 Graves offers us the opportunity to hurt together, to bleed aloud, and to guarantee we are never alone.

This is Warped Tour’s final run, how do you feel being part of it?

8G:  Warped Tour has been so iconic for so long.  Honestly, we are so happy we had the opportunity to be a part of the last run.  I know that so many good people put so much hard work into making it so amazing for years.  We’re super excited to be playing, and we’re happy we’re going to get the chance to thank all the hardworking people behind the scenes that have worked so hard every year to bring us this awesome event.  It’s been a part of our lives as musicians, and as fans of music, so we’re glad we can help give it a proper send off.

What sort of influence do you think Warped Tour had on the musical community?

8G:  The thing that will always stand out to us about Warped Tour is that it has always represented a grand stage for acts that wouldn’t have had one otherwise.  It has given a voice and an audience to acts that are unapologetically original, and given the fans of that music the chance to meet, embrace, and really get a sense of who the people creating the music are.  In the overly commercialised world of music we live in today, I don’t even know that it’s possible to truly quantify how important that has been.  It’s going to be sorely missed.

If you could describe Warped Tour in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

8G:  Warped Tour is where artists that demand to be heard get to play for people who want to truly connect with music.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

8G:  For the remainder of 2018, we have a couple of singles dropping that we are really excited about.  We are building our live show into something we are really proud of, and investing a lot of time and energy there to give the awesome people that come to see us the best experience possible.  For us, it’s always about creating songs we love, improving, and connecting with more of the amazing people that support us.  2018 has been our busiest year in terms of playing live, and we are continuing that through the remainder of the year.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

8G:  We always say, we don’t have fans.  We have friends.  To everyone who has supported us, you are a part of 8 Graves.  We don’t exist without you, and we can never thank you enough for encouraging us to continue creating.  Keep a look out for new music coming soon.  We love you all. 

 

 

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