By Maria Sherman
Summertime might be winding down, but we’ll be holding on to those fest-heavy days with these awesome lady acts we discovered at Warped Tour. Some of the biggest, most talked-about acts at the traveling punk rock summer camp were fronted by women this year. When it comes to pop-punk, we live in a post-Paramore universe -- and it’s about time other badass ladies take over the thing. Check out some of our fest faves from Warped Tour 2015:
Ash Costello, New Years Day
Why You Should Know Her: Ash Costello of New Years Day knows Warped like the back of her hand, so she’s seen the fest’s evolution throughout the years. Beyond that, she fronts a goth, horrorcore-esq band -- a style of music typically uninviting to women. She holds it down and schools the rest, trust us.
On Warped Tour 2015: “I feel the last time there were a lot of girls [on Warped Tour was 2007 with] Paramore, Juliet Simms, Versa Emerge. I really don't feel like until this year did that happen again. This year you have Juliet Simms again, us, PVRIS, who are just slautering it, and Bebe Rexha, who is awesome. There's a lot of girls this year and more than ever, there's a lot of girls in production. I see them carrying the heavy shit and boxes and sweatin' it out. It's not really a guy's game anymore. There's just as many girls now on the crew than guys.”
How the Tour Differs From Others: "It's really cool being a female on tour and having all the girls around you. On a normal venue tour, mostly, I'm the only girl. Maybe, if I'm lucky, there's a merch girl. On Warped Tour, it's instant community. Warped has regular meetings and they did one a couple of weeks ago on how to treat women on the tour. Not that it was an issue, it was just something that came up. [Festival producer] Kevin Lyman spoke to everybody and some girls spoke and we got to feel like if there was an issue, you feel like you can come forward with it. Everyone treats everyone with respect.”
Lynn Gunn, PVRIS
Why You Should Know Her: PVRIS haven’t been a band for too terribly long, but that doesn’t discredit them. The trio write songs in the tradition of power pop rock with a cool electronic edge that feels inventive, but not unlike what you could expect on Warped. The true strength of the band is found in their charismatic frontwoman, the fiery Lynn Gunn.
On Warped Tour’s Female Staff: “People don't realize 95% of production, catering, paramedics and everything is women. Warped Tour is run by women. A lot of people see that. I think this year there's a lot more females on it. There's always kind of hidden acts that people don't really know about. I was talking to someone and we counted at least 15 different female acts on the tour. This year there's a lot and it's awesome."
On Feeling Isolated Based On Gender: "The majority of the people on Warped Tour are men. You feel like you can't really connect with everyone. You get a lot of the typical 'Oh, there's a girl on tour' blah blah blah. The biggest thing is that you have to prove those people wrong. Show them that you're here to work. You're here to kick ass. We've earned a lot of people's respect on Warped Tour, which we're super stoked about. It's not as isolating as it was when we first hopped on. You don't have to go up on stage and make some speech. Just go up and do your thing and make everyone feel like an idiot for thinking what they might have thought.
"I saw Paramore when I was younger but never really had [a bunch of female frontwomen] to emulate. To see one person do that can go a long way. I know there will be more women in bands on Warped. It's about damn time.”
Why You Should Know Her: Pop singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha had something of a glory moment earlier this year when she was featured on David Guetta’s massive “Hey Mama” alongside Nicki Minaj and Afrojack. Her edgy pop sound was welcomed on Warped this year, proving that melody, with some flair, can live anywhere.
On Working with Other Women at Warped: “Men and women are treated the same on this tour. I have my day-to-day who are female. I have merch girl who is female. My tour manager is a female and production is female. I think because I surround myself with a lot of women, I never really feel isolated. I’m in a girl world. I choose not to be bothered by the guys. I don’t think they f--k with us because we’re scary. I walk the stage with six girls. We don’t f--k around. If anyone tries anything, we’ll break their necks.
"I never want to think I’m competing against men. As a woman, you have to recognize that it’s going to be harder. Being female, it’s tougher for us. I don’t care what anyone says. I will fight that to the death."
Why You Should Know Her: Juliet Simms is no stranger to the tour. Of the ladies on this list, she’s one of the most veteran, getting her start by playing the tour illegally (she’d show up with acoustic guitar in tow and ask non-profits like Keep-A-Breast to let her play) to performing with her band Automatic Loveletter on a stage adjacent to Katy Perry in 2008. She hopped on the 2015 edition of the punk fest solo, and knows just what it’s like to be one of the few ladies on the circuit.
On The Female Warped Tour Experience: "No one is going to have a lifetime of hearing ‘yes.’ It's going to be mostly ‘no’ and what you have to do is stick to your own guns, believe in yourself and don't take no for an answer. Keep your integrity and be a badass bitch.”