Note: Alizen, one of our great interns decided to do research on the Vans Warped Tour to give parents insight into the concert scene, why teens love music and what adults should and shouldn’t be worried about when teens make music their priority. The following are her in-person interviews with some of the Van’s Warped Tour artists.
Artist VS Poet
Alizen: Your latest album “Favorite Fix” is a lot different than the previous ones. What ideas did you have that made you change your style?
Tarcy Thomason: Well what we really wanted was to reach a broader audience. You know, get the parents interested in our music, too. We tried to stay away from typical songs about love, relationships, and subjects other than boy and girl. I guess if we’re talking about style we tried to be more mature with our lyrics.
Alizen: You’ve worked with producers who have epitomized bands like All Time Low, Paramore and Cartel. How does it feel to have to level up to that status?
Tarcy: It’s crazy! Ridiculous… We’re definitely pleased to work with them, and this is our third time on Warped Tour. We actually just came back from touring with another band named Valencia in Japan. (Alizen: You should definitely tell them to come join the Warped Tour Family!) Haha, yeah we’re definitely trying to convince them with that. But um, we’re just really glad to work with such an amazing group. Hopefully we can be like them one day. (laughs)
Alizen: You have a unique band name. How did that come about?
Tarcy: Oh, we’ve actually had that one for a while. It was just, random I guess. I just liked how it sounded. What’s cool is how the band formed. I found the guitarist on YouTube. And, I was writing some lyrics one day and figured, Hey I should post a bulletin and see if anyone was interested, so I did, got a reply and that’s how we came about. Well, actually, I think Jason can tell you about that.
Jason Dean: Haha, well I used to be the guy selling merch for Artist VS Poet, and one day I was on Myspace. I saw the bulletin and thought it wouldn’t hurt so I replied and he’s like, Hey I really dig that, let’s go make some tunes!
Alizen: That’s definitely different something you don’t come across everyday! I like that you reach out to your fans. Throughout the tour, who would you say is your favorite performer?
Tarcy: Well we really like Of Mice and Men. The Rocket Summer is definitely someone I would check out. Oh and You Me At Six is one of our good friends.
Jason: Yeah, they’re from the UK. We’re really into UK bands.
Alizen: Like Bring Me The Horizon?
Tarcy: Oh, I don’t hate them, I just… Well it’s not something I could listen
Alizen: I guess it’s an acquired taste! Now because we work for Radical Parenting, an online organization that’s designed to teach parents how to be BETTER parents through the teenage perspective, we would love to hear your input. Do you have any advice for parents regarding concerts?
Tarcy: Well it’s always a good idea to bring kids if they’re old enough. You know, just so they get a feel of the whole concert idea. I mean if they’re not old enough, then just give them some headphones or something. But definitely bring them to a concert if it’s possible. Teach them about music, so that they know if it’s right for them or not.
Alizen: I remember accepting your friend request on Myspace back in 2008. How has your career shaped itself after becoming such an internet hit?
Christofer Drew: It’s absolutely amazing! I’m working hard and enjoying everything right now.
Alizen: You dropped out of high school before graduation. Do you have any regrets to that?
Chris: Nah, to me school is just a reason to brainwash kids, or, as I like to call it, “social conditioning.”
Alizen: I notice you’re a vegan! I’m an active supporter of PETA as well. Aside from working with them, how else do you plan on raising awareness for animal rights?
Chris: Well we’re putting a video on the website to tell kids more about it, why it’s better. It’s healthier, and I also put stuff up on my myspace profile.
Alizen: Your last CD came out in 2009. Can your fans expect a new one in the future?
Chris: Yes! I’m coming out with a new CD on August 24, but that’s a secret!
Alizen: Haha, no guarantees on keeping that one! Now because we work for Radical Parenting, an organization that teaches parents how to be BETTER parents through the teenage perspective, what advice do you have to offer?
Chris: This is a changing world. Kids are growing up faster with changing minds. All we have to offer is unconditional love and support, because love is what will take us places.
The Rocket Summer
Alizen: First of all, I want to commend you for being the only person to sing, write, produce and play instruments for their own songs. How would you say being an ex-member of your old band “Monkey Chunk” has shaped you into the artist you are today?
Bryce Avary: (laughs) Oh god, I don’t even want to know how you know Monkey Chunk. It was a band my friends and I made in eighth grade. We had one gig and split up after that. I’ve definitely gotten better since then.
Alizen: Your latest album “Of Men and Angels” hit #1 on iTunes on debut day! How do you feel about such a success?
Bryce: It feels great, and making it was such a blast. I never expected that.
Alizen: Speaking of “Of men and angels”, it’s a lot different than your previous albums. What made you want to take a different spin on your style?
Bryce: I had three full-length albums before this one: Do You Feel, Hello Good Friend and Calendar Days. I’m not really sure about a different spin, I guess it just happened.
Alizen: I heard that you have your own clothing line titled “Call It Captivate”. When can we expect to see those for sale?
Bryce: Right. We’re probably going to re-launch that and base it online. Maybe get a tent on Warped Tour, but we’re really focusing on having it online right now.
Alizen: Sounds great, and I can’t wait to check it out! Now because we work for Radical Parenting, an organization that teaches parents how to be BETTER parents through the teenage perspective, what advice do you have?
Bryce: Don’t always be skeptical to what kids want. Be supportive. You know, don’t force your kids to do something they don’t wanna do, like slumming real estates. Not that it’s a bad job or anything. Just be there to listen to them.
Alizen: I remember when I first started out, my friends and I would always make web layouts and graphic designs about your band. We were absolutely in love with you guys and hopefully our audience will as well. How would you describe your band?
Cassadee: For new listeners, we’re all about pop rock. Our music is lyrically relatable, it talks about love, breakups, stuff like that. We have music that’s really catchy and makes you want to dance.
Alizen: And where are you from?
Cassadee: We’re from West Palm Beach, Florida!
Alizen: So there isn’t much of a weather adjustment since it’s about the same here.
Cassadee: Oh yeah definitely. I think our coldest weather this year was about thirty degrees.
Alizen: Well seeing as how today is a Sunday, how did your band name come about?
Cassadee: We actually couldn’t think of a good name, so we had people vote on it. One fan suggested ‘Hey Monday’ on friendsorenemies.com, we liked it and we stuck with it. We really wanted to reinforce a positive spin on Monday, since it’s the beginning of the week and nobody really likes Mondays.
Alizen: Myself included! So how does it feel to be a part of Warped Tour?
Cassadee: It’s great. This is actually our first time on Warped, and we love to travel. We love meeting new people, seeing new places, learning about the world.
Alizen: Sounds like you guys really like reaching out to the fans. Out of the entire tour, who would you say is your favorite performer?
Cassadee: Definitely excited to see Sum 41. They’re great on stage, and so is Set Your Goals.
Alizen: You all seem very young. How old are you?
Cassadee: Well we’re all twenty, except for Jersey. He’s twenty four.
Alizen: Twenty! That’s about the college age. Was it a hard decision skipping out on such an experience?
Cassadee: Nope, I was never in with the college scene anyway. Definitely don’t regret not going.
Jersey: I actually went to a local college and got my Associate’s Degree.
Alizen: So how did your parents deal with that decision?
Cassadee: They were actually very supportive of me. You know, they’re cool about
the band thing. I just said, Hey I wanna go out and make music, and they were fine
Alizen: Speaking of parenting, because we’re from Radical Parenting, an organization that teaches parents how to be BETTER parents through the teenage perspective, what advice do you have?
Cassadee: Don’t lose touch with your family, talk to your kids. Definitely talk to them. Be there for the worst and best time of their lives and maintain that connection.