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Starting in their early teens, Warped soon became an institution at live music venues in Geelong and Melbourne: they just had to be seen. While things have slowed down for the four-piece – with a couple years break in their 20-odd year existence – they’re back with a few more shows under their belts, one being the Cherry Rock festival at Cherry Bar early next month.
“James Young has asked us a few times in a row but because of other work or whatever there’s never been the time to actually do it. This time we’re all free and we can do it, so we’re definitely stoked about that. Playing with Red Fang will be pretty awesome as well,” vocalist and guitarist Ben Watkins says.
The music scene has changed quite considerably since they first started, most notably the accessibility of younger bands. “Back in the ‘90s the all ages thing was really big, so it was kind of easy to get gigs. We seemed to be able to just play and support bands to the likes of Tumbleweed,” he says.
“We were lucky too because, music wise with the whole Nirvana thing, we tapped into something that ended up blowing up. We were already there doing it and playing in a band that was making that sort of music.”
And while things have changed, they still pay attention to the younger bands emerging in today’s industry, after all it’s a place that their career is hugely credit to.
“When we played in Geelong recently with HITS we saw the band The Living Eyes play. We had seen them when they were younger and when they first started out, but they’re obviously a bit older now and they totally blew me away – I was really impressed with those guys,” Ben says.
There’s no denying that things have changed around the band, and with every change of their environment it’s also influenced their music. As Ben assures me there are plans to release some new music and we can expect something similar to the Warped sound we’ve come to love, but with a slightly different edge.
“We’ll have to start writing some new tunes and getting them out I guess, because we can’t keep playing the same old things. I don’t know when that’s going to happen but we’re working on it for sure,” Ben adds with a laugh.
‘We’ve put down some pretty cool riffs so I’m definitely excited about that. It’s kind of similar to our sound, but as time goes on you can’t help but write things slightly different, because different things happen to you and you listen to different types of music.”
Counting down to a new Warped release might be a bit of a stretch as there are no dates set in, so counting down to Cherry Rock seems like the most reasonable choice. In a few weeks you’ll get the chance to see the band play alongside Red Fang, Shrine, Beastwars, Clowns, The Ugly Kings and more.
When & Where: Cherry Rock at Cherry Bar & AC/DC Lane, Melbourne – May 10 (from noon)
Written by Amanda Sherring