Each summer, the Vans Warped Tour hosts a variety of bands for a two-month cross-country tour. Not all bands, however, have the same experience.
First album release: Aug. 12, 2008
As the only unsigned band to be hitting each and every Warped Tour date this summer, Breathe Electric could not be more thankful.
“Being on Warped is so worth it,” Grant Harris, Breathe Electric’s vocalist and brainchild, said at the tour’s Cincinnati stop July 28. “If you could make being in a band even harder, I would do it just to be on Warped Tour. It’s been amazing.”
Harris said the band was hoping for at least a good portion of the dates when they applied to be on the tour, but didn’t imagine they’d be asked to perform at every date. Because they’re unsigned and had applied to be on the tour, they’ve got it a bit different than other bands.
“We’re doing it in a van, which is a little bit rough driving ourselves everywhere,” Harris said.
When it comes to the busy tour schedule, Harris said days off are fully taken advantage of.
“People are like, ‘Oh, what do you do on days off?’ and it’s like, ‘Uh, sleep,'” Harris said. “Sleep and drive to the next place. Just try to get recharged for the next set of shows.”
Breathe Electric sets out on another nationwide tour just weeks after finishing Warped Tour in late August. They’ll be at The Attic in Dayton Sept. 8, which happens to be the first stop of the tour.
First album release: Nov. 26, 2007 (self-released)
Label: Fearless Records
They blew up really, really fast.
The project of David Schmitt and Kyle Even out of Denver has taken great strides since forming in 2007. At the 2010 Vans Warped Tour’s Cincinnati date, the band had nothing but positive things to say about their experience over the past three years, which started as next to nothing.
“I had written a couple songs on the computer, like, electronically and I was singing over them, just singing,” Schmitt said. “And I knew Kyle was a really good screamer and stuff, so I was like, ‘Yo, you wanna come and try out how screaming sounds on this?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah,’ so he came and we did a couple songs and showed them to our friends.”
Schmitt said their friends encouraged them to put the songs online and they started getting plays almost instantly.
“I remember that first day,” Even said. “I was at a Gym Class Heroes show at the Gothic Theater in Denver and we’d put our songs up, and D(avid) kept texting me, ‘Yo we’re at this, we’re at this, we’re at this.'”
“We ended up getting like 800 plays in the first two hours and we were like, ‘Whoa,'” Schmitt said.
“Yeah, trippin’ out,” Even added. “We got our management and our agent and within the first two weeks of even having management we had a contract offer, but we didn’t sign until probably three or four months later.”
Even and Schmitt can’t believe how quickly Breathe Carolina has become what it is today.
“It’s gone by really fast and I think to get to this place as fast as we did, it’s fun,” Even said. “But I feel like we took our time with it in building our foundation, you know. It’s taken two years.”
Warped Tour has been huge for the band.
“Warped Tour is like, all the buses in this whole area, is like a community,” Schmitt said, pointing to the lines of buses backstage. “It’s really like a moving city. When we have off days, like I had an off day yesterday, it’s just so weird being out in like the regular world cause we’re here, we don’t leave. We don’t go out there. You can ask any band, they feel the same way. Like everyone talks, like, “Oh we’re going into the real world, do you guys need anything?'”
“Like right now, it kind of feels like we’re on an island, like we’re on our own island, like Warped has its own island right now,” Even added, standing on a sandy spot next to the Ohio River. “We got the water right out here, like it’s crazy. It’s, seriously, to anyone who’s like never been back in bus world on Warped Tour, it’s basically like if you were to live with your high school but you woke up every day and you just played music and you did what you wanted, whatever you wanted. You can drink a beer at nine in the morning if you want to.”
Breathe Carolina wouldn’t be where it is today without their fans.
“I feel like they still exist,” Even said of Breathe Carolina’s original fan base. “They still go to our shows. We still hang out with those people that have been there since the beginning. We remember them and we know them and we make sure that they know we know.”
Touring and recording are both in the works for Breathe Carolina following the conclusion of Warped Tour this year.
“We already have our whole next album, like, kind of mapped out in our heads individually, so now it’s going to be fun going in and putting it down and seeing what really happens,” Even said. “That’s the fun part, it’s like we don’t know what’s coming. D does demo stuff and whatever, but when we go in and do it it’s just really organic and I love that about it. It’s just very spur of the
moment, just spontaneous.”
Even said the band loves putting out new songs.
“You have to keep it going because it’s, like, when bands wait so long (to release new music), it’s like, ‘Wow,'” Schmitt said. “After a while, it’s like, ‘Dude …'”
“We’ve been with this album for a year,” Even said. “We’re ready to do something new.”
“Not that we’re over it,” Schmitt continued. “But…we’re ready forsomething new.”
Beginning in late October, Breathe Carolina will be on the Fearless Friends tour alongside Fearless Records label mates Mayday Parade, Every Avenue, Artist Vs. Poet and Go Radio. The tour hits Bogart’s in Cincinnati on Oct. 26.
First album release: April 7, 2008
Label: Decaydance / Fueled by Ramen
This band has been through their fair share of change. Like most bands, members come and members go. Since touring last summer with The Secret Handshake and The Summer Set, The Cab is now down to three members from the previous five, conveniently all named Alex.
“Change is kind of necessary,” frontman Alex Deleon said. “Chemistry was a little weird. We started the band when we were in high school and you grow up a lot when you’re in high school and right after high school … you kind of turn into different people and it’s like a relationship. You kind of change and you just realize it’s not working out.”
But it wasn’t as difficult for the band as one might think.
“It’s not like the changes that were within the band were that hard,” Alex Marshall, piano and vocals for the band, said. “It was, you know, having the fans accept it.”
“Fans get attached, you know what I mean?” Deleon added.
Deleon described the band’s sounds as pop-rock and R&B. He said the sound hasn’t changed even though the band’s line-up has.
The band is releasing new music soon, but doesn’t want to rush the process.
“We’re going to finish the album and kind of go from there,” Deleon said. “We’re perfectionists and we don’t want to let kids down, so we want to release a really good album. We don’t want to release, like, an OK album. We want every single song to be great, so we’re really taking the time to make surethat happens.”
Deleon understands that waiting a while to release an album can be detrimental, especially when it comes to fans wanting new music, but he didn’t see it as an issue for The Cab.
“I get where they come from,” Deleon said. “Your fans have A.D.D. There’s so many bands out there and kids want new music, but it’s like, I feel like if you take your time and make a quality record with substance, it’s going to help your career. It’s going to last longer. Even if it frustrates kids or people forget about you for a little bit while you make the album, then the album comes out, as long as the songs are good, you’re going to be in a good place.”