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No Room For Rock Stars | Une entrevue avec Kevin Lyman

18 mars 2012

Le Vans Warped Tour. Il ne doit pas y avoir grand monde qui lit ce blog qui n’y à jamais mis les pieds. J’ai été à mon premier Warped Tour en 1998 et c’était malade. Mon Warped Tour préféré à été celui de 2000. Avail qui ferme la journée avec une performance épique. Encore à ce jour c’est le meilleur set de punk rock que j’ai vu de ma vie. Pour de vrai là. C’est clair que le Warped Tour ce n’est plus ce que c’était. C’est un peu cave de dire ça aussi parce que c’est clair qu’une tournée qui existe depuis 17 ans ne présentera pas les mêmes groupes années après années. Peu importe ce que vous pensez du Warped Tour en 2012 sont influence à été indéniable. C’est assez capoté comme idée de départ quand tu y penses. Alors, il y a un film qui a été fait à propos du Warped Tour qui se nomme No Room For Stars et qui sera présenté au cinéma Excentris vendredi le 23 mars à 21h00. Kevin Lyman, celui qui a eu l’idée du Warped Tour au début des années 1990 et qui run encore le show sera présent. On m’a même offert de faire une entrevue avec lui. J’allais évidementdire non. Intéressant et très sympathique le gars.

So you’ll be coming in Montreal on March 23 for the projection of the movie No Room For Rockstars.

Yeah. Canada as always been a special place for me for all the stuff I held up there. So I thought it was cool to have the chance to make a premiere in Toronto and Montreal.

Where does the title come from?

It’s a quote from Fletcher from Pennywise. He said it in the movie. It’s something I absolutely agree with. I’ve always felt that way with Warped Tour. It’s a breeding ground for future rock stars or has been. But when you’re on the Warped Tour, whatever if you’ve already been a rock star or if you wanna be a rock star there’s no room out there for it. You’re there to be part of a community. Working hard together for a common goal of putting on the best possible show you can. But there’s definitely no room for a rock star attitude.

Any example of bands that came on the tour and realized it was no place to have a big head?

I remember many years ago Social Distortion came out on the tour and people were like «Oh my God, Mike could be a rock star. A little bit of a prima donna.»  I always said that no one is gonna pay attention to that out there. I remember Katy Perry. She was so sweet about it, she was so awesome. She told me: «No one out here cares that you’re selling a lot of records. They just care if you’re a nice person and you treat them well. » She was fantastic out there. The girl became one of the biggest star but 4 years ago she was starting on the Warped Tour and she totally understood it.

What kind of reaction do you hope to get for that movie? Any goal?

No not really. Vans brought the idea of doing another Warped Tour movie. Because we’ve done a few in the past but having the opportunity to have Stacy Peralta and Parris Patton involved with producing and directing the film was kind of cool. Maybe this will be the signature movie for Warped Tour. I actually went to an art opening in L.A. last night and a couple of people came to me, people who obviously weren’t necessarily fan of the Warped Tour, but went to see the movie and had an appreciation for what the Warped Tour stood for after that. They told me that it was cool to see how important this tour is for a lot of people.

So you think this movie represent life on the Warped Tour pretty accurately?

I think it was pretty good. When they came out to film this thing I was a little worried because every time people came out to film the Warped Tour they come out with one idea of what it is. It actually messed up a couple films that actually never came out because the producer went kind of crazy after it. He had too much footage, he had put too much of his heart into it. He couldn’t figure out how to make a story of this thing. I think Patton did a very good job putting the story together because there’s so many stories going on on Warped Tour on any given day that it can become overwhelming at time.

I came across one thing you said on the web site of the movie. You said: «If the warped Tour started in 2010 it wouldn’t have lasted two days.» Why’s that?

Well there’s not a lot of investment anymore. Everyone wants instant success. I think we see that as well with artists and record labels. If they don’t have a hit single right away or success…most of the music business is so driven by a different mindset now. We would have gotten out there and losing money, the promoters were losing money. I don’t know if they would have had the compassion. Even if they’d know me from working into productions and all the things that I’ve done I don’t know if they would have supported this like they did back then when they said «Hey! This really is a great concept that needs times to breath.» Sometimes band get signed and get a deal and they have time to develop as an artist. I think the Warped Tour was given a chance to develop as a festival. But in this day and age everybody wants instant gratification or instant success. I’ve started another few tours and…I have this country tour that is starting to get legs but it took 3 years and many people gave up on it right away.

How many dates do you do with this country festival (Country Throwdown)?

We’re doing 20 cities with our music festival right now. My original partner, Live Nation, gave up on it right away. Now we’ve found a group of local and independent promoters who believe in the project enough to stick with us. We’re developing into something that will be a very successful thing I think. My resources now are a little bit deeper now than it used to be. Because the Mayhem Festival and Warped Tour are really successful I can invest in a project in which I believe. But when I started the Warped Tour I didn’t have those resources. I was a production guy and I didn’t have a lot of money in the bank. Not that I have tons now but I have more than I did then.

How does your average day look on the Warped Tour?

Well, nowadays there’s so much crap work done and we’re doing so well and I have such an amazing group of people working for me that when I’m out on tour, if the weather is beautiful, it’s like a family reunion. I get to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen in a long time. I do the schedule, check out everything. Go through all the numbers with my tour account manager to make sure things are doing well on the tour. I have a lot of meetings on the road. I develop a lot of business on the road. I’m always kind of working a year ahead of time so when I’m out on the road I’m really there for problems. I’m not a peer to a lot of the artists anymore unfortunately.

Many people call the Warped Tour the tour that won’t die since it’s been going on for so long. But have you ever thought about the day that you’ll be too old for this?

Absolutely. But we’re in March right now; we’re getting close to announcing the whole line-up. I start to get excited again. I get home from tour now and things are getting a little bit harder but I’m at home now and I enjoy that but by April-May…I’m ready to get on the bus for two months. I have so many friends that I got to see each year around the country and Canada that reminds me of so many great memories. I’m starting to see some of their children be old enough to appreciate the music and learn about the culture of their parents. I don’t think it’s that bad of a thing right now.

I have a few cheesy questions for you. What’s the most touching moment you’ve ever seen on the Warped Tour?

I have seen a lot of them. I think it’s when I see all the artists pull together when an artist is sick or passes away. Everybody rallies together to throw a few bucks in a pot. We got our stage manager who is really sick. Last year, at the end of the tour, he was handed a check of 26 000$ from the poker money. I’ve seen those kinds of things. I’ve seen big though punk rock guys all of a sudden helping each other out. We have these kids with terminal illnesses that can come out and spend a day at the Warped Tour and watch every band, come over and say hello and get autographs; trying to make their day special. So you see a lot of touching moments on the Warped Tour.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about the Waped Tour?

I think it is that people think I drive out with a truck full of money every day. I was in L.A. and there was someone there who wanted to meet that guy Kevin Lyman that drives out with all those trucks of money. I make a nice living, don’t get me wrong, better that I ever thought I would but the Brinks truck doesn’t leave the show every day.

Is there a band that you’re proud to have seen evolve from teenagers to adults?

Oh my God there’s so many bands that we’ve actually presented for the first time n Warped Tour. I’m proud Eminem played the Warped Tour. I think he opened a lot of doors out there.

You might not like this one and you probably get it a lot but, every time I go to the Warped Tour and tell myself «Wow this is so big. This is so commercial.» The food stands are selling 5$ hot-dogs, there’s trash everywhere, I know in the US the Army even had a recruitment boot one year. Those are things many people in punk rock are running away from.

We do have a pretty big recycling program at the shows. We use biodiesel. Touring is going to leave a foot print. We now have a second solar stage. We are the only festival that carries a solar stage. We are leaving a foot print behind but I don’t know how to eliminate that completely. Every year we try to improve. We even recycle cell phones at the shows. But it’s not perfect.

Is there a line that you draw about the sponsors that get on the tour?

I’ve turned some sponsors away. Absolutely. It’s a fine line in balance because without the sponsors there would be no Warped Tour. There’s no way we could break even with the ticket price. We subsidize that tour by about 4 millions dollars every year by sponsors. The money goes right back into making the show better.

Thank you very much for your time. But I got to ask you what your most special memory about Montreal is.

It got to be the funniest night when we trying to get out of town during the fireworks thing and we made the wrong turn and we drove right into a Caribbean festival so we had our tour bus parked right in the middle of 10 000 people listening to reggae all dancing around the bus. Then we tried to get over the bridge and we got stuck in traffic and then we got to the border and made the wrong turn and ended up in a place where we absolutely shouldn’t be. It’s always great to go there. I’ve swim in the St-Lawrence right behind the stage a few times. I don’t know if you’re supposed to but it seems like I survived.

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