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State In The Real Interviews Crossfaith At Warped Tour

Last week at Warped Tour, I was able to sit down with Kenta and Hiroki of Japanese metal band Crossfaith. Formed in 2006 and from Osaka Japan, the band played Warped Tour UK in Alexandra Palace in London.  Their first Warped Tour around the United States, the guys were friendly and eager to return to as soon as they possibly can. Their Facebook about page describes them best, as a “rare and genuine Japanese rock band that can be rated high internationally and their quest of artistic imagination goes on and on.” Their third album Apocalyze comes out on the 4th of September and you can check out the video for We Are the Future, a song off the album, below.

So how’s Warped Tour been for you guys so far?
K: Oh, it’s been great!
H: It’s been amazing. To be here is like my dream; when I was here I’d always listen to the Warped Tour compilation, so I’m so happy now. I already miss the tour.

Do you have plans to come back again?
K: Right now we don’t have any plans to come back here, but we’d love to come back as soon as possible. So I think probably next year, because we already have a lot of offers for tour this year. After this we go straight back to Japan to play a festival.
H:  Summer Sonic (check)
K: And after that, we’ll be in the UK and then Austrialian tour with Bring Me The Horizon and Of Mice and Men. After that, we have Warped Tour Europe, and Warped Tour London.  I’m so excited about everything.

How have you guys been dealing with the heat?
K: It’s been hot!
H: It depends on the place, like before Texas it was not that hot.
K: Around East Coast it was much better, but in Las Vegas it was…
H: It was a nightmare
K: That weather was murder. On stage, my shoes were melting.

What has been your favorite moment so far on tour?
K: I’d like to say that every second is a great experience.
H: Last night our drummer, Tatsuya, he won a drum-off competition. The last round, it was Crossfaith versus Black Dahlia Murder.
K: Which is a true metal band.

Have you had a good reception with fans gathering?
H: Yeah, I think fans are younger here than in Japan. They are about 20, and here everyone’s like 18 or maybe even younger.
K: And Japanese music and Western music is completely different; Japanese music has a different rhythm and different lyrics, different beat and a different melody. So for me, first Western band was Aerosmith, when I was a junior high school student. I think you guys listened to Aerosmith at like 6years-7years old.
H: It’s very different.
K: That’s reason why there’s the different age.

Is there a difference in the way your fans react here and in Japan?
K: Oh yeah!
H: Yesss.
K: Japanese audiences are a little bit quiet, more quiet than here.
H: Especially between the songs
K: But, they don’t dislike the band, just respect for the band
H: They just want to listen
K: They try to listen. It’s very hard for Japanese people to understand because they don’t speak English

So the songs that you play, are they all in English?
K: In English, yeah. Except speech, I always speak in Japanese on there. I think I’m going to confuse our first show, once we get back home
H: Yeah, every time we get back from out of Japan, he always says that after the show
K: I try to speak in English this whole tour, once I get back home I get confused

Lastly, I know you said you’ve got a lot of offers coming up, so what are your plans after tour?
K: After this tour we head back and have Summer Sonic, and Reading and Leeds in the UK
H: Also tours with Bring Me the Horizon and Of Mice and Men and Skindred
K: Also, we’re going to do a headline tour in September

And how is it being on tour?
H: It’s fun! I miss my friends, sometimes I feel homesick, but this is what I want to do
K: Also, there is no time to think about the other things

State In The Real Interviews MC Lars At Warped Tour

If you haven’t heard of MC Lars, this is your lucky day. I sat down with him during Warped Tour and talked to him about his music, his thoughts on Warped, and his plans after tour. A rapper who is more than a rapper, he uses Tetris and Super Mario music as his beat, he has Edgar Allen Poe raps, and he has done ska music. I can only describe him using his own words, “this hodgepodge of the cultural nostalgia, pop culture stuff.” He has joyful smiles and energy all around, whether he is onstage or off.
After our interview, he  told me of how he went abroad his sophomore year at Oxford, studying Shakespeare. “And that’s just the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It allowed me to do this because I met a bunch of punk and indie bands, and I talked them into letting me open for them. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be at Warped Tour.

So for you, how’s tour going so far?
L: It’s been great. We’ve got a lot of new fans this summer, and I do my literary rap songs. It’s been awesome, it’s my third Warped Tour and I love this thing. But, I don’t think I’ve been this tired in my life ever. But it is joyful.

You said this is your third time on Warped. Do you notice each time that your crowd/fans kind of get bigger and more hyped up into it?
L: Yeah, something that helped us a lot this year was being on the Warped Compilation. We got a lot of younger fans, and then the younger brothers and sisters of people who came before. It grows, every year it grows, and that’s awesome. I think Warped is the kind of thing where, if you really want to work and promote yourself and be nice to everyone and be out at merch all day like I always am, then it works to your benefit; you can then tour and play clubs and headline and it’s great.
[I’m like the William Beckett of rap]

What has been your favorite moment so far on tour?
L: Right now. (not really though…) We had a day off in Northern California, and they rented these houseboats and went swimming, it was great. I also rapped with Aquabats when they were on, and I’m joyful. It’s been great when I realized the set worked cause I was doing more, I’ve been doing more, stuff with the MBK, like the drum machine, and my drummer; realizing that the set worked without a full band—the first times I did it with a full band—and on the dance/hip hop stage you don’t need a full band. So to realize that was all good.

What do you feel you bring to the Warped Tour stage?
L: Yeah, it’s no longer just like Rancid and NOFX and Pennywise, which are great bands. Kevin put me on because I’m the first and only rapper who does like Edgar Allen Poe raps, skanking, and like kids put up their Star Trek rap hands, and we have a mosh pit to Tetris music, you know? And I rap on a Super Mario beat. It’s like this hodgepodge of the cultural nostalgia, pop culture stuff that I grew up with, and I’m able to mix it up like a mixer and put it out, but still bring that punk rock energy and fun. I think Warped Tour is not so much a genre –specific festival, but an attitude specific festival; it’s like, good positive mental attitude, love, family, hard work, respect. There are no rock stars, everyone just hangs out, everyone just hustles, even everyone who comes just to do interviews, and all the people who work in production. It’s beautiful. I would do this tour every year until I die if they asked me to, cause it’s just great and there’s nothing like it, and it’s very eclectic.

What’s your favorite song to play?
L: This summer it’s surprised me, we have this ska song I did with the Aquabats a few years ago, and that’s just somehow become popular with everyone. I think ska is big this summer, you know? So that’s been fun, because I get everyone to skank on stage, and there’s always a skank pit. Today in the mosh pit, for my Tetris song, it got rough, I almost didn’t even make it back on stage. I was actually like scared.

So how have you been managing to deal with the heat?
L: It’s not easy. Me and my drummer, we’re at the merch booth all day, just hydrating. I lost a lot of weight this summer, you know? And that is crazy. It’s fun, it’s fun. Our tour bus doesn’t have AC, which sucks; I’m not going to sit here and complain about my tour bus, but it is not comfortable. You just gotta be hydrating, and I’m so thankful that we’re able to have free water all day and have interviews in this AC San Antonio Spurs building.

Lastly, what are your plans for after Tour?
L: So I have a TV show I’m working on, it’s called “Yes Yes Y’all”, if you go to, you can watch a preview of it; I’m working on that , It’s me and these four robot puppets, we travel through time, we solve crimes, and we meet people from history [think Doctor Who-esque]. I’m working on a book, a History of Hip-Hop book, and I’m doing a new record. And then I go to England with this band called Wheatus.

State In The Real Interviews William Beckett At Warped Tour

If you are/were a fan of The Academy Is…, then you know who William Beckett is. If you’ve ever listened to The Academy Is…, then you have had the delight of listening to William Beckett sing to you. After the band split in 2011, Beckett began gracing us with his own personal sound by releasing his own EPs, starting in 2012. Culminating into a loyal fan following, his first Warped Tour as a solo artist, and his debut solo full-length album, Genuine and Counterfeit, set to release August 20th.

How’s the tour going so far?
W: It’s been amazing. It’s been exhausting, but I have done this tour before in the past with my band and this being my first time doing it as a solo artist, it’s interesting to see how much has stayed the same and how much has gradually changed. But I’ve had an amazing time with my fans and with my old friends and new friends on the tour. It’s sad that it’s over, but I think I’m ready to sleep in my own bed and see my family.

How different is it traveling as a solo artist as opposed to with a band on Warped Tour?
W: The way I do it is I usually ride with other artists, on their bus. Like I’ll have a bunk on their bus or something because I’m friends with most of the bands I tour with. That’s been really fun, to know new people and to connect even further with friends that I haven’t been super close with. So I guess that’s the biggest difference; is making new friends as opposed to just being comfortable with the old ones.

What do you do on your down time on Warped?
W: Well, I don’t really have a lot of down time; if I’m not at press, I’m usually singing with another band. I do cameos with a number of bands. I do a cameo with Never Shout Never, which I’m doing later. I do one with a number of the artists on my stage—Vinnie Caruana and Billy the Kid, I have her come up; New Beat Fund, I sing with them as well; and Reliant K—so it’s a busy day.

How have you been managing to beat the heat?
W: It’s hot. I mean it’s been fine; thankfully we have a bus that has air conditioning. When we were in Vegas, like a month ago, it was like 120 degrees; it was the hottest day in Vegas I think in the past decade, and over a hundred people had to be evacuated to the hospital, they were dehydrated and heat exhaustion. So that was a tough one to get through. But overall, I’ve done it before and it takes a lot out of you and you have to drink a lot of water.

You have an album coming out later this month. What was the process/experience with making this and all the other songs you released as a solo artist?
W: It’s been awesome. I think part of the reason I wanted to step away from the band was because I think that we had trouble deciding what direction we wanted to go in, who we were naturally; I couldn’t find that with them. I’ve really been able to find that as a solo artist. As soon as I went on my first writing sessions and trips on my own, it’s completely turned around; I’m writing the best I’ve ever written. It’s the most honest and true, and I’m quite happy with it.

What’s your favorite song to perform on tour?
W: It’s really tough to say, I mean a lot of artists don’t like to play their old stuff. For me, I think where you’ve been and what you’ve done makes you who you are now. I don’t have any disdain or like awkwardness about playing old music, but, that being said, as an artist, as someone who creates music from nothing, of course we want to play our new stuff because it’s the most fresh. It’s like Martin Scorsese wants you to go see his latest movie; I’m sure he’s thrilled if you watch Goodfellas, but the reality is that he wants you to go see his new movie. It’s just how it is.

And lastly, what are your plans for after Warped Tour?
W: After Warped Tour I’m going to be home for like three weeks, which will be really nice, and then the album comes out in August, on August 20th, so I’ll be doing a lot of press and stuff like that. Then in early September I go to Australia with Anberlin and The Maine, and then after that…I just got an e-mail about what’s after that!

Check out the video for Beckett’s single, Benny & Joon off his new album!

State In The Real Interviews Wallpaper. At Warped Tour

During my August 3rd Warped Tour in San Antonio, I was fortunate enough to have my first interview of the day with Ricky Reed and Novena Carmel of Wallpaper. A hip hop, electronic, pop group with music that you can’t help but find yourself dance/bounce along to, their newest album Ricky Reed is Real was released July 23. Wallpaper.’s first time playing Warped, they filled me on what life was like on the tour, what they brought to the festival, and what they planned to do after (hint: it involves a lot of sleep).

How’s the tour so far out here? Cause I know it’s hot.
R: It’s definitely hot. It’s nice to be back in the sort of southwest though, I mean, the northeast and the southeast was not only humid but we were dealing with crazy rain and borderline tornadoes and stuff. I don’t mind a little dry heat in Texas.
The tour’s been fantastic. The shows have been all so good, and we’ve made so many lifelong friends.

Awesome! You guys play on the Spotify stage, right?

What do you feel you guys kind of bring to Warped Tour? Like your own kind of style that you add to it?
R: It’s tough because all these bands and DJs and everything are brining great, great things and I think that we bring a lot of fun to it; kind of some light-heartedness. If you dig into our albums you find the heavier, deeper stuff, but when we’re out here at Warped, we’re trying to basically provide everyone with a really meaningful, but light, good time.

So what do you do to beat the heat?
R: That’s a good question, I mean we are in a bus; it’s our first bus tour. The bus is usually pretty cool, so that goes a long way. When we’re on stage, there’s no beating it, you’re just in the elements. We’re lucky that we’ve conditioned ourselves.
N: Yeah, drink a lot of water so you don’t get too dried out. I have a thing where I like to put ice cubes on my ears after we do a set; that helps cool me down. And just seek out air conditioning where you can, like in here [the AT&T center]
R: Yes, do maximum press.

What’s your favorite song to play while you’re out on tour?
R: Favorite song to play on Warped Tour is probably this song of ours called “Hesher” (you can listen to below) because it’s become sort of almost an unofficial Warped anthem with all the bands on our stage; it’s like the sort of song all the DJs and stuff, when we play, they gravitate towards us. It’s been a fun one.
(Note: If you like what you hear, and you will, check them out of Spotify, Facebook, and Chris’s post!)

I know you said the tour is kind of your first experience, how different is it to have to actually come out and tour around for a while as opposed to not touring?
R: Well we’ve done a couple U.S. tours that are not like Warped, but Warped is a totally different experience; the sense of community is different. When you’re just on a regular tour, you’re just with your band and your crew and that’s that, but out here, there’s so many other people to see, so many other high-fives and smiles and hugs when you’re walking into catering or to the showers or whatever it is. A Lot of love.

Fan reactions; does the crowd seem to grow in size with each date?
R: It seems to, but there are also these funny factors no one seems to think about, like sometimes our stage will be in the back corner of the festival and there’s no walkthrough traffic so it’s harder to get across. Or like yesterday, I noticed our stage early on in the day was like basically covered by the shade of all these trees, so there was a ton of kids there all day, and then when we played later, the sun had shifted so the area right in front of the stage was just blistering sunlight. When there was shade at our stage, there were huge crowds, and when there was not shade, there were small crowds.
Also some cities are more pre-disposed to electronic music and whatnot. When we played South Florida, West Palm Beach, the crowds for the DJs, the EDM crowds, were insane; thousands and thousands of people, I’d never seen anything like it.

So do you find that it’s easier to play in the areas where it’s a bigger thing?
R: I mean it’s nice, but also we pride ourselves on being the kind of band that can get out and get people into the show, regardless of what we do. Our music isn’t, I wouldn’t really even refer to us as EDM anyways, we don’t really do dance or house or trap, we just kind of do weirdo pop music that you CAN dance to.

Do you feel like in the future of Warped Tour, it will continue to branch out musically like it has?
R: I definitely think so. It seems like Kevin Lyman really has his finger on the pulse, and knows how to keep this festival changing with the times in really cool ways. I think that the way that he’s curated the bands is the reason it’s still doing so well.

Lastly, what are your plans for after Warped?
R: Probably take a loooong shower, probably shower for an hour, sleep for 72 hours, and then get back in the studio.

State In The Real Interviews The Story So Far At Warped Tour

Photo: Sam and Eric from the SITR with Kelen from TSSF

Kelen Capener talked with us for a little while at Warped Tour in Holmdel, NJ on July 7th. The Story So Far has been making a name for themselves in the pop punk scene since the release of their first album Under Dirt and Soil. Their latest album, What You Don’t See, was released this past March to critical acclaim within the scene. This is also the band’s first Warped Tour, and they seem to be doing pretty well. The entire amphitheater at the PNC Bank Arts Center was filled with people for their set. We talked to Kelen about being on the tour, their new album, and how fans have been reacting to their new songs. He even gives us a “Go Nittany Lions!” at the end of the video. Check it out below.

Video Credit: Johnny Chadwick

State In The Real Interviews letlive. At Warped Tour

The dudes from letlive. were nice enough to talk with us at Warped Tour in Holmdel, NJ on July 7th. The band, known for their unique brand of soul punk (a genre they created themselves) and their insane, unpredictable live performances, has been bringing something fresh to a scene that has, at times, become jaded and boring. The band just released an album titled “The Blackest Beautiful,” and the album has further instilled in our minds that they mean business. In the interview we talk about Warped Tour, writing/recording/releasing their new album, and how they feel about some critic’s responses to the new album. The guys are some of the most friendly, genuine people I’ve ever met in my life, and it was a pleasure talking to them.

Check out the band on Facebook, and make sure you get their new album!