Countdown To Vans Warped Tour 2018 – Part 2

Countdown To Vans Warped Tour 2018 – Part 2

Welcome to the Highwire Daze Annual Countdown To Vans Warped Tour!  Now in its 24nd year and gearing up to make its final trek across the country, the Vans Warped Tour is ready to leave a whole lot of music and memories upon this year’s attendees. Originally conceived by founder Kevin Lyman in 1995 as an eclectic alternative rock festival, with a focus on punk rock, over the years the tour has grown to include a multitude of genres, including metal, hip hop, reggae, pop and more.

This year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour kicks off in Pomona, California on June 21st and concludes in West Palm Beach, Florida on August 5th.  Visit the Official Vans Warped Tour website for cities and tour dates HERE!

Featured in Part 2 of Countdown To Vans Warped Tour are Lisa Johnson’s Life In The Pit: The Rock Photographer Experience, latewaves, Love Past Blue, Makeout, and Sharptooth. Read on for find out more about the bands and events ready to make your Warped Summer of 2018 a vibrant celebration of music…

Lisa Johnson’s Life In The Pit: The Rock Photographer Experience

How did you first meet Kevin Lyman and become involved with the Vans Warped Tour?
I first met Kevin when I was going to shows as a kid. He was the stage manager at a lot of the shows in LA. Eventually, we met, probably at Fender’s in Long Beach. And when he decided he was going to put on the Warped Tour, I just knew I had to document it! This was our Woodstock!

What was your initial reaction when you found out that the Vans Warped Tour was doing its final cross country run?
It is really truly hard to image a summer without the Vans Warped Tour. Ask me in September 2019, when I have fully digested the reality of this devastation.

What would you like long time Warped Tour fans to experience when attending this final year of Warped?
Long time Warped Tour fans should come and enjoy the full throttle of fun. The are so many new bands to discover, and I hope that while enjoying the big name artists they have come to love that they stop by the smaller stages and give a new artist a chance. Because that’s what Warped is all about: being there on the ground floor to discover new music.

For the newbies in attendance, what could they expect at this year’s Warped Tour?
I’m glad newbies get to at least have a taste of the magic. And literally this is no joke: Wear sensible shoes. It’s a long day, and those open-toe flip-flops are not going to cut it.  Also, come with an open-mind to discovering new music. And hopefully make some new lifelong friends in the process!  The Vans Warped Tour isn’t just a thing, it’s also a state of mind. Hopefully, that will set it for the newbies and they’ll embrace it as much as the old guard have.

Who are some of the bands or artists you are excited about this year?
I’m always excited about All Time Low and The Interrupters! I’m also very excited for Yungblud, Knocked Loose and all the exciting surprise guests Kevin Lyman has planned for the summer!

What could one expect from Lisa Johnson’s Life In The Pit: The Rock Photographer Experience program at the Vans Warped Tour and how can someone sign up? And what inspired you to create this program?
I’m so glad you asked!
Lisa Johnson’s Life In The Pit: The Rock Photographer Experience is an interactive workshop through The Entertainment Institute (aka TEI) onsite at the Vans Warped Tour. You know, when I was starting out, there was no one to show me the ropes, the ins and outs of the photo pit. It can be very intimidating for someone to have their first experience in the photo pit. And with so many moving parts of a concert, also a lot dangerous. So in this workshop, we basically take a guided field trip to the photo pit, in-action, and have the full-on rock photographer experience at the Vans Warped Tour. There is more information at thinktei.com/lisajohnson.

What is the first bit of advice you would give a photographer and/or journalist looking to shoot or cover rock shows?
Be informed. If you’re going to ask to cover a show, perhaps make sure to spell the name of the artist and venue correctly. Also, if you love writing and photography, keep doing it, keep honing your craft.

One of Kevin Lyman’s new projects is The FEND Movement (Full Energy, No Drugs). Will you become involved with the organization?
Yes, definitely.

What do you hope people will find as a sort of replacement for their annual Vans Warped Tour fix?
Hopefully people will take the spirit of the Vans Warped Tour and spread that “can-do” sensibility and “dedication to the cause” from a very grassroots level in their own lives and make it the every day norm, then, we won’t need a replacement, because we’ll be living it every day, in our hearts. Because you really can’t replace the Vans Warped Tour, you can only try to emulate it.

When you see your work on album covers such as the upcoming 2018 Warped Tour Compilation on SideOneDummy Records, what goes through your mind?
It’s just awesome and exciting. I can step back and admire it as a piece of art. And then I have to remind myself: I took that! People don’t really realize all the thought and preparation that goes into creating the compilation packaging art each year. There is a lot! And it all comes down to the final 5 images from literally thousands of options.

Favorite Warped Tour memory?
Picking one memory is insanely hard. Watching bands like Rancid, The Used and My Chemical Romance every day is definitely one for the record books. And making lifelong friends. And those BBQs! Sometimes, when you’re trapped in the middle of nowhere and it’s been a grueling hot day, those BBQs can be a great place to let off some steam. One of my favorite memories was in Bonner Springs, and DJ Chuck Haile put on Rage Against The Machine. Everyone went mental! Fortunately, I captured the insanity. Because I don’t think I could have remembered it as well otherwise! It truly was one of those magic moments. (ps: it’s on youtube here ).

Any final words of wisdom for Vans Warped Tour attendees this year?
I already mentioned the close-toed shoes. Let me add socks. Socks can be a game changer on a day like one at the Vans Warped Tour. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Lisa Johnson’s Life In The Pit: The Rock Photographer Experience Home Page

Latewaves

Introduce yourself, what you do in the band, and where you are based out of?
Hi! I’m Mikey and I sing and play guitar for latewaves, we’re from Asbury Park, NJ.

What are you looking forward to the most about this final cross country Warped Tour?
Me, personally? Seeing Every Time I Die for my thousandth time, one of my all time favorite acts!

If this is not your first time on Warped Tour, what advice would you give a band about to attempt Warped for the first time?
Well my old band Moraine did 7 dates back in 2005, my suggestion from what I recall is that you should have wheels on your road cases so you don’t have to carry heavy shit from the van for like a mile and to definitely drink at least one water for every ten beers you have.

What could one expect from your live show at Warped Tour?
Well I sweat from breathing, so definitely a very wet singer. Other than that we go pretty nuts on stage, we do our best to give the crowd some high octane shit.

What is the name of your latest or upcoming CD or EP and what inspired the title?
Our latest EP is called Partied Out – because it’s kind of about how I depression drank for about a year straight.

Select two songs you may be playing in your set and what inspired the lyrics.
Hm, we always play Jezebel which is about getting into trouble and always having a pal to be there to get into trouble with and whomst will never judge you for it.

We’ll probably play Nicest Weather too, which is a new song, and it’s about simply being content… because I’m a bit happier with life now.

How are you going to feel about playing those infamous 11:30 AM Warped Tour slots?
Well we’re only playing one date, so if we get that slot- I’m gonna circle back and just hope that ETID isn’t playing at that time as well.

Any strange or unusual happening in the past while out on the road?
One time in Kentucky, I had a pizza delivered to me while I was on stage.

If you could open up for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
AC/DC. Because they f*cking rule.

Do you have any messages for Warped Tour attendees this year?
Check out latewaves!!!! Buy touring bands merch to keep them on the road and fed!!!

Latewaves on Facebook

Love Past Blue

Introduce yourself, what you do in the band, and where you are based out of?
Hello! My name is Clio Cadence, I am the singer and front woman of rock band Love Past Blue. We are mostly based out of Dallas, Texas and a ¼ in L. A. California.

What are you looking forward to the most about this final cross country Warped Tour and is this your first time on the tour?
I can’t believe we are getting to play the Dallas date of the Van’s Warped Tour! It’s my home town! To be able to be on the same line up as some of my favorite bands is surreal! I have mixed feelings about it being my first time and also the last time. Warped will be missed.

What could one expect from your live show at Warped Tour?
Our set at Van’s Warped Tour in Dallas will match the Texas Heat!

What is the name of your latest or upcoming CD or EP and what inspired the title?
We’ll be releasing a six-song EP in the next month or so, with songs we recorded with Sylvia Massy last summer. We are still kicking around a name. We are also going into the studio in early June to record with fellow Texans Mark Younger Smith (Billy Idol) and Jimmy Quill. We are so excited and can’t wait for you to hear our newest creations!

Select two songs you may be playing in your set and what inspired the lyrics.
Vanilla is a song we wrote about non-conformity, I personally have been told that I need to dress differently and act a certain way if I am going to fit in. I like being my unique self and think that everyone should find, embrace and enjoy what makes them happy about themselves. Check out the lyric video here: https://youtu.be/A8lVphs18Zw

Lately, we’ve been ending our set with a song off our debut EP, called I didn’t do it! We love it because of the time signature, the guitar and drum solos, and who hasn’t been accused of something they haven’t done? But we may surprise y’all with one of our soon to be recorded songs!

Any strange or unusual happening in the past while out on the road?
Well, when we were in Oregon, we almost lost Joe, our bass player, to a commune that lived on a graffiti covered school bus but we lured him away with a jug of kombucha and a donut. It was then and there when Joe became Kimono Joe…..

If you could open up for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
It would be a dream to open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I think the boys would agree with me on that one. Love Past Blue’s sound is remarkably inspired by music from the Chili Peppers. Current bands we would like to open for would be the Arctic Monkeys, Palaye Royale, or Greta Van Fleet. There are so many.

Do you have any messages for Warped Tour attendees this year?
Come hang with us in Dallas! Stay cool and hydrated, Texas can feel like an oven in July.

Love Past Blue on Facebook

Makeout

Introduce yourself, what you do in the band, and where you are based out of?
Hi my name is Scott, I play drums in MAKEOUT, and although the band is based in MA, I currently live in Brisbane, Australia.

What are you looking forward to the most about this final cross country Warped Tour?
Mainly the opportunity to hang out with friends on the tour and catch some bands that shaped me growing up. Also I’ve never been on Warped so it’s going to be one crazy experience for me, it’s always been a dream of minez.

If this is not your first time on Warped Tour, what advice would you give a band about to attempt Warped for the first time?
Well yeah, this is my first time, but the other boys have done part of the run before. So I don’t have any advice yet! And when I do have some, it’ll be too late haha. But my plan is drink a looooooot or water.

What could one expect from your live show at Warped Tour?
We like to put 110% into every show we play, and we know it’s going to hard to keep up the pace but expect energy. We love to have fun on stage, so that’s what we’re going to do.

What is the name of your latest or upcoming CD or EP and what inspired the title?
We released our debut record The Good Life late last year. The title originally came from a song that didn’t even make the final cut, essentially it references the path to finding happiness in your life. Your best life is whatever you make it, and for us, this is what we consider our best life. Playing music!

Select two songs you may be playing in your set and what inspired the lyrics.
Open Minded and Childish. Open Minded talks about expanding the way people think. When someone is so one track minded, they close themselves off from everything that could dramatically change and improve their way of life. We only have one life, so to close yourself off like that really limits your potential to experience all life has to give. Childish can either be perceived as talking about an ex-partner or even an ex-friend. Getting back to the innocence of our thought train when it comes to friends and romantic endeavours, stripping back the ugly emotions we all fall victim to.

How are you going to feel about playing those infamous 11:30 AM Warped Tour slots?
Bring it on! Haha!! More time of the day for us to hang out with people and see some bands.

Any strange or unusual happening in the past while out on the road?
The last tour was kind of crazy. Sam (vocals) got hospitalized for about 5 days so we had to play a couple of shows without our lead singer. And I don’t even want to start on the Canada/USA border issue, long story short I had to get on a one way flight home.

If you could open up for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Blink-182 again! I could do that for the rest of my life.

Do you have any messages for Warped Tour attendees this year?
Stay hydrated, be respectful, look out for other, and most of all have fun.

Makeout on Facebook

Photo Credit: James Harper

Sharptooth

Introduce yourself, what you do in the band, and where you are based out of?
Lauren Kashan – Vocals and Lance Donati -Guitar. Baltimore, Maryland.

What are you looking forward to the most about this final cross country Warped Tour?
Lauren: I’m the most excited to have such a wide and diverse audience for our message. This is such an incredible opportunity to meet so many new friends, start a lot of important conversations, and spread a message of inclusion, positivity and support to tons of new people.

Lance: I’m personally excited to see the fans get stoked on what we have to say and hopefully have fun with us while we go wild for these shows. I love playing shows and seeing people look at us and Lauren and see their gears turn. You can see the spark of motivation in their eyes as they see what’s possible in their world once we kinda open those doors. It’s really inspiring and it reminds me of when I was a kid and discovering something cool.

What could one expect from your live show at Warped Tour?
Intense, explosive, raw and chaotic, both physically and emotionally. We get into some heavy topics, but we know how to make a scene and have a insane time, so expect a full force hurricane of both.

What is the name of your latest or upcoming CD or EP and what inspired the title?
Our debut full length record is called Clever Girl and it is out now on Pure Noise Records. It’s our take on a scene from the movie Jurassic Park, where the overconfident hunter becomes the hunted, and is brought down by a pack of Velociraptors. It’s basically the perfect metaphor for what we’re trying to do as a band; attack huge systemic issues by working together as a pack to pave the way for a more progressive and inclusive world that benefits all.

Select two songs you may be playing in your set and what inspired the lyrics.
No Sanctuary and Clever Girl. No Sanctuary examines the ways that hatred and bigotry form and grow within individuals and our society at large, and looks at the ways that our actions with one another can contribute to a culture that either works against hate or feeds into it. Clever Girl is an anthem of social equality, railing against forms of systemic oppression (particularly the patriarchy). There are so many marginalized voices in our society that have been silenced, talked over, and ignored for centuries, and Clever Girl is our call to arms to amplify those voices.

How are you going to feel about playing those infamous 11:30 AM Warped Tour slots?
We’re just honestly thrilled and grateful for the chance to be playing at all. So if we gotta play some early mornings just like any other band on the tour, we don’t mind. I’ve seen some of my favorite bands of all time open the day with that morning slot, so to even get to walk in their footsteps is an honor!

Any strange or unusual happening in the past while out on the road?
Lance knocked a sprinkler head off during the first song of one of our shows on tour last year. Flooded the venue, the show had to be cancelled and evacuated, and the fire department had to be called. It was insanity. And somehow, the promoter still payed us AND asked us to come back and play again (which we absolutely will)! Honestly, we’re a bunch of super weirdos, so every day is a wild and wacky adventure of strangeness with us.

If you could open up for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Lance: I’d love more than anything to open up for Rage Against the Machine. That’s a childhood band of mine and really what got me into understanding how you can infuse politics and music together with deep meaning. And actually have an effect on the world with it.

Lauren: Stick To Your Guns. Their ability to address systemic issues while also maintaining a deeply personal connection is unparallelled to me. I have so much respect for them as artists, and as human beings. They’re 100% a band that walks the walk, and they treat the people around them with so much compassion. I owe that band a lot, and it would really be an honor to share a stage with them one day.

Do you have any messages for Warped Tour attendees this year?
Make this a day you’ll never forget, cause this is it! Between the bands, take some time to check out all the organizations that come along with the tour to give back, and some newer artists you’ve never heard before. We’re certainly going to be soaking up every moment of the punk rock summer camp experience, and encourage everyone to do the same!

Sharptooth on Facebook

Interviews by Ken Morton

Countdown To Vans Warped Tour 2018 – Part 1 is here!

Countdown To Vans Warped Tour – Part 3 will be posted June 15th!

Vans Warped Tour Official HOME PAGE

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