A girl from Australia, a hip-hop group featuring a man named Sleep, and an electronic-rock duo from the Intermountain West are among the most buzzed-about acts on this summer's Vans Warped Tour, which kicks off in the state where the first Vans Warped Tour was held, back in 1995.
Tonight Alive, The Chicharones and Breathe Carolina defy the notion that the Warped Tour is packed with punk bands from Californian suburbs, often the case in the past.
Jenna McDougall is the frontwoman of Tonight Alive, a five-piece pop-rock band from Down Under that hopes to follow the success of past female-fronted Warped Tour acts such as Paramore not to mention another Warped Tour veteran, Katy Perry.
The amped-up Chicharones, featuring Sleep of Oldominion and Josh Martinez, have been called "The Best Bar Band in America" by Spin magazine because of their innovative approach to hip-hop, including five-part harmonies, speed raps, costume changes, syncopated dance movies, onstage magic and stand-up comedy.
Breathe Carolina, with Kyle Even and David Schmitt, hail not from the Carolinas but from Denver, and began by recording songs on the software GarageBand.
McDougall, the Chicharones and Breathe Carolina answered questions about how to stay hydrated, whom we all should catch, and if it is more appropriate to cry or throw a bra at a show.
The Vans Warped Tour typically happens on the hottest day of the year in Utah. How do you plan on keeping hydrated and healthy?
McDougall • Being from Australia, I like to think we know how to take care of ourself in the heat. We're big on drinking water on tour, so that's the first thing. I'm gonna get excessive with some sun cream and keep my face protected. All the standards.
Chicharones • Well, luckily Someone Clothing will be providing us with bottled water in biodegradable bottles. We plan to give them to people while they wait in line in the hot sun. Chicharones keeping kids hydrated since 2012!
Breathe Carolina • Lots and lots and lots of water and hanging out with a lot of buds.
Which fellow bands do you most want to see, and which bands have you seen that you believe Utahns just have to see at Warped Tour, no matter what?
McDougall • I'm really excited to see all the friends we've made over the past two years, including Breathe Carolina, We Are The In Crowd, Blessthefall, Motionless in White, and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk. But I'm also really looking forward to seeing Senses Fail, Pierce the Veil and New Found Glory, of course. The lineup is great.
Chicharones • Champagne Champagne are from Seattle and we're big fans. Streetlight Manifesto are really, really fresh. And [we've] been a lifetime fan of Anti-Flag, so there's lots of great bands to see.
Breathe Carolina • Pierce the Veil, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory and Mod Sun.
There are numerous bands playing at any one time during the festival. Why should a Utah music fan make a point of seeing your show?
McDougall • Tonight Alive has got a lot to give. We're a bit of a mixed-genre band so our music has a little bit of something for everyone.
Chicharones • First off, there will not be many hip-hop shows in general, but for sure there will not be another hip-hop show like ours. The Chicharones are a full band but not the funk-jam band usually associated with live organic hip-hop music. Our band is made up of all shredders and monster musicians. We are known for bringing down the house with our live show and will be showcasing music off our new album, "Swine Flew." We will absolutely rock your face off and you shouldn't miss our set.
Breathe Carolina • We are doing something that no one on Warped Tour has ever done. You'll have to find out for yourself.
What is the most unusual thing you have seen happen during one of your shows?
McDougall • A bra being thrown up onstage.
Chicharones • The list is long, but something that stands out to me is on our annual boat party in Austin. We decided to dress up like Super Mario Bros. During one of our more personal and sincere songs, a man in the front row began to cry. He was touched by our music but watching it back on film it was just so surreal because of how we were dressed. I guess that doesn't measure up to the speakers catching fire or our guitarist Scotty Del smashing D.J. Zone's turntables with his guitar, but it stands out to me nevertheless.
Breathe Carolina • Boobies and madness.
Did you ever go to the Warped Tour, or something similar, when you were younger?
McDougall • No. I've never been to Warped because it's so far from home but I've always loved going to all-ages community festivals and especially the Soundwave festival, which is kind of Australia's equivalent to Warped with a whole bunch of international acts.
Chicharones • Not Warped Tour. Both of us are from more remote areas where the Warped Tour didn't come to. Josh is from Halifax, and Sleep is from Farmington, N.M. But as [we] got older and started to travel more, [we] went to a bunch of festivals and came of age that way.
Breathe Carolina • Went to Warped Tour every year.
The Utah tour date is the first Warped Tour show this summer. Will it be like the first time of school?
Chicharones • It will be like anything but school. The rust is off and we are ready to smash it. [We] liked the first day of school because you never got any homework. It was the rest of the days [we] had a hard time with.
Breathe Carolina • It's like a big family reunion. There are so many bands and friends from the past.
No room for rockstars
Vans Warped Tour
When • Saturday, June 16, at 11 a.m.
Where • Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $28.03 in advance, $35 day of, at SmithsTix