Kevin's ready for Warped UK. Are you?
Vans Warped Tour UK hits London's Alexandra Palace this Sunday, so we figured now was as good a time as any to chat with Warped founder Kevin Lyman.
WARPED TOUR UK IS ON THE HORIZON! EXCITED?
Says Kevin: “Absolutely. For me it’s always about the bands that I may not have seen play. I’m looking forward to bands like Creeper and Young Guns. For me it’s a chance to see some bands that I may be looking at for the US [tour]. We’ve expanded a bit and we’re trying to be a little diverse with our line-up.”
HOW DOES YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE UK SHOW COMPARE TO THE US TOUR?
“On the US tour you wake up in the morning, you have three hours to set up the show, you do the show you pack it up and move to the next city. You rarely have a chance to let yourself go and remember why I got into this business 35 years ago.
"At the UK show they’re so buttoned up on everything, I get to just come in and enjoy myself, talk to some of the fans, hover around, say hello to everyone and actually watch some of the bands and watch the better part of a whole set, whereas on the US tour if I can catch a song then that’s great!”
HAS THERE BEEN A DECISION ON WHETHER THERE’LL BE A WARPED UK NEXT YEAR YET?
“No. A lot of it comes down to the talent, but for me that’s the nice thing – I don’t have to do something every year. I think you get into that routine where you have great success with something and then everyone’s like, ‘Are you doing it next year?’ but I want to have a little more freedom in my life.
"Warped US has to happen every year. It’s become such an important part of band’s careers, setups and exposure and everything that they do, but your life goes so fast if it’s always set around the same things all the time. I’m at that point in my life right now where I want to do different things and have options, so I don’t really want to commit this early.”
IS THERE EVEN MORE PRESSURE ON YOU TO MAKE THE UK VERSION WORK FINANCIALLY?
“I think in anything there has to be some economic responsibility but sometimes you do things because you love them. Especially in this day and age you have to have some responsibility. When I was 19 and started doing shows I didn’t have responsibility. It didn’t matter if I didn’t have money, didn’t matter if I did have money, but if you run a business you have to be responsible for your employees to keep them working.”
DOES IT SURPRISE YOU THAT THE WARPED TOUR BRAND IS STILL GOING STRONG?
“Absolutely. We never thought that we’d still be able to go out like this summer and last summer and sell 500,000 tickets. Especially in this environment with all the large festivals and everything, but we can still go out and find our niche.”
HOW’S WARPED TOUR US LOOKING RIGHT NOW?
“Well no one’s booked. I was actually sitting there last night approving a bunch of offers...”
WHO ELSE WILL YOU HAVE AN EYE ON THIS WEEKEND?
“Rob Lynch I have never seen. You’ve got Fearless Vampire Killers – I know I wanna see them. That’s the thing: I’ll pick out the bands I have to see and you’ll find me by those stages.”
Warped Tour UK is THIS SUNDAY. Tickets are available here, and you can drool over the line-up below.