Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ending the ska coverage with Westbound Train!

Quite possibly the largest ska band on the scene today, Westbound Train consists of seven guys who I was lucky enough to have the chance to sit down with all of them in their bus at Warped Tour. It may seem overwhelming to some people and in a sense it was, as you will see in the interview below sprinkled with punctation but all in all an hilarious interview and one of my favorites from Warped Tour.

Westbound Train is a ska band local for this blogger from Boston and just one of the great ska bands I was lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with at Warped Tour along with Longway and Big D and The Kids Table (who WT actually toured with before Warped Tour along with other great ska legends like Catch 22, Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto). They aren't exactly rookies on the scene either with four albums in their discography along with their most recent album dropping in 2009 "Come and Get It". They were also featured on Kevin Lyman's famous Warped Tour 2009 playlist where he described them as one of the bands that really represents what Warped Tour is all about.

So I know this is your guys first warped tour experience. From what I was hearing everybody talk about, it's your day five and you'll be finishing out the tour. Do you have a favorite memory so far even though it just started?
Ooh, the barbecue from like three nights ago. What barbecue was that where there was a band?Where we are?
Pittsburgh. Ivy League was the band. Ivy League was playing and we were sitting around. It was one of those barbecues when they have a band actually playing. It was a good time!
I hung out with some Big D guys, had a little acoustic jam session, other bands came and hung out.

So, are you guys even starting now to create some bonds with some of the other bands on the tour. I mean, you're constantly together from what I see, traveling together, the barbecues together even though it's so early in the tour, are you creating friendships with other bands?
We've definetly made some new friends. Yeah, in bands that like, you know I never thought I would ever like us or we would have the opportunity to hang with. That's kind of a Warped Tour thing.
Are there any bands, coming on to the Warped Tour that you really wanted to see?
Shooter Jennings!
I haven't seen him yet, I don't know when he's jumping on.
I thought he was here today.
Is he?
He's not on the schedule but that's what I hear.
I haven't got a chance to but I really want to check out Flogging Molly's set. I think it's awesome, I've been meaning to see it too.
I was really excited to see Big D were on the tour because we've toured with those guys before. They're our bros, just fun to be on tour with them again and Less Than Jake also so.

Do you guys identify your music with Big D, Less Than Jake, the ska element?
Nah, I think we all have very different tastes like Eric's big favorite band on the tour is Dear and The Headlights.
Love Dear and The Headlights.
Represent but I like bands like Bayside like that. I think we get a long with those bands because there ska bands, we already know them. We're pretty open to everything.

That's cool. Are there any bands the really surprised you that you didn't think you would especially take to. I know there are some acts like The Millionaires, I've heard from other bands that they're having a little trouble attracting some fans,taking them seriously. Can you understand where they're coming from?
Well, Morgan's definetly into the Millionaires. He's been singing them all day. He has favorite songs and everything. Sing a song, Morgan.

Morgan: I'll pass.
with a collective aw.
It's interesting this year. There are alot of bands that are electro and screaming so it's been sort of an education about what a lot of the kids are in to now which is kind of cool.

That's really cool. I mean I was actually singing one of their songs waiting in the press line up today, so I totally understand where you're coming from. Just catchy.
-I've been trying to figure them out, i've watched them a couple times now just kind of with the goal. I'm waiting for something to click. It's not that I don't like or dislike, I just don't have it figured out at all.

-I don't really try to figure it out. I mean, they definetly have fans and that's cool and there's something for everyone at Warped Tour which is awesome about it, you know. It used to be back in the day like more of one style but Kevin Lyman's really tried to create the diversity of it and that's awesome, you know.

-I mean to answer your question, the bands that are suprising me personally are..what is that band? Rocket to the Moon and, um also the band Hit The Lights. Those guys like, you know, they work really hard and like their songs are just catchy. They're just good pop, like punk almost driven and so those are the two bands that stand out to me, those are two that surprised me.

-I got to say what most suprised me were the Flatliners because, we haven't played with those guys in years, and they're doing great. Yesterday, they sounded so good. It's been a couple years, they just blew me away, so nice to see those guys doing as well as they are, and killing it like they are.

I've been talking to Paul (of Flatliners) lately. I'm supposed to go see them today but they are awesome guys.
Great guys, especially Paul. We crashed at his house one time. We went to a Boston Red Sox game when we had a day off in Toronto.

-Blue Jays and they beat us, those bastards. BJays came in, and just tore them up.

So, how does it feel to be on the Warped Tour again with these bands again that you may have already been friends with and then you get this opportunity to come on the tour and be with them for the whole summer?
It's awesome. Yeah, I mean, I think that's the cool thing about the Warped Tour experience that every great aspect , all the great things that you would want on tour, you know. Like take away the fact that you may not get to shower every day, but like you know you have great food, great people, like great equipment. You know its', even though its day five for us, it seems familiar, to me, it seems like a familiar thing. So, they do a really great job of building a comraderie in and of itselve.

How would you describe your set? Do you change it up? How would you try to describe it to someone who's seeing if they want to check you out?
It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, takes you through the range of all emotions.

-Yeah, that's a phat answer.

-You fall in love, you laugh, you cry..all in about five minutes.

-We got a lot of soul, ska, reggae, lot of just different stuff with in the kind of styles we like. It's a pretty good cross section.
-I'd say it's kind of more old school then a lot of the other kinds of modern ska bands right now. We try to incorporate more sixties reggae ska, a lot of soul stuff.

Sounds like a really awesome sound. Now, are you guys coming out with any more projects that we can look forward to in the future, like after Warped Tour? Do you have any plans right now or is it still in the air?
Well, we plan to play in Canada in the beginning of October at Montreal Ska Fest. That's happening I guess October 10th and I think October 9th, we'll be in Toronto with the Slaggers at Bee's Palace. So, with this new record we're focusing on that we just put out trying to promote it, get it out to as many people as possible. Vinnie from Less Than Jake actually put out a vinyl 7 inch , two tracks from this new record on Paper and Plastic Records and that's reallyc ool because in our genre, a lot of people have been asking for vinyl for quite some time. It's cool to be able to give it to them.

And if you didn't know, the record is called "Come and Get It"

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