The Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Event Interviews 2018 with WASI
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 Kickoff Event, Warped Tour alumni were invited to participate – and this would include the riot pop sensations known as WASI. Highwire Daze Online caught up with WASI members Jessie Meehan, Merilou Salazarm and Lindsay Martin to discuss their time spent on Vans Warped Tour 2014, their latest EP Stranger California, future road adventures, and a whole lot more! Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in WASI.
Jessie: I’m Jessie and I play bass.
Merilou: I’m Merilou, sing, play guitar, write, and sing…
Lindsay: Lindsay – I play drums.
Although you are not on the Vans Warped Tour this year, you’ve definitely been on Warped before. What was that experience like?
Jessie: It was so much fun. I’ve really been a fan of Warped Tour since my early teens. So to get to play it, I think it was 2014; it was like a bucket list. It was a big dream of mine to get to do it – it was really fun. The community was really inclusive and it was really cool!
How did you feel when you heard the announcement that the Vans Warped Tour was coming to an end?
Jessie: Kinda bummed…
Merilou: Yeah, because I think it described so much what Jessie was saying. That was one of my first show experiences too. It described a lot of what you do as a teenager – when you listen to music – this is how you dress – this is who you hang out with – this is what you do in the summer. So that was a weird feeling. But I’m excited to see where Kevin Lyman and everyone go from here…
Jessie: It sounds like he’s got a lot of other cool things up his sleeve. He’s not just ending there. It will be cool to see what happens next.
Is there any story or concept behind the Stranger California EP title?
Merilou: It’s just describing our lifestyle as artists in California. We wanted to do something that was authentic and fun. So Stranger California is fun to perform but also real in how we live our lives – as opposed what probably what people perceive living in California is like.
Jessie: And as a body of work, the EP Stranger California is about our experiences – because we grew up in California. It was our experience going from suburban to being in the city and all of the craziness that goes along with that. Our experience in the five years that we’ve been in L.A.
Select two songs from Stranger California and what inspired the lyrics.
Jessie: For the song Stranger California, I think it’s kind of sarcastic about living in L.A. and living in beachy areas. City Nights is about the underground music scene that we got to see and be a part of over the years.
Merilou: And just thinking about that, Warped Tour is included in that “underground scene”. It’s the place where you go to be yourself. For me, it was gay clubs and Warped Tour. And that’s what I think the song is about – and essentially the whole EP as well.
Lindsay is known for her work with The Starbreakers, The Aviators, We Start War, and The Glam Skanks. How did you become involved with WASI?
Lindsay: About a year ago, I volunteered for an all-girls rock camp down in Orange County. And one of my buddies was like, “Hey, I know this band and they need a drummer sometimes.” So I met Jess first – somehow in passing we met. I heard their music and I was like, “My god, I want to play with these guys! I love their music.” So we ended up jamming and they asked me to do some gigs – and I kind of went from there.
Merilou: Myra from Bad Cop / Bad Cop introduced us. And that was before they played Warped Tour.
What’s up next for WASI?
Jessie: We actually have a U.S. Tour coming up in a couple of weeks. We’re going to do a few gigs at South By and then we’re going to do the Women Fuck Shit Up Fest in DC – the first one ever. Then to New York and down South. And some of the dates are supporting Caroline Rose – she’s really cool – you should look her up.
Merilou: And then we’re hoping to get another tour lined up for the summer and/or trying to put together an album. We were trying to do an album last year. We had all of the songs done, but it just became an EP. We were like “Fuck it! Let’s just release it and keep on keepin’ on!” But I think the focus of putting together an album is definitely a goal.
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photo by Jack Lue)