The Vans Warped Tour Interviews: Boston Manor
The last time Highwire Daze Online spoke with Henry Cox, lead vocalist of Boston Manor, we were just outside the world famous Roxy Theater on the Sunset Strip. Boston Manor were on tour with Moose Blood and Trophy Eyes, in support of their dynamic Be Nothing manifesto on Pure Noise Records. The announcement had recently been issued that both Boston Manor and Trophy Eyes would be performing on this year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour. When asked what Henry was looking forward to the most about the iconic tour, he was quick to reference, “The sunshine. I say that now, but I’m sure I’ll be cursing it.” Regarding how Henry would handle the intense heat, he laughed easily and said, “I’m English so not very well.”
As a followup to our Sunset Strip interview, we caught up with Henry Cox at the Vans Warped Tour in Las Vegas, Nevada. And although the press area was indoors, and their set would take place at the very comfortable and air conditoned Club Vinyl – outside the weather was an oppressive 120 degrees! In this interview, Henry comments about the stifling heat on a summer of Warped, their song and current video CU (Copper), participation on the recent Pop Goes Punk Volume 7 extravanganza, American food, and other epic topics of intrigue. Read on…
When I interviewed you at The Roxy you said you weren’t looking forward to the heat on Warped Tour. Can you comment now on the heat?
It’s as I said, it’s ridiculous. We’re not used to temperatures like that in England. It’s cool though, I found it more manageable than I thought. But we’re inside today, so I’m pretty please about that.
It’s supposed to be 120.
Crazy. We actually went to the Colorado River on an off day and I think it got to 52 degrees celsius which I think is about 120 something. Which is nearing the hottest temperature in the world. It’s crazy.
Your latest video is called CU?
Yeah, it’s copper, so the elemental symbol for copper.
Any story behind that song?
It’s called Copper because it’s a song about self inflicted harm. Not like physical sense but making things worse for yourself. Copper is the taste, what blood tastes like. So it’s kind of like you accidentally bite your own mouth or cut your mouth. When you bite down, cut your cheek, you get the taste in your mouth, that’s kind of what gave me the idea for it. It’s called Copper. And then I don’t know why we did that, but we just decided to give it the symbol rather than the name. In a talking point I guess it would be more interesting. Exactly. There you go.
Pop Goes Punk. What made you choose Heathens by 21 Pilots?
I mean you’ve got like a big list of all of the songs that you can pick and we just thought it was just cool. We’re not like the kind of band who can pull of like a shiny, sugary pop song and a lot of stuff in the charts at the moment is kind of that way inclined. But we just thought we could do something cool with it, a little bit darker a little bit murkier. I just like the song. I think it’s a really cool song. I never heard of it before we got sent it. I hadn’t seen that film that it was in, Suicide Squad, whatever it was called, so the soundtrack to that. But we heard it and we just thought we could do something cool with this. Because we’ve always leaned towards a darker, moodier sound. So I think someone like Justin Bieber would have been the wrong way to go with that.
Has 21 Pilots ever heard your cover?
I don’t think so, no. They may, but they are pretty busy guys. I don’t know. We’ll see.
What can one expect from a live Boston Manor show here at Warped Tour?
We’re going hard, like today it’s inside so the last couple days I had to pace myself a little because of the heat, but we’re going full throttle now like we did in LA and when we last saw you. So yeah, we’re going to go fucking crazy. We’re playing a little later in the day, so hopefully people still have some energy left. There are a lot of other good bands at the same time, so might be some clashes and stuff.
Have you met Gwar yet?
No I really want to go see them. I want to see them without all that shit on. I don’t know what they look like. I’m sure I’ve been standing next to them at catering or at some point.
Compare the Warped Tour to the recent tour that you did where you were at The Roxy.
I mean it’s chalk and cheese, it’s totally different. We’ve never done anything like it. So many people, and you kind of weirdly start to get to know lots of people. And different bands you never normally tour with. But the fact that it’s just a big thing and it’s every single day. And it becomes like Groundhog Day. In a good way, it’s just kind of weird how quickly you get your bearings with it. But it’s just a completely on a different spectrum to what normal touring is. It makes normal touring seem, I don’t want to say easy but a lot simpler because you know when you are playing everyday. Whereas you wake up every morning, like what time am I playing today? Could be 11 o’clock in the morning, could be 7 o’clock in the evening. You know I wake up and get on my bus and I’m like where is the venue. And today it was a 25 minute walk. It was early in the morning and no one was around so I was kind of squinting around. Yes, it’s just a different caliber of fish.
What do you think of the popular American restaurants here like Waffle House and In and Out Burger?
I find Americans are very opinionated about food spots. Everyone has their favorites. But, I mean, places I like, we’re talking breakfast I’m a big Waffle House guy. I don’t fuck with IHop. Straight up Waffle House dude.
There goes your iHop endorsement.
I like Jack in the Box. I’m a big Chipotle guy. But dude, Taco Bell. It’s like cheap and you can make it really healthy – and if you eat it you can get vegan options. It’s dope, man. The main thing is that there’s just so much choice in America and there’s the culture of eating that’s totally different. You can get affordable food where you can all sit down and eat together, where as in the UK, you get the 5 main fast food chains. Burger King, McDonalds, KFC, Subway – whatever. But it’s sort of like, if you go to a proper restaurant, that’s like a special occasion. Whereas in America, because I think food culture is different – and it’s a bit cheaper, people can just like, eat out more. We’re getting some better places like Nandos – you guys only have one Nandos in the U.S., but that’s the shit. If you ever go to DC, go eat at Nandos. Or in Chicago, actually. I found one in Chicago. Nando’s. It’s portuguese, like a chicken place but it’s the best.
Slam Dunk Festival, how was that?
Unbelievable man. The biggest crowds we’ve ever played to. It was insane. The room was packed every day. It was a real milestone thing for us, I think, in terms of the scale of it and the reaction. It was wow – it felt like a culmination of the last few years of hard work. So it was amazing. We did it before, it was great the year before, but this was on another level. It’s kind of like Warped Tour, a bunch of friends hanging out.
I think Trophy Eyes was on there.
We’ve spent most of the year with those guys. [laughs]
Are you looking towards a new Boston Manor album yet?
We’re always writing. So in that sense, yeah, but we’ve not laid out plans for this is when we’re gonna record or release it. We’ve got easily an album worth of songs written already but we’re trying to write on Warped Tour, it hasn’t happened yet. We try to write pretty constantly. But yeah, they’ll be a new album. Probably next year sometime, I think. I hope.
Any messages for fans who are reading this right now?
If you come to Warped Tour, please check us out. We’re playing at the Full Sail Stage. We’re always hanging out by our tent, so pop by if you want to sign stuff. We don’t necessarily do a lot of scheduled signing, but we just hang. Come say hey. Come check us out.
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)