A summer away from home is the perfect opportunity to broaden your social circle and for the bands on Vans Warped Tour 2015, PVRIS, Citizen, Candy Hearts, Moose Blood and PUP, it’s quickly turned into an International Mates Club.
“This is the craziest tour we’ve ever done and that is both exciting and exhausting all in one,” explains PUP’s Steve Sladowski.
“It’s hot and exhausting, but we are enjoying ourselves,” continues Jake Duhaime from Citizen. “Not sure who told you we were having a ‘blast’ though. Hah. That’s a tad exaggerated,” he adds with considered enthusiasm. “The tour’s going great,” starts Moose Blood’s Eddy Brewerton. “But we’re very homesick!” It’s a feeling Candy Hearts’ Mariel Loveland can relate to. “I’m definitely a bit homesick.
“It’s definitely gruelling,” admit PVRIS’ Lynn Gunn. “A lot of work, a lot of heat, a lot of sweat, a lot of rehydration but you learn to roll with it eventually and you get into the system and it’s not to bad.”
The system involves stage times being announced on the day. It’s a unique quirk that puts all the bands on a level pegging but also gives their day a sense of instability.
“Initially it’s something that you think might be a little strange,” explain Moose Blood, “But once you get used to the set up it’s totally fine. We’re up early anyway so we’re never caught off by an early set time.”
“It dictates everything,” add Citizen. “Par for the course I suppose. It’s when I have to miss a meal that hurts me most.”
“Sometimes if we have a later set time, it affects our driving & sleeping patterns. Since we are driving ourselves in our van, a late set time can mean the difference between sleeping in a hotel and sleeping in a van depending on the length of the drive,” reason PUP. Sleep is also an issue for Candy Hearts. “It affects if I have to roll out of bed and run to the stage or if I can chill. Playing late feels really weird sometimes, I prefer to play at like 11 in the morning I think (even if I’m half asleep).”
Warped Tour stretches over forty dates, so day to day life quickly falls into a pencil drawn routine.
“Well it’s different for each of us,” ventures Candy Hearts. “Typically we pull up an hour before load in. The guys wake up and get breakfast and our merch guy sets up our merch display. We find out when we are playing then I decide if I can sleep more or wake up. I go shower and eat – find coffee somewhere – while the boys load in our gear to the stage. We set up and play, then after I go to our tent and meet anyone who wants to meet us. Then usually I do press sometime during the day, watch bands, hangout in folding chairs around someone’s trailer then go to the next city!”
“Every morning two of us unload the trailer, two of us flyer. Ollie, our TM, sets up merch, goes to production for set times and press then day sheets are sorted out. We’ll arrive at the stage an hour before we’re due to play, do a rock show then pack our stuff back into the trailer. We try to watch bands when we can, we love watching Transit, Citizen, Mallory Knox, Pvris, While She Sleeps, Night Riots and The Wonder Years. In between all that we’ll get ourselves to catering, do some press and hang around merch,” say Moose Blood. “There might be a nap involved here and there. “
With eighty bands and a host of comedians performing every day, there’s plenty of opportunities for artists to step away from the stage and just enjoy the festival.
“We try to see our friends play every day and try to make new discoveries whenever possible. The Dirty Nil and Lee Corey Oswald are always great – but we already knew that – and new friends Citizen, Moose Blood, and the aforementioned comedians are all incredible,” start PUP. Of course, it seems foolish not to ask our squad what they think of each other.
“We’ve seen all of them,” they continue. “We share a stage with Moose Blood and PVRIS (before PVRIS was deservedly bumped up to main stage), so we see them all the time. Same goes with Citizen, who play the Right Foot Stage and are a must-see band at the festival. Candy Hearts we haven’t seen as often, but we’ve spent many days with our merch tents and vans side-by-side just shooting the shit.”
“I’ve met a lot of those people and they all seem very sweet,” offer Citizen’s Jake Duhaime. “I’ve seen the ones on our stage play plenty of times and always enjoy it. On a festival where our sound is in the deep minority, I’d say we identify most with some of the bands mentioned here. At least in one form or another. Going into the tour, I knew who Pvris was but didn’t really care. Seeing them live is such a force. It won me over fast. They’ve been doing a really awesome job. Everyone loves it,” he continues before giving a quick rundown of the bands in question.
“Pvris – Great job. Loud crowd. Go celtics. Dance around.
Moose Blood – Rocking out fish and chips style. They bring a cool vibe.
Candy Hearts – Haven’t watched them yet. See y’all at catering.
PUP – Maple syrup stick-puck punkers. Fresh sound. V cool.”
“Yes to all of the above,” enthuse Moose Blood. “Citizen sound so huge it’s crazy, and Pvris literally kill it every day! They’ve been bumped to main stage for the rest of the tour which is incredible.”
“I watch Moose Blood nearly every day,” starts Candy Hearts. “I was also really impressed by Transit and Pvris. For Moose Blood I think they’re all just adorable people and I like watching Glenn play drums and Eddie talk in his accent. Is that a bad reason to like watching a band? Pup has this amazing energy I can’t help but love and Pvris…well Lynn’s voice is absolutely killer and she’s an excellently engaging front woman. I love love love watching their band play! All those bands have had massive, awesome crowds!”
PVRIS are creating excitement with every show so it’s no surprise their free time is limited. “We haven’t been able to watch too many other bands because our schedules are so busy and they overlap with people, but we’ve been watching the Mallory Knox guys a lot, they’re really good friends of ours, and I’m really into Moose Blood. The whole tour’s been awesome and we’re making a lot of friends,” she sings. “We all hang out, we all have different friends in different bands but I feel like everyone’s super close on Warped Tour. There are so many different friends in different bands that you wouldn’t expect. I’ve been hanging out with Beau Bokan from Blessthefall a lot. We have a bike gang together, so we bike and we walk around and get ice cream or go to starbucks, little things like that are pretty fun. We’ve made some friends, which us cool.”
PUP joined the party a week late but quickly caught up. “The only tough part was getting into a rhythm alongside a group of people with an already-established rhythm. However everyone is friendly, welcoming, and accommodating because they know we’re all in this together. We adjusted in no time and now it ain’t a thang. It’s virtually impossible not to hangout with other bands. The festival may seem big as an attendee, but as soon as you spend time loading in and out and seeing other bands, you make friends over dinner and shows and shared frustrations. “
“I’ve finally made some friends,” says Mariel who was worried about it going into the tour. “Makes me feel a lot better about being out on the road so long. I have so much I’m going to be so sad when the leave. My band jokes about how I never hangout with them because I’m always out making friends!”
“It’s really nice meeting new people, especially people in bands that you really like,” says Moose Blood. “We’ve got some friends on the tour which is great too. It’s awesome getting to see the Man Overboard and Major League boys again, and us and Mallory are never too far from each other, We get on so well with those boys, it’s lovely having them around.”
“We stick pretty close to our own squad,” explain Citizen. “There are Warped BBQs that you’re supposed to “mingle” at, but it’s not exactly our vibe. Having said that, we’ve met plenty of really nice people in bands who are a lot different from our own. We’re not exactly looking for new friends, but if it’s genuine and comes naturally, I’m all for it.”
“Everyone’s super family orientated and welcoming,” concludes Lynn Gunn. “There’s that ‘my house is your house’ mentality and that’s how are band is. We’re very family based and it’s definitely the same through the majority of the tour. It’s super awesome and hard to come by.
(Header Photo: Jessica Flynn)