Interview with Story Of The Year: Warped Tour Refugees

Story Of The YearSt. Louis band Story Of The Year have been trekking around the scene for a lot of years now, recently releasing their third album, The Black Swan, on Epitaph, and they are finally one of the “headliners” on Warped Tour. Singer Dan Marsala talks about the tour, the new record and what it’s like to play the same song a thousand times.

What’s been the worst day of Warped Tour so far?

I think Arizona. In Phoenix it was like 115 degrees or something crazy like that. It was unbearable heat. You think you’re gonna die. Other than that most days have been pretty good.

How do you play a show in 115-degree heat?

We got really lucky that day–you play at different times every day on Warped Tour and you never really know until the day of what time you’re gonna play– and we ended up playing at noon that day. I think it was maybe only like 100 at that time, which is still very hot. We missed out on a little of the heat that day. You get used it. After a few weeks you become immune to it and it doesn’t matter anymore. Still a little rough.

Do you change your set list from day to day?

It changes a little bit here and there. We find one that works and just swap out a song here and there every other day or so. We’re about to change it up though, I think. It gets boring to play the same songs every day.

Are you playing a lot off the new album?

We try to do a good balance between everything. Maybe two or three off the new record. You play half- hour sets on this tour so we try to do a few off the new record and try and keep it nice and spread out.

Do the songs from your first record still feel relevant to you when you play them?

There’s certain ones we’ve definitely played more of off the first record. It’s all about the crowd. If the crowd is into a song and they’re gonna sing it loud back to you and put energy into the song, it always feels good to play that no matter what. “Until The Day I Die,” we’ve probably played that song close to a thousand times live. At least a thousand times counting everything we’ve done over the past six years. But still every day, even on this tour, the crowd still sings it as loud as they can and it’s always a great live song. It gets redundant because you’re playing the same song you wrote six years ago but at the same time the energy’s there so it’s still exciting.

A thousand times is a lot of times to do something.

Yeah, we were trying to figure it out one day. I know we’ve played about 600 or 700 shows, but we’ve also done a lot of acoustic things and extra stuff that’s all always included “Until The Day I Die.”