The Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Event 2018 Interviews with Dead Girls Academy
The Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Event took place at Vans Headquarters in Costa Mesa right after the announcement of this year’s lineup. Previously tagged as the final cross country trek for the iconic tour, founder Kevin Lyman will certainly remain busy with other projects when Warped spins to its final show – including The FEND Movement (Full Energy, No Drugs), which aims to empower youth to take a stand against opioids.
At the Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Event, Highwire Daze Online caught up with Dead Girls Academy members Michael Vampire and Benji Bryan. Recently signed to Victory Records, Dead Girls Academy will be on the Vans Warped Tour from June 21st to July 8th, causing a commotion on the Owly.FM Stage. Read on as we discuss what to expect from a live Dead Girls Academy show on the Vans Warped Tour, working with Ronnie Radke of Falling In Reverse as a songwriting partner, Michael’s time spent with Vampires Everywhere, and a whole lot more…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Dead Girls Academy
Michael: I’m Michael and I sing.
Benji: I’m Benji and I play guitar.
What are you looking forward to on this, the last year of the Vans Warped Tour?
Michael: Aw, man, the amazing lineup. I was on with a different band (Vampires Everywhere) in 2012 and this reminds me of that lineup. I have so many friends playing so it’s going to be a fun one.
How did Dead Girls Academy come about after the end of Vampires Everywhere?
Michael: I just wanted to start something new – something fresh. I felt it was time for a change musically and I wanted to head more in a melodic zone. And I feel that we’ve accomplished that.
What could one expect from a Dead Girls Academy show at Warped Tour this year?
Michael: High energy – fun. We definitely like to have fun onstage. it’s like Nine Inch Nails meets Motley Crue – if we can accomplish somewhere within the middle of that, I’d be happy.
Select two songs you might be playing on Warped Tour and what inspired the lyrics for you.
Michael: I’ll Find A Way is about losing yourself for a minute but kind of figuring out where you belong in the world and how you could conquer your most inner demons. And I feel that song related to a lot of people. And another song No Way Out is about a relationship being stuck in something that is just draining you. I think both do relate.
You’re on Victory Records now. How did that come about and what made you decide to choose Victory?
Michael: Our manager introduced us to the label and flew me out to Chicago – and we just connected. It was one of those feelings – you know when it’s right. I grew up listening to Victory Records’ bands, so it’s kind of surreal. It’s a cool place to be.
What was the experience like working with Ronnie Radke from Falling In Reverse on your songs?
Michael: Well, he’s my roommate so I see him every day. But it’s amazing. He’s an amazing songwriter. Very underrated for songwriting. He plays guitar – sings everything – does harmonies – does everything you wouldn’t expect him to do – plus more. It was a great experience and he taught me a lot actually.
If Dead Girls Academy could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Michael: Nirvana. He was just very inspiring. He just didn’t give a fuck. He was an amazing songwriter. I just would love to see what they would have been like live. I didn’t get the opportunity so that would have been cool.
Benji: I think definitely something from that era would be really cool. Something like that or Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails. Even some bands a little bit later – like Taking Back Sunday is a band that both of us are really big fans of – and they’re playing one day of the Warped Tour this year, which is super, super cool. So that would probably be another one on my list.
What’s up for Dead Girls Academy between now and Warped Tour?
Michael: We have a bunch of festival fly-in dates – playing a lot of great, great festivals with lineups of people that I’ve always wanted to play with like Bush. We might do a small headlining run between all that – and then Warped Tour. And that’s probably around when the album is going to come out, because we’ve only released one song – so far…
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photo by Jack Lue)