Vans Warped Tour has been the summer staple event for music lovers for the past 25 years. Warped Tour came to a close with its final show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. Last weekend, we had the opportunity to catch the rising synth pop star Ariana and The Rose at the final Vans Warped Tour. Ariana put out a great set that had new fans flocking to her stage and soon to become long time fans.
We had the chance to chat with Ariana about her recent performance and the release of her new EP Constellations. Check out our interview below:
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MJP: It was a great set you put on at Warped Tour. You got the crowd going and it was an incredible set from start to finish. Great energy from you and the crowd.
Ariana: Thank you so much. Thank you for taking the time out to see it. I mean they didn’t know us and at the beginning I was like, “Oh God, I’m gonna have to really work to get them on our team”, But I felt pretty good with it.
MJP: They did get into it and how was it playing Warped Tour, especially the final Warped Tour?
Ariana: It was awesome. I never actually, usually get nervous but I was really nervous before I played. We were in between all these legendary punk bands and I was like ‘Oh My Goodness, I’m like this new pop, synth pop band. You know it just dawns on you, and I was like standing backstage and looking at however many, 2000 people. But it was really, really fun and it was an honor to be a part of it at any stage, let alone the final one.
MJP: You definitely got tons of new fans. When we were there, we were overhearing some people who were there for the punk bands and they were telling us , they were so glad they stayed to see your set!
Ariana: That is so cool. I’m glad, that makes me happy!
MJP: The thing about Warped Tour is that they have always delivered a great variety of music and it was so neat to see that they finished off with another round of great bands, all types of bands. The fans are there, and they appreciate all styles of music. That is why it was so great to have you out there.
Ariana: Thank you. I mean they definitely have a history of putting on acts, especially pop acts, that don’t really fit the mold and especially the female fronted acts. Its cool to bring that energy to the tour.
MJP: Warped Tour has always been symbolic for a lot of teens growing up, being their summer staple thing to do. How about you growing up? Other than Warped tour, what is something that you did every summer that defined your summer or biggest summer memory?
Ariana: Summer Memory? I went to camp. I’m from the East Coast so we do camp right. On the East Coast, we go to Massachusetts, or I don’t know, all the different places. I went to a sleep-away camp and I loved it! I went from, when I was really young and I was like a number one camper. I lived for it. I guess you could go like all they way until you were I think, basically in high school, and I didn’t end up doing that. I guess I just decided that at the time, I didn’t want to do that, but I went to camp. I had siblings that went to camp so classically I had to do what they did. My brother went to camp and I begged my Mom to let me go and I was like 6 or 7 and she was like , “No, you’re too young. You can’t go away for 9 weeks”, and I like somehow convinced her to let me go the following year.
MJP: It is so funny because out here they do a lot of day camps but the overnight camps are so great, because people would come from all over and come together. It didn’t matter what was going on in their schools or community, you would go away to camp and meet out there and it became a great new environment.
Ariana: Yeah! You were like camp friends. You would like meet eachother during the winter and it was just so fun. I loved it. I mean I would still, even though I was at a sports camp, I was definitely still in the dance studio every day, I was still in my arts world. It was just such a fun experience. I just feel like when I think of summertime, that is my quintessential summer. The sun felt like it set so late, there were campfires, and trips and when I think of summertime I can see those different things like a swimming pool, or soccer field, a very cliché American summer. But it was definitely how I think of my childhood summers.
MJP: Yes, it definitely brings people together. We should start coming out with some adult summer camps.
Ariana: I’m sure they have that! I can’t imagine that they don’t have it. I imagine that there is alcohol involved at those camps.
MJP: This is the week! Constellations comes out this Friday!
Ariana: I’m very excited. It feels like like it has been ages. We have been releasing a song a month for the last few months off the EP so we are finally putting it out. The last single to come out is a song called Honesty which I love and I’m very excited to put it out and hear what people think. We have been doing a quiet little campaign where we have been sending fans care packages in the mail to their houses. So they should all be getting those this week and next week which I’m really excited to see people posting about it and hopefully film themselves opening them.
MJP: That is exciting! We got to listen to Honesty and it is an amazing track. It is such an emotionally driven song, where you feel the honesty and raw emotion. How was that recording, because you bring out the emotion so well?
Ariana: So I wrote that song a really long time ago. I lived in the UK for a few years and I was living in a little town. And when I lived there I would go to Sweden for songwriting sessions because Swedish people make the best pop music ever! They just know how to make pop music. I wrote it with these two guys , these very talented guys and we were in this studio, it was the middle of winter, February in Sweden. It was a cabin that had wood everywhere, the whole mood was like really dark, which I think influenced the song.
We all got to talking about relationships and I think one just broke up with his girlfriend and we just started about it on the whole. We just were sort of swapping stories and kind of came up to debating this idea of “Is honesty the best policy all the time?” And that is such a taboo thing to talk about. Right? Of course, you would immediately think you should always tell the truth, 100% tell the truth. But the reality of what people do is not that. It was just the exploration of that theme and what it was to write about that and sing about that.
I tried more than ever on this EP to write things really from how I think about them in the most honest way, even if it feels a little scary to put out there in the world. Like a song like You Were Never My Boyfriend. which is the first song on the record, is obviously very tongue-in-cheek and is the first song where I felt really sassy and I wanted to kind of be putting the middle finger up to someone and I worked hard to make sure of that. I did like three versions of that song until we got it right. So Honesty is sort of the other side of that coin, equally being as raw and lack for a better word, Honest.
MJP: It is amazing, it does come out with great emotion. It will definitely resonate with a lot of people. It draws that out and we need more of that. When you perform, how can I say, , when you are performing, you truly capture and elevate the emotion which I love. You really bring it out there. Are you planning any shows back out here on the West Coast.
Ariana: So we actually played Portland, we play Seattle and LA on Monday. We put together like a baby tour but we will be back in the Fall probably.
MJP: Any more videos coming out? But first lets talk about True Love video. Incredible work on that! It is one of those videos that you just watch and have to watch again. It just gives you this great feel-good, in-love vibes. You literally captured True Love with that video, quite impressive. How was the making the video?
Ariana: Thank you. All the videos for the EP I did with the same team of people. Scarlet Moreno who directed that video and has worked on creative direction across all the visuals for this, an amazing stylist, Chaine Leyendecker. We were all together, Scarlet and I were chatting about what we were going to do. We already shot a couple videos. Obviously I’m an independent artist so everything we do is very DIY, very call in favors, see who is around, so it was very clear to both of us, we sort of had the same idea separately, that we wanted to film couples. We felt like it was really important that it had to be real. It couldn’t be actors, we didn’t want anything that was not representative of the reality of what love looks like. It felt like an opportunity to depict what that is today.
Obviously, it is such a fun song, and Lord knows I love getting dressed up, but I just felt like putting myself in it was a waste of what the essence of the song is about. So we called everyone we knew, we were calling friends, and friends of friends and asked them who are the couples in your life that you admire, that you love. And we gathered all the couples in the different corners of our world. We even at one point, went walking around in LA and she and I were sitting in restaurants and bars like seeing if we could scout out couples. But it ended up just being people we knew. Like one of the couples is actually my high school acting teacher. There is an older gay couple that are wearing these cool suits, they are so handsome, one of them is a silver fox. I’m from New York and he was my high school acting teacher and IS the reason that I am a performer. I was ready to quit. I was not going to do it, I was eighteen. I was going to go to college for something else. He cast me in a show and he really believed in me. So to be able to, basically, a decade later, put him in the music video, felt thoroughly special and full circle.
Every couple was so different and it was very interesting. One of them was our friends’ parents who have been together for, I think, 40 years, and there is a beautiful shot of him playing guitar for her, and singing. The shoot was so fun and so full of love. It was real and I think everyone on the set was like re-invigorated with their belief that true love can conquer all, and we wanted to make something that didn’t feel cheesy, and felt poignant.
Watch the True Love video here:
MJP: It is wonderful. You can’t help but feel it. It bleeds emotion and brings back the butterflies in your stomach about love.
Ariana: We had a lot of fun. It was so much fun. I was sort of the producer on set,so I didn’t have to do anything. I was like running around giving everyone fluids and coffee. It was like the best day of my life. I got to just watch people get dressed up in cool clothes and love eachother. I mean if that is what I get to do as a job, then I feel like I did already somewhere.
MJP: Amazing video. Let’s talk about social media. Do you ever feel overwhelmed or feel an overload of the social media and internet?` Do you find yourself having to sometimes digitally disconnect?
Ariana: Yes, Of course. I do this regular funny thing, where I delete Instagram off my phone for a day or two and then put it back on. I do it a lot. It is really interesting because I don’t have any social media pages that are my own pages, except for a Facebook page. So all of the things like Instagram and Twitter were already for Ariana and the Rose. So I never really cultivated a relationship with social media that is just like me taking a picture of whatever ice cream I’m eating that day. So recently, I began to think about, what would I post, that is for like my 12 friends?
I’m really fortunate to work with a great team, I mean I do all my social media but I work with one guy Will, we do it together so that I don’t have to be posting everytime. We trade off and work on it, so I try to balance it so it feels like a job because it is so easy to get wrapped up in it. It is how I promote shows and music and everything. It is so tied to everything, it is the mouthpiece for what you are putting out so it is a double edge sword. I am constantly messaging with people. It has been so cool to have fans that send me direct messages on Instagram, and comments and I love that! So it is really fun to be able to do it but there are definitely times where I have to put the phone down and read a book.
MJP: It is funny because so many people tell us how they have to take their breaks from it and share tricks of how to deal with it.
Ariana: It is so addictive. I mean, I can’t imagine what the studies will be like in a decade about what it has done to us and our brains. I’m going to try something in August, I don’t have any shows In August. I’m thinking I maybe might delete it all and make a pact with myself to take all of August off.
MJP: I can only imagine what you will write from that experience. How about we talk advice. IIf you could go back to your 14 year old self what advice would you give to yourself?
Ariana: Oh my goodness! Me at 14? Well I would probably tell myself to chill out. I was a very driven 14 year old. I still am. I would tell myself how I should just really let yourself love all of it. I was very fortunate to be able to perform from a very young age. I started as an actor in new York and was working. I would just be like ‘Go have all the fun, the most fun. Which I definitely did, but I think I let myself worry, all through like, even high school about how it would allwork out. I would just sort of say, ‘You don’t have to worry about how its going to work out how it will just work out. You have to just enjoy being a kid, then a teenager, then in your 20s.
MJP: How about any advice for people who are overcoming obstacles, or a piece of advice to give to someone to just keep hanging on.
Ariana: Yes, my Dad is like just the best at this advice. I mean, he would never do this, but honestly I would love to make a podcast with my dad and talk about life. He always says to me, I would ask, What about this? What about that? What if it doesn’t work out? And he would always say “But nothing is certain. Even when it feels the most certain, everything changes. When it’s changing the certainty in that, is that it will change again.” We talk about that all the time, and how things are cyclical, and that the only thing you can know is that where you are today is not where you will be tomorrow and as long as you are moving forward, that is what matters.
MJP: Excellent advice. I truly can appreciate that advice personally. Lastly what else would you like to share with our audience and your fans?
Ariana: Just that I would love to hear everybodys’ thoughts and comments, if they could take a minute to listen to the music, the EP. Send me messages, comments, and DMs. I would love to hear how people react and what resonates with them. That is always the best part for me.
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Now it’s time for you to head out and pick up the new EP Constellations. Click here and pick it up! Make sure to visit her social media sites and send her a message about what your favorite track is off the EP!
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