SIDE NOTES: Kevin Lyman’s Top 10 Bands to Watch in 2014
Warped Tour creator Kevin Lyman was kind enough to send us his top picks for this year’s tour. Take note!
1. Air Dubai
Denver band Air Dubai is hitting the Vans Warped Tour this year with their combination of eclectic genres and explosive onstage energy. In efforts to not fit into one specific genre or category, their sound is a mix of hip- hop, pop, soul, rock and electronic. They strive to have every record be new and fresh which is what caught Hopeless Record’s eye in 2012. After signing to Hopeless Records, Air Dubai released their new 5 track EP “Warning” which kick started their popularity. Air Dubai plan to release a new album in 2014 along with touring throughout the year.
2. Real Friends
Pop-punk band Real Friends aren’t your typical five hometown friends hanging out in their basements of South Side Chicago. These five have taken the pop-punk world by storm with their fresh new sound although they’re sound is still reminiscent of older pop punk bands that their hometown fans caught on to quickly. With the responsiveness of their local scene and their continuously growing fan base they caught the well-deserved attention of Fearless Records in 2013. With the backing of Fearless Records, the band plan to release their much anticipated first full-length album in 2014. Real Friends continue to grow due to their hard work, dedication to fans, and relatable music. Keep an eye out for their upcoming record and make sure to catch them all summer on the Vans Warped Tour.
3. Stray From The Path
Stray From The Path isn’t your common hardcore band. With their own mood and dark energy their albums surpass the expectation of listeners with their precision and honesty. They catch the audience’s attention with their high energy stage appearance as well as their unpredictable but intricate sound. In 2013, Stray From The Path released their most mature and cohesive record “Anonymous.” They’re goal is to always to bring “honest pissed off music to the world” and in 2014 the band will spread that message as they spend their summer on the Vans Warped Tour.
K.Flay is a hip-hop/indie rapper that started from parody and went to indie. She began her parody when she picked up a mike while she was attending Stanford University. To her surprise as she mocked the genre she fell in love with making her own raps and was surprised of what she could come up with and how much she loved doing it. This was the beginning for K.Flay as she then spent the rest of her sophomore year recording and debuted her first album ‘Sunburn Rap Queen.’ After her second full-length was released, she was later contacted in 2013 when RCA took interest and released her major-label debut ‘What If It Is.’ K.Flay has kicked off this year with a headlining tour and will be heading out on the Vans Warped Tour all summer long.
5. Plague Vendor
Epitaph artists, Plague Vendor are an Alternative/Punk band known for their dark tones and instinctual playing. On April 15th, the band is set to release their highly anticipated debut album ‘Free To Eat.’ With a number of house parties, club gigs, and warehouse shows, Plague Vendor quickly became associated with wild nights and good times. Plague Vendor is known to be an undeniable force, simultaneously dangerous and comforting, and predicated on the meaning its own name invokes. You will be able to catch Plague Vendor on all of the Vans Warped Tour this summer following the release of ‘Free To Eat.’
6. State Champs
At the forefront of the pop-punk revival you’ll find State Champs; a group of friends that at first, just wanted to make great music and have a good time. With their start back in 2010 they quickly became a fan favorite in the pop-punk scene. In 2013, State Champs dropped their debut album ‘The Finer Things’ on Pure Noise Records and exceeded fan’s expectations. Quickly after the release the band realized their hard work paying off and got offered to tour with artists such as Bayside, The Wonder Years, and We Are The In Crowd. In 2014, as always, the band will be working hard and having fun on the Vans Warped Tour.
7. Neck Deep
Neck Deep, a pop-punk band from overseas, started off the band as “a bit of fun.” However, Neck Deep quickly became one of the most popular and young bands in the UK scene. In 2013, Hopeless Records caught on to the fast-growing band and Neck Deep joined their roster. Without wasting momentum, the band recently released their debut album ‘Wishful Thinking’ early this year. For Neck Deep this is only the beginning. In 2014, they will be headlining their own tour as well as jumping on the entire Vans Warped Tour.
Dayton, Ohio’s Dangerkids are not one to be confined by genres. With a mixture of sounds from rap, electronic dance music, post-hardcore, and metalcore this band doesn’t mind breaking rules. With the band signing to Rise Records in 2013 they recently dropped their debut album ‘Collapse.’ Not disappointing their fans, the album incorporated a blend of EDM and heavy post hardcore jump starting the band’s fame. In 2014, the band will be on the road for the Take Action Tour as well as jumping on the Vans Warped Tour all summer.
Issues is a post-hardcore/metalcore band with a strong RnB influence based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The band was formed in 2012 by former Woe, Is Me members Tyler Carter, Michael Bohn, and brothers Cory and Ben Ferris. Just a few months after forming, Issues was signed by Rise Records imprint Velocity in 2012. Quickly after being signed, the band released their first EP ‘Black Diamonds.’ With the success of their first EP, anticipation for their debut self-titled album was at an all-time high. When the album was released on February 18th, 2014 the album reached #9 in the Top Billboard 200 charts. In the rest of 2014, the band will continue to tour and will be hitting each date on the Vans Warped Tour.
10. Sleeper Agent
Sleeper Agent is a six piece band with Alex Kendal at the forefront as their front-woman. Since the beginning of Sleeper Agent and the release of their debut album, ‘Celabrasion’, its members have played everywhere from the Coachella festival to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. They’ve caught the attention of Mom + Pop Records where they have since opened for acts such as Weezer, Circa Survive, and fun. In 2014, they will be releasing their second debut album ‘About Last Night’ and will be hitting the road this summer on the Vans Warped Tour.
Catch all these bands and more at Vans Warped Tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 22!