Infectious Magazine interviews Justin of Man Overboard on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. You can check it out below!
IM: First things first, how are you?
Man Overboard: I am reasonably well, a little sleep deprived, a little sweaty. Otherwise, pretty good.
IM: Warped Tour will be returning to the UK this November after a 13 year absence, and you are on the line up! What are you looking forward to and are you feeling nervous at all because there is such anticipation?
MO: We’ve actually toured England four times already, so, I’m not nervous about going over there. I know we have some really cool and supportive fans there that I know will come out, so I’m really looking forward to it. But, I’ve also heard a bunch of people bought tickets already, so that’s pretty encouraging. A band that’s on our stage this tour is headlining. they’re called Lostprophets and then there’s another band, Bring Me The Horizon who I think they’re playing it as a one off, so it should be a really cool event. I’m excited.
IM: You guys have been running a street team. What do you think are some of the benefits of having a street team both for fans and bands?
MO: I mean, not to cut any other bands down, because you can do whatever you want, it’s your life. But, there’s bands that just show up to Warped Tour and play which is well and good but I think we like to go the extra mile and we hang up posters every morning and we give out these magazines where we write the set time on the cover and then we have our street teamers come and help pass those out and walk around with a sign and stuff. Maybe it only gets a couple extra people to come to the set, but instead of giving out postcards or flyers, we give out a magazine that has content inside. It’s something a little extra for kids to read when they don’t have a band to watch, or on the way home, or eating lunch or whatever. So, I don’t know. We’re kind of a DIY band so we thought that would be something cool to do and to get kids involved is cool, we get to hook them up with some free stuff for helping out.
IM: That’s a really unique idea, [to do the magazine]. How did you come up with that?
MO: I don’t know, it started with ‘hey we should give out flyers with our set time.’ And then I said ‘well, if we’re going to give out a flyer we might as well give out something that has a little worth to it. It’s surprisingly cheap to make magazines, mini magazines, so yeah, we just went for that and then I printed a bunch of posters that are just for the street team kids which was not expensive really. Then they get sunglasses or a water bottle for helping out.
IM: Everyone wins.
MO: Yeah, everybody wins, they get to help us out by handing out the zines and then they get free stuff, so.
IM: Everyone loves free stuff.
MO: Yeah, and kids are always like “aw, it’s going to take up my whole day” and I’m like “dude, it’s going to take you like 20 minutes at the most.” And they’re like “oh, sure, cool.”
IM: You guys have said that you think smaller bands just starting out should offer a download of their album for free and make sure to package it really interestingly, which you guys clearly have that down with the magazine because that is such a creative idea having that mini magazine.
MO: Yeah, I mean I think a lot of bands, they go out on their first tour, or a young band like, even a band that’s been a band for a while and come out on a tour like this and want to overcharge and it’s like, new kids when they’re checking out your band and come to Warped Tour, maybe they have not that much money to spend on records and stuff, you might as well just give them something for free so then they all get it instead of just a couple of them and you get their money. I think that’s more of an investment in your future if you kind of progress things like that. So hopefully more bands do that kind of stuff.
IM: I remember, because I’ve been coming to Warped Tour for a very long time and I remember something like 7 years ago you would come into Warped Tour and everybody was giving their album out and everybody was giving away merch or whatever and times are a little tougher now and you’re not seeing that anymore but I’d like to see it brought back because you do listen more.
MO: Yeah., a month before this tour we did, on our web store for completely free, you don’t have to buy anything or do anything weird, you can just go and download 15 of our songs for free. Because we have like 4 LPs worth of material so we have like fifty something songs that people can buy, but we gave them 15 for free. And hopefully, it’s a couple songs from each record, so if you like those, then you’ll be like, “aw, I really like the 2 songs that were on the Real Talk album” so then they go out and buy Real Talk. Which is good for us, they get a whole record but if not and they want to enjoy 15 free songs, that’s cool too.
IM: So then I imagine you support the the pay what you want downloads?
MO: Yeah, for sure. I think that giving people, kind of added value is what’s most important to try and build fans that will be your fans for a long time not just be like “aw yeah, I used to listen to them” they’d be like “I love that band and I’ve listened to them for a long time and I continue to buy their records, and continue to go to their shows.” But pay what you want is also cool, but I don’t think that’s the end all be all.
IM: What is your first musical memory?
MO: My mom took me to see Aerosmith when I was a little kid that was cool.
IM: Sounds like you have a cool mom then.
MO: Yeah, my mom’s awesome, great vegan chef.
IM: What would you say has been one of the more significant moments in creating this particular memory that is Warped Tour?
MO: I think just playing really good shows is a really cool reward and memory. Like today in Boston was a great show so that’s something that we’ll remember, probably forever.
IM: Yeah, a lot of people have been saying, fans and what not say that Boston always has one of the best dates. Is it stacking up, is it living up to that?
MO: Yeah, in terms of the craziest shows where there’s a lot of people and a lot of people are going crazy and stuff, it’s usually California, Philly, Boston, New York, all those big cities, Detroit, Chicago. There’s other places where there’s half as many people at Warped Tour as Boston where the show isn’t as crazy but it doesn’t mean it’s not a good show, just instead of there being 20,000 people, there’s only 6,000 people so you don’t get 500 people watching you, you get 200 watching you.
IM: Still a good number though.
MO: Yeah it’s still a good in my book! I would say the quote/unquote worst show on this tour was still really good, so, no complaints.
IM: There’s been a few like that, like I think yesterday right, it was closed for a few hours because of rain?
MO: Yeah yesterday was a mess because it rained and because it was on a hill there was water running everywhere. It was pretty rough, there was lightening, so that was hard and some people didn’t get to play or some people got moved around, people went home but there was a lot of people that stuck around. Luckily for us we played early in the day before all the rain when it was still sunny out.
IM: Anything else you’d like to add?
MO: Just thanks to everybody who supported us at Warped Tour so far. If you go to our website, Defendpoppunk.com you can download that 15 song sampler for free.
IM: Thank you very much.
MO: Yeah, thank you, I appreciate it.