Vans Warped Tour's Kevin Lyman: 'I think the brand-new bands like Matt Toka, Hyro Da Hero, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, and this great little band Cherry Bomb are the ones to look out for'
At the Vans Warped Tour official kick-off party and press conference at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles last week, creator Kevin Lyman marveled, "It's really cool--18 years and people still care!" Back in 1995, Lyman started the Warped Tour and showcased bands such as No Doubt and Sublime. Today, it's America's longest-running festival concert tour featuring punk, alternative, hip-hop, ska, pop, punk, electronica, alternative rock, reggae, emo, hardcore and more. This year's installment features The Used, Falling In Reverse, Matt Toka, Dead Sara, It Boys, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Vampires Everywhere, Justina, Cherry Bomb and Forever Came Calling. The tour will also be making its way to Europe, starting in London on Nov. 10.
Lyman, who worked for 12 years in Southern California clubs (for more than 320 days per year!), says of his history: "Every night I was working with bands like Social D, Bad Religion and the Dickies. Then I worked with Goldenvoice and Paul [Tollett], who does Coachella." The Warped Tour was the culmination of his work in the nightlife business, and it now reaches more than 600,000 kids every summer. "You find a good reason to be in every city. I don't take any of them for granted," he says.
He's also looking forward to the Vans Warped Tour's Irvine stop on June 21. "It's been awhile since we were in Irvine Meadows. We used to do crazy shows down in the parking lots," he says. "I think the brand-new bands like Matt Toka, Hyro Da Hero, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, and this great little band Cherry Bomb . . . are the ones to look out for."
The Used, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary as the Vans Warped Tour headliners, are also looking forward to this year's edition. "We're just excited to get back out on the road; support our new record, Vulnerable; and reconnect with a lot of the generation that has either grown up with the Used or after the Used," says guitarist Quinn Allman.
"The older we get, the younger our fans get, which is really nice. We still have a lot of younger fans, but I think that the people who enjoyed us 10 years ago can still appreciate it as well," adds front man Bert McCracken. The band have their own headlining tour with Dead Sara in May; they'll then make a short Europe run and go on a world tour after the Vans Warped Tour.
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