Setting your band apart from the more than 110 acts at this year’s rendition of the Vans Warped Tour, which wraps up it’s summer run Saturday, Aug. 8 at the White River Amphitheater, can be a challenge.
With nine music stages and tents going at once, the time available to grab a fans’ attention is short.
For Fit For A King, a Christian metalcore band out of Texas, the key to success is a set filled with brutal, heavy music and a little face to face time with the fans.
“We’re a pretty heavy band, there is a lot of screaming vocals and guitars, it’s hard to explain how heavy we are unless you’re into heavy bands,” lead singer Ryan Kirby said. “Our goal is just to be the heaviest band on Warped.”
With just a few precious on-stage minutes to grab festival-goers attention, Kirby said his band strives to cement any interest in the band with a little one-on-one conversation.
“We’re one of the few bands that have a member of the band at our merchandise booth the whole day,” Kirby said. “That differentiate us from the other bands who are there for set times. We hang out there all day.”
Founded in 2007, Fit For A King made a name for itself locally in the Texas metal scene, independently releasing two EPs and a full length LP.
The band gained national attention and was soon booking DIY (do it yourself) tours without the help of label money.
In 2012 the band took the next step in its growth, inking a deal with Solid State records and putting out LPs: “Creation/Destruction”, a re-recorded “Descendants” and 2014’s “Slave to Nothing.”
Although the idea of Christians playing fast, heavy-metal-style music may seem foreign to some, Kirby said most of the band’s peers and metal fans in general have no problem with Fit For A King’s faith.
“We’re not ashamed to be Christians,” Kirby said. “We meet a lot of people in bands that aren’t Christians, and a lot of times they are the nicest people we’ve met. I compare it to public school. Most of us went to public school and you make friends of all backgrounds and beliefs there. It’s like that on tour; you have to give respect to give respect.”
Kirby said the band will tour North American on its own during the fall of 2015 before heading to Europe for a run of dates in November. After that it’s back to the studio to record the next album, with the exposure of the Warped Tour hopefully adding a few more fans.
“It’s huge, but at the end of the day it’s how you use and what you make of it,” Kirby said. “If you go on Warped and sit in your van all day, you’re not going to do as well as if you sit at your merch booth all day talking with fans and all that.”
The 2015 Vans Warped Tour comes to Auburn’s White River Amphitheatre beginning at 11 a.m.
General admission tickets are $47.50 after service charges and available at www.livenation.com.