“We’re stoked to come back and hope we can see some familiar faces from Backbooth!”
The Vans Warped Tour kicks off in Dallas in just a few days. Today I had a chance to chat with guitarist Mark Neidhardt from the popular New York band Reckless Serenade for his thoughts on the tour and a few other things.
Cretin: This is your first Warped Tour and you are less than a week from starting the amazing journey. Thoughts about what is in front of you?
Mark Neidhardt: It’s going to be insane. I think we’re all beyond stoked for the opportunity. Playing pretty much everyday is going to be a challenge we haven’t faced yet, but we’re all beyond ready for it!
Cretin: Are there any cities that you are most stoked to be playing?
Mark Neidhardt: I’m excited to see the Northwest for the first time! We also love New Orleans and Nashville, so we’re dying to return to those as well.
Cretin: In your bio, you mention a handful of pop punk influences with Warped Tour ties, are there any influential bands who you are looking forward to playing with on this tour?
Mark Neidhardt: We’re definitely stoked to be playing with Four Year Strong and The Story So Far. Those bands are always on in the van and have been influences of mine for a while.
Cretin: We are an Orlando-based blog, so we’ll have a chance to see you play live on July 2nd at Tinker Field. Have you played here previously? Any thoughts about playing Orlando?
Mark Neidhardt: Stoked that we’ll get to grill and chill! We played Orlando last fall and had a really fun show at a venue called Backbooth. We’re stoked to come back and hope we can see some familiar faces from Backbooth!
Cretin: NYC has an incredibly vibrant rock scene these days. I realize your band is outside of the NYC area, but wonder if it has been a primary proving ground for the band.
Mark Neidhardt: NYC has always had a very unique vibe for us. Being an hour outside of the city, it was hard to start getting booked there. I wouldn’t call it a proving ground, but I would say that playing a good show in the city means more to me than playing a good show anywhere else. The sound is great in most of the venues we’ve played, and there’s always dope food down the street.
Cretin: I’m listening to your new EP Strange Soul, and the music is a blast to listen to. I noticed you gave it away for free at your recent release party. Tell me about that strategy. Is it driven by the fact that is so difficult to make money off of music sales these days?
Mark Neidhardt: We just thought it’d be a fun thing to do for our EP release show. We normally have a lot of stuff available for free we just want people to check us out.
Cretin: How do you determine which songs make the cut when you are developing your Warped Tour setlist, and do you expect to play the same songs each day of the tour?
Mark Neidhardt: It’s hard when you have a 25 minute set. We obviously want to play new songs, but you need to strike a balance between the new songs you want people to hear and the old ones they already know and like. We made 3 sets, but I think we’ll end up sticking to one the more comfortable we get.
Cretin: Which of the new songs do you expect will become a fan favorite during your live sets on Warped Tour?
Mark Neidhardt: I think “Fool’s Gold” could become a fan favorite this summer, it’s got a good live energy and I think it’ll be a good opener to our set.
You can catch Mark and his bandmates from Reckless Serenade on The Full Sail Stage. The Vans Warped Tour kicks off this Friday in Dallas before ripping through Florida with three dates July 1st (St. Pete), July 2nd (Orlando) and July 3rd (West Palm). All of the tour dates and ticket info is available here: Van Warped Tour.
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