“You can tell when you’re talking to him, he’s always 3 sentences ahead.” – K.Flay

Watsky is one smart guy and beyond that, one HELL of an entertainer! When Watsky  hit the stage at Warped Tour, the fans went absolutely fucking crazy. By the 2nd song of his set he was right down there in the crowd and stayed there with his fans until the 3rd. 

We had a limited amount of time with Watsky, but it was a damn pleasure. We got to ask the spoken word artist about Warped, playing with a live band, and what is to come for Watsky fans this Fall!

What do you think of all of the different kinds of music being included in Warped Tour over the last few years?
Watsky: I can see how for someone who is a purest of the event, might think that someone like myself is tainting what this festival is about. For me though it’s awesome! Music has changed since the mid 90’s when this started and you’re seeing more and more people who are into all kinds of different sounds. So for me it’s been great like I said, we draw great crowds everywhere we go!

I think for you specifically people are stoked that you have a full band for your live shows! How many people are up there with you?
Watsky: Yeah man we’ve got a 5 piece band up there, same band that we tour with for all of our live shows! Drums, bass, vocals, guitar, and our keyboard player doubles on trumpet.

That’s how I started man, live performance really came before all of the internet hype. I did my grind on the college circuit well before my first real credit which was on Def Poetry Jam on HBO in 2007 I was one of the Spoken Word guys and I actually got to meet Mos Def which if you know hip hop, that guy is a legend. So anyways I worked this circuit for 4 or 5 years called NACA playing over 400 colleges, traveling in a rental car! Bottom line, I put a lot of pride into our live sets and what it is today!

With a live band anything can happen too, you’re not locked in to playing a song one certain way every single show.

Do you count out songs and stretch out your set?
Watsky: Yeah normally I will do stuff like that, but for Warped Tour we only have so much time and it takes away from the side stage (Bring it back stage) that plays in between sets. So like I said normally, yes. Our bass player and our guitar player are on wireless rigs too, so they’re moving around a lot and those kind of unique interactions change every day. So there are still plenty of reasons to come out to a show.

Nice! So where is home for you?
Watsky: I’m from San Francisco originally, reppin’ Nor Cal, but I actually live in L.A now.

So what venue do you like to play when you’re home?
Watsky: Well our last club tour we actually got to hit my dream venue, The Fillmore! I used to pay real close attention to the concert calendar for The Fillmore and I’ve probably got 16 ticket stubs from all of the shows I went to there! When I first realized that I wanted to be more than just a local rapper, The Fillmore was the first goal I set for myself and in April of last year, I got to play it for a sold out crowd! My parents were there, my friends and family, it was the highlight of my career thus far.

I’ve been so grateful too and if I catch myself thinking that I’m not really living my dream? I’ll smack myself, because how many people get to go from being the kid in the crowd watching their heroes, to being on that stage and hopefully inspiring others.

Photo: Chris Duke
Photo: Chris Duke

Beautiful man. So what do we have going on in the Fall?
Watsky: A lot of touring to promote our new album ‘All You Can Do!” We’ve got over 70 shows coming up in Europe, North America, and even India!!! So check your local listings, cause we’re coming to a show near you!

Appreciate you taking time to talk with us Watsky and we look forward to seeing you on tour!

You can get Watsky’s new album here!

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