Don’t let the name and the pink album cover fool you; Deez Nuts are out to stomp yours.
Originally a one-man band formed a decade ago in Melbourne, Australia—that man being JJ Peters, one-time drummer of I Killed the Prom Queen—Deez Nuts have spent the last ten years showing crowds and critics across the world that, despite their name, they are no joke. Continue reading →
Australian metallic hardcore crew I Killed The Prom Queen are enjoying their time on the Vans Warped Tour, in support of their latest album Beloved. While on the tour, they quickly learned about the other fellow Aussies who will be taking part on the tour with them.
Guitarist Jona Weinhofen spoke about some of his fellow country people, and how he detects if that person is actually Australian. “I know there are but I can’t remember the names. They’re bands I don’t know personally. It’s the thickest accents. You can hear it within ten meters from where you are.”
Being that he is currently situated in the United States, he found himself getting more in touch with his Australian roots. He shared his thoughts on staying true to that plus how he sees his home country from afar.
“Honestly since moving away from Australia, I think I found myself a little more patriotic. It’s one of those things – you don’t know what you’ve got until you’ve lost it. It goes with the place you’re living as well. When I moved to America – I love it here in California. There’s so much opportunity, beautiful weather all the time and so much cool stuff to do all the time, but I did find myself missing certain things about home and that made me appreciate things about my home country a little bit more”.
“If you hear me around Warped Tour putting on a thick Aussie accent, that’s me trying to regain my patriotism,” he said, with a smile.
In recent years, he also spoke about another band he is very familiar with – Deez Nuts. The band features two former members of I Killed The Prom Queen – frontman JJ Peters and bassist Sean Kennedy. Weinhofen explains the connection between the two bands and his thoughts on his former bandmates’ new venture.
“He was our original drummer, JJ Peters. He was in the band with the reformation in 2011 and when we wanted to go full time again, he was already doing Deez Nuts full time. They have a huge following in Europe, so he left Prom Queen to focus on Deez Nuts. We’re totally cool with that. Our old bass player Sean Kennedy left the band for personal reasons and joined Deez Nuts the second time.”
“The Aussian music industry, especially with the heavy music with punk rock, hardcore – is quite incestuous. Everyone knows everyone, everyone’s played in everyone else’s bands. Our bass player Ben [Coyte] played in Deez Nuts. Our singer Jamie [Hope] played in Deez Nuts. I played one show with Deez Nuts. Everyone’s good at maintaining friendships no matter what band’s doing what.”
I Killed The Prom Queen’s newest bass player comes out of Day of Contempt, a veteran of the Australian hardcore scene. “Our bass player Ben used to be the vocalist of this band called Day of Contempt from Adelaide. We basically grew up and they were our idols. They were the Adelaide band we had to play with. I think they were the first Adelaide band to sign to an overseas hardcore label, the first Adelaide/Australian hardcore band to really come over and tour the US hard. I know they did some tours with Terror, Bleeding Through, 18 Visions and even Good Charlotte. They did some really good tours. They were a band we always looked up to. When he approached us to join the band, we were like ‘duh – let’s do this!’ “
Another year has arrived for the Vans Warped Tour full of anticipation and excitement to hit the summertime across North America. This year’s edition maintains their tradition of youth oriented angst filled music (or whatever the kids call it these days) and carving a path for the next batch of rising stars on the scene. Thanks to photographer Kevin Estrada for shooting these two dates of Warped tour for Ghost Cult!
The main stages (Shark and Unicorn) showcased the main attractions on the tour, ranging from the pop punk acts (The Wonder Years) to the screamo/emo (Pierce The Veil, Blessthefall) to the crossover half melodic and half aggro (We Came As Romans) to the harder sounding (August Burns Red) managed to keep the kids bouncing around in the crowd and rarely laying low.
Tour veterans Motion City Soundtrack made their brief California run appearance, showing the crowd how things are done on this tour. Metro Station (featuring Trace Cyrus, son of country performer Billy Ray Cyrus), melodic punk act Man Overboard, and hardcore outfit Fit For A King all set the pace for the day with their respective sounds while keeping the crowd engaged.
The main acts on these stages won over the crowd throughout the day. Memphis May Fire got the crowd into a high with their half heavy yet melodic styling that struck a nerve with them; Attila, led by their enigmatic frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak and his guitar crunching yet Eninem-esque “meth” suit bouncing along with the crowd; Black Veil Brides and their legions of die hard fan base singing along to every word; and Miss May I and their modern metallic sound that got the crowd worked up later on in the day.
While the main stage had their moments going on, there were a number of side stage acts making noise of their own. The Monster Stage housed their own brand of chaos throughout the day, as Senses Fail, Being As An Ocean, Beartooth, Mallory Knox and The Amity Affliction all got the pit crew throwing down alongside each band and rarely letting down. The harder driving acts such as hardcore outfit Hundredth had the pit kids going in effect, while veteran Canadian post hardcore act Silverstein had their mix of longtime fans as well as newbies who both showed their appreciation for the band. Australian metallic hardcore outfit I Killed The Prom Queen appeared to be bass player less, but that didn’t stop them from bringing out their At The Gates meets hardcore stomp to these fans. British metalcore act While She Sleeps briefly were down a singer (ie visa problems kept frontman Lawrence Taylor making a late start on the tour) but friends pitched in to lend a helping hand and fans didn’t even notice. Plus Escape The Fate closed out the evening with their eclectic brand of punk meets screamo meets modern metal that got the late comers their last bit of a sweat.
On the other stages, indie hip hop acts MC Lars gave a lesson in nerdcore with rhymes about video games and Game of Thrones (ie his latest single “Dragon Blood), while Kosha Dillz brought out his East Coast blend of Spanish, English and Hebrew rhymes; and electro-DJ-performance duo mystery men Drama Club put on an interesting performance that combined part Blue Man Group-esque percussive moments with part electronica meets EDM moments and spontaneous bursts of energy that kept the interested crowd on its feet.
The Journeys Stages found Juliette Sims and Night Riots wowing the crowd with their high energy sets, while hotly tipped electro pop outfit PVRIS became one of the much talked about acts on the tour and their set did not disappoint. Hip hop act Riff Raff put on quite the entertaining show on this stage, with his colorful summertime dress and animated raps to get the crowd bouncing along.
New York alternative rockers The Karma Killers stood out amongst the vast number of acts performing on the Ernie Ball Stage, with their fresh take on classic pop-punk, rock, and alternative rock with an energetic stage show. While they are newly signed to Island/Def Jam and new to the scene, they showed that they could one day end up on one of the larger stages in the new future.
The Acoustic Basement easily became an area largely for shade against the sun, but while most of the acts attracted stragglers throughout the day, Canadian singer-songwriter Saywecanfly and Brian Marquis were two of the acts who attracted a decent sized crowd throughout the day. Saywecanfly attracted a packed tent and entertained the audience with his emotion filled lyrics that got his largely female audience awaiting with anticipation.
Overall, this year’s edition featured a good mix of repeat acts moving up to larger stages, as well as a number of fresh faces to the scene. It is a positive sign to see new acts on the rise at a time when the music industry is struggling to attract new acts to the public. Hopefully someone is paying attention to this tour to see that there is a new generation of artists on the rise.
For veteran guitarist Jona Weinhofen, his musical journey has come together at a good time as his recently resurrected band I Killed The Prom Queen will be spending the summer on the Vans Warped Tour.
I Killed The Prom Queen is the band he founded back in Adelaide, Australia in late 2000 until 2008. Weinhofen landed an opportunity to join Orange County metallic hardcore outfit Bleeding Through (2008-9), with whom he recently also took part on one of their final shows at the Glass House in Pomona, CA. He later joined British modern metallers Bring Me The Horizon (2009-13) until he parted ways with them to do I Killed The Prom Queen again.
“It was real coincidence that I played those Bleeding Through shows. I just happened to be in town at the time and they needed someone to do those shows. It was fun,” he said.
He also talked about what led to their hiatus and the new members who helped revamp the new lineup.
“We had a bunch of issues the first time around. I think we let it sit around for enough time to where we’re all passionate enough to come back to it. We have a somewhat new lineup with a couple of new members. We reinvented the band a little bit. It keeps it a bit more fresh. It’s myself and Kevin [Cameron, guitars], who are the main songwriters since the second EP (2003’s I Killed the Prom Queen / Parkway Drive: Split CD).”
“It was cool having us two who are the core sound of the band and couple of new guys bringing in a fresh influence when it comes to writing and how we sound live. Plus having a couple of new guys makes touring fresh and different as well. The new guys – Jamie [Hope] our vocalist, Ben [Coyt] our bassist and Shane [O’Brien] our drummer – have been playing in other bands but we’ve known them for years. It wasn’t like we were getting some random guys in the fold and saying ‘let’s see how touring goes’ and ‘see if we hate each other.’ They were like dudes we were friends with for years.”
Jamie Hope of I Killed The Prom Queen.
While Weinhofen is now based on Southern California, his band mates are scattered around the globe.
“Three of guys currently live in Melbourne, Victoria, even though the band is from Adelaide. Our drummer Shane lives right outside of Birmingham in England, in a place called Wolverhampton. He met a girl there. I live here in California in Orange County. I lived here previously when I was a member of Bleeding Through. I have a bunch of friends here. I actually met a girl here as well, and coupled with the fact that Epitaph Records is based out here and our management company has an office here in LA now. Our booking agency has always been here in LA. It’s always been cool having me on the ground here and in between the rest of the band getting things going in the US.”
Jona Weinhofen on I Killed The Prom Queen.
While I Killed The Prom Queen is making its Warped Tour debut, Weinhofen has previously taken part on this with Bring Me The Horizon and had positive experiences.
“This is my second Warped Tour but first time with I Killed The Prom Queen. I’m stoked to be part of it again. I think it was 2010? We have just recorded There Is A Hell. I remember showing the guys from Parkway Drive around while we were on that tour. We weren’t actually playing any material from it yet but it was an awesome time.”
“It’s five years later so I don’t know really what’s changed. I heard there’s comedians on it this year and all sorts of different demos on it. I think the core of it will be pretty much the same thing. I’ve always loved the Vans Warped Tour.”
Aside from performing on the tour, he shares his first time attending as a fan.
“I actually went to the Vans Warped Tour in 1998 in a town called Ulladulla in New South Wales in Australia, which is when they first brought it out to Australia. Deftones played with Suicidal Tendencies. I’ve been around the tour since I was teenager, and have been a part of the tour. I know what it’s like to be on the tour. I don’t think there will be that much difference between 2010 and 2015. I know that the barbecues are always fun and hanging out with your mate’s bands you get to be on the tour together, and finding weird watering holes, bike tracks and mini motorcycles. That’s the stuff I look forward to. That’s the social side to the band. The performances themselves will be amazing. It always is.”
So what should fans expect to see from I Killed The Prom Queen this summer? “We’re gonna be flying a full spread of really old stuff, stuff from Beloved, which is our most recent album, and a couple of new songs as well.”
The Vans Warped Tour announced eight more artists at the kickoff party at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA this past Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The acts confirmed include:
Senses Fail Miss May I H2O (08/07-08/08) Knuckle Puck The Bunny The Bear (07/26-08/08) Kaya Stewart (07/15-08/08) TAT (06/19-07/01) Macy Kate (07/02-07/04, 07/06)
They joined previously confirmed acts:
Asking Alexandria Black Veil Brides Attila August Burns Red Memphis May Fire We Came As Romans Blessthefall Hundredth I Killed The Prom Queen ’68 Beartooth Sirens And Sailors (07/14-08/08) Slaves (07-14-08/08) The Amity Affliction Neck Deep Palisades Fit For A King Crossfaith Rotting Out Escape The Fate Being As An Ocean Silverstein Mallory Knox Drama Club False Puppet (07/23-08/08) A+ Dropouts (06/19-07/03) Man Overboard Citizen Carousel Kings (07/14-08/08) Emarosa (06/19-07/12) New Years Day Set It Off Kenneths MC Lars The Ascot Royals (07/01-07/08) Rivers Monroe (07/04-07/21) Svetlanas (07/29-08/08) The Karma Killers Mod Sun Bebe Rexha PUP (07/01-07/29) Youth In Revolt Juliet Sims Koo Koo Kanga Roo Metro Station Never Shout Never Night Argent (06/20-06/28, 08/01-08/08) Riff Raff Candy Hearts BoyMeetsWorld Ho99o9 Major League Motion City Soundtrack (06/19-06/21) While She Sleeps Hands Like Houses Le Castle Vania Have Mercy Our Last Night ChrisB PVRIS Alvarez Kings Moose Blood New Beat Fund Jule Vera Seaway This Wild Life The Dirty Nil Born Cages The Wonder Years Icon For Hire Baby Baby Matchbook Romance (06/19-07/11) The Relapse Symphony (06/19-07/12) Black Boots M4Sonic As It Is Night Riots Transit Beautiful Bodies Splitbreed Handguns Kosha Dillz Alive Like Me Family Force 5 Lee Corey Oswald Trophy Eyes
‘Acoustic Basement Stage‘: Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties American Opera Brian Marquis Buttons Grey Gordon Koji Meghann Wright Onward, etc. PVRIS (dates TBD) SayWeCanFly Speak Low If You Speak Love (07/09-07/14) Transit
‘Comedy Tent‘: Grant Cotter Beth Stelling (06/19-06/26) Chase Bernstein (06/27-07/12) Dave Ross (07/01-07/12) Eli Olsberg Eric Schwartz (07/26-08/08) Sammy Obeid (06/19-06/28) Sandy Danto (07/26-08/08)
A recent advertisement from the August 7th Portland, OR stop of the 2015 Vans Warped Tourhinted a few more possible artists who have yet to be announced. Those artists in question include:
Attila Memphis May Fire Miss May I Never Shout Never Pierce The Veil We Came As Romans Beartooth Senses Fail Drama Club False Puppet Julie Vera Knuckle Puck Svetlanas
Prior to this leak, the newest additions include: Silverstein Mallory Knox Man Overboard Citizen Carousel Kings (07/14-08/08)
Artists announced to date for the festival include: Asking Alexandria Black Veil Brides Blessthefall Hundredth I Killed The Prom Queen ’68 Sirens And Sailors (07/14-08/08) Slaves (07-14-08/08) The Amity Affliction Neck Deep Palisades Fit For A King Crossfaith Rotting Out Escape The Fate Being As An Ocean Emarosa (06/19-07/12) New Years Day Set It Off Kenneths MC Lars The Karma Killers Mod Sun Bebe Rexha PUP (07/01-07/29) Youth In Revolt Juliet Sims Koo Koo Kanga Roo Metro Station Night Argent (06/20-06/28, 08/01-08/08) Riff Raff Candy Hearts BoyMeetsWorld Ho99o9 Major League Motion City Soundtrack (06/19-06/21)
While She Sleeps
Hands Like Houses
Le Castle Vania
Our Last Night
New Beat Fund
This Wild Life
The Dirty Nil
The Wonder Years
Icon For Hire
Matchbook Romance (06/19-07/11)
The Relapse Symphony (06/19-07/12)
As It Is
Alive Like Me
Family Force 5
Lee Corey Oswald
‘Acoustic Basement Stage‘:
Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties
PVRIS (dates TBD)
Speak Low If You Speak Love (07/09-07/14)