Warped is no place for 'stadium bands' like Metallica, pictured here at Melbourne Soundwave (pic by Jay Hynes)

Warped is no place for ‘stadium bands’ like Metallica, pictured here at Melbourne Soundwave (pic by Jay Hynes)


9 July, 2013

Daniel Cribb

In an exclusive interview with, Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and Soundwave’s AJ Maddah have given some insight into what to expect from the line-up announcement this Wednesday.

“A lot of the bands that we’re going to be announcing are bands that have been touring with us in the past, and for some of them, they haven’t been out [to Australia] for a few years, and some are out now with us, so it’s going to be a good mix,” Lyman said.

“For Warped to work in Australia, obviously we need to bring all the various rock and punk rock vibes together, so it’s quite a diverse line-up; we’ve tried to balance it so it’s great value for everybody,” Maddah added.

“When you see the line-up, you’ll see that we’ve got it covered from old school to really amazing emerging bands.

“There’s a few bands on it that, as much as I like to have my finger on the pulse, I didn’t know about that Kevin bought to my attention that are just mind-blowing.”

When Warped Tour last came to Australia in 2002, the line-up was prominently punk rock, featuring Pennywise, The Vandals, Guttermouth and more.

Lyman described the 2013 line-up as a “hybrid” of the classic punk rock bill and Warped’s modern day roster, explaining why the festival had shifted from its punk rock roots.

“I used to be much more emotionally attached. I mean, I grew up with the Bad Religions and the Rancids, and those were all my friends, but to stay relevant, you listen to the fans, you get the feedback – negative, positive, and you built from there,” he said.

“The Warped Tour fans are making a choice, they’re 13-14, ‘Am I going to go to One Direction this year or, you know what, maybe I can go to Warped Tour’.

“We’ve been around 19 years in the states and we continue to evolve and I think as an individual paying attention to the people around you that support you is important. I mean, these kids pay our bills, you know. In the long run, they allow us the lifestyle we lead, so, you know what, you can take the time to discuss things with them and learn from them.”

It was around Christmas last year that the pair began brainstorming the idea of bringing Warped Tour to Australia for its 20th anniversary.

“It’s been very much a collaborative process – primarily driven by Kevin, with a bit of local guidance from me knowing what works in Australia, what doesn’t work in Australia, and what those fan bases are like in Australia,” Maddah said.

Earlier this year, Maddah made it clear that Soundwave was not a place for local bands. Being a DIY festival, he has encouraged local acts to submit.

“We can showcase them and they actually get the chance to have the spotlight on them, which is something that’s not possible when you have a million bands on the bill,” he said.

“The thing about Warped, and this is what I’ve always loved about it, is the absolute sense of community…all the bands hang out together, all the bands BBQ together, and that’s a really cool vibe.

“When you’ve got stadium bands involved, there are separate compounds and there’s 11 different passes in effect, and a local band that we put on in Coffs Harbour, or in Sydney, or wherever on Warped, is free to roam and free to interact with everyone and free to network, whereas, it can cause all sorts of chaos if, say, the drummer from the local band wanders into somebody’s compound at Soundwave. We’ve had issues like that in the past but at Warped, it’s just an amazing vibe with everybody coming together.”

If Warped Tour is received well this year, Lyman and Maddah said it would return next year.