Vans Warped Tour: Go Backstage with Roadie Tony Skulls
It's 1995. The inaugural Warped Tour pulls into The Edge in Fort Lauderdale. And even after the band's van (along with its electric guitars, and other gear) gets jacked, Bradley Nowell and Eric Wilson of Sublime still decide to play an entirely acoustic set for a packed house. Meanwhile, a massive outdoor vert ramp launches hundreds of skaters onto a street course and later No Doubt, Sick of It All, and Orange 9mm rage too.
Warped Roadies, Set Up Crew, Bus 4, (Tony Skulls far right)
Miami's Tony Skulls was at that first show as a skater kid. Now 19 years later, he's on the tour as a roadie. We hit him up for a backstage look at Warped Tour, the longest running concert festival tour in America.
New Times: Watsup, dude?
Tony Skulls: I got cut last night skating in the parking lot. I wasn't happy. I had to get 17 stitches on my shin. It's life on the road. Play hard and get hurt, that's for sure.
What's your job out there?
I'm setup. We meet at the trucks at 8 a.m. and we're done about 11 a.m. The doors open and the bands start fuckin' playin'.
You watch all the bands?
We have six to seven stages throughout the day and it's 90-degree weather in most of these states. So I don't hang outside too much. If we wanna check out a band, we go to the backstage area and chill.
How you like the music?
It's not like the bands that used to play, like Dropkick Murphys, U.S. Bombs, and Agnostic Front, but 3OH!3 is a pretty fuckin' cool set. And I keep hearing about Emily's Army. The drummer is Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day's son.
I did hear a rumor that next year on the 20th anniversary they're bringing some of the heavy old-school acts. I'll be stoked to see some of the bands I grew up listening to.