The Vans Warped Tour is in full swing right now, making its way across the country day by day and treating fans to a dosage of its annual punk rock summer camp.
There's dozens of artists on the tour, and during your stop, it's impossible to catch all of them. And while that's okay, it can be a shame because chances are you've probably missed your next favorite band, or the next big thing. This is where we come in. All summer long, as long as the tour is going, we'll be bringing you interviews with various artists that are taking the stage on Warped Tour.
This time around, I spoke with singer/songwriter Meghann Wright, one of the unbelievably talented artists taking the stage every single day in the Acoustic Basement. I spoke with her about being on the tour, what sets her apart from the others artists out there, and the songwriting process for her new album, "Nothin' Left To Lose" (available now!):
Warped Tour is very chaotic but extremely educational. What is one of the most important things you hope to walk away with after doing Warped Tour?
One of the most important things that I think I’m going to walk away with is just the sheer volume of [understanding] how many kids there are that come out and listen to the music, to discovering new artists, seeing the artists that I already know.
I think for a lot of people who work within the music industry, it can be a little bit disheartening when you see how the industry is. But then when you recognize the fact that there are kids out there who still spend their time and money supporting the artists that they love, it’s really great.
You’re playing in the Acoustic Basement this year, a really fantastic addition to the tour. Even though fans are going to be having music thrown at them left and right, what do you believe is going to draw people in to the tent and to your set? Essentially, what sets you apart?
I think that what sets the Acoustic Basement artists apart from the other artists is, you know, it’s you, the guitar and the audience. You get to have this moment where you get to hear the stories of the artists and connect with them in a different way. You’re not in a gigantic crowd with a loud sound system blaring in your ears. You’re up close and personal with the artist, and you get to know them.
I wanted to extend an early congratulations to you on the record that you’re releasing, “Nothin’ Left To Lose’. It’s your debut album. Personally, what did you set out to accomplish with this album when you were writing these songs?
Basically, I’m just really excited about having a body of material out there that I feel really represents me as an artist, both as a writer and a performer. I’m excited for other people to hear the songs, not only because I want them to enjoy the music, but because I write songs a lot for other people to get something out of it for themselves. I feel like people, when they feel alone or confused or are having a hard time in life, often times, like myself, turn to music. I feel like those songs have helped people. It can give you strength and hope when you’re not feeling as strong or as hopeful as you might want to feel. That’s one of the things that I’m excited about.
I think one of the songs that stuck out to me the most thus far was “Cocaine”. Can you walk me through the songwriting process of that track a little bit, and how it came to be?
(laughs) Well actually, the night that I wrote that, I was partying with my friends. I was going through a breakup. One of my really good friends’ boyfriend bet me that I couldn’t write a really good hook about something right then and there. For some reason, my friend was like “duuuude, she can write a hook about anything!” We were all just bullshitting (laughs). But her boyfriend was like, “no way! She totally can’t. Meghann, write a hook now!” So I had a guitar in my hand. There was a bottle of whiskey there. I literally just started playing the chord and started singing. It was all this very organic, on-the-spot improv kind of thing. And then like, later on, I just kind of went with it. I worked on it a little more, did some editing, revisions, and then it became a pretty catchy song.
What kind of message, if any, would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
Basically, just that no matter what you’re going through in life, there’s always going to be millions of other people going through something similar. It’s better for you to be open about your feelings and talk with someone than it is to keep it all bottled up inside. Even for a lot of artists, it’s hard for us to talk about our feelings, because we spend a lot of time writing songs about our feelings, and I think for the everyday person, they don’t even get that. It’s good to have that feeling that they can connect with someone, whether it’s the singer of the song, or the writer of a book, or a guidance counselor, or a good friend. It’s important to not feel alone in the world, because there’s literally billions of people in the world going through the same stuff all the time.
What does music mean to you?
Music is what keeps us all going. Someone said, “We have art so we don’t die from the truth.” That’s kind of how I feel about it. It’s really important to have music. It’s just like water or air.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.