Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Artist of the Week: Longway

The ska movement is making a comeback on Warped Tour this year with bands like Big D and The Kids Table, Less Than Jake, Westbound Train and finally Longway among others. If you talk to the members who make up these bands though, they are just doing what the love and luckily enough ska is becoming "cool again" to the young fans that frequent Warped Tour.

Their audiences aren't hurting though, they are just getting better on this tour. Maybe it's Longway playing their ipods for the fans or their hard work as the barbecue band but really I just think it's the music. Longway is a band coming out of the Southern California music scene that we have grown to love here at Mix and Mark. Listening to the music of Longway, it just makes a girl happy and is a no fail solution to a bad day.

Luckily, I got the chance to talk to this talented band at Warped Tour despite the rain that graced that day and we talked about everything from to gaining new fans through reaching out with their music to bands that they were excited about seeing this year. You can find more of their music here on their myspace.

How is the Warped Tour going so far for you guys?
Awesome, amazing. The weather, except for the rain today, has been amazing. The beginning of the tour was a little hot for us but it's cooled off, it's been great. It's our second year back on the tour so we're stoked to be here.

Are there any bands that you're really looking forward to seeing on this tour?
I think we've lucked out on all of them because last year as far as bigger bands all we really had was The Briggs and The Bosstones, the Aggrolites but now you've got bands like Bad Religion and NOFX, all the stuff, Flogging Molly, Less Than Jake, all that stuff that's really really cool. It sucks that they put us all at the same time. Anti-Flag actually watched our show like three or four times which was really cool. There's a lot of side stage bands, Westbound Train and others that have been putting on the best shows on tour so we like watching those shows.

It must be awesome to be able to watch all these other bands while on tour while you are playing to also have them come see you. It's not like you just play your set then go back to your bus.
Well, one we don't have a bus. We're van living.
Vans are the best though.
Yeah we got a van that pulls a barbecue.
You guys have a barbecue?
We're the barbecue band. Two years in a row. We were originally asked to come out and just play this year. We did the barbecue last year, Kevin called us. We were thinking about it about two months and we thought fuck it, we did the barbecue again. We said "Yeah we'll do it!' He said, 'You know you don't have too, right?' It was rad.

It may seem like something kind of new to you guys but it seems like a pretty big part of the tour.
Well the barbecues are where everything is. It's what every band looks forward to every day. We get to hang around with all the bands, we control the bar also. We make them drunk, fed and happy!
They can't get mad at you.
No, not at all!

I know you guys are from Southern California, right?
I know your music scene is pretty present this tour, do you think it's becoming bigger or is it kind of..I don't know?
I don't think so, I think our music was big years and years ago but it's cool for us.
Being in a bit of a crowded area with all of us under one tent in the middle of thunderstorms there were plenty of distractions to all including cigarettes being accidentally put out on people and hellos and goodbyes :-) It's an older style of punk rock but it's cool because people come to Warped Tour and they think they're just going to see Bad Religion, NOFX, those bands. They'll see us and be like oh shit theres' still bands out there doing this. It's awesome, it's like Warped Tour is an amazing way for us to show there are still bands like us.

That's what I like about the Warped Tour. It's not just one type of music. It's becoming a tour where Kevin is taking all different styles. There is also a lot of ska representation this year like Big D and The Kids Table. I think it's really cool that you can see all different styles of music.
We spend all day at a merch table grabbing anyone that's wearing a Bad Religion shirt or any type of shirt that we're like, "You're gonna like our music, come over here and listen to our iPods".
You have them listen to your iPods?
Yep, we have two iPods set up and we just play them all day long, pulling people. I see a guy who I know is a punk rock fan, I just think that guy's gonna buy our cd. They go, 'This is what I love, this is what I listened to...twenty years ago, that's awesome!" You know what I mean? Other than the big bands, their not going to find it. Everybody else has got their own thing going. What's more popular with kids, what's on the radio and that sort of thing going on.
Unfortunately for us, we don't do what's on the radio, we do the what we want to play so we get to play on the small stages and not have anyone know who we are but we get to surprise a lot of people and make a lot of loyal fans because we're out doing the kind of music that we like.

It's a great way that, are you guys played the Kevin Says Kevin stage?
No, the Ernie Ball stage.
Ernie Ball Stage! I know a lot of great bands that are playing that stage like VersaEmerge and The Flatliners and a lot of Montreal bands were playing there.
The Flatliners are awesome. Yeah, we heard them from our merch booth and I was like they're good, they're really good.
You get to check out everyone's music, from your iPods, your merch booth.
It's a good time. Every year, I think we've come out here expecting. Last year, you know you see all these bands you may have never expected to like but you come out here and, they put on some of the best live shows I've seen. It's stuff like that that I would never have thought of or really seek them out. That's the cool part of, you kind of step out of what you normally when on tour, see a small scene of bands and get to step out and see a bunch of different ones.

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