Warped Tour: The Final Run – Part 9

Welcome to our interviews with bands performing at the final run of Vans Warped Tour…part 9!  Seriously, it’s part 9!!  We’ve interviewed many, many bands, but there are always more to interview – ain’t that cool?  So, here you can check out Pros & iCons, June Divided, Friday Giants, and Saving Vice.  To catch up on other Warped interviews, read some of our related posts:

Final Run – Part 2
Final Run – Part 3


Pros & iCons

Pros and iCons band press shot
Image credit to Shervin Lainez

Pros & iCons reminds the world of pop what it means to be a band with their rock ‘n’ roll edge.  In the studio, their infectious tracks harness soulful vocals, explosive guitar solos, and urban percussion.  They use their boyish charm and bad boy suave to animate their music at live concerts with fists pumping and crowds jumping.  Their music, including their debut album iConic, explores a raw honesty and youthful freedom swelling inside any wild heart.

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

P&I:  It’s been a dream for us to perform on Vans Warped Tour.  It’s a bittersweet feeling.  We’re stoked to be a part of the final full cross-country run of the tour, but can’t help feeling nostalgic after attending for so many years as concert-goers.  We have made many friends and memories over the years, and what better send-off than to foster new memories and friendships as performers.  We fit within a little hamlet of pop and rock that finds home in the Warped scene.  We’re honoured to share a chapter of our story with a festival that has helped open a door for our voices as artists to be heard.

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

P&I:  Warped Tour is definitely familial.  We are all brought together by one commonality: music.  It’s invaluable to have friends of different social circles come together, and the same can be said for the rest of the music community.  Warped served as an annual music reunion.  It can be argued that without Vans Warped Tour, the scene wouldn’t exist.

We’re thankful to be part of the final Vans Warped Tour; it shaped us as musicians as we’ve found inspiration by the emotionally-driven bands, like My Chemical Romance, A Day To Remember, and Thirty Seconds To Mars, that found a home each summer at the festival.  It also helped set our foundation as businessmen, teaching us how to dominate DIY culture and guerrilla marketing strategies.  We owe our ability to write and feel music all to Warped.

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

P&I:  Warped Tour is iConic; a precursor to the next phase of music and all things past, present, and future Pros & iCons.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

P&I:  Shows, shows, and more shows!  Immediately following our run on Warped Tour, we will be headlining the O+ Festival in Poughkeepsie, NY, at the Mid Hudson Civic Center, and performing for the remainder of the year promoting the next single off our record.  We’ll be squeezing in some intimate acoustic sets to help promote acoustic releases accompanying our newest music video.  We’ll be posting these dates and more on our social channels, most notably our Instagram (@prosandicons).

We recently released a video of our re-imagination of what MTV predicts to be Taylor Swift’s next single, ‘I Did Something Bad’, which can be found on our YouTube.  Each Thursday, for the remainder of the summer, we will be releasing throwback covers of mainstream hits in our edgy pop aesthetic.  This will anticipate our next original single and music video off our debut self-produced album iConic.  Filming will begin before the fall.  Stay tuned!

Do you have any last words for your fans?

P&I:  Thank you to every Wild Heart that helped us get to where we are.  We are thankful for all of the support, and are excited to see new faces at the final Vans Warped Tour this year!  Even though Warped is ending, the thrill of live performance and the legacy of Warped will live in each of our live performances.  So come out to a show, lose yourself, find yourself, and party hard with us.  Follow us at @prosandicons on all social media to stay up to date on all things Pros & iCons, and don’t forget to stream our album iConic on Spotify, Apple Music, and all other streaming platforms.


June Divided

Press image of the band June Divided
Image courtesy of June Divided

June Divided is a four-piece indie rock band from Philadelphia, PA.  Comprised of Melissa Menago (vocals, keys, and guitar), Chris Kissel (guitar), Keith Gill (drums), and Lenny Sasso (bass), they released an album, Backbone, in 2012.  Signed to Revival Recordings, the band is set to release their second album Body Wars in August 2018.  Our questions are answered by the female front, Melissa Menago.

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

MM:  It’s pretty legendary to be a part of an end of an era like this.  Lots of nostalgia, that’s for sure.

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

MM:  Warped definitely was its own entity in the music world.  It was a space for rock, alt, indie, metal, emo, punk and more to live and co-exist, which was pretty cool.  I know it inspired tons of kids to get into music.  It was a place of music discovery.  It was a place where musicians connected with one another.  I think that’s one hell of a footprint to leave.

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

MM:  Everyone says this, but it’s true, Warped Tour was band boot camp.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

MM:  Our EP, Body Wars, will be out August 24th on Revival Recordings, and there will be some tour dates surrounding that.  Pre-order is available now with some pretty cool prizes up for grabs here: https://ffm.to/junedividedforthewin.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

MM:  We played Warped quite a few times in the past years, so if you discovered us on the tour and are still following us, that’s really cool, and thank you.  Stay in touch on our socials because there’s more to come from us!


The Studs

Press image of The Studs band
Image credit to James Medley

Based in the South Suburbs of Chicago, The Studs are a five-piece punk/alternative/pop/marscore menagerie of musical styling with a little something for everyone.  They released their first full-length album Don’t Suck in 2011, and in 2012 recorded their EP, The Fall of The Studs, which contained a whole new sound and style that can get anyone dancing and singing along.  The Studs’ second full-length album, Red Planet Rock, will be released on July 17th, 2018.

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

TS:  The feeling you get when your Wartortle evolves to Blastoise, or in other words we are STOKED and feel incredibly lucky to be a part of something that has been on our bucket list for years.

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

TS:  A huge Influence.  We have seen so many different styles of music booked every year that has greatly influenced our music and the way we interact with the crowd.  This festival provides a space for individuals to truly express themselves and feel like they belong.

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

TS:  A necessary convergence of musical tastes and styles from across the spectrum, allowing individuals to unite on a common interest.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

TS:  2018 is a busy one.  A fresh new record will be released on July 17th, 2018 called Red Planet Rock, and we are working on some cool ideas to go along with the release, including a music video.  We will continue to get more shows on the books, and can’t wait to share our brand of punk ‘n’ roll to those who have never heard us before.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

TS:  We love all of you.  Every show is a blast because of you.  We are extremely grateful to have the chance to play our tunes, and can always feel the positive energy from everyone as they dance and sing along.


Rob Riccardo 

Image of Rob Riccardo acoustic singer for Warped Tour
Image credit to Khristina Saint Photography

Rob Riccardo is a Phoenix-based singer/songwriter who creates original music with a heavy serving of conscious lyrics.  Originally from the beaches of Long Island, NY, his musical background and vibe is rooted in the surf scene of his formative years on the East Coast, inspired by artists like Jack Johnson, John Butler and Xavier Rudd.  Today, as a yoga and nature lover, he draws most of his creative inspiration from his adventures in the mountains and his yoga/meditation practice.  He is set to release his sophomore LP, Seeker, later this summer.

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

RR:  It was such an amazing experience to be a part of the final Warped Tour.  I never got a chance to go to one when the tour would come through Long Island, where I’m originally from, but I would always get the compilation CDs because a lot of my favourite bands at the time were featured on it.  I’m honoured to have made my first Warped Tour attendance one that I played in, and it was super-iconic since it was the last one.  I usually play solo, but for the occasion, Warped motivated me to put a band together to bring new life to my music for such a high-energy event.  What an experience it was!

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

RR:  I think Warped Tour had a major influence on the music community because it gave listeners a unique format for experiencing new, up-and-coming bands of all different genres, right alongside their favourites.  It’s awesome to look back at the number of artists that played Warped Tour before they really popped on the scene.  Warped also seems to be one of the few places where fans say, ‘oh, I saw that band at Warped before they made it big!’

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

RR:  An amazing array of sonic energy beneath the summer sun.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

RR:  For the remainder of 2018, I’ll be playing more festivals outside of Arizona, in California, Colorado, and Nebraska, as well as touring solo around the west.  I’ll also be releasing my second full-length album, Seeker, which will be out later this summer; and launching my new eco-friendly merch under a clothing line that my wife and I created together, Land of Om Provisions.  I’m really stoked for what’s ahead.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

RR:  I really can’t thank all of you enough.  Whether you’ve been a part of the journey since my first album came out last summer, or you discovered my music during Warped Tour, it truly means so much to me that you’re supporting this musical adventure.  We’re all in this thing together, and I will continue to write, record and release music as often as possible to keep all of the fans happy with a soundtrack for their personal journeys.  As an independent artist, the fans are my lifeblood, and I am forever grateful for the energy they provide, whether it’s at a live show or through a nice message on social media.  It all means more than you know.  THANK YOU!


Saving Vice

Image courtesy of Saving Vice

Saving Vice is an American post-metalcore band from New England founded by bassist Robbie Litchfield in late 2015.  Litchfield soon added college classmate and drummer Evan Harwood, guitarist Zach Racicot and vocalist Chase Papariello.  It wasn’t until later on that the band included the final pieces of their lineup, vocalist Tyler Small and guitarist Cody Grant.  Since their debut in early 2017, Saving Vice has shared the stage with acts like Unearth, Convictions, It Lies Within, and The Devil Wears Prada.  The group’s high energy live performances, catchy choruses, and hard-hitting riffs aided by the chemistry created by the dual vocalists helped them make their mark on the local New England scene.  Our questions are answered by bassist, Robbie Litchfield.

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

RL:  It feels absolutely surreal.  My whole life I’ve dreamt about taking the stage at Warped Tour, and it’s a goal we as Saving Vice have always strived for.  To play the last one?  Absolutely crazy.  I’m so happy and thankful for this opportunity.

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

RL:  Based on my personal experience, I think Warped Tour is sort of mecca for alternative music.  Some of us in this musical community grew up as outcasts, and Warped Tour was able to bring us all together.  A place where we could finally fit in, feel comfortable with ourselves, and listen to our favourite music without judgement.

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

RL:  A place where outsiders can come together, feel welcome and not alone.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

RL:  Well, we’ve already accomplished a lot this year, but we plan on releasing new music later in the year, as well as writing/recording our debut full-length album.  We’ll also be playing on iMatter Festival, August 12th, in Horseheads, NY, with Underoath and August Burns Red.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

RL:  We love you all and hope you continue to support Saving Vice!  We’re just getting started with things, and you can expect more awesome news from us soon!

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Cold Shoulder

Image credit to Jacob McClanahan

Formed in 2015, Cold Shoulder is a four-piece hardcore band that hit the ground running and isn’t slowing down.  Based in Toronto, Canada, they wasted no time crossing the border into the American markets, playing shows coast to coast.  Their first EP, T.O.H.C, was the beginning of an aggressive, fast and melodic sound which would soon transform into their debut full-length, Self War, recorded in 2017 by Nick Jett in Granada Hills, CA.  This record stretched the sound spectrum of Cold Shoulder.  It included a variety of sounds from catchy choruses to gut-punching breakdowns. The newest EP, Backlash, was released this past spring, recorded by Brendon Padjasek and mastered by Joel Grind.  With an emphasis on attitude, this EP highlights the fast and aggressive side of Cold Shoulder.

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

CS:  Warped Tour was legendary when we were kids.  A lot of bands we admire and respect have played over the years.  Over time the musical styles have changed, but the tour itself has always been about grinding on the road and putting on a great show – two things that Cold Shoulder is all about.  We feel honoured that we get to be a part of it before its gone.

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

CS:  Warped has always been a place where young people go to see the bands they love, and discover new ones that they wouldn’t otherwise know about.  We’re very excited to reach some new ears and, hopefully, make a few new fans.

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

CS:  Good time, backed hard.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

CS:  We have a few festivals booked in America to close out 2018 that we’re all looking forward to.  Fried Fest in July, Flyover fest in October, and Snow & Flurry in December.  We’ll be doing a string of dates leading up to each fest, as well as a few one-off shows close to home.  We’re also hoping to get into the studio to record a couple tracks before the years out.  We’re always trying to stay as busy as possible

Do you have any last words for your fans?

CS:  Keep an eye out for us, and stay safe out there.


Action/Adventure

Action/Adventure band picture being crazy in a supermarket
Image credit to Lauren Rohland
Chicago, IL’s Action/Adventure combines punchy pop punk lyricism with the heavy tones into one complete package brimming with pure energy.  The intricacies of their writing, paired with a lineup of characters from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, makes them truly stand out in the pop punk genre.

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

AA:  Absolutely floored.  It’s such an honour to have the opportunity to play the festival that has had such a big impact on our youth, especially since they announced this being the final run.  We initially thought we’d never get the chance, so we’re eternally grateful.

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

AA:  To say it had a huge impact would be an understatement.  Warped Tour has provided a platform for alternative artists to get their music heard to the masses.  It’s a festival that has been a cornerstone of the alternative genres today.

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

AA:  Best day ever.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

AA:  We have a music video coming out and an EP later this fall.  We’re stoked to finally release new material.  It’s been a long and tumultuous process.  We’ve been working super hard balancing the band and real life, so we’re extremely excited and eager to release it.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

AA:  We’re a small local band from Chicago; however, we’ve had the opportunity to share our music with people across the country.  Those people have become our incredibly supportive friends.  To those friends, we’d like to express our gratitude for giving us a place to crash, for having video games ready at 4 am to cap off our long drive in, and for hanging out and making your cities feel like home.  We love you.


Friday Giants

Press image of Friday Giants band
Image credit to Jacob Potzner

Formed in late Summer of 2013, Friday Giants is a rising punk band out of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio, influenced by the sounds of A Day To Remember, New Found Glory, and Green Day.  The current line up consists of vocalist Gavin Bonar, guitarist Chuck Ralenkotter, bass player Zac Taylor and Logan Boatright on drums.  They have made a name for themselves in Cincinnati, and now all across Ohio with a recent appearance at Bunbury Music Festival.  Friday Giants released their debut album, Twenty Nothings, in 2017.

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

FG:  To be on the same stage that Movements was last year is crazy.  We feel incredibly honoured!  We played the Bunbury Music Festival just last month, and we still don’t feel like anything that’s happened in 2018 is real.  When we first got the email, all of us freaked out!  We grew up going to Warped tour and for the years we couldn’t make it, we were obsessing over bands like Underoath, A Day To Remember, The Devil Wears Prada, and too many to keep track of.  This year we’re just as obsessed, and are having the hardest time deciding what bands we’re going to see that day.  I think it’s a safe bet you’ll see us moshing near Wage War, Knocked Loose, and Silverstein.

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

FG:  We can’t even fathom what Warped Tour has provided for the scene.  Most bands who are a part of it describe it as ‘summer camp for bands’.  Warped Tour truly is a special place where small bands get noticed, and larger bands can connect with fans in ways that you can’t get in a traditional venue.

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

FG:  Summer camp for bands and fans!

What else does 2018 hold for you?

FG:  It’s hard to imagine 2018 getting any better for us, but we still have some things under wraps that we’re pretty excited about.  We’ll probably drop some hints after our last show of the year!  What we can tell you is that we are shooting some footage at Southgate House Revival on August 11th for a new music video, playing the Wooden Cask Brewery in Newport Labour Day Weekend (Sept. 1st), and our last show of the year is going to be at the end of September and is getting finalised this week.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

FG:  Take off work and come to Warped Tour.  It’s the last cross-country tour, and you’ll regret it if you don’t make it.  We’ve heard a lot of fans say they were disappointed about this year’s lineup, and to that, we say, ‘give the new bands a chance’.  We’re really into State Champs, Wage War, Real Friends, Sleep On It, and Knocked Loose.


Megosh

Image courtesy of Megosh

Baltimore’s Megosh has been brewing up a catalogue of high-energy intelligent rock.  Their music is melodic with post-progressive elements and frequent forays into the territory of alternative metal, but they manage to maintain an overriding pop sensibility.  Megosh somehow fuses these eclectic ingredients into a surprisingly cohesive stew, a sound that is clearly their own.  The impressively complex instrumental material will certainly appeal to the musician but, with Megosh, songcraft still reigns – creative use of rhythm and catchy melodies are certain to captivate a wide audience.  On top of all this, the front line serves up tasty three-part harmonies, something rarely heard on today’s rock scene.

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

M:  We’ve dreamed of this for so long.  It’s really one thing to want something so badly, and to actually achieve it before it’s just about to disappear.  I guess, imagine if you played the lottery your whole life and then you won on its last year.  It’s an incredible feeling

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

M:  Such an influence.  It was the concert everyone went to.  I remember seeing Coheed there and Thursday.  So many bands!

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

M:  The good old days.  I imagine me explaining to my children about it like those talk about Woodstock.

What else does 2018 hold for you?

M:  Writing, and lots of it.

Do you have any last words for your fans?

M:  We miss you all, and can’t wait to come to you soon!


Stay Loud

Image credit to Jimmy Musto

Stay Loud! is a pop punk/alt rock band from Wilkes-Barre, PA.  They consist of members Chris Cashmere (vocals and guitar), Gerry Tulao (guitar), CJ Davenport (bass), and Justin Ratowski (drums).  In 2017 they released their debut EP entitled The Basement EP, and it features the singles ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Basement’.  The band is prepping the release of their debut album featuring the single ‘Overboard’.

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

SL:  A dream come true!  When the band first formed, one of the major goals we wanted to achieve was to perform at Warped Tour.  When it was announced that this would be the final tour, we were bummed and doubted if we’d ever play.  Proved ourselves wrong!

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

SL:  Warped Tour, in general, is just a great outlet for music.  We discovered many of our favourite bands through Warped.  How often do you come across a travelling music festival?  So sad to see it go.

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

SL:  Highlight of the summer!

What else does 2018 hold for you?

SL:  We are currently finishing up our debut album.  We’re really excited for all of you to hear!

Do you have any last words for your fans?

SL:  Thank you all for the support!

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