Backstage at Warped 2011

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Every time I’ve been to Vans Warped tour (In 2008, and in 2010) I’ve had the most amazing time. There are always bands that I can’t wait to see, and the fact that there are something like 75 bands on any given day, there is music playing for 10 straight hours. Thousands of people make their way to Warped every year and it’s always on a really hot, humid July day. Warped Tour in Montreal more often than not marks the halfway mark of summer, it’s something to look forward to from March straight through til July when it gets here. When I get home at night, I’m usually dirty, hot, EXHAUSTED but on a complete adrenaline high.

Last year Warped landed on my birthday and I spent my whole day there with best friends, followed by a night with some friends backstage watching the fireworks late at night. In 2008 it was my first Warped experience and I was front row for every single one of my favorite bands (Jack’s Mannequin, Anberlin, The Academy Is, Relient K…) This year, I wasn’t just a fan. I got a media bracelet and I spent half of my day backstage conducting interviews.

The reason I thought this year would be good to request a media bracelet was because there weren’t really that many bands that I LOVED- There were a bunch that I really liked and wanted to see, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to watch that many shows if I was doing interviews all day. Plus, it was a great way to actually discover new musicians! Was I EVER right.

I was backstage from 11:30am until 5:30pm almost completely. I did 8 interviews, and they’re all bands I respect and had a great time talking to. I also took pictures for Jenia’s interview with Enter Shikari (check them out, great band from the UK)  and I got to do photography in the pit (in front of the barricade) for a band called Every Avenue as well as Paramore. THAT was quite the experience. I was beyond the front row, literally one foot away from Hayley Williams herself, a musician that I respect and admire like I can’t even begin to tell you. I felt very, very lucky for those 15 minutes.

Here’s a list of the bands I interviewed, linked to their MySpace so you can check them all out, and a little bit about how our interview went. They’re all really awesome, seriously!

1. Less Than Jake

 

– Style: Ska
– This band has been around for almost two decades, and although ska is not my style at all, I had the best time interviewing Roger, one of the two lead vocalists for the band.  I can’t believe I had the chance to hang out with such a long time musician for 10 minutes- not to mention that he might have been one of the MOST down to earth guys ever. He’s been in the business for so long but I wasn’t intimidated at all. We joked around the whole time and I’m just so humbled what a cool guy he is.

 

2. Go Radio

– Style: Pop/Alternative/Rock
–  I discovered this band a couple months ago because I’d heard they were going to be on Warped and that they were good- and they really are! They’re just my type of music and I had a lot of fun watching them play live. I got to sit down with one of the members and it was really nice to just hang out and talk music with a band that I like listening to.

3. Relient K

– Style: Pop/Rock
– How cool is this band? They have an album called MMHMM, I seriously love them! I interviewed Ethan, one of the members, pretty last minute, but I had the best time. It was like talking to a friend and he was really nice and had great answers. Best part? At the end of my interview he took the time to tell me that I had a really great interviewing style and he loved how we just spent some time talking, and that it doesn’t happen like that all the time at all. He made some jokes and shook my hand, told me it was super nice to meet me (remembered my name!) and just yeah. I was really flattered.

4. Paramore

left to right: Jeremy, Hayley, Taylor

– Style: Alternative/Rock
– If you don’t know this band yet, PLEASE GO CHECK THEM OUT. Lead vocalist Hayley Williams is 23 years old and she is phenomenal. Her voice, I can’t even tell you how great. I’ve been a HUGE fan of Paramore since College when they released their album ‘Riot!’ and the song ‘Misery Business‘ which is catchy by anyone’s standards. I got to interview Jeremy, one of the members who’s been around since the beginning, and he was absolutely HILARIOUS. He kept making jokes and I was easily myself, joking around and throwing around a little bit of sarcasm with him. I still can’t believe I interviewed one of the members of Paramore. Wow.

5. Every Avenue


– Style: Pop/Rock
– I wasn’t supposed to interview this band, but they were just relaxing by the media tent without much to do and were looking to talk up their band so I thought why not? They’re an incredibly talented bunch of guys and it’s always fun to talk to guys who are excited about what they’re doing. I got the impression they were a bit nervous during the interview from the way they were answering me, but that humbled me more than anything else. I caught part of their set later and got to take pictures in the pit and they put on a super fun show and had lots of energy too!

6. Automatic Loveletter


– Style: Alternative
– Singer/songwriter Juliet Simms has one of the most unique voices & I’ve been a fan of hers for about 4 years now. I first heard of her when she sang alongside All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth in a song called ‘Remembering Sunday‘ which I’ve been in love with ever since. I was most nervous to interview her but I have no idea why, she was so down to earth and funny and very honest. It was an absolute pleasure to finally get to meet her.

8. Ill Scarlett


-Style: Dub/Punk/Rock
– This band isn’t my usual style of music, but they’re from Toronto and I was interested in learning more about them since they’re so close to where I’m from. They’ve got a really fun summer vibe to them. I interviewed one of the guys and he was so relaxed and having the best time on Warped. It’s a tough festival for any band (think 3 straight months traveling the States and parts of Canada, 12 hour long drives every night, even longer days setting up and taking everything down) but he was absolutely loving everything about it.

9. Shut Up & Deal 

-Style: Pop/Rock
– I interviewed two of the guys in this band, they were a TON of fun to chat with and super down to earth. You can download their album on their Myspace (linked above) for FREE. Go now.

I finished off my day with Jenn watching Paramore from the main stage. There were SO many people that once I was done taking pictures we couldn’t get anywhere even close to the stage, so we just enjoyed it from a distance, and left just before the last song so we wouldn’t get caught with everyone leaving. We were both EXHAUSTED, but I had a really great time. Not only with interviews, but I just love the ambiance at Warped. There are so many people there for music and for a good time, it’s hard to leave there in a bad mood. I’m already excited for next year!

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5 responses »

  1. SO awesome and I’m so jealous! My husband has a huge crush on Haley Williams though he isn’t much of a fan of her music. I’ve never been to Warped Tour but I’d love to go just to see Flogging Molly!

  2. Ahhh…I cannot BELIEVE you interviewed Relient K! They are such an awesome band with a great message. Love them, love them, love them!

    Way to go on all the interviews, girl! You’re a rock star!

  3. Shut your hole, are you serious? That’s so awesome! What a cool experience, I’m a tad jealous. I haven’t heard of the last 3, I’ll have to check ’em out.

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