As Warped Tour 2010 was spinning to it’s conclusion, we decided to catch up with Grant Harris of Breathe Electric to find out how he and his band survived a summer on the road. Having the distinction of being the only unsigned band on the entire tour, Breathe Electric gained a good deal of fans along the way and surely turned the heads of a few industry types as well. Here is our interview with Grant at the San Diego, CA date, with less the one week of the tour left to go…
So what are your thoughts now that Warped Tour is coming to an end?
You know, they’re pretty much the same ones I had originally, which I think is a good thing. I’m still extremely thankful to be out here and we’re having a lot of fun. And we’re sad to see the tour end. We’ve had a lot of fun and met a lot of people and a lot of fans – and we’re really thankful to be given the chance to be out here.
You’ve done tours before on your own. How does this one compare to the tours you’ve set up for yourself in the past?
This tour is just so much bigger. It’s so much longer everyday and there’s so many more kids and so many more bands – and there’s so much opportunity on a tour like this.
What was it like performing in adverse weather conditions such as hurricanes and extreme heat?
You know, we actually had a lot of fun. We played in Houston where there was like a downpour for ten hours. We ended up playing that night, and we were like, “Wow, there’s going to be nobody here. There’s going to be nobody left!” But we hit the stage and there were tons of kids still there – and they were all soaked and they were just having fun and were in the mood. It was all an experience and it was a lot of fun to see.
Do you prefer the rain or extreme heat?
I’ll have to take the rain. I’d much rather take the rain and be a little bit wet than blistering hot.
Did you like Arizona?
Arizona – I think they said the heat index was something like 130-something degrees on the ground. It was so hot! I don’t think I’ve ever played a show that was that hard, because we had the sun straight in our face and it was brutal! My feet were just like burning – I had my shoes on but I couldn’t take them off because the stage would be blistering hot. There was no winning that day! But we still had fun and it was insane to see the kids out there still jumping around and having fun. We were like dying up there – but it was great to see that. Still, the hardest day on Warped Tour is better than any day on a regular tour.
Have you had problems with any bands on the tour who say that electronic music isn’t real music?
You know, we actually have not – although it’s funny – our stage is right next to the Punk Legends stage – in California at least. So the first show we had in California – in LA actually – within 30 seconds of the song starting, I was dodging a couple of cans from a whole bunch of the punk kids walking by. But it was fun. But we really haven’t had any real problems. We play really hard and we all play our instruments and we’re like any other band out here. I think people have seen that and it’s really good.
You’re about to go on tour with Fight Fair. Have you developed a friendship with them over the summer?
Yeah – they’re on the same stage as us, so we definitely are singing their songs and vice-versa I hope. They are all really nice guys and we’re really excited to hit the road with them. That tour is actually with Fight Fair, Jonny Craig, Mod Sun, and The Divine – so it’s a really diverse bill which we’re really excited about – because we’re all about playing with different bands and playing for different fans. So we’re really excited.
Will this one be hitting Los Angeles?
I don’t think so. I think it’s only staying out East and down South.
We’ll have to catch you the next time you come out here…
We’re on a tour with Let’s Get It and Blood On The Dance Floor in October and that will hit LA.
So what’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home from Warped Tour?
I’ll probably sleep for a couple of days straight. But then I want to get back into the swing of things. I have a lot of remix stuff that I need to do. Not by choice, but I’ve kind of tapped into that. I started doing a lot of remixes. I did stuff for Cady Groves and then I did an Artist vs. Poet remix while I was out here. It’s something that I really enjoy, so I’ll be doing to some more of that. And obviously keep writing. We’re taking about three weeks off and then we go out for two months – and then it will be time to record again. We’re going to do a lot of demo-ing and writing.
How has it been touring with your brother Carter and have you guys always been in bands together?
It’s been really good. I love having him out here. He’s a great keyboard player. It’s funny – I was in a band in high school and there was just four of us. And I was like, “Hey, we should add a keyboard player.” And in came Carter. And when I started Breathe Electric, we were touring for a while with a couple of other different keyboard players. When he graduated high school, I was like, “Would you come out with us?” And it kind of stuck – and it’s been really good.
Did you guys ever argue when you were younger or did you always get along?
We really get along. Obviously, every set of brothers are going to have their times where they fight. But as a general rule, we’ve always been very friendly and we’ve always had fun together – so it’s been good.
At this point, are you signed to a label yet?
We’re still unsigned right now.
It seems like everyone you’ve ever toured with in the past is now signed, yet you’re the one on the Warped Tour…
Yeah, yeah, I mean, no complaints. We’re doing Warped Tour unsigned, which means the band makes all the decisions as opposed to a label. We’re definitely not opposed to a record label, but we’re just waiting for the right one.
Maybe start your own record label?
Could be. You never know…
So you’ve lived the dream now that a lot of unsigned bands have – to play a summer at Warped. What advice would you give other bands who want to live this dream that you’ve just lived?
You know, just don’t be afraid to work hard. We’ve been working hard for a couple of years now. And to get Warped Tour was such a huge thing to us. It told us that we were on the right track. For a while, it’s just you’re working at something and you’re hoping that you’re doing all the right things and hoping somebody notices. So when we got Warped Tour, it kind of clarified it for me that, yes, we’re on the right track and that other people are noticing the hard work. And for bands that are trying to get on Warped Tour – take advantage of stuff like the Battle Of The Bands on the Ernie Ball Stage when it comes through. Just keep working on writing and playing live and making connections. Literally all that just goes under two words, and that’s “hard work.” And that’s all I could say is work hard for whatever you are doing, and it’ll pay off.
And do you have any messages for your fans in the Los Angeles area?
We’re playing in LA in October at the Whisky and that’ll be a lot of fun – so make sure you come out to that. And for everybody elsewhere, we’ll be doing full US tours and hopefully have new music soon – so thank you for your support.
(Interview and Photos by Kenneth Morton – Note: Highwire Daze photo from San Diego Warped – Live photos from Pomona Warped)
Breathe Electric on Myspace