All photos by Ryan Watanabe
As we’re sure most of you are very well aware, going out on the Vans Warped Tour is not only a dream come true for most bands but it’s also a pretty exciting opportunity to explore the US with some of your closest friends. That said, it should come as no surprise that taking the (most likely sweaty) plunge into the punk rock summer camp for the very first time can be a pretty nerve-racking experience. However, for Warped Tour virgins Oceans Ate Alaska, things out on the road seem to be going pretty smoothly. And for that reason, we decided to hit up bassist Mike Stanton to get a firsthand glimpse at just how well things have been going for the progressive UK outfit and see how they’ve been holding up thus far.
“Warped as a whole has been an unreal experience,” Stanton says from his overcrowded tour bus. “We’d seen what the tour was like from videos on YouTube and heard about it from other bands we’ve previously toured with, but to be there in person is just incredible. Our favorite place so far has to be Atlanta, GA. We’ve played there a few times before and the crowds have always been amazing!”
As you’d expect, being young and out on Warped has it’s advantages – mainly because you’re too unworldly to understand that your skin is being melted off by the cement and asphalt you’ve been playing on the past few days. Nonetheless, we appreciate Stanton’s charisma and carry on to discuss one of his band’s biggest stress relievers, after show festivities.
Now, before we let you read what Oceans Ate Alaska got themselves into on the Fourth of July, we want you to know, it’s probably not the kind of after show shenanigans you were expecting.
“There have been loads of funny moments from the past couple of weeks,” Stanton tells us. “The one that sticks out the most was stealing a golf cart from a hotel we were staying at in Savannah, GA after a boozy night on the beach!”
Okay, so maybe it was what you were expecting. But hey, we certainty don’t blame the young Fearless Records act. If we were in another country celebrating a holiday we don’t really know very much about, who knows what kind of trouble we’d get into. But that’s besides the point. As we mentioned earlier, we’re here to find out how new bands on Warped Tour make it out alive. And, like most fans who attend the festival for the very first time, Oceans Ate Alaska share a very common survival tactic: watching different bands perform.
“We all love watching Sum 41 play as we grew up listening to them back in the day,” Stanton confesses. “Issues are our homies [too], so we go see their set all the time. Plus, it’s always great seeing our friends in Wage War and Chelsea Grin. We’re currently sharing a tour bus with Gideon who we’d never met before and they’re really cool guys. We recommend everyone go watch their set.”
See, the bands are a lot more like concertgoers than you might have expected. The joy of watching some of their favorite bands everyday is certainly what helps fuel an excruciatingly long nine week run of tour dates.
So then, just to recap, what have we learned so far when it comes to surviving the Vans Warped Tour? Pretty much, the less you think and/or know about the heat the better; partaking in some questionable-yet-totally-kickass activities is always helpful; and lastly, the more you surround yourself with awesome music and friends, the higher your chances will be of living through the sweaty sunny season showdown that is Warped.
Now yes, Oceans Ate Alaska do have a handful of shows left, but after speaking with Stanton, it seems like he and his bandmates are going to make it though the summer just fine. “Warped Tour 2016 has been incredible so far. We’re already halfway through and we’re really stoked with the reception we’ve had from the fans and also the other bands we’re sharing the stage with!”
With that said, if you’ve yet to purchase your tickets to see the metalcore quartet out on the Monster Energy Stage or you haven’t found time to scoop up the band’s latest LP Lost Isles, we highly recommend that you do so here.