The Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Party took place at Club Nokia in Downtown LA on March 28th. Celebrating their big 19 year anniversary, this summer’s diverse tour line-up will feature Sleeping With Sirens, We Came As Romans, Motion City Soundtrack, The Wonder Years, Bring Me The Horizon, Reel Big Fish, Crown The Empire, The Story So Far and many more.
The kick-off party, hosted by comedian Grant Cotter, included performances from Chiodos, Gin Wigmore, New Beat Fund, Big Chocolate, MC Lars, Echosmith, as well as acoustic sets from Craig Owens and Brian Marquis. In addition, fans were treated to very special surprise performances from Vans Warped Tour alums Dia Frampton, Juliet Simms and Charlotte Sometimes, who gained success on the NBC hit TV show “The Voice.”
“As I do every year, I really strived to help create lifelong memories and make the Vans Warped Tour the best day of summer for everyone that attends,” said tour founder Kevin Lyman.
And now, here are interviews from the bands Highwire Daze caught up with at the Vans Warped Tour press conference…
NEW BEAT FUND
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in the band, and what is the most embarrassing song on your IPOD?
Snapz: I’m Snapz – I play bass – and embarrassing song – like the Sesame Street Theme Song – that’s gotta be it!
Burnie: I’m Burnie Baker, the hitmaker. I’m the singer / guitar player. And most embarrassing song – maybe Limp Bizkit Nookie right there! That’s not even embarrassing!
Button: I go by Button – I play guitar. Embarrassing song – Barbra Streisand! Everyone has Barbra Streisand records! It’s something about that nose that gets to me every time!
Silky: This is Silky, I play drums. I guess The Lion King soundtrack in its entirety would be the most embarrassing and the one I’m most proud of on my IPOD.
Where are you guys from and what is your local music scene like there?
Snapz: We’re from Los Angeles. It’s Los Angeles man – tough crowds but good scenes here and there. You have to work your way in. You have to work hard to get people to start noticing you and your music. And you have to stay true to who you are.
Is this your first time on your Warped Tour?
Snapz: Yes, it is.
What are you looking forward to the most about this tour?
Burnie: We’re just looking forward to the exposure and seeing some of the bands we grew up seeing at Warped Tour. We know that Goldfinger is going out – we used to skate to Goldfinger all of the time. It’s just kind of getting back to our roots a little bit – it’s a little bit nostalgic for us, so it’s nice. We’re going to have a lot of fun. And just getting in front of a bunch of people that will fit our vibe.
Do you guys have an EP or CD out right now?
Burnie: Yeah, we have an EP out – it’s called Coins – actually ($). It’s our first five songs we’ve recorded as a band. We’ve got a video out for our single Scare Me. We have a song out call Free Cokaine which we got a video out for. And we’ve got a song called Peaches. I’m plugging away right now. Hit them up on YouTube and you’re gonna laugh your ass off.
Snapz: And we’re dropping new shit soon, so be out the look out – probably right around Warped Tour.
Pick one of your songs and tell me what inspired the lyrics.
Burnie: Scare Me says it all in the title, so I don’t want to give too much away. But it’s about a bunch of shit that scares me. So if you go through the lyrics and vibe with it, it’s a catchy number and I’m sure you’ll probably agree with most of the things that I’m saying.
Button: Free Cokaine is another one. It’s about the LA party scene, which is very strange and fake. It’s just weird alien people snorting a bunch of things into their brains. And we’re making fun of it – and that’s what that song is about.
Do you have messages who might want to check out your band and why should they go to your stage?
Snapz: It’s gonna be a hell of a good time.
Burnie: It will be a blender of the devil’s piss peeing on you in the best way possible. Some R. Kelley shit but like funky so you’re gonna freak out and dance and have a good time guaranteed! Not many people are gonna know about us on the Warped Tour, but hopefully it will start spreading around. It’s going to be dope! That all we want to do is spread the vibe!
Introduce yourself and tell me how many Warped Tours you’ve been on.
Hey, what’s up! My name is MC Lars and this will be my third summer on Warped Tour. My first summer was 2011 and last year I did some of the shows at the Silent Disco Tent. And this summer I’m back for the whole thing. And I’m so excited. And I make hip-hop music.
What advice would you give a band who is doing Warped Tour for the first time this year?
I have to say – the thing about Warped Tour – it’s kind of like the music industry – you really gotta be pro-active. And I will say three things – first wake up really early to cover the venue with posters with your set times. The second is go to the line and say “What’s Up” to all the kids and have a banner or drawing so they recognize your face. And the third is just drink a lot of water – because there’s a lot of temptation to drink a lot of coffee and energy drinks – and if you drink that, you could get sick. So drink a lot of water and make sure you stay out of the sun. But also make sure you are up early before it’s gets too hot to really promote your band.
What is the name of your current album or EP?
I’ve been working a genre I call Lit-Hop, which is like literary hip-hop. So I did an EP – it’s a songs based on Edgar Allen Poe. So it’s called The Edgar Allen Poe EP. We did a song called Flow Like Poe, which explains how poetry and hip-hop work together. We premiered the song at Carnegie Hall last year at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards with a full classical strings section. That was so cool man! So from Carnegie Hall to Warped Tour, I’m honored to be able to bring my music to the people.
What is your favorite Poe movie?
I thought The Raven with John Cusack was pretty good. It was a little more horror, but I like the scene where he’s at the bar and he talks to the French people who know his poetry. And it just shows how his fame is huge internationally. And there’s this new show with Kevin Bacon on TV where there’s the killer who’s inspired by Poe. And I think just think it’s cool how Poe always stays relevant in the pop culture. I’m going to do one of the songs tonight – the song called Mr. Raven – based on The Raven, my favorite poem.
Select any other MC Lars song not on Poe that you might be playing on Warped Tour and what inspired the song.
I have a song called Hipster Girl. I used to live in Brooklyn, and I was around when all of the hipster culture started to get really big. So it’s about a girl who is very opinionated and trying to do all of the cool stuff. I’m going to play that tonight too.
Any strange or scary happenings out on Warped Tour?
I think it’s really interesting – Warped Tour is cool because it becomes its own insular universe. Nothing really scary, but it’s just surprising how hot it could get in the Midwestern parking lots. It shows you how much you want it and how passionate are you for the music. I wish I had some crazier stories than that. I remember two years ago that YellaWolf was going to the bathroom on the hill and he slid and fell down – and that was pretty funny. He was okay though!
I agree with the you – the heat IS the scariest part of Warped Tour.
Yeah, that’s almost surreal and spooky!
Do you have any messages for people who might want to go to your stage and check out your music?
You know, I combine a lot of genres. And I think hip-hop is about being yourself and being passionate about what you love. And so people who come check out the MC Lars set this summer will be really excited because it’s a hybridization of genres and it’s high energy – and I love to educate while I’m teaching. I’m probably the one rapper on Warped Tour rapping about Edgar Allen Poe and stuff like that. So come and check it out!
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Echosmith?
Noah: I’m Noah and I play bass and vocals.
Graham: I’m Graham and I play drums.
Jamie: I’m Jamie, I play guitar and sing.
Sydney: Hey I’m Sydney – I play guitar – sometimes. And I sing and play keyboards too.
Is this your first time on Warped Tour?
Noah: Yeah, it will be our first time. We’re super excited to be a part of it – to travel and play. It’s going to be fun.
What are you guys looking forward to the most about Warped Tour?
Jamie: I think the big thing on Warped Tour is meeting new people – there’s new fans and bands. That’s the biggest thing – meeting new people and playing new places.
Where are you guys from and what is your music scene like there?
Sydney: We’re actually from Toluca Lake – North Hollywood, so we’re very close to here. We love it in LA. It has a great music scene and we love the people. It’s great!
How did you guys wind up signing to Warner Brothers?
Jamie: After just playing as a band for a couple of years, we had a relationship with Mike Elizondo who is VP of A&R and a producer at Warner Brothers. He really liked the music and really got it – and then it happened really fast. After a couple of years of playing as a band we got signed in less than a month. It was a really cool experience!
Do you have an EP or album out?
Sydney: We just finished our debut album yesterday, so we excited to release that. We’re not totally sure on the title – we’re still working that out.
Select two songs you are going to play tonight and what inspired the lyrics.
Jamie: One of the songs we’re playing is called Come Together which is on our YouTube – you could look it up and it has a lyric video and everything. We just shot a music video for it too. But that one kind of says it all in the title about really coming together – for young people or whatever – you could come together and really get your point out there and really express yourself. It’s not as easy to get with other people and do that. The first song in the set, Ran Off For The Night, is really just this story about these kind of star crossed lovers that just ran off together. It’s just a story about running off and being in love.
Why should someone at Warped Tour run off to your stage and check you guys out?
Jamie: We love what we do. We just like playing music. We enjoy doing our thing and hopefully other people will like it. I think if they just come, people just might like what we’re doing. So give us a chance and see what it’s like.
Introduce yourself, tell me what you in The Sheds.
Mac: I’m Mac and I sing in The Sheds.
Evan: I’m Evan and I play bass for The Sheds.
Morgan: I’m Morgan and I play guitar – sometimes.
You guys are signed to Mediaskare, and are a pretty unusual match for the label. How did you wind up signing with them?
Mac: We are from the same area as the label is located, and we were already friends with a lot of the bands on the label. So it just kind of happened. They came out to one of our shows – I guess they like what they heard and its history from there.
Is this your first time on Warped Tour?
Mac: It’s our second time on the tour and we’ve previously played one date before that.
What are you guys looking forward to the most about Warped Tour?
Mac: Camaraderie and making new friendships. Warped Tour was the first concert I ever went to when I was 13 years old. And to get to play it again – it’s really cool to be asked back. It’s kind of cool to really see things come full circle. It was always a dream of mine and my brothers here – and to get to play alongside some of our favorite bands is really cool.
Tell me the most annoying thing about being in a band with your brothers.
Mac: Being in a band with Evan and Morgan IS the most annoying part. Those two fight more than anything.
Evan: The annoying part is after practice, most people, they go home to their own houses and have a chance to cool down on their own. After our practices, we go to our own rooms and scream to the walls.
Morgan: Most frustrating part about being in a band with these two is the constant disagreement and fighting that happens for almost no reason all the time.
Mac: Because we’ve been in a band with each other for so long, we all have very strong opinions on how everything should work and be run. We gotten a lot better at leveling those out between us each and making it all work to an agreement.
What is the name your current album and what’s the story behind the title?
Mac: Our upcoming album is called I’ll Be Fine, which will be out right before Warped Tour starts on Mediaskare Records. The whole album has a central theme kind of continuing on the self-doubt path from our last EP – where it’s dealing with topics that I feel a lot of people can relate to – of the slump you get into right after high school – where you’re not really sure if you want to go to college, get a job, or pursue your passion. And what’s really right for you and what people think is right for you. And just being happy with yourself. It’s our first full length.
Why should someone run over to your stage and see you at Warped Tour?
Mac: I feel like we’re one of the few bands carrying the punk rock torch on Warped Tour. Obviously it’s not a punk tour anymore – and we love that it’s a very diverse tour as we’re a very diverse band. But I feel like that if anybody wants to get a sense of the Southern California punk rock feeling that Warped Tour was founded on with No Use For A Name, Pennywise, Bad Religion and NoFX, they can definitely come see us and get a little taste of that.
BEEBS and HER MONEY MAKERS
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Beebs and Her Money Makers and how long the band has been together.
Beebs: I’m Beebs from Beebs and Her Money Makers – I sing and play kazoo.
Paul: I’m Paul and I play drums for Beebs and Her Money Makers.
Beebs: The band has been together for about 3 ½ years and we’re based out of Orlando, Florida.
What are you looking forward to the most about being on Warped Tour this year?
Beebs: I’m looking forward to the experience of just a lot of new energy. There’s a very diverse lineup this year and I’m very excited to check out all the new music. And also to see from another perspective bands discovering new music and their energy about it.
Do you guys have a full length or EP out?
Beebs: We already have an album out – – it’s called Welcome To Barter Town – it’s available on ITunes and CD Baby. We’re about to release a brand new album that will be out right before we leave for tour – we’re releasing a new album and a new music video.
What is behind the title of the EP Welcome To Barter Town?
Beebs: The premise of the band is that we’re super heroes and we’re constantly looking for ways to empower – we’re here to just empower everyone – everyone helping to empower each other. And Barter Town is kind of where we live – we can get around constantly having a lot of money by bartering for things. We can barter for pretty much anything. So we’re all about growing gardens – bartering our vegetables for your vegetables and our superpowers for maybe your superpowers.
Tell me about a few of the songs you may be playing on Warped Tour and what inspired the lyrics.
Beebs: Hand Out is definitely going to be played. The lyrics were inspired by just sometimes you have a lot going on – there’s a lot of people constantly around – and sometimes it’s hard to pick out who is your friend and who is just trying to be cool. And then we have a new song that we will be playing on Warped Tour called Jumping, and that’s just about finally finding who you truly are and harnessing the superpowers that live inside you and harnessing what you are truly made of. And just going forward and pushing forward in life, and becoming stronger and smarter and going harder than you’ve ever gone before.
What could one expect from a live Beebs and Her Money Makers show at Warped Tour?
Beebs: You can expect a straight up experience. Beebs and Her Money Makers shows are full of high energy, superheroes, hula hooping, robots, confetti, bubbles, really sweet dance moves, secret handshakes. You will get a lot of out of Beebs and Her Money Makers. It’s really a lot of fun. We’ll be on the Kevin Says stage on the entire Warped Tour.
And why should someone run over and check out your band at Warped?
Paul: Because they will have a lot of fun. We’re very different and we don’t usually meet people that have not enjoyed our live show. Our live show is super fun. You can just come and be yourself, be silly and have fun.
Beebs: Our live shows are epic. And plus you might get to be onstage with us if you find us before the show. We have many amazing super costumes for people to come and dance with us.
CONCLUSION and LINKAGE
The Vans Warped Tour 2013 kicks off on June 15th in Seattle, Washington and concludes August 4th in Houston, Texas. See you all in the summer!
(Interview and Photos by Kenneth Morton)