How Comedian Grant Cotter Went From Punk to Performer at the Vans Warped Tour

It's so cool that I'm right here on the forefront of this new thing.
It's so cool that I'm right here on the forefront of this new thing.
Megan Thompson

It's no secret that over here at the Weekly we love to rep our hood as well as those that come out of it and when it comes to comic Grant Cotter, we've been singing his praises for years as if we birthed him ourselves. And while it's hard to pave a path in any city/industry, with dedication, talent, and skill, it can indeed be done. And Grant did it. Rather, he's doing it. He was recently tapped to host and perform on the first ever comedy stage this year at the 21st annual Vans Warped Tour that kicks off in Pomona on June 19th at the Pomona Fairplex. We couldn't let his newest accomplishment pass us by without finding out how psyched he is about the opportunity and wanted to get a little background on his past (unpaid) connection to the Vans Warped Tour itself.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Do you remember your first time going to the Warped Tour?

Grant Cotter: I've been going every summer since I was a little kid. The first time I went was 8th grade with my best friend Brad. My mom dropped us off at ten in the morning and picked us up at nine at night. We spent all day going to every stall to get whatever free stuff we could. It was like Halloween but we were trick-or-treating for stickers. We came back with three giant bags full of stickers and saw all of the bands that we wanted to see. It was so fun being a little kid at a concert all day by myself and seeing all of this cool stuff.

And so cool of your mom to just let you roam all day! What's the craziest thing you remember seeing as a spectator of the show?

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I think it was the year I got to go backstage when there was this band called Underoath there. They're super hardcore Christian and we interrupted their prayer circle to be assholes because we thought it was funny. I also saw teenagers having sex in the porta potties. That's such a gross place to want to have sex! I get that hormones are raging and you're meeting new people but, to have sex in a porta potty?

OK, no. I can't even picture that scenario going down although I'm sorta envisioning it now...

Fuck no! I can barely manage to chill in a porta potty! They're all hot and steamy and there's a cloud of shit steam in there! God no. I don't even know how it'd happen but I'm guessing they'd both be standing although, they're teenagers so, who knows?

Oh god, I'm going to think about that all day now. Thanks. Next topic. After all of these years, what made them finally add comedy to the tour?

My buddy and co-owner of SideOneDummy Records Joe Sib puts out the compilation every year for the Vans Warped Tour. He's really good friends with the producer of the tour Kevin Lyman and I had done a few comedy shows that he came to see. We got to talking and then I got to host the Vans kick-off party in 2013. We had talked a little about it then but it never worked out and then after I went on the Oddball Comedy Tour, I fell in love with going out, being on a bus, and performing outdoors. It was such a great experience for me that I was like, let's try to get the ball rolling on this. So I sat down with Kevin, Joe, and a comic named Eli Olsberg to really hash it out. Kevin is such a great guy and wants to seize the opportunity to do new things on the Warped Tour so he was really cool about it. And then, the comedy tent was born!

That's so insane that you caught the show so many times and now you're performing at it! That's gotta feel good.

Well like every kid in high school, I was obsessed with being in a band. I started bands but wasn't good with instruments or at singing. The first band I started, I got kicked out of. Then the second band told me I wasn't good enough to do anything so they made me their manager that would also introduce them. So I would introduce the band and get the crowd hyped up and one time I said something that got a big laugh and it was like, wow! I love this! A few years later I started doing stand-up so yeah, it's crazy to come full circle from wanting to be in a band performing on the Warped Tour to now being a comedian, paving my own path and career, and being part of it doing my own thing. It's such a crazy accomplishment to me because it was such a big part of my childhood so it's so cool that I'm right here on the forefront of this new thing.

Pause. Please tell me the name of the band you "managed."

We were the "Rancho Rat's" because we lived in Rancho San Diego and hung out behind this shopping center all of the time. [Laughs.]  

Rancho Rat's at Warped Tour
Rancho Rat's at Warped Tour

Hilarious. So as you pack for the road, what's something you must have with you? And don't say your phone because, duh.

Ummm....sweatpants or basketball shorts because wearing jeans all of the time doesn't cut it in the heat. You need something that you can change into to let everything breathe. I'd also say a folding chair is super important because you always need a place to sit. You think you'll find some bench or something but if you can't, having a folding chair is clutch for situations like that. Also, Gold Bond powder. The first tour I went on everyone said to get Gold Bond powder and I was like, I've never used Gold Bond powder in my life so why would I start now? Four days into the tour I was like, can we stop so I can get some Gold Bond powder? My legs were chaffing!

What the fuck, Cotter?

You know, your thighs can rub together and you can get chaffed legs. You never get that?

Uhhh, no.

Oh. I guess I'm not cool like Kylie Jenner with a thigh gap so my thighs rub together when it's humid out. And it hurts. You know, I'm walking around all day and my thighs rub against each other and just get all irritated. You need that Gold Bond powder to, you know, lubricate it.

I get it I just, well, I thought dudes used that for their balls.

Yeah, you can also put it on your balls. Look, by the end of the tour I'll be putting that shit everywhere. I'm not even sure of the proper use for it but I know that it feels good. Thank god for Gold Bond. Get that shit.

Noted. Off of your balls and on to others. I would think it'd be pretty fun to road trip on a bus full of comics. Thoughts?

You know, I see these comics all of the time at clubs but I've never lived in close quarters with them for weeks on end so it'll be interesting. I think it'll probably be like The Real World where seven strangers come together to see who'll throw a drunk punch first. I don't know. It'll actually probably be like people going, "Hey Grant! Why are you putting Gold Bond everywhere?"

You'll probably get some epic new material after this tour.

Oh yeah. I definitely hope to leave with a good mosh pit joke. Do kids still do mosh pits? We're so PC that kids probably don't mosh because they don't want to hurt anybody and since they don't eat gluten, can they even really thrash around? Kids just hold up their cellphones and are like, please don't push me because I don't want to crack my screen! They can't even hold lighters up anymore because they can't play with fire.

They'll just hold up their vape pens. Enjoy that.

Oh yeah, the glowing light of the vape. That's right. I'm never going to vape. Downloading chemicals into your body through a USB? I'm good. I feel like if you buy a vape pen you automatically get a friend with a ponytail that wears a leather vest. Vaping sucks. Vaping is the Guy Fieri of smoking. It's so unnecessary.

Grab your tickets now to see Grant Cotter along with a stellar line-up of comics June 19th on the Vans Warped Tour by going to www.VansWarpedTour.com, 1101 W McKinley Ave Pomona, CA 91768. Also be sure to check out what else Grant is up to on his website www.GrantCotter.com, become a fan on his Facebook, subscribe to his YouTube channel, and follow him on Twitter @GrantCotter.

Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality and follow the author on Twitter @AliNotAlli.


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