Warped Tour 2008 Interview: Leader of Oreskaband

There are only a few bands with a trombone player on the Warped Tour this year (unlike the ska heyday a few years back), but only one is from Japan! I got a chance to catch up with Leader of Oreskaband to find out how the tour is going, what’s up with their movie, Lock and Roll Forever, and what they have in store for the future.

RnRnMN: How has the Warped Tour been treating you?

L: Great! I feel like time is passing in a flash since the tour started and it’s been a blast! Every single day there are lots of bands playing energetic shows all over the place. Each day is filled with new encounters with good music, good pals and different audience in different cities. We’ve been getting so much inspirations from playing the show, watching other bands playing and just being on tour in general. Unexpected things happen sometimes but we’re just enjoying each day to the fullest!

RnRnMN: What made you decide to join the Warped Tour this year? Is it all you expected?

L: We played in seven cities at last year’s Warped Tour. Kevin Lyman saw us perform and offered us to play the whole dates this year, after last year’s tour. We were saying to each other that we’d want to play the full tour the next year, so it was a big surprise when we actually got the offer. The tour is a great opportunity for us to get our music out there, so it’s a big honor to be able to participate again this year. Hopefully there will be more people coming to see our own show because of the Warped Tour.

RnRnMN: When you formed Oreskaband back in 2003, you were barely teenagers. Did you think you would be touring the US before you even turned 20?

L: Not at all! We made Oreskaband just because we wanted to play music in a band and had no idea where it was going, but by 2004 when we started playing at local clubs, the band has became our life and started wishing strongly for the band to last as long as possible. We then got signed to Sony Music Japan, but even then we had no idea that we would ever have a chance to tour in America. We get flustered by unpredictable turn of events at times but have fun with whatever that happens…and that’s us.

RnRnMN: What bands got you into ska?

L: The reason we formed a ska band is simply because I wanted to do a band but could only play trombone. I thought a band with horn players is supposed to play ska music…I was ignorant about ska music that much. So that’s how we decided on doing ska, but once we started going to see other ska bands’ shows, we kept being intrigued into the upbeat rhythm of ska music that makes you feel good. Even if you don’t know a song, ska makes you happy and dance. We feel fortunate to have found such music!

RnRnMN: Are these the biggest crowds you’ve played for? How does it compare to playing smaller shows?

L: I think so. It is definitely a big-scale event with many bands and various stages and it is our first experience to do a show every day like this. And knowing the number of people who look forward to this festival coming to their cities, I can see how big of a deal this tour is to many music fans. I think the main difference between this tour and club shows is that, with this tour, there is more opportunity for your band to be seen by many people. Also, since this is an outside festival, shows get affected by weather and accidents like storm can happen, but I guess that’s one of the things that makes the festival exciting!

RnRnMN: Who is the best band you’ve seen on the Warped Tour this year?

L: There are so many good bands and it’s hard to find time to check out their shows. To name a few, Reel Big Fish is the band that we’ve been listening to since we started our band and Beat Union is also a super cool band that brings the UK flavor to the Warped Tour. I also love Aggrolites, TAT and Bedouin Sound…their music gives me goose bumps!

RnRnMN: There are a lot of bands to choose from. Why should someone see Oreskaband?

L: Because our music makes you happy. Warped Tour would certainly make your day happy but we make it even happier and more fun. If you’re happy, we’ll make you happier and if you’re feeling down, let’s dance and have a blast together!

RnRnMN: Tell me about the movie, Lock and Roll Forever.

L: We are the lead character and play ourselves, Oreskaband. It was filmed in U.S. and Japan and although it’s based on our experience, the story is a fiction. It’s a story about Oreskaband, a Japanese local band that has no one to believe in them but got a chance to go to America, trying to make it big against all odds with our love of music and through encounter with many people. We also recorded soundtrack to the movie so please look forward to it, too.

RnRnMN: What are your plans after the Warped Tour?

L: We’ll go back to Japan and play some shows and release a new album. We haven’t released an album in 18 months so we want to bring our Japanese fans what we’ve felt and experienced in the past 18 months through the new record. We also got signed by an American label so hopefully the new record will be released in America, too. And of course, we’ll be back to the States to do a tour so please come see us then!

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See all of my coverage from the Warped Tour in Columbia, MD on July 16, 2008 here.

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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