News Warped Tour: What Is It Good For?

Every Time I Die, Photo Credit:

Since 1994, when founder Kevin Lyman first came up with the idea for a two-month travelling festival of punk and skateboards, Warped has gone from strength to strength. Playing host to every rock band worth their salt, the list of those who have appeared is endless. Heck, it’s punk rock summer camp: why wouldn’t you want to be there?

“I think one of the first times I heard of the Warped Tour was in the lyrics of ‘The Rock Show’ by Blink-182 at 13,” tells Jenna McDougall, frontwoman of up-and-coming Australian outfit Tonight Alive. “All I knew was that every band I cared about had played the tour and that if I ever played in a band that would be all I wanted to do.”

“It’s a place where people can just be themselves without anyone giving a f**k about how they look, talk or act,” explains Vic Fuentes, of Californian post-hardcore band Pierce The Veil. “It’s total freedom for one day.”

And along with freedom, there’s a definite sense of equality throughout the touring party, as Chris #2 of Anti-Flag is quick to emphasise: “It’s a level playing field. We get the same chance as other bands at the top of their scene. It’s a great chance for a large number people to see lots of music.”

The Warped Tour is a magical place. Bands that almost nobody has ever heard of go on to play to hundreds of people every day. As well as birthing giants of the rock community, it also gave a certain pop megastar her break. “A few years ago Katy Perry was playing a side stage for 50 people,” Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die remembers. “I saw Paramore in front of maybe a hundred in one city a few years ago. Right now, Dead Sara is playing for a few dozen a day. Mark my words, that band will be doing far bigger things.’

“For me,” begins Cyrus Bolooki, drummer for New Found Glory, “Warped Tour is all about the family backstage between the bands - we’re all the same when we’re at the shows. We all unite to put on amazing performances throughout the summer. I can remember going to some of the first years of Warped Tour in South Florida back in the late ‘90s, seeing punk bands that I love like Blink-182, MxPx, Millencolin, but also seeing other styles of music. Artists like Eminem, Deftones, and others. I’ll never forget New Found Glory’s first time playing in 1998. There are so many great memories for us.”

And even with bands who are fairly new to the tour, there’s a sense of camaraderie and respect. “I remember going to see Piebald at Warped Tour in NYC when I was 13 years old. Ever since seeing them that day, I wanted to be a part of the tour,” reminisces Tim Landers of Boston five-piece Transit. “From our standpoint, we couldn’t have picked a better year to hop on. Bands that we love headline every night.”

“I remember seeing Taking Back Sunday as a fan and thinking ‘I want to play this tour some day’,” tells Tay Jardine of We Are The In Crowd. “And now I’m playing the tour with them! It’s such a great experience.” That’s a sentiment mirrored by Mayday Parade’s Jake Bundrick: “It’s pretty incredible knowing you’re doing a festival with a band like Taking Back Sunday or The Used who you’ve listened to and looked up to. Our band formed because of those bands.”

For the first time in seventeen years, Warped will be leaving behind American soil and setting up camp for one night only in the UK, at Alexandra Palace in London, meaning us Brits can finally go to the rock show.

“For us, it’s an honour to even be asked!” says Stuart Richardson, of headliners Lostprophets. “It was a no-brainer, we didn’t even have to think about it. Warped Tour has become such an institution and it’s awesome that they’re trying to bring it to the UK, so for us to be asked, we were definitely honoured.”

Warped Tour UK will take place on the 10th November at Alexandra Palace in London. Acts on the bill include Lostprophets, Brings Me The Horizon, New Found Glory, Less Than Jake and Architects.

Taken from the August 2012 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.

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