Kicking off Vans Warped Tour 2012 at Club Nokia

It was that time of year once again for the Vans Warped Tour Kick Off Party, with the press conference and show taking place at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles.  Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman hosted the event and presented many of the bands who will be on the 17th edition of the legendary festival.  A screening of the Warped Tour documentary also took place and was well extremely received by the early arrivals.  One of the bands featured in the film, Forever Came Calling, opened up the show followed by sets from Matt Toka, Dead Sara, and Falling In Reverse.  The two surprise headliners did not disappoint, with a stunning acoustic set by Yellowcard and a fiery all out performance by The Used.

At the press conference, Highwire Daze interviewed Kevin Lyman as well as six bands who are slated for Warped this year and/or are veterans of tours from the past.  Read on as we present to you our chats with Cherri Bomb, Iwrestledabearonce, The Briggs, Brian Marquis (ex-Therefore I Am), The Darlings, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, and of course Mr. Lyman himself.  Our Vans Warped Tour Kick Off Party coverage starts now…

Kevin Lyman – Vans Warped Tour Founder

What made you decide to do another Warped Tour this year as opposed to going to the Bahamas for the summer or something?
We are going to the Bahamas actually with the Mayhem Cruise this year! We’re about ready to announce the Mayhem Cruise, and that’s going to be four days in the Bahamas. So not only am I putting on tours this summer, but I’m going to the Bahamas in December!

What were your impressions of the movie No Room For Rock Stars and what was your participation in it?
You know, I had some preliminaries meetings. I’ve watched it a few times now of course. It’s really the perspective of (director) Parris Patton, who had never been really exposed to Warped Tour – and just his experience out there. I kind of like to say that every fan and every artist has a different experience everyday and different impressions – and this is what he came up with. There’s so many stories going on out there at once – and it’s pretty impressive the way he culled this together into four or five really cool ones.

What advise would you give a new band about to go on Warped Tour for the very first time?
Just be ready to work.

Every kid who has a band wants to be on the Warped Tour. How should they go about it?
Everyone should start submitting their stuff to me around September 1st and then I just start listening to music and hanging out – putting it in a puzzle and trying to see where it all comes out. About two months later – that’s what it is – right or wrong. And if I book the right tour, it makes everything else a little easier.

When you attempt to relax after a day of Warped Tour, what music do you listen to?
I like Michael Franti. I listen to a lot of old blues. On the bus, some BB King. Some reggae of course – everyone knows I’m a reggae head, so I listen to that.

Would you ever do a reggae festival?
I used to do Bob Marley Days. I’ve got enough festivals right now with Mayhem and Throwdown – I’m good right now.

Will there be a Punk Holocaust 3?
We already did it! We shot it last summer.

When is it coming out?
You gotta ask Doug. I don’t know. We shot Punk Rock Holocaust 3 last year. I suspect it will come out now or soon.

Will you ever receive any awards for your acting?
No. I’m not worried about that.

Do you ever go talk to the parents in Reverse Day Care and do you relate to them or to the kids more?
Almost every day. I go out there, because I have this new term called “Demographically Desirable.” It’s my new term I came up with last week. Like for 50, I’m demographically fit. Maybe I’m a little cooler than the average 50 year old. Now I’m not going to compete against a 24 year old or 20 year old. It’s not my demographic. But that’s the whole thing – kids were coming up to me saying, “My showcase is at 3AM.” I go, “Not demographically desirable!” You know! I’m demographically desirable to go to a showcase that at the latest ends at 11:00. So even tonight being midnight, you’re starting to push my demographic desirability. So be comfortable within your demographic. But trust me, I go out in that tent and see a lot of those parents. Love that they are all out there, but it actually makes me feel pretty young. They’re all sitting in their chairs and I can still get out there and do this for two months.

What were Eminem and Katy Perry like on the Warped Tour prior to them becoming so famous?
Katy Perry – fantastic! And when this is absolutely all over, Katy Perry is going to be one of my favorite people that I ever got to work with. She’s a genuine real person, and she worked her ass off and she kept a good sense of humor about her. And then to watch her now maturing – at the Music Cares event when she pledged 250 thousand dollars to help other musicians. Kind of a bad ass! Eminem – I didn’t really get to know him as well. Ice T was on the tour that summer, so I was spending a lot of time with Ice T. I ultimately respect him for what he’s done. Some people have pooh-poohed the time they did on Warped Tour – like it was not their time. But it did help him and he’s recognized that – and he’s asked other artists to go do that tour. And he’s spoken with other artists – Yelawolf – these guys all want to do Warped Tour – Machine Gun Kelley is out there. So they recognize that going out there and putting the work in is a good thing.

If Lifetime were to do a movie about you and Warped Tour, who would play you?
I would hope for someone like Tom Hanks. At some point, the young Tom Hanks would be cool. Now I hang out with Matt Lilliard – he’d probably make a good Kevin Lyman. Me and Matt Lilliard are good friends now. He reminds me a lot about myself. He’d probably be a good Kevin Lyman.

Do you have any messages for fans coming to work tour this year?
As always, come with an open mind. Come with an open mind and you’re going to walk out learning something – whether it’s great bands – a great cause to get involved in. It’s a great day! You know, you watch online and people say “The line up sucks!” I go, “Stay home! It’s your choice! Come out! Stay home!” It’s a free country – kinda…

Brian Marquis – The Acoustic Basement Stage

Introduce yourself and tell me what you are going to be doing on the Warped Tour this summer?
My name is Brian Marquis. I’m going to be producing the all-new Acoustic Basement – which is an all-acoustic stage for Warped Tour. And I’m also playing on the stage all summer long. I was in a band called Therefore I Am and now I’m doing solo stuff. Therefore I Am was out on 2009 Warped Tour, and now I’m back doing my own thing.

Who came up with the idea for doing the Acoustic Basement stage?
It was me. I approached Kevin in October of last year. I kind of brought up the idea. I said, “Look, there’s a lot of guys like me who’ve been in indie punk hardcore bands and now they’re doing a little more stripped down, folky kind of vibe. There’s a lot of guys like Into It, Over It, Koji – and then there’s a lot of guys from bands like Anthony Raneri from Bayside, Vinnie Caruana from I Am The Avalanche and The Movielife – a lot of guys like that are doing their own solo acoustic stuff bringing intimate shows – the living room vibe into other people’s shows. That’s really cool.

How did you get all of the other bands involved in playing the stage?
A lot of the guys I really knew – just from playing music for years and years.  So Kevin asked me, “Well, you know a lot of these guys. Hit em up and see if they’re even interested.” And everybody I hit up was like, “This is a great idea. I love it!” And everybody was on board from the beginning. Absolutely nobody that was hesitant – everybody thought it’s the right time and it would be a really cool, new thing to have at the Warped Tour.

Do you have any new recordings out?
I do. I put out my debut EP called Snow Damage – it came out in November. And I hope to have a Covers album come out right before Warped Tour.

Is there story behind the Snow Damage title?
Snow Damage kind of refers to – I grew up in Connecticut and Boston in New England. Snow Damage is kind of when the snow clears in the spring, it reveals all the damage that’s it done. And the springtime is a renewal time and a time to rebuild and get back together. So after my band broke up, I felt a little shook up – and I had to pick myself up and start over again. And I started writing tunes by myself – and here I am – I’m doing it.

Do you still keep in touch with any of the former members?
Yeah, I do. They’re all doing different musical projects at different levels, different genres. But yeah, we’re all friends.

What advice would you give a new band about to go on Warped Tour for the first time?
Gold Bond Medicated Powder is your friend. You don’t need more than two cans of Monster Water to take a shower. And get yourself some baby wipes. And that’s pretty self-explanatory.

The Briggs

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Briggs, and what’s the most embarrassing song you have on your IPOD?
Joey: I’m Joey and I’m from the band The Briggs. And most embarrassing song on my IPOD? I have a lot of embarrassing things. At least people would think I would find it embarrassing – because I have a lot of actual dub step in my IPOD and a lot of things that 14 year olds are listening to – like Bring Me The Horizon and things like that. But even funnier, I have little kids songs in German for my daughter – all these really cheesy kids songs –they probably get more play than The Clash or something like that.

Jason: What’s up? I’m Jason from The Briggs. Actually, you know what’s more embarrassing than the most embarrassing song on my IPOD – is my IPOD! I’ve got an old silver Nano – that’s my IPOD – and that’s probably the most embarrassing part of it. I have a play list on it right now called The Manly Play List – it’s got some rock on there and it’s got some dub step on there that’s a little bit cheesy. And Noisia – I don’t know if anyone’s ever heard of Noisia.

What are you guys looking forward to the most about Warped Tour this summer and how many Warped Tours have you been on?
Joey: We’ve done four Warped Tours in the past. This year we’re actually taking a little break off of the Warped Tour. We have a new single coming out in a month. We’ve been a little bit out of the scene for the last year or so and we’re just kind of getting back in there – having a new song and a new video. The whole thing. We’re just kind of getting back on that pony.

Tell me about the new single. What is the title and inspiration for the song?
Joey: It’s called Panic. It’s a little bit of a hectic song. Basically what happened – we were going in to record a song for a Rancid tribute album. They’re putting together a Rancid tribute album with a bunch of great bands – The Streets Dogs and Left Alone and Death By Stereo and a bunch of other bands contributing a song for that. We were making our song for that. We were all in a room making that song and we were like, “You know what? Why don’t we make a single – release it – do the whole thing?” We had something sitting around for a while – we put it together – and we’re super, super proud of it. I think it’s exciting – I think that Briggs fans will really dig it and I feel that is also pushes the band forward and it’s a little bit of a new direction for us at the same time.

What advice would you give a new band about to go on Warped Tour for the first time?
Joey: Bring lots of Preparation H and other creams that might help you from different funguses. It’s true. I’ve had some serious, horrible things go wrong from that heat and the sweating and all that miserable stuff.

Jason: And don’t do Warped Tour in a used RV. The Horror Pops did that in 2008 and they were breaking down like every two seconds. It was a really nice RV, but it’s not meant to do Warped Tour. You’re driving ten hours a day and it’s really frigging hot – and you’ve got to keep your RV on all day – and most RV’s are just not going to make it. They’re going to break down. So get a bus or do it in a van,

Joey: That’s the thing. A lot of bands think they’re getting fancy and they’re gonna take a school bus or a shuttle bus or something out that. And nine times out of ten it just ends up failing miserably, because those things are not meant for that much driving and that many miles. The 15 passenger vans are great for touring. It’s miserable, because it’s a bunch of people packed in a van, but it’s better off than trying to do it in some odd vehicle that you think is going to be more comfortable for you to sleep in.

When could we expect a new full length from The Briggs?
Jason: We’re working on it right now. It’s in the works, but we just don’t know when we’re going to release it. We wanna really make it right. So probably in the beginning of next year we’ll have something new to give everybody – a full-length record.

Do you have any messages for long time Briggs fans?
Jason: Thanks for hanging in there and sticking around. We took some time off to kind of clear our heads and everything. We’re excited about the new stuff that we’re working on and I think people will really like it. It’s just great that people are embracing that and welcoming us back to the scene, so that’s cool.

Cherri Bomb

Where is your band from and what is the music scene like there?
Miranda: We’re from LA and it’s pretty awesome. There’s a lot of musicians around.

How did you wind up being signed to Hollywood Records?
Julia: I’m not really sure. Our manager helped us a lot. She opened up a lot of opportunities for us. We’re just really thankful to have the right people behind us.

You have a new album about to come out. What inspired some of the lyrics on the album?
Julia: We collaborate a lot. We co-wrote with our producers, and that’s pretty much how our album was made. We actually write a lot of poems – a lot of journal entries – and we kind of combine them all together and form them into lyrics. We’ve done that a lot. They all have different meanings to each of us, since it’s a collaboration. So I think we all have different inspirations, and we hope that people think they could relate it to their situation.

How many dates of the Warped Tour are you on?
Rena: 17 days.

How is it going to feel touring with a bunch of guys on the Warped Tour?
Rena: It’s been really cool, because they act like our big brothers since we’re so young. A couple of them, on some other tours like at Soundwave – a couple of them have actually offered us alcohol – and we’ve told them our ages and they’re like, “Oh, okay, I’m sorry.” And they ended up actually being really nice to us.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s Warped Tour?
Julia: We’re looking forward to have more experience. Seeing the bands! The lineup is perfect – oh my God, the line up is so good!

Rena: And hopefully meeting some new bands that we could connect with.

What could one expect from a live Cherri Bomb show?
Julia: Our show will take you on a journey. We want it to be an intimate experience.

How much touring have you done so far?
Julia: We’ve done a lot of touring over the past year. We’ve toured in Europe. We did a bunch of festivals – Reeding Festival, Leeds Festival – we’ve done Rock en Seine in France. Recently we went to Australia and we did Soundwave and we were at South By Southwest. We just got home a couple of weeks ago and now we’re starting up rehearsals again.

What’s the strangest thing that has happened while on tour?
Miranda: This was in Australia for Soundwave, and we were on a bus on the way to our hotel. It was super late at night and everyone was dead tired. Most of the people on the bus were drunk. And we were just sitting there towards the front of the bus, and all of a sudden we hear something coming down the aisle. And we look over and this guy was stark naked – just totally naked! He runs past us, and I think I screamed (much laughter) and then he ran back – and we’re just like, “What just happened?” Apparently he thought it was funny, but he didn’t realize how old we were. He was totally drunk too.

What was he doing on the bus?
Rena: He was part of one of the bands and he was probably just drunk and bored and tired, so he just did it. (Laughs)

Do you have any messages for people who want to check out your music for the first time?
Miranda: Basically, we’re here to inspire other people to follow their dreams and we hope that’s what you get out of our music. And you can check us out – our website is – we have a Youtube channel – and our album is coming out May 15th!

Julia: Our music is modern but also inspired by a lot of classic rock groups. We mesh the two together – and we really enjoy the sound that we have and we hope that other people do too!

The Darlings

Introduce yourself and tell me what you in the band.
My name is Zacc and I play guitar for The Darlings.

Where is the band from?
We’re from South Bay area – Hermosa / Redondo Beach.

What do you think of our local music scene out here?
It’s very consolidated – it’s very concentrated. It’s very hard. There’s a lot of people doing everything. It’s very competitive.

What are you looking forward to the most about Warped Tour and how many dates are you on?
We are doing two weeks – 15 days. We start in New Jersey – we’re capping it off. We’re doing the last two weeks of Warped Tour. You know, it’s tough but it’s awesome. There’s no other tour like it! I’m always stoked to do Warped Tour.

How many Warped Tours have you done?
They’ve done like 2-3. I’ve done Warped once, but not with The Darlings. So this will be my first Warped with The Darlings.

What band were you in prior to The Darlings?
I was in Allura.

What could one expect from a live The Darlings show?
Just a vintage rock and roll-y feel. Very high energy. Think like Black Sabbath, but modern, a little faster with a punk edge.

What advice would you give a band about to go on Warped Tour for the very first time?
Wear sunscreen. Pack shorts and swim trunks. And bring a padlock for your own personal porta-potty.

Do you have a favorite Warped Tour memory?
Always love the barbecues.

If you weren’t doing Warped this year, what do you think you’d be doing for the Summer of 2012?
Surfing, working my day job – and playing my music still.

And do you have any messages for The Darlings fans?
Keep it up! You’re the reason that we’ve got as far. And stay tuned for new music videos coming out. And thank you for the support!


Introduce yourself, tell me what band you’re in, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Steven from Iwrestledabearonce and we’ve been around for five-ish years.

How many Warped Tours have you been on?
We did 2010 and now we’re on for 2012 again.

What are you looking forward to the most about Warped Tour this summer?
Everything! Just drinking and hanging out with all of our friends. We already know so many of the bands on the tour. From 2010 and every tour we do, we’ll make new friends, so that’s awesome. But just everything about it. It’s so organized and there’s nothing to worry about. It’s the only sort of festival thing you will ever do where you know that everyone involved knows their shit and it’s organized. Well for us anyway. Every other fest we do, it’s like, “Well yeah, your set got pushed back an hour and a half. Hey, you’re only playing for 2 minutes!”

How about the New England Hardcore and Metal Fest?
We’ve done that one before. That’s super organized too. Scott Lee knows his shit!

What could we expect from an Iwrestledabearonce live performance from Warped Tour this year?
A lot of movement, because the stage is so damn hot that if you’re wearing shitty shoes – it sounds dumb – like a produce placement – but if you’re not wearing Vans, your feet will god damn melt to the stage. So I’ll probably take my guitar off and throw it at people again. You know, same old same old – probably break some shit and make a lot of people really happy and piss off a lot of others. It seems to be what we’re good at.

What advice would you give a new band about to go on Warped Tour for the first time?
Prepare to never bathe. The best way you could describe it is a traveling summer camp for degenerate musician bastards. I don’t even know. Literally just have fun. It’s so weird and unique – it’s hard to say until you do it. I’d be lying if I said that 2010 that we weren’t all nervous and excited. We grew up going to Warped Tour, so it’s crazy to be actually on it. Don’t sleep. Fucking hang out all day! Get out of your van – get out of your bus, walk up to fucking every band in every tent and make friends. You literally can leave the tour knowing everyone on it and have a million new friends and the best summer of your life. And if you’re not straight edge, drink heavily!

How was Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins of Saved By The Bell) to work with on your music video?
That’s a question I don’t hear enough. He was awesome. He’s the nicest guy ever, considering he’s Mr. Belding and everyone on Earth knows him. We go into a Dennys and “Sorry there’s a ten minute wait. Oh Mr. Belding?!? Come on right in!” But he’s totally okay with it.  He’s been in a lot of things, but he’s Mr. Belding, you know what I mean. You’re lying if you say anyone off the Saved By The Bell cast will be remembered as anything other than that. It’s the first reference. And he’s totally okay with it – he loves it. He says he’s met a million people who have said, “Yeah, your show got me through a lot. It sounds stupid, but I love you. Thank you so much dude!” And he’s totally okay with being called Mr. Belding for the rest of his life. He’s so stoked to be a part of that and he’s the nicest guy. I was shocked! I expected him to be such a dick. But I still have his cell phone number and he will text me and we’ll be like, “Hey, when are we going to Denny’s again?” I don’t know what to say, other than we were super nice to him, so in return, he’s been super nice to us. I expected him to be way more of an asshole. Cuz he’s been around – getting bothered by people in restaurants forever. We went out to eat three times and everywhere we went, people were like “Mr. Belding!” And every single time he was nice to every single one them. He deserves a million dollars and high fives from everyone. He’s the coolest guy!

Do you have any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles area?
I live in South Pasadena, so get your medical card. If you live in the Los Angeles area, your life is good. You have palm trees and good weather every single day. There’s nothing to complain about. That’s all I could say. Life is beautiful in Southern California. And whoever came out to our show in Long Beach the other weekend, thank you for starting a riot and shutting the goddamn show down. Thank you!

Tomorrows Bad Seeds

Introduce yourself, tell me what band you’re in, and how long the band has been together.
I’m in a band called Tomorrows Bad Seeds. We’re based out of Los Angeles. We’ve been together for about seven years going now. We’re working our butts off touring. We are about to release our third album called The Great Escape. It will be out before this Warped Tour.

How many Warped Tours have you participated in prior to this one?
This will be our third. The last two years we did two-week runs. And Kevin asked us to be on the whole tour this year, so we’re really excited for that.

What are you looking forward to the most about Warped Tour this summer?
Honestly, just all the people we’ve grown to become friends with and everyone that’s a part of it and all the bands and all the kids and the fans. Everything about it is real and it’s energetic. There’s a lot of hard workers. It’s like boot camp. I really enjoy the fact that everyone takes it seriously. It’s organized chaos. I like to see all the bands and crews work their butts off and really put their hearts out into the tour.

What could we expect from a Tomorrows Bad Seeds live Warped Tour performance?
A lot of energy. A little bit of dub step breakdowns we’ve got going that aren’t really a part of our songs – so it’s kind of like interlocking that sound. Just a good positive message.

Is there a story behind the title The Great Escape?
The title kind of says that we’re always trying to escape from something as people. And that’s kind of what music is – to me at least. The album has the vibe and the feel of a great escape, so that’s why we named it that. Plus we like aliens and stuff – I’m kind of obsessed with an intergalactic world – so it pertains to that too secretively.

What do you think of our local music scene out here?
I think it’s great! I think it always has been. We’re actually from Hermosa Beach, California to narrow it down – home of Black Flag, Pennywise, the Descendents – so we grew up on a lot of punk rock. But then again, being from the LA Country area, you had bands like Rage and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus and all these other bands that were influencing my generation. So we kind of fused everything. The music in LA is now is a melting pot of culture and it’s amazing.

What advice would you give a band about to go on Warped Tour for the very first time this year?
Don’t expect anything too soon. Don’t whine. And just play and leave your heart on the stage. Do exactly what you came there to do – and that is to play music and promote your band.

If you weren’t traveling on Warped Tour this summer, what do you think you’d be doing for the summer of 2012?
We’d probably be on some other tour, because we never stop touring. We literally just got off tour. This is our break to just finish the record and prepare for Warped Tour.

(Interviews and Photos by Kenneth Morton)


The Official Warped Tour Home Page
Brian Marquis on Facebook
The Briggs on Facebook
Cherri Bomb on Facebook
The Darlings on Facebook
Iwrestledabearonce on Facebook
Tomorrows Bad Seeds on Facebook


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