Warped Tour: The Final Run – Part 4

Some artists have performed, some haven’t…but in this fourth part of our Warped Tour coverage article, we speak with all and sundry to see how they feel about this final run.  This article looks at rock bands, punk bands, old musicians, young musicians, and every artist shares their thoughts on how the end of Warped has affected their lives.


Carousel Kings

Image credit to Dustin Smith

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania band has anchored their name as one of the most ambitious and creative pop rock machines in recent years.  Recently signing with Victory Records, and very excited about it, the Carousel Kings were eager to release their third album.  When searching for a title, they wanted to find a name that was tranquil, yet matches their glossy pop melodies and arena-sized hooks.  Charm City is about that dream place, a trippy world shared by all, yet unique to the individual.  Vocalist, David Alexander, provides answers to our Warped questions.

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

DA:  Honestly, we are just super humbled to be able to be a part of the VWT family.  Our weeks on the 2015 and 2017 Warped Tours are some of our favourite memories.  It’s a historical event, and we couldn’t be more excited to rock out one more time in Scranton.

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

DA:  Well, it has definitely influenced a lot of bands starting out, and especially influenced a lot of positive, community-driven activity.  Warped views all people as equal, and I think it’s helped a lot of people both on and off the tour with the non-profit stuff each year – suicide prevention, have hope, stuff like that.  Last year we took part in a ‘Save the Oceans’ collab song called We Are the Oceans.  That was a really cool experience and cause, and all arranged by Kevin and crew.  I feel bummed for the future generations who will miss out on the full scope of what Warped did over the years.  It’s definitely more than just a show.

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

DA:  Punk rock summer camp for all ages.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

DA:  Carousel Kings is playing some shows/festivals throughout the end of 2018.  We just got back from Europe, so we are just writing now and enjoying being home with our families.  We’ll be recording our new album, Plus Ultra, in the fall.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

DA:  Look inward and get to know your true self as best as you can.  Once you are able to truly know yourself, you’ll know what you need to do to fulfil your heart.  CK has been through it all; we hope our fans know we love them like family.  No way we’d be here without them.


KNUCKLEHEAD

Image credit to KNUCKLEHEAD

KNUCKLEHEAD started out in the spring of 2013.  Beginning as a cover band playing songs from bands who, coincidentally, were around during the Warped Tour era, or on the Tony Hawk video game soundtrack.  KNUCKLEHEAD ended up writing one EP, one LP, and one double EP before disbanding in 2016 to pursue other projects.  However, they reformed with a new lineup (same guys in WARPARK) in 2017, and came out with a three-part concept record called The Dream.

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

KH:  We never really thought playing Warped Tour would be possible.  I won’t believe it until we’re on the stage.

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

KH:  Warped Tour ending is a huge blow to music and festivals in the US.  If Warped Tour can’t stay afloat, I don’t know what will.  My only hope is that with the absence of Warped Tour, fans of punk music will turn to local shows and support local scenes.

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

KH:  The fest made for you to express yourself.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

KH:  I have a new batch of songs ready to go.  Maybe we’ll even hit the road for a bit.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

KH:  Keep on spinnin’


Scattered Hamlet

Image credit to Melissa St Giles

Created to capture the essence of growing up in the country, while giving nods to the original classic rock and outlaw country pioneers, Scattered Hamlet is one part Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet featuring heavy rock elements from Motorhead to Down.  The answers provided are by bassist, Richard Erwin.

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

RE:  Myself and lead singer, Adam Joad, both grew up going to Warped Tour, and it has always been a dream of mine to play it.  It’s sad to see it go, but I am incredibly honoured to be a part of its final run.

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

RE:  Warped Tour has served as a launching ground for countless bands over the years, and as it changed with the times, it always managed to be on the cutting edge of rock music.  By catering to younger fans, it helped fuel a passion for music that I’m sure lit a fuse under more than a few people’s asses, and convinced them to get a guitar and create something.  It has had an undeniable influence, probably more so than any other touring festival.

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

RE:  Punk rock never really dies.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

RE:  We just released a new single and video, ‘Stay Hungry’, so you should definitely check that out.  We are on tour all July, and appearing at larger events like Rock Fest in Wisconsin and the Buffalo Chip at Sturgis as support for Kid Rock.  A little birdie told me you can expect us back on the road this fall too.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

RE:  Stay hungry.  Getcha pull.  See you on the road!

 

 


The High Ground

Image credit to Tim Smith Photography

Hailing from the Orlando suburbs, The High Ground was formed in 2017 and consists of Andrew Parker (vocals and guitar), brothers Jack (lead guitar) and Matthew (bass) Brown, and Dillon Smith (drums).  The band’s sound can best be described as a blend of pop punk, metal, and post-hardcore, with influences such as Rise Against, Senses Fail, Linkin Park, and Silverstein echoing throughout their music.  The band’s debut EP, Concrete, arrived in early 2018, but positive reception quickly led to a growing fan base and additional live performances.  Currently, the band is back in the studio working a new single, ‘When It Rains, It Pours’, to be released in advance of their summer appearance on Vans Warped Tour.

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

THG:  Extremely honoured.  It’s surreal to be such huge fans of the movement, and now to actually be performers.  Just, wow.

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

THG:  In a way, Warped Tour resurrected the dying genre of rock and roll.  Warped Tour has so many different scenes: pop punk, metalcore, hardcore, punk.  It’s impossible to go and not discover at least one new band to be a fan of.

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

THG:  Warped Tour is the ultimate mix of passionate energy, sweat, and breakdowns.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

THG:  We’ll be busy writing, recording, and releasing new material; while also playing as many live shows as possible, working to gain a bigger foothold in the local music scene.  We’re doing all we can to get our name out there and improve our craft.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

THG:  Come out to shows and support the music!  We’re fighting to keep rock alive and well in a dark time, and our music is meant to be shared.  We hope people can relate to our music, use it as an escape, and maybe even feel what we feel from the music.  The entire rock community needs your support, and we appreciate and love every one of you!


Kaiser Solzie

Image credit to Ruby Stettner

For years, Kaiser Solzie was the name James Jackson took on while playing his songs on the streets of the US.  After nearly a decade, James was joined by Lenny Palmieri, Brian Lorenzo and Jamie McMann, and the crew has brought new energy and life into the soulful punk songs of Kaiser Solzie.  The answers are by James Jackson.

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

JJ:  It’s an honour to be a part of this year’s last cross country run; I kinda grew up on this tour.  It’s bittersweet, but definitely an honour.

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

JJ:  Wow, the tour has touched so many lives; not just musicians and artists, but fans of all the non-profits and beyond.

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

JJ:  One of the best summer camps ever.  It used to be called, punk rock summer camp.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

JJ:  Gonna head back to the studio and record another full-length record; as well as, head back on the road, and return to all the cities we hit this summer.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

JJ:  Thanks for all the love and support, and we’re just getting started.


Vanessa Silberman

Image credit to Mike Petzinger

Vanessa Silberman is a Los Angeles-based singer, guitarist, songwriter and the founding member of the LA band Diamonds Under FireVanessa’s live shows and music has been compared to the raw bare bones rock ‘n’ roll of Nirvana and The Ramones, along with the appeal of Liz Phair and Chrissie Hynde, authenticity of classic artists such as Patti Smith, and the pop sensibilities of commercial radio artists such as Green Day.  Vanessa often tours solo, featuring other musicians, or plays under the Vanessa Silberman Band with Reed Mullin, drummer of Corrosion of Conformity, as her backing band. 

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

VS:  As a young teenager, it was such a dream to play – almost out of reach, but when you believe in what you do or stand for anything is possible.  I’m so completely grateful and honoured I got the opportunity to play, let alone the last year on three different dates and three different stages of Warped Tour.  All the stages stood for something so super important to me as well.  Shiragirl represents women in music and the encouragement of that.  Learning is Endless: Transform was way more DIY energy, community and mix genres which so relatable to all the DIY touring I’ve done.  The Full Sail University / Ernie Ball stage, which was a great stage to be a part of as I’m an engineer/producer, represents people who want to learn recording.  I’ve also been using Ernie Ball since I first started playing in the 90’s.

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

VS:  Huge.  Vans Warped Tour, Kevin Lyman, and all the people who helped put the tour together over the years influenced so much music culture, brands and bands as well as peoples lives!  It helped shape careers and gave baby bands a chance to build to a new audience, as well as tons of non-commercial and commercial acts a market/outlet.

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

VS:  Hot summer punk rock love crazy happy sweat, wrapped in a bottle, splashing on kids.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

VS:  I just released a brand new single called ‘Outswimming Sharks’, which was recorded by Ken Susi of Unearth.  It also features him and a Boston artist, Carissa Johnson.  I have a music video for that coming out in a couple weeks.  I’m also in the midst of mixing my Vanessa Silberman Band EP, which is a record I’ve been working on with Reed Mullin, drummer of Corrosion of Conformity, and musician/producer Mikel Ross.  Hopefully, that will come out at the end of the year or top of next.  I’ll also be doing a couple of tours in the fall that are TBA.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

VS:  If you have been thinking about doing something in life and you haven’t yet, stop thinking about it and just do it.  Stop dreaming, and create.  Don’t wait for anyone to tell you it’s ok to do it.  Sometimes the jump is the scariest part and taking a chance, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.  Good chance is it’ll work out, whatever it is!  Life’s so short.  I read a quote once that always stays with me – the biggest risk you’ll take is not taking a risk at all.


Apes of the State

Image credit to Mollie Swartz
Apes of the State is an independent folk punk band from Lancaster, PA.  We fuse folk, pop, and punk with catchy melody-driven songs about life’s ebb and flow.  As a band, we are driven by DIY ethics, and a desire to do good things for our fellow humans and the world at large.  The answers are provided by vocalist, April Hartman.

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

AH:  It’s definitely really exciting for me because I grew up going to Warped Tour.  I went to pretty much every year between 2000 and 2010.  The first year I went, my dad took my sister and me, I was 10-years-old.  He let us run around and go see all the bands we wanted, while he hung out and had a beer and some food.

After that first year, he said we were on our own ’cause that place was nuts.  He dropped us off for the day pretty much every year until I could drive myself.  It was something to look forward to every summer for me and my friends – the entire day without parental supervision, getting sunburnt, and experiencing the music we loved.

I looked forward to the tour compilation CD’s every year because they were how I discovered new bands.  Anti-Flag, The Ataris, and AFI are all bands I recall learning from those comps.  They were also my first exposure to female musicians in the punk scene, like Tsunami Bomb.  If I hadn’t been exposed to those artists growing up I probably would never be making music myself, so in a way playing Warped kind of feels like my life has come full circle.

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

AH:  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?

AH:  A travelling circus for radical music.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

AH:  We want to make another record and tour a bunch like we always do.  Trying to plan some tours in places we have never hit before, like the West Coast, New England, and Canada.  I don’t know how much of that we will get to this year, but they are future goals for sure.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

AH:  Thanks for supporting us always, and I hope we see you out at Warped or at another show soon!


Years Before 

Image credit to Andrew Wells

Years Before was formed in July of 2016, and started out as a hangout/writing session between Anthony Dargaj and Ian Ver.  It was meant to sound and feel like the music they grew up playing and skating to in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  With the additions of Joshua Jansen and Kyle Clemenz soon thereafter, they put together their EP Hometown Zeros.  Fast forward to 2018, Years Before has released two EP’s, and played over twenty shows, including the Cleveland date of Vans Warped Tour.

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

YB:  We are beyond excited!  This tour has been a part of our summers since we were little kids, so it feels great that we’re able to be a part of the last one.  A few of us also had the pleasure of playing the tour in 2005, so with it being thirteen years later, it’s kind of wild to be back on.  It just feels fitting.

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

YB:  It helped MAKE the music community, honestly.  Warped has given so many small bands the chance to go out and work, and become successful.  It’s just an amazing networking event where you get to mix some of the veteran bands with a bunch of new bands.  It’s broken countless acts and is just a great gathering of music, art, and all sorts of weird.

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

YB:  Warped Tour is controlled mayhem!

What else does 2018 hold for you?

YB:  Currently, we’re recording a few releases.  We recorded both five-song EP’s with Evan Mckeever at Savage Audio Studios, but we’re going to do this a bit differently this year.  Our hope is to have a few new tunes out every 6-8 weeks over the course of the next several months.  With the landscape of social media these days, it makes more sense when you can release a few at a time, and keep them coming.  Content is king after all!  We also have a bunch of great shows lined up around our area and are looking forward to playing those.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

YB:  No last words, per se, but we truly appreciate anyone who has supported us in some way, shape, or form.  This was a passion project from the jump, but it’s really cool to see that it means something to people outside of our circle here in Cleveland.  That’s what this is all about – good tunes, good friends, good vibes.


Civil Youth

Image courtesy of Civil Youth

In a world that’s predominately pessimistic and intimidating, we wanted to create a safe haven for ideas, creativity and to escape.  As people who survive with the vehicle that is music, we felt obligated to give back and create a soundscape in which to get lost.  A place where you can remind yourself what it’s like to dance and be happy.  A place where your mental stresses are not allowed.  We’re in this together.  This is Civil Youth.

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

CY:  To be part of Warped Tour, in general, is something I’ve always dreamed of since I first bought Enema of the State in like 2001.  To be part of the LAST one is like a breath of fresh air because I’ll never have this chance again, so it’s just super cool to be included within this community.

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

CY:  It literally created a community of people, both fans and bands, that are some of the strongest bonds I’ve ever seen in music history.  To gather that many people, and to affect that many people is insane.  I feel the energy between the bands and fans is as close as it’ll ever get.  It seems like it’s about the music, and not the egos, which is incredible.

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

CY:  A hot, sweaty mess of sexy music, sexy people, and tons of Red Bull poured on top of our milky flesh, while we have eargasms.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

CY:  Well, after Warped Tour, we’re hitting our hometown with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Rivals, which will be tons of fun.  We’re also recording new music and planning the next era, which I honestly cannot wait for.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

CY:  DRINK COFFEE.


Stringer

Image credit to Maverick Inman

Pioneers of the post-dickwave movement, Stringer, is Mark Fletcher, Max Kagan, Riley Zimmer, and John Spencer.  All born and raised in New York City, the four-piece is due to play the Warped Tour Boston dates.  Vocalist and guitarist, Max Kagan provides the answers to our questions.

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

MK:  It’s an honour.  We grew up on the Warped Tour, so it’s amazing to be in the final run of it; it feels like coming full circle.

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

MK:  It was the great travelling punk rock circus, and every kid who went to it got to see their subculture rule for a day.  It’s especially true for kids who don’t get to see a lot of bands, they get to see enough punk rock to last a year.

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

MK:  Misfits of the world unite!

What else does 2018 hold for you?

MK:  I just wanna be held ’til 2018 is over.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

MK:  One of you has to start the next crazy travelling punk rock circus; hop to it!

 

 

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