Warped Tour is hot. Well, that's been determined.
But other than that …
We commenced our debut on the Vans' Warped Tour this year a little deviated from what was planned, as we were unable to perform for the first week. Just a couple days before leaving for the tour, our singer took an intense dive off a 20-foot pillar during our record-release performance in Hollywood, shattering three of his ribs and nearly puncturing his lung.
We spent the first week of the tour doing meet-and-greets and selling merch for our fans while he was in recovery back in LA, waiting for word on his condition and whether or not we would be able to perform on the tour at all this summer. Once given a clean bill of health (i.e. not giving a fuck and ignoring medical advice not to perform for three months), our trooper of a singer rejoined us in Pomona, California, and we were back in business!
Warped Tour crowds are different than any crowd we would normally play in front of, say if it were a headlining tour or a metal tour. I'm pretty sure most people aren't there to see us. At times it seems as though we are the goth kids in the lunch room that no one wants to sit next to.
The macabre makeup, the studs, the black leather might be a bit much for all the kids who were too young to have experienced "Shout at the Devil"-era Motley Crue or a little band called Kiss.
It's no wonder if they are put off by our appearance when their heros dress like everyday Joes who just clocked-off at Taco Bell. But the instant we start playing, a dark chord is struck in all their hearts and their rhythms beat to a different tune rather quickly.
I must say probably the best thing about playing Warped is winning over people who would not normally like us, solely based on judgment of our looks before our music.
At the end of every long, hot day on Warped, all the bands gather around their buses (There are some 90 buses altogether on this tour!) and socialize in barbecues very reminiscent of the days I spent growing up in trailer parks in the Midwest, lounging in lawn chairs, drinking beer and grilling burgers and hot dogs.
This is where all the band members are supposed to 'make friends' with one another's band mates and every one becomes one big happy family. To make that high school reference once again, I felt at first we weren't going to be accepted into the popular "clique" in the "lunch room"; that we were gonna be THAT band no one wanted to associate with on the tour. You know, the "goth" kids in the corner.
But more and more members from all the bands have been warming up to us and extending the olive branch, telling us they enjoyed our set. Outcasts or not, we're all here for the same purpose: to make music and entertain.
All in all, Warped Tour has been an experience, to say the least, and NOT a bad one. And it keeps getting better and better every week. So far, we're having a good time. :)
Jinxx plays guitar in glam metal band Black Veil Brides, whose sophomore effort, Set The World On Fire, was released June 14 on Lava Records. The album was recently included on Guitar World's list of the 50 best albums of the first half of 2011.