Press Pass LA was in Ventura, CA over the weekend to check out the first of the 44 stops that make up the Vans Warped Tour this year.
The festival travels back and forth across the country and beyond to Canada and the UK. VWT has been running since 1995 and under Vans sponsorship since 1996. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the VWT making it the longest touring music festival in North America. The tour has become a place for teens and young adults to listen to the newest angry/sad music.
With the average age of attendance being somewhere between 15 and 25, this has become a music festival for a newer generation. Eleven stages filled up the Ventura County Fairgrounds with hundreds of smaller booths dedicated to selling a particular bands swag. 115+ bands played over a nine-hour stretch that included comedy and spoken word tents as well. The cost of tickets at VWT are considerably cheaper
than most music festivals with admittance being $40 unless you’re a parent in which you get in free. This is one perk for fest goers used to paying at least twice that for other festivals.
In the past, the festival has launched the careers of bands such as Green Day and Blink 182 and hosted a long list of the biggest punk rock bands including Pennywise, Rancid, Bad Religion, and NOFX. This weekend’s lineup included music genres ranging from pop, punk and metal all the way to hardcore emo. The scene has changed over the 20-year span becoming much more suburban angst vs the punk riot party it used to be. Crowd surfing and mosh pits have been prohibited and replaced by sponsor booths selling t-shirts to parents for their kids. If you were born before the early to mid-80’s it would be unlikely that you have heard of any of the bands there. Representing the crowd of people 30+ older, excluding young parents, were the people found in the press tent interviewing bands alongside people setting up technical equipment and managing the bands.
Being from an older generation than the majority of people at the VWT, including the band members, it was interesting when it came time to choose who to interview. Technology in hand and YouTube videos playing we tried to narrow down the long list of bands and find a couple that we would actually listen to on a regular basis. That proved a much harder task than one would think with 100+ bands to choose from. In the end, finding a couple of songs that were enjoyed, we found a band that we would listen to again in the future.
Listening to “Pessimist” and “sympathetic lies” by TAT, it was decided we would sit down with Tatiana DeMaria the lead singer. She told PPLA that when just nine years old she remembers thinking that she only had a year until she was the same age as Michael Jackson who by the age of 10 had become very successful. Starting the guitar at 11, first band by 15, and being professionally managed by 16, she began the path that is rock.
Having been on the VWT multiple times prior and touring with the rock legends like Alice Cooper and other punk rock bands, TAT is preparing for their next album to drop early 2016. In the mostly either scream metal or emo angst that is young teen music, it was refreshing to find a band that we would listen to again in the future.