red lights

Livewire's One on One

Strung Out
Jake Kiley & Jordan Burns

Exclusive Vans Warped interview with Strung Out

by Phil Bonyata & Karen Bondowski
June 24, 2005

CL: How was the first show of the tour?

JK: It was a little hectic yesterday cause we were all getting everything ready, getting our tent set up for our t-shirts. It's so cool to be out here with all these bands and the whole production crew is really rad. We've met a lot of these people and have known them for years, so it's like a big family coming back together. There's a lot of new bands out there that we haven't seen yet - so it's kind of cool to just check it all out.

JB: I would say overall for first day, things went pretty smooth. Slowly, but surely we're just going to get into the swing of things and get used to how everything works and get into a routine. Every things going to be great!

JK: Yeah, it's a long tour, so we'll have plenty of time to get the job done.

CL: You guys are on the whole tour, right?

Both: Oh yeah!

Strung OutCL: We're happy to get the second show. Especially while you guys are nice and fresh.

JK: You know.. I don't know how we'll be after seven weeks! It's going to be pretty tough, but we're ready.

CL: Which band should we definitely check out today?

JK: I think Avenged Sevenfold is pretty cool. They're pretty fucking rocking. Artreyu is pretty rocking too.

JB: Uhh.. Valient Thorr.

JK: Oh yeah! Valient Thorr is pretty cool.

CL: I love that name!

JB: They're rockers.

JK: They rock. They're awesome. They're so good. It's refreshing.

JB: Strike Anywhere.

JK: Strike Anywhere, No Use for a Name. I think they played, but they're one of our favorites on the bill.

JB: Offspring, of course.

JK: Yeah, Offspring is awesome.

CL: Dropkick Murphys?

Both: Yeah!!

JB: There's obviously not like one band that you should check out cause there are so many good ones. It's going to be really hard to see all the bands you want to see but.. Luckily we have two months to check out a lot of bands.

CL: You'll get 'em all down.

JK: I think so.

CL: What is punk to you?

JK: Punk to me is basically just doing your own thing regardless of what anybody else is doing or what anyone tells you. That's what it always meant to me. It's like if you were punk, you just didn't care what society, or fashion or anyone dictated. These days, that's gone. Punk doesn't mean that. Punk is just mainstream K-Mart, brand name stuff. So you know.. If you say punk is dead or whatever, I don't think punk has always been dead. I think the ethic was still there but I don't think the ethic really... I don't know if it exists anymore. It's not like how it used to be. Like 10 years ago, we weren't the biggest punk rockers but we still had the ethic of like independence and going out touring to get your name. Word of mouth like the old school ethic. These days it's all about these video channels, radio stations... and that's cool. Maybe if those were around back when we had started we'd have been all about it too. But, it's just a different ball game now. It's not what punk I think was ever meant to be. (laughs) So now the question is what becomes the new punk? Now that punk rock has become so cliche, safe and mainstream. Now what's going to come in is the current underground. I'm excited to see that. Some electronic madness or something.

CL: You got a name for it?

JK: Nope! (laughs) I'll let you know when I create it! (Jordan laughs) Jordan's more old school then me! He's been doing this stuff when I was in like sixth grade. He's even seen the further evolution of it all.

JB: Not quite sixth grade.. But you know... (Everyone laughs) Yeah, it's like he said. Punk used to be dangerous. Like if you even had a buzz haircut back in the early days, you'd get beat up at all the shows.

JK: Yeah, like NO long hair was accepted!

JB: The jocks would want to beat you up in school. You couldn't show up to a punk gig with long hair. If you had long hair and came into the pit or something, you were getting your ass kicked. It's like you could have the tallest mohawk and walk down the street and they'll not talk to you anymore.

JK: It's fun! They'll give you a sitcom! It's just funny how things come about.

JB: It's just not shocking anymore. It's accepted.

CL: But you had those punks who were so against corporate chains - the government.. But now you've got these kids who are claiming to be punk and walking into Wal-Mart and Starbucks.

JK: Yeah!! They have no ethic, you know? Their claiming one thing.. Dressing a look that used to be rebellious but it's not in their heart.

CL: There's no meaning anymore. It's just for the fashion now.

JK: Exactly!

CL: You mentioned shocking.. What is shocking today?

JK: Jeez..

JB: I don't know.

JK: Yeah, that's a good question. (laughs) Every things been done. People screw little screws into their heads and put big screws in them now. Like implant that stuff now. I don't even know.. People make themselves look like tigers and stuff.

CL: Like the Lizard man, who even has a split tongue?

JK: Yeah! That guys probably married! So, yeah.. It's like... What is shocking? I don't know. Me, maybe! (everyone laughs)

CL: Lollapalooza is dying, will Vans Warped ever become stale?

JK: Will it? Gosh.. I'll tell you in about seven weeks!
(Everyone laughs)

JB: I'm thinking no because even this year we're only into the second show here and I've already heard that even yesterdays attendance was twenty-five percent up from last years. So, I'm having a feeling that this tour is still on an uphill climb and it's going strong. I really hope that our band is going to follow the same pattern that the tour is following.. To keep on climbing and growing.

JK: Yeah, it's great exposure for us and all these bands. I do think it is a bigger thing. It gets bigger every year! So, in that fact, it's doing great. But it's definitely a different tour then we were a part of five, six years ago. You see it grow, you see it evolve. Yeah, I mean.. I think the attitude is still the same. Everyone's here to have a good time pretty much and that has always been the Warped tour attitude. Now you see more sponsors I think. You see a little bit more of that going on but it helps the tour get it funded so I don't think that in itself is like negative.

CL: It's a good value ticket. There's no doubt about it.

JK: Yeah! It is a good value, you get a lot of artists. I think that is what keeps it going.

CL: That's the beauty of it to me. You have so many bands that are unknown and you get to discover new music. That's cool. That's what keeps it fresh. When that's gone, when it just turns into basically all well known acts, then it becomes stale. It becomes old.

JK: That's kind of like Ozzfest. There's all these multi-platinum bands. And then you have your side stages with the up comers.

CL: Which Ozzfest still does for the metal genre which is cool.

JK: And then you have your bigger bands on this end... You know... Gold records and what not.

CL: Well, you got to. You got to sell tickets too.

JK: You have Offspring and bands that are up to that level. It's a good mix. And like Offspring will play before us some days. Like yesterday, they played before us and we're like, "what the hell?" But that's the cool thing! They let everyone rotate and they've been treating us great on this tour! They're giving us awesome time slots and stuff like that. It's really cool.

CL: What time are you guys on today?

JK: 4:40

PB: Ok, cool. I'll be interviewing Drop Kick Murphy's but she'll be shooting.

KB: I'm not missing you guys!

JK: Awesome!

KB: I am really hyped.

JK: Us too.

KB: I'm telling you.. I'm nervous!
(both: "aww")

JK: I'd be more nervous to interview someone that thinks that their like a star. That has like this thing around them that they need to portray or something.

PB: The cool thing about Karen is she gets nervous about acts she likes, not the star power. Which is cool. It's about the music.

JK: Yeah, that's awesome! You'll find though that we're the most mellow.. Like.. We're just as nervous as you are, I'm sure!
(Everyone laughs

CL: If you could play with any band, who would it be?

JK: Oh boy!

CL: Dead or alive?

JK: Dead or alive?

JB: We've always talked about Pantera...

JK: Yeah, we've always like wanted to play with Pantera or Odyssey. We played with Metallica. That was nuts. But yeah.. Like Ozzy or Iron Maiden or something.

CL: Some hardcore metal band?

JK: Yeah, some of our legendary influences.

JB: Slayer.

JK: We've gotten to play with basically all of our favorite punk bands. So.. We can't really say who. We got to play with The Descendants, Bad Religion, The Misfits, NOFX. We're blessed on that end. I've been blown away by all of our experiences of bands we got to meet and play with. So yeah, I'm open to like whatever at this point! (laughs) I've been blown away.

JB: It's fun to play with different bands outside of our genre of music.

JK: We like to mix it up and play with different bands.

JB: We toured with Papa Roach for like two or three weeks a few years ago when they were hitting it big. It was really a lot of fun.

JK: It's different and you win over kids that had never even heard about you. Or even seen bands like you.

CL: That's like U2. A band called Kings of Leon opened for them. But anyway, they pick cool up and coming bands to back them up. Unlike the Stones who get lame acts like Jason Mraz. But I think it's cool that a big band can promote an upcoming band.

JK: That's what we've always.. I mean, we've never been that big but we always try to take out bands that we like and we want to get exposure for them. And a lot of times it doesn't.. Like we'd have a bigger tour if we brought out a band that was more known and it's like you guys should just be this package. We used to be like, fuck it we don't care. We don't like that band. We want to take this band. These are the guys we like. Our shows are going to be smaller but it's going to be with a band we really love.

CL: Who are the fathers of punk?

JK: Well...

JB: Sex Pistols.

JK: Yeah, basically.

JB: Sex Pistols, The Clash...

CL: More then The Ramones?

JK: Umm... You'll have to forgive me cause I don't know exactly who came first.

CL: What about Iggy and the Stooges? Or even Jim Morrison?

JK: Yeah, if you want to break it down to the rebellious side of punk rock.

CL: Keith Richards?

JK: Oh yeah. All those guys. It wasn't called punk at the time but those ethics... So yeah, those are definitely the fathers of punk. I wonder what they would think about it right now. (laughs) It's just cool that those guys are still playing. It's inspiring to us. It's really inspiring to bands like us. Like I'd like to do it for another ten, twenty years myself. So if they can do it, let's see if we can.

CL: Do you ever read your CD or concert reviews?

JK: Here and there.

JB: I do all the time.

JK: I try not to put too much positive or negative thoughts into it. You like to read a good review, you know? And a bad review. You can take it and let it bum you out but who cares, you know? The fans are the ones that I really care about. Like if one of our fans sent us a negative email, then I'm a little affected by it. But if it's just some critic, first time hearing us, he's getting paid to just write the review anyway. Yeah, I can't it that serious.

CL: So, you've gotten used to negative reviews?

JK: Sure. We've always gotten bad reviews our whole career.

JB: The good usually outweighs the bad but you have to take it all. Not everybody is going to like our band. I like hearing honesty from our fans.

JK: The media doesn't know what the fuck they are talking about a lot of the time! They're morons! Saying things like,"Oh you triple tracked your vocals!" People just always think they know all this shit. They haven't put out one record, you know? They haven't recorded anything.

CL: Well, remember indifference is the worst cut down. I mean if they don't care!

JK: Oh yeah. If they just don't care... Well, we used to always get, "Oh, their just another Fat band." Or, "they sound just like everybody else on Fat Records" Which we were always like HA!

JB: We used to sound exactly like NOFX and Pennywise.

JK: Yeah and they'd say the same thing about Mad Caddies. It's like you fuckers are just looking at the label! You haven't even listened to the album probably. You're just looking at the label going oh, it's another Fat band. And these days at least we have broken out of that to where I think people are like wow, it's different then what they were doing. I may have liked the old stuff better but this is at least different and fresh. But honestly, I think we've gotten the most positive reviews off our new record. Like we got this big, huge pack of European press from when we were just in Europe and there was like one bad review in there. They circled it. We've never tried to go ok this is the stuff we need to write or this is what's going on. You can keep your ear to the ground but you do what you like. We try to impress ourselves more then anybody else. Including our fans. We want to make ourselves happy with it and then hopefully people that are into us will like it too. If they don't, at least we're happy with it. We'll live with it. We have to live with it every day. I don't want to put out some crap just to sell. Even if we had like a million selling record but it was something I didn't believe in, you're famous for putting out some crap that you don't even like. I wouldn't be happy. I'd rather sell a hundred records to people who like it and believe in it.

CL: Would you go naked if you could?

JK: Go naked? I go naked quite a bit! (laughs) What, on stage?

CL: Anywhere.

JK: (laughs) Sure!

JB: Where are we going?
(Everyone laughs)

JK: It's going to get pretty hot, we're going down to Texas!

JB: There's nothing wrong with being naked.

CL: What are the necessities for this tour?

JB: Nakedness!

JK: Yes! Oh boy! It's good to have a bike or a skateboard to get around.

JB: I got my motorcycle with us.

JK: A vehicle with air conditioning like a van or a bus or something so you can get away from the heat.

JB: You must have a vaporizer.

JK: Yeah, a vaporizer to smoke weed with! Yeah, every band is probably different on that but we don't need much.

JB: We're simple.

JK: Me and my vaporizer and a play station. I'm good!

CL: If you could sum up Vans Warped in a couple of words, what would they be?

JK: Oh, gosh!

JB: I'd say one of the most successful, ongoing tours ever.

JK: Yeah. Just... Yeah.. Yeah! That's probably about the best thing. Warped tour I think is definitely a great thing to have out there. It's good exposure for some of the bands. It's hard to really put it into one word or just one sentence.

JB: Another would be.. It's a great place to be!
More Strung Out
Vans Warped Tour 2005

What Do You Think?



City & State:

e mail:

Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!

Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.