By Alex Distefano
The scorching summer season is upon us once again, and for Inland Empire concertgoers that translates into a plethora of summer music festivals. Among the horde of shows, there is the Vans Warped Tour—this year celebrating 19 years as the country’s prominent punk/indie rock all day music event.
But, this year, the festival has much more to offer than just punk rock. With an eclectic line-up including five stages featuring over 50 bands and artists, ranging from electronic pop music (3OH!3), ska (Reel Big Fish), traditional pop music (Allstar Weekend), death metal (The Black Dahlia Murder and, of course, tons more. Headliners include Goldfinger, The Used, The Aquabats and August Burns Red, Bring Me the Horizon and Motion City Soundtrack.
This year, Riverside local No Bragging Rights—an up and coming metal-core band—spoke to the Weekly about its hometown, the music scene and its part in the Warped Tour, on the Kevin Says Stage (named after the tour’s founder, Kevin Lyman).
According to No Bragging Rights vocalist Mike Perez, the band formed in 1999 in Riverside, but the current line-up of bass player Ryan Warrell, drummer Martin Alcedo and guitarists Christian Lee and Daniel Garrow has been together since about 2005.
Perez said that the band is beyond excited to be part of this year’s Warped line up. “You can’t ask for a better tour to spread your music and message,” he said.
He also told the Weekly there are more than a few that he is looking forward to seeing, including Goldfinger. “I’ve listened to them since junior high so I’m very excited to see them, as well as Story of The Year because I love back flips and Tonight Alive because they’re Australian and cover a Rufio song!” he said.
Perez said that many other bands he wants to see are friends of No Bragging Rights, including Letlive, Stick to Your Guns, Handguns, Forever Came Calling, Issues, Memphis May Fire, among many others.”I know I’m probably forgetting some,” he admitted.”
Perez mentioned that the band is proud to be from Riverside and representing the Inland Empire, but said he feels distanced from the music scene locally. “To be honest, I don’t know much about the IE scene anymore,” he said. “With The Showcase Theatre in Corona closing and our band touring, it’s hard keeping track. We don’t really have a ‘home venue’ in the IE anymore.”
Perez also said he gives bands from the IE music scene respect. “I feel like it must be difficult for up and coming bands to really get an identity if they go straight from the garage to the road, and I feel like any band out of the IE is strong and has a lot of fight in them. It’s a tough scene.”
According to Perez, the best thing about being a band from the IE was how years ago, there used to be a lot of options for shows. “We used to have the Showcase in Corona, or The Barn at UCR in Riverside and others,” he said. “Lots of times, there was a show you could go to every weekend locally. That was then. It’s a little more difficult now. That’s why it’s awesome seeing IE kids at shows in LA, SD and the OC.”
But Perez did mention that it hasn’t all been an easy path for the band. “The difficult part was trying to figure out a way to stand out in a sea of other bands,” he said. “Being a product of our time and area meant we sounded a lot like our idols. It was good though because it taught us to promote our band as well as playing the best live show possible.”
Perez insisted that band is eager to get on the road, and share the music of No Bragging Rights with fans across the country. “I think people can expect a lot of fun positive energy at these Warped Tour shows we play,” he said. “Hopefully they can something from our music and message. My hope is that anyone who sees us will leave feeling better than when they got there.”
Vans Warped Tour at Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, (888) 512-7469; www.vanswarpedtour.com. June 20-21, 11AM. Tickets $30-75. All ages.