News Post-hardcore 

More Warped Tour Coverage: A Chat with Ernie Ball Winners, Actor|Observer

Photo by Jason Cox
Photo by Jason Cox

Every year, guitar string manufacturer, Ernie Ball, holds a huge Battle of the Bands competition for Vans Warped Tour. Artists submit music and the public votes. This year, 41 bands for 41 dates were chosen to perform on the Journey’s main stage.

Yesterday was Day 17 and the day Boston-based post-hardscore band, Actor|Observer, got to live their dream. It was their third time playing Vans Warped Tour, their second time winning the competition, but their first playing the main stage.

“It was pretty unreal,” frontman, Greg Marquis said. “We had a huge crowd and so many familiar faces, but also new faces getting really into our music, and all day had people telling us they loved our set. It felt great.”

“After 11 years of attending Warped Tour, it was an absolute dream come true to not only be a part of the show, but to actually play the same main stage as New Found Glory and Sum 41. Those two were huge influences to me picking up a guitar,” guitarist Kyle Kowalsky said.

None of that, though, could top Chad Gilbert (New Found Glory), one of the Ernie Ball judges, watching from side stage.

“We were all truly amazed by the experience and are endlessly grateful to Ernie Ball, Chad, Kevin Lyman, and everyone we encountered during the day for making it such a gratifying experience,” Kowalsky added.

The Ernie Ball contest isn’t over. The Grand Prize is $40,000 in cash and prizes and will be awarded to one artist after Warped ends. In the meantime, Actor|Observer are planning shows to fill out their 2016 calendar and writing their next album. Their last record, The Longer Now (Heads Up Records), will be pressed to vinyl soon and is available for pre-order.

Watch their post-show interview after the jump. To purchase CDs or concert tickets, click here.

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Ashley M. Jacobs

Ashley is a freelance writer, concert photographer and marketing consultant in Boston. She thrives on connection, James Joyce novels and rock & roll.

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