Warped Tour 2008 Interview: Jason LaRocca of the Briggs
I was able to catch up with Briggs' guitarist Jason LaRocca to find out how the tour was going, what the reaction has been to their new album, Come All You Madmen, and what's up next.
RnRnMN: How has the Warped Tour been treating you?
JL: Been good, we have our crew of bands that we are having a great time with; The Aggrolites, Against Me!, The Bouncing Souls, Reel Big Fish. It's going very well.
RnRnMN: Have you played Warped Tours in the past? If so, how does this year compare?
JL: We have done bits and pieces of the tour since 2002. I would say that so far this one has been the toughest as far as the punk scene goes. There aren't that many of us out on the tour this year. So far I would say that 2007 was the best line up in my opinion. The tour this year is by no means however bumming me out. It's great. It isn't the same however without a band like Bad Religion on the tour.
RnRnMN: Are these the biggest crowds you've played for?
JL: Some yes, some no. Sometimes we play very early and a lot of our fans miss our set. Sometimes you play right in the middle of the day and play for a thousand people or more.
RnRnMN: How does it compare to playing smaller shows?
JL: The smaller shows are great. They are intimate and always are a great time. It is fun though to be able to see so much music in the course of a single day. It's a different animal.
RnRnMN: How has the reaction been to the songs off the new album, Come All You Madmen?
JL: A lot better than I was expecting. Even before the record came out when we started the tour there were tons of kids singing along to the new songs. That is a great feeling!!
RnRnMN: Who is the best band you've seen on the Warped Tour this year?
JL: Dillinger Escape Plan
RnRnMN: There are a lot of bands to choose from. It's overwhelming when you get here and look at the schedule. Why should someone see you?
JL: Well, in the first place someone who is coming to see a punk show only has about four bands to choose from this year. It actually makes the decision process nice and easy.
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?
JL: All I know is that I show up and there is a stage and a bunch of kids and we go completely fucking nuts and that's that. It doesn't really affect my world any different than any other "non-sponsored" show would. Maybe it's nicer to someone else's pocket? But not mine.
RnRnMN: The Warped Tour used to be called "punk rock summer camp." It sounds like that's no longer an accurate description. Do you think this is the year that changed?
JL: Yes. We are the odd band out on this tour. It feels very strange. The Bouncing Souls are out for a few days though and that's cool. Other than that it's just us, The Aggrolites and Pennywise.
RnRnMN: Has it created hard feelings or dissension within the tour?
JL: Well I don't think that we are very well liked by most of the bands. We call out some of the bands we hate on tour while we are on stage. That hasn't gone over very well with some of the other bands on tour. Oh well!
RnRnMN: What are your plans after the Warped Tour?
JL: Leeds and Reading Fest in the UK with Rage Against The Machine!
Check out the Briggs' latest video for "Charge At The Sun".
See all of my coverage from the Warped Tour in Columbia, MD on July 16, 2008 here.