Interview: Teenage Bottlerocket Enter a New Era


Anyone who considers themselves an astute follower of the Vans Warped Tour would tell you that the festival has diversified a huge amount teenage-bottlerocket-2-smallsince its inception in 1995. While at first it primarily acted as a travelling road show for punk rockers, the festival has continued to broaden its scope to focus on bands that ride the wave of screamo, metalcore, hardcore, and other similar genres.

Veteran punk rockers Teenage Bottlerocket are all too aware of this. Having formed in 2001, the band – Ray Carlisle (vocals, guitar), Kody Templeman (vocals, guitar), Miguel Chen (bass), and Brandon Carlisle (drums) – is an established entity, but notices the shifting demographic of the Warped audiences. Punk rock may no longer be the big kahuna here, but the band doesn’t seem to be bothered by that.

“At a base level, Warped Tour is for young people to figure out new bands,” theorizes Miguel Chen in an interview with “What young people like is different than when we were kids. But, I don’t necessarily think that’s bad. It’s cool for us to be a punk rock here because maybe some kids will stumble upon our band, get into us, then bands like NOFX and The Queers…people we looked up to while growing up.

“We’re out there every morning hanging up posters and giving out stickers and downloads,” he continues. “We’re doing everything we can to get kids to come and watch us for 20-25 minutes a day.”

To keep the attention of these kids and hopefully a lot more down the line, Teenage Bottlerocket has opted to join up with Rise Records, a label that represents the likes of Face to Face, Bouncing Souls, as well as Hot Water Music.

For the five previous years, Chen and the guys lived out a dream by becoming a part of the Fat Wreck Chords family. Although an appreciation and respect are still had between the parties, Rise Records offered the band new, attractive ways to promote the band. Chen notes that Fat was always willing to do whatever the band had asked, but it was time for a fresh approach.

“We really had to sit and think about [switching labels] for a long time because we love Fat Wreck Chords and everyone at the label,” he explains. “So, we talked to Fat Mike and the people at the label about this opportunity and they were all understanding…they’re our friends. They gave us their blessing.”

With a new deal secured, Teenage Bottlerocket will enter the studio in December to work on their sixth studio album. Chen says that the writing process is already in full swing, and the hope is that the forthcoming album outshines 2012’s Freakout!

“It’s a whole new adventure – we don’t entirely know what to expect,” offers Chen regarding the next phase of Teenage Bottlerocket’s career. “When we were kids we really loved Fat Wreck Chords. At a young age, all we wanted to do was sign to Fat Wreck Chords and tour with NOFX. We got to do it, and it was a dream come true. Now we’re here five years later and it’s weird thinking that we did all of these amazing things. But, we are at a point where we want to try something new and see what happens.”

-Adam Grant

Teenage Bottlerocket will be appearing at every Vans Warped Tour stop this summer, including July 4 in Toronto, ON.

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