15 years old by definition means that you just got your braces off,
you're learning how to drive and you are probably gearing up for that
first kiss. But if you're Warped Tour you're making out with
the quarterback, you've bought a Harley and you're modeling on the
weekends. 15 years is a long time for a tour to last, but as this
one has been so eloquently named "The Tour That Will Not Die,"
you can imagine that it has big plans for the next 15. While celebrating
its birthday this year, it was nice enough to add Kansas City as a
stop. This year the bill brought names like Chiodos, Bayside,
Flogging Molly and recent Boulder sensations 3OH!3.
But for my Warped, I spent the day with a few of the other acts. And
all in the luxury of the air conditioned press room. I break down
everything from new albums, recent publicity and daily W.T. routines:
Seeing as how these guys call KC home, it wouldn't be far fetched
to think that they were well received at this stop. And you'd be right.
When any band finally makes it back to "their" town, it's
naturally going to be day filled with family visits and friendly reunions.
So it was actually very lucky that I was able to snag Brandon Phillips
(guitar/lead vocals) for a few questions. And of course with Brandon,
nothing can be same-old same-old. So just moments after we decided
where we were going to have the interview, a band started to play
a mere 30 feet from my recorder. Imagine that. So needless to say,
this interview went a little quick:
Hybrid Magazine: The pre-Tour anxiety that was originally
there, is it all gone?
Brandon Phillips: No real anxiety now. Just pretty much fatigue.
HM: This is your 35th stop on the tour, are you a well oiled
touring machine by now?
BP: More or less, we do this in a state of being half asleep.
So yeah, I'd say we're a well oiled machine.
HM: How has the acceptance of wholesome Midwest Rock band
been amongst these crowds?
BP: It's been great. This is the year that screaming, metal,
gore shit is huge. So honestly, that's huge and it brings in a lot
of kids just to see that. But we're certainly not getting anything
but positive vibes.
HM: Run me through a day-in-the-life of The Architects
on Warped Tour.
BP: Wake up at 8 o'clock in a parking lot, grab the merch
tent; load up the dollies with merchandise. Run to the stage, unload
the truck, grab some catering, fill out a bunch of postcards with
set time, and hit the lines before doors open with the postcards.
Play the show; go to catering, go back to sleep. Repeat.
HM: Been able to get a lot of advertisement out about the
BP: Yeah, new album promotion [is] going well. So far. We
get tons of awesome messages and comments on our MySpace and email.
From people that just ran into us at Warped Tour and loved us. Very
HM: Have you made any connections with other bands that could
prove to be beneficial?
BP: Yeah, I don't know, we'll see.
HM: Nobody you want to mention?
BP: No, not yet. (sly smile shows up)
HM: Has this marathon of a tour allowed the band to make any adjustments
to approve the general live show?
BP: A little bit, but mostly when we adjust the show it's
for about whether or not we're bored. Like "I'm sick of playing
that, let's play something else." We're not really changing the
show for the Tour very much.
HM: Would you do it again next summer? Would you do anything
BP: If I did, I'd be in a bus with like a crew of 5. The Tour
itself though is totally healthy. I got no problems with the Tour
besides the fact that I'm not in a bus.
Now I've done my fair share of inconvenient and oddly placed interviews.
But never before had I done one, like this, practically on stage.
However, if you want the interview, you take it, whichever way it
may come. So I left Brandon (and the hardcore band), with a little
ringing in my ears and a little less of a voice. Though that's pretty
typical for anything post-Architects. Their set was "well-oiled"
and chalk full of good ole' Midwestern Rock 'n Roll. A perfect way
to take out all hostility towards government, or the economy, with
a few well placed thrashing guitar riffs and methodically played drums.
Third times a charm? Or maybe it was fourth. Eh, either way I've seen
Chicago's own Madina Lake more than once. And as long as they
keep releasing incredible albums I will keep hitting up their concerts
over and over again. Well with the recent release of Attics To
Eden (see my album review in Reviews), they decided to take the
new album on the road with the Tour. Luckily for me this meant I was
given a third (?) opportunity to chat with bassist Matt Leone:
HM: So you released the new album and then pretty much headed
straight to Warped. Was that the original plan with the album?
Matt Leone: Absolutely. We're more of an international band,
than American band. So we spent the first 4 or 5 months of the year
doing international work. The record released in April or May, but
we really didn't start doing work until Warped. So this is like the
launch of our album here.
HM: Compared to From Them, Through Us, To You how have
your fans accepted the new album?
ML: They've really connected deeper to it than they did to
the first one. We have this sort of community of Madina Lake fans
that are really super connected. And they have taken our hands and
dove deep into this record with us. The people who were kinda Madina
Lake fans, are probably not too into Attics, but people who
are really into it, I think like it better.
HM: The new album seems to have a general tone that's a bit
harsher and a bit darker than the last, maybe even a touch of dance.
Was it written differently?
ML: It was. I think we were kind of motivated by the frustration
we saw when touring on the first record for 3 years. We saw everything
homogenized, everything was safe, and everything was the same. All
the bands looked the same, sounded the same and acted the same. They
did the same moves on stage. So we sort of built up this resentment
to the "boys club." We wanted to challenge that sentiment
and challenge ourselves. And that's what we did. We made this alternative
rock record. What they love about it in the U.K. is that you can't
define the genre, and the same comment in America, is what they don't
like about it is that they can't define the genre. We think that's
the ultimate compliment.
HM: What's a day in the life of Madina Lake on Warped Tour?
ML: We kill ourselves on stage everyday. In our minds, if
we're not demonstrating that we care, why would anyone else? The transition
to doing the whole tour is interesting. In a lot of ways it's like
high school with the cliques. And we are the guys who are cool with
HM: You've done Projekt, supporting tours and now Warped.
Is there a tour that you prefer? Do you have a fav?
ML: They're so different, that it's hard to pick one. Projekt
Revolution was fantastic because you had a captive audience, because
you only had one stage running at a time. But on Warped Tour, our
stage is always kinda hidden off to the side somewhere, so people
have to find you and then any kind of cross traffic are the people
that you go after. There are so many distractions here. It's sort
of apples and oranges, but we look at everything like an opportunity.
So it's been very effective for us.
HM: So up next is the video for "Let's Get Outta Here"
- what can fans be anticipating?
ML: We are also shooting a video for "Welcome To Oblivion"
for the single after "Let's Get Outta Here," which is already
active in Europe and the U.K. So we're going to shoot a video that's
going to go overseas first.
Matt is easily one of the nicest guys in the business and an excellent
interviewee, so meeting up with him is always a pleasure. It's just
a bonus to the fact that their music is wonderful. With the new album
mixing in a bit more alternative and dance sounds, they keep their
fans interested and always wanting more. Definitely keep an eye out
for the music video!
The first time I caught Innerpartysystem live was a set about
the same length as todays would be. However it was in a theater, so
we were able to enjoy the light show as well. And after only about
30-40 min, I was exhausted. Exhausted from the energy and the insanity
that happens on stage with these guys. Seeing them live made me go
back and really listen to the entire album, allowing me to appreciate
every aspect that went in to the music and thus the genius that resulted.
Needless to say, I was thrilled when I found out I'd have a chance
to pick apart this genius for a session in the press room. So about
3 o'clock I met up with Kris (guitar/keys) and Jared
(drums) and we snuck away into the small corners of the press room
(i.e. the closet) for awhile:
HM: How's Rock-n-roll camp going for ya?
Kris: It's everything that everyone said it was going to be.
It's [the] best and worst time of your life. You meet tons of people,
but you sweat your ass off and work your ass off.
Jared: It's definitely going better than I though it would,
from just what I've known of Warped Tour in the past. It's been awesome
for us and the reception from the crowd has been great.
HM: You've essentially released several singles off of your
self-titled album. Is there a new album in the works, or will you
continue to release singles?
Jared: No, we're writing, we're definitely writing right now.
Kris: We actually play one new song in the set. It's kind
of a snippet of it, it's not entirely done. But we're definitely trying
Jared: We're trying to finish it up this year, a goal is to
finish up some sort of EP or album and get it released as soon as
possible. Or we might put some songs on iTunes first; it's kind of
up in the air at the moment.
HM: What's a day in the life of Innerpartysystem on Warped
Jared: Now, its a little more Warped Tour than it was. We
kind of got lucky early on, 'cause Skullcandy had a gear truck
that we could put all our stuff on, and so we didn't have to get up
early. But now we have to lug all our stuff to the stage everyday.
We get up about 8:30 or 9:30, drag shit really far. It's a little
different from bigger bands, because we don't have a tech per-say,
to help. So we drag everything down, get the merch set up before 11am,
you find out your set time and then plan your day accordingly.
HM: If you could change anything about Warped Tour, what would
Kris: Separate catering lines.
HM: For who? How would you separate it?
Kris: So say, today I just wanted a salad. But I had to wait
through the entire line, to just get a salad. But I could just got
to the separate "salad line" or separate "vegan line."
It just seems like it could be done more efficient.
Jared: Or just split the line up in two.
HM: So, why 3OH!3 for collaboration? What initially
drew you to them?
Kris: We did that when we went on tour with them. I think
it's starting to get a lot more traction now because they got massive.
Jared: It came up from just meeting each other and trading
remixes. It's kind of what we all for fun as hobbies with friends'
HM: Is that what fans can be anticipating for the band, more
collaborations in the future?
Jared: We all just do that stuff all the time, as hobbies
on the bus. So I'm sure there's tons of stuff that we've done that
hasn't been released yet. I know there's some remixes that have been
done. But a lot of it is kind of haphazard. If we get something done
and everyone digs it, then we'll throw it up for free. I would love
to do remix swaps like that more often.
HM: I was going to ask, is there a band that you'd love to
Jared: I know Jesse just did something for Thursday,
I really like to get stems from P.O.S. that's on this tour
and we just got some from Paper Route.
Kris: We might actually do 3OH!3's new single "Starstrukk"
Their interview and their set were easily the highlights of the day.
Even though the bright, blinding sun was the only "lighting"
we had, the set was still on energy level 10. This is one of those
bands that keeps me asking: "why don't more people know about
them?" The composition between the precision guitar work, the
multiple levels of keys and the non-nerdy electronic effects is masterful.
And just for their fans, they were ever so gracious to release Summertime
in Gameland: Official Summer Mixtape which consists of mixes from
TONS of artists like The Killers, Missy Elliot and Keane.
If this is what they do in their free time, then I hope they never
We actually ended the Tour with a few songs from Philly boys Valencia.
Who had seemed to punk up their normally melodic and mellow set. With
performances during the day ranging from Chiodos to Meg And Dia
and even Senses Fail you can imagine the amount of exhaustion
that finally set in roughly about 7pm. So caked in sweat and layered
in sunburnt skin, we left the Tour for cooler pastures. After 15 years
they seem to have their stuff together. It'll be interesting what
another 15 will bring.
Capital Federal Park at Sandstone
Bonner Springs, KS
August 4th, 2009
More Music Features
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!