Before you roll on out to Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone for the Vans Warped Tour on Tuesday, Architects frontman Brandon Phillips has some advice: "Don't wear fucking flip-flops anywhere near the pit."
It's Thursday, July 23, and Phillips is wandering Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charlotte, North Carolina. His band is more than halfway through its grueling, 47-date Warped run, and he sounds exhausted as we catch up over the phone.
"Energywise, I'm decimated at all times," Phillips says. "I'm shocked that I haven't completely melted down yet."
Unlike the "peach-haired screamo bus riders" of Warped (the major-label acts), the Architects are humping around the continent in a van, towing a trailer. Predictably, that experience is high on stress and low on sleep.
But if any road-hardened band can live through this, Phillips, his brothers Zach and Adam, and guitarist Keenan Nichols can — with the help of grape Pedialyte, potassium supplements, and fresh supplies of socks and underwear every few days.
Whether they're rocking their set at 11 a.m. or 7:30 p.m., every day is pretty much the same: Heft equipment around, load up on the excellent catering, sell merch, and wince at all the kids limping around with one flip-flop and one bloody stump. "Every Warped Tour site is like a giant graveyard of single flip-flops," Phillips says.
It's also a place where you can see 60-plus bands for about $35 — a killer value by the numbers. Especially if you really like screamo.
If Underoath and the Devil Wears Prada don't represent your personal Warped wet dream, Phillips recommends Shooter Jennings, the A.K.A.s and Bad Religion. At least two other Kansas City bands are playing Tuesday: Caesura and Starlit Platoon.
Whichever band you go to see, "Don't come to Warped Tour with, like, $5," Phillips barks. "Not only can you not buy an Architects CD, you can't get a plate of nachos and the 55 bottles of water you're going to need."
And don't ask him to share his Pedialyte.