The after-show BBQ's are without question one of my favorite things about the Warped Tour - great food, great drinks, and better yet, great people. Uh-huh Baby Yeah! is this year's "BBQ Band", whom I first met at the Ventura, CA stop of the tour while being served some absolutely delicious veggie burgers that were well worth the 45 minute wait (I swear to God they tasted like Chipotle!). A couple days later, I sat down with vocalist Kevin Fletcher to talk about the tour and their experience thus far.
So first off, how long have you guys been together as a band?
We've been together for about 10 years, obviously with different names and line-up changes, but Sean (drums) and I have been playing together non-stop for 10 solid years.
You guys are the "BBQ Band" on this years tour - how did you guys get the opportunity?
Last year we were one of the catering bands, so we literally only came to Warped to work - we got to play three dates and we busted ass the entire summer and it paid off.
Describe a typical day with your band on this tour
Basically we pull into wherever we're going super early in the morning, maybe get two hours of sleep, wake up and load up the dolly, drag it into the venue. We then get our tent set-up, and immediately once the line starts forming in front of the venue we hop outside and start selling until they open. After that every one of us heads back to the tent to sell and meet new friends and find out what time we're playing. We then set up the BBQ and work until that shuts down, and then drive to the next place.
So essentially you guys get no sleep whatsoever, correct?
Absolutely not, hah.
I mean, it's got to be worth it though, right?
Oh it's totally worth it. Five years ago if someone asked where you see your band going, I wouldn't have had a clue, and where we are now it's a dream come true. We continue to push and work hard for what we've got, and we're grateful for everything we do have at the moment.
When you've had a chance, what bands have you watched so far?
This morning I got to watch Every Time I Die, they opened the Main Stage at 11:05am, which is pretty tight.
I've got to see Falling In Reverse, Saves The Day, and I've also seen Finch three times already - it's amazing seeing them, because they're one of the most influential bands for me growing up.
Why is that?
They just kind of sparked the music that we create. I grew up listening to bands like Finch, The Used, and Glassjaw, and I like to think that we took what they did and put a spin on it, and evolved that genre of music into what we do now.
How would you describe your band's music?
We call it "Trash-pop", because it's got a lot of pop sensibilities. Personally, I love Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, and Elvis Presley not only vocally, but how they entertain a crowd. Of course we enjoy the bands that we enjoy, and we like to keep the pop hook in there, but it's still heavy and trashy, it all fits together.
If you could take credit for any song on the Pop charts past or present, which song would it be and why?
If I could take credit for "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen) and say that it was a song that I wrote, it would be amazing. I wish that I had a time machine and write it before Freddie Mercury and sell it to him.
I'm assuming that you're a huge Queen fan then?
Yes, Freddie Mercury was a God amongst men.
Can you talk about the album you're touring in support of, Trash Talk?
Yeah, we're promoting Trash Talk, which we released last year. We just recorded our newest record with Jeff Sahyoun of letlive., we did that in January in LA. It's currently in the process of being mastered, so we're waiting on that. Jeff's a busy man, so he's taking his time going through everything.
Yeah, they're in Europe right now.
What would you say to any band that's trying to get on this tour, but is considering quitting?
You've got to stick it out - nobody ever got anything that they really deserved by quitting or half-assing it. You give 100%, and you get 100% back - we're living proof of that, we wouldn't be here if that wasn't the case. Do whatever you have to do to keep motivated and keep moving, and good things will happen because of it.
What things have you had to give up in order to make this band work?
I have a family at home, a wife and two kids. Obviously we're still a family, but it does suck when I have to go out of town and tour, and I have to leave them behind, so we have a lot of facetime conversations and dates. Warped is a seven week tour, and I don't get to see my wife or kids for that extended period of time which blows, but it's all worth it.
Anything you'd like to add?
Thank you to anyone who has given us the time of day and that enjoys our music. We have a thing that we say, "No fans, just friends", and we really mean that. Anyone that wants to talk to us, listens to our music or buys merch, we would never consider you a fan, you're a friend, so thank you so much and welcome to the family.