Warped Tour 2008 Interview: Dillan Wheeler of A Cursive Memory
Barely out of high school, A Cursive Memory is one of several young bands on the Warped Tour. Don't be fooled by their age though, because these guys are already making waves with their debut full-length, Changes, and the fabulous success of their video for the single "Everything." Here's drummer Dillan Wheeler's take on the band's Warped Tour experience.
RnRnMN: How has the Warped Tour been treating you?
DW: A Cursive Memory and the Warped Tour go together better than cheese and crackers. If I had one criticism, it would be the heat on the east coast is too intense, to which I suggest Kevin Lyman turn the sun down a little bit next time.
RnRnMN: What made you decide to join the Warped Tour this year? Has it lived up to your expectations?
DW: We had never done it before and the fact that we were able to play this year made it a done deal. We are just happy to be here. It has definitely exceeded my expectations.
RnRnMN: Are these the biggest crowds you've played for? How does it compare to playing smaller shows?
DW: We have been lucky enough to play to pretty big crowds. The Bamboozle Road Show treated us really nicely in that department. The only difference is with those shows we were a small, new band and got to play for a lot of people who had not heard us before. The cool thing about this tour is that we have had plenty of people stop by, just to see us, when there are other bands playing at the same time. It is encouraging to know that people want to come watch us and it really makes our day.
RnRnMN: You guys are among the tours youngest bands. What benefit do you think there has been for you in touring with bands who have been around longer and have more experience?
DW: Playing with older more experienced bands really makes you check yourself. We got to see how they prepare for a show, the way they transition between songs, how they organize among themselves on stage, and the business aspect of it all. It allows us to constantly reevaluate how we play personally and together as a band.
RnRnMN: Who is the best band you've seen on the Warped Tour this year?
DW: It is way too hard for me to choose one band that is the “best”, but here have been my favorites to watch: Say Anything, Jack’s Mannequin, Set Your Goals, Every Time I Die, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Dr. Manhattan. I love watching Dr. Manhattan. They are absolutely nuts and I love it.
RnRnMN: The Warped Tour has been called "punk rock summer camp" in the past. Not really being a punk band, do you think that's still an accurate description of the tour? Does it create any tension with so many different kinds of artists? Are there any cliques?
DW: There definitely are cliques, but none of these groups are completely closed off. I haven’t noticed much tension between groups either. It just doesn’t seem like the kind of issue it was in the past where one band was talking trash about another band playing right next to them (i.e. NOFX vs. Underoath). Maybe I just have not been around it if it is happening. Naturally, bands of the same genre know of each other and tend to hang out the most together. I would still say it is like “punk rock summer camp.” No, we are not a “punk band,” although we do incorporate some aspects of the genre into our songs. The truth of the matter is that if there is a band that you think is not “punk” enough to be on the Warped tour, the REAL punk thing to do is not care.
RnRnMN: There's a lot of bands to choose from. It's overwhelming when you get here and look at the schedule. Why should someone see you?
DW: People should come see us because if they don’t, they are not invited to my birthday party.
RnRnMN: The Warped Tour has corporate sponsors like AT&T. How do you feel about that? Is it a good thing, a necessary evil or a sellout?
DW: It is necessary I guess. For all I know the AT&T sponsorship is funding the stage that my favorite band is playing on, so it would be very bold of anyone to yell "sellout."
RnRnMN: What are your plans after the Warped Tour?
DW: Since we hop off warped tour on the east coast, we are hitting shows on the way back home from 7/29-8/9 and we are getting our fall shows lined up. More soon!
See all of my coverage from the Warped Tour in Columbia, MD on July 16, 2008 here.