South coast pop-punks The Gospel Youth released their debut album ‘Always Lose’ in July, and are reaping the rewards out in the States all summer long as they play out the entirety of the Vans Warped Tour dates. If you’re into Seaway and All Time Low, then you’ll need to check out the melodies that these guys are bringing to the table, and definitely read up on our chat with Jules Bowen from the band to find out how they’re getting on over in the US.
DP!: You’ve been out on Warped Tour in the States for the last month, how did that come about?
Jules: We have a very good team behind us calling the shots and put forward the idea of us doing it. It was quite surreal when the official announcement was made. It didn’t feel real and to most of us probably didn’t feel real until we actually stepped on American soil a few days before the tour even started!
DP!: Talk us through a day in the life of a band on Warped.
Jules: We usually arrive at the venue a few hours before load in, after a long night drive. We scatter out in search of showers, catering and plug sockets because we are usually hungry, smelly and have no battery on our phones. After we’ve woken up a bit, we begin setting up our merch tent and find out what time our set is. Because in the grand scheme of things, we’re a relatively small band so we spend the morning handing out flyers and speaking festival-goers wearing Neck Deep t-shirts, trying to get them to come along and watch us. Every band pretty much does the same so it’s a constant daily hustle. Some days you do well, others not so much, but once the set is played, you load all of the equipment back in the van in the evening. If there’s a short drive that night to the next venue, there will be an after show BBQ where all the bands and crew hang out. The day ends and you repeat the cycle for the next 24 hours.
DP!: You’re a relatively new band for the Warped Tour – have you been given any advice by the veterans of the tour?
Jules: We don’t really get advice, we just get a shocked look from people when we say we’re travelling in an 8-seater van and self driving. I think everyone thought we were gonna die but we’re proving them all wrong at this point so that’s an achievement in itself.
DP!: What have you learnt over the last month that you wish you knew on the first day?
Jules: That even though it’s a tough tour for us considering the circumstances, it’s not as bad as was built up in our heads. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough as hell but our longest tour has only been just over two weeks so we didn’t think we’d get this far without one of us killing each other. Oh, and to bring a bigger suitcase because the amount of extra merch from other bands you’ll acquire throughout the two months is enough to fill a brand new wardrobe.
DP!: Have you managed to get to know any bands that you hadn’t been aware of previously?
Jules: There’s quite a few. All the bands are killing every single show but I feel Knocked Loose and Trophy Eyes deserve a special mention. It’s funny too because we’ve never crossed paths with Creeper or Boston Manor back in the UK so to finally be sharing the stage with those guys is awesome and long overdue. We obviously knew of those two, I think you’d have to have been living in a hole for the past three years to not stumble across them.
DP!: Do the British bands club together and do stereotypical things like say it’s too hot and miss fish and chips?
Jules: I think everyone is complaining about the heat, not just us Brits. Although I would gladly put money on seeing one of the members of Sonic Boom Six in the nice air conditioned dressing rooms at any point throughout day. We make a joke about it with them every time we bump into them there! There’s no way we’re missing fish and chips though. Catering at Warped Tour is consistently the best food I’ve ever had and there’s not been a greasy fry up in sight, which before this tour I thought couldn’t be touched. After spending a lot of time in the US, I can finally see why the Americans think British food is crap.
DP!: How does Warped Tour compare to Slam Dunk Festival over here?
Jules: Without pointing out the obvious that Warped Tour is a lot longer and much more gruelling, they both share a lot of similarities. I would love to see Slam Dunk branch out to more locations across the country and make more of a tour of it, but the three locations they have seem to do pretty well on their own. Both festivals do very well at catering for various groups of fans, whether you’re into hardcore, pop-punk, ska, metal, and all the little niche genres in between.
DP!: How has the reception been to the ‘Always Lose’ material?
Jules: It’s been great. For a lot of the people who are watching us at Warped though, all the material is new because they only heard of us that day from us being active around site and persuading them to watch us! The set has been a mix of old and new but it’s awesome to finally play the new songs that we’ve been sitting on the past 6 months.
DP!: Which has been your favourite show so far and why?
Jules: t’s hard to call. I’m gonna be that guy with the cop out answer and say that they’ve all been as good as each other. It blows my mind we are thousands of miles from home and there are still people singing the words back at us.
Ok fine, St. Petersburg in Florida. Vinoy Park is a beautiful place and the show was awesome.
The Gospel Youth‘s new album ‘Always Lose’ is out now via Rise Records and you can order it online on all the different platforms (here).
Interview by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)