Rise To Remain lead singer Austin Dickinson likes being told what to do.
“I like being woken up every morning and being told what to do.” Austin laughs as he considers the demands Vans Warped Tour puts on a band. “We’re just straight up, and we just go – and we don’t stop until we sleep.”
It’s a sentiment that Popblerd heard from a lot of bands on the Warped bill; with more than 100 acts competing for space and resources on a dozen stages, scheduling and coordination are key to sharing your music. And Rise to Remain could use the exposure. After time on the road throughout the UK, Europe, and Australia, the British heavy metal group has finally hit the US (after a false start earlier this year).
And what does this British metalcore quintet think about our revolutionary shores? (Check out their tour diary on YouTube: “Look at the size of that truck! Look at the size of that door handle! We’re in America, people!”)
“People come to [Warped] to find out about new music,” said Austin. “We could be your new favorite band.”
Like many successful bands overseas, they’re going to have to work to break the US market; the best way to make that happen is getting in front of crowds. And what of the Warped crowds? “I hope they find a good band that they like that they want to come back and support.”
The most shocking majority at the Warped was the flocks of teenaged girls – which is quite different from the stereotypical “heavy metal” crowd in general and crazy different from what we’ve experienced at some of the Warped Tours of the past.
“There’s a lot of fourteen year old girls which is kind of –“ Austin pauses, laughs. “They scream very loud, they scream really, really loud.” Another laugh. “Sometimes a bit too loud and you have to be ‘All right, steady on…steady on!’”
When asked about the diversity in the Warped crowds, Austin recognizes that there’s something special happening in the festival. “What I do like about Warped and what I do like about the crowds, is that everyone – absolutely everyone – it doesn’t matter if you’re fucking purple, if you’re nine-foot tall, it just does not register on anyone’s radar. That’s what I love about this tour and about everything that’s being done to promote that sort of etiquette. I think it’s a very respectful and a very worthwhile thing to do.”
Popblerd caught part of Rise to Remain’s live gig, and it was criminally under-attended compared to what we had seen for bands that were absolute disasters on stage earlier in the day – the lack of bodies was a fucking travesty, really. Rise was musically tight, frenetic in delivery, and Austin engaged the fuck out of the tightly packed crowd ringing the stage. None of the band members stayed still for more than a moment. Liberally using the risers flanking the front of the stage, there was plenty of action to take in, including loads of guitar-related theatrics from Ben Tovey and Will Homer, hair-raising head-banging from bassist Conor O’Keefe, and thunderous percussion from Adam Lewin.
In short, you fucked up, New England; pay attention when Rise to Remain pops up again. Austin shared that the bands has some plans (“and they’re cool”) regarding an upcoming tour that should go public by the end of the Summer. Seriously, when the lead singer cites Jesse David (lead singer of Killswitch Engage and frequent guest star of my filthier dreams) as one of his biggest vocal influences (“I love Jesse. I love everything he does. I love [Killswitch], I love them so much.”), pay attention.
It takes time and effort to slog through these United States to reach critical mass, which is not easy for any band, especially one that’s already seen success on the other side of the Atlantic.
“It’s an amazing job. And as fun as it is, it is also a lot of work,” Austin comments, matter-of-fact. “And I like that.”
Photos by Kara Adora.