Kevin Lyman, Brett Gurewitz, Tom DeLonge & Guitar Center Sessions

June 3, 2008

Since its inception in 1995, the Vans Warped Tour has been a catalyst for new music, exemplifying a culture of DIY that has shaped a generation. It is the largest, most successful summer music tour of all-time, featuring over 200 bands who will hit 40+ cities across the U.S. this summer, attracting more than 600,000 music fans.

As the nation's leading music instrument retailer, Guitar Center is pleased to partner with the Vans Warped Tour again in 2008, and celebrates this partnership with a special edition of Guitar Center Sessions, presenting some of the Warped Tour’s most prolific and influential players, including Kevin Lyman, whose vision nearly 15 years ago of combining punk, ska and skate culture into a national cultural movement has evolved into the longest running annual festival tour in North America.

Lyman, who also created the Rockstar Taste of Chaos and Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tours, and is a partner at Sideonedummy Records, will be joined by several other artists and entrepreneurs who have been instrumental in shaping the industry. Guitarist and songwriter Brett Gurewitz, who formed the seminal punk band Bad Religion in 1980, originally launched Epitaph Records in the mid 80s to sell Bad Religion records, but the label quickly became a significant indie brand, releasing such notable acts as NOFX, Rancid and The Offspring. Epitaph has also spawned several sister labels, including ANTI-, Fat Possum, Burning Heart and Hellcat. Joe Escalante, best known as the bassist for So-Cal punk band The Vandals, is also label owner of Kung Fu Records and morning radio host on LA’s Indie 103.1 FM, as well as being a film and tv music supervisor and former TV executive / entertainment lawyer. Rounding out the evening is former Blink-182 guitarist/singer Tom DeLonge, who formed Angels and Airwaves, Philip Sneed, guitarist/songwriter for St. Louis hardcore band Story of the Year, and Say Anything lead singer Max Bemis.

Designed to provide informative, provocative conversation and hands-on tutorials, GC Sessions serves as an incubator for musicians, providing them an opportunity to network with their peers and gain career-fostering advice from their heroes in an intimate setting. The June 12th Sessions will be conversational, as guests discuss “The Natural Progression of Music,” including the writing process, recording techniques, marketing, distribution, touring, and monetizing music. Conversation will also naturally touch upon what it means to be both an artist and an entrepreneur, and the importance of creating businesses that foster and support such a vibrant (and massive) community of artists, fans and friends around the country based on shared music and culture.

Please join us for GC Sessions as we kick off the Warped Tour.
This event is free and open to the public!

June 12, 2008 @ 6PM
Guitar Center Hollywood
7425 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA

A private media-only portion of the evening will begin at 5pm.

On Friday, June 20, Guitar Center will hit the road with the Warped Tour, activating two programs designed to provide the Vans Warped Tour artists support-based tools that improve their chances for success as pro musicians: the GC Web Lab and the GC Axe Smith. The Guitar Center Web Lab, a custom 32’ climate controlled internet trailer, provides bands and their crew exclusive access to a backstage wireless web center.  Complete with top of the line Apple computers, a satellite-based broadband internet connections, design based software and a knowledgeable rep, Guitar Center’s mission is to provide Warped Tour artists/bands with the tools they need to maintain their online worlds when they are on the road – a service that is especially needed since web access is severely restricted in many of the rural areas where the Warped Tour touches down.

Guitar Center is also proud to provide all bands on the Vans Warped Tour with an onsite professional guitar tech, a.k.a. the “GC Axe Smith”. The Guitar Center Axe-Smith is where Vans Warped Tour guitarists and bassists come to get their instruments tuned,  repaired and ready to rock. From complete set-ups and minor repairs to intonation and truss-rod adjustments, this service is 100% FREE to the artists, underscoring Guitar Center’s commitment to helping Warped bands make the best music possible.

In addition, Guitar Center will serve as the exclusive, presenting sponsor of the Vans Warped Tour video blog. Utilizing the Web Lab as the blogging home base, a GC video reporter will use and include the Web Lab in video content as well as conduct artist interviews within the lab’s “testimonial” set-up. Our onsite Warped rep will also produce weekly video content with artists, conducting musician-centric interviews, how-to videos and more.

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