The Gilded Experience
Day 3

ONE | TWO | THREE


Today's Lineup:

talkin 'bout warped

1. Not For Sale
2. Pieces
3. Truly Untitled


Total, I toured with Vans Warped Tour over three seasons, 2014-16. The first time I tried to get the Army onboard with the idea was in late 2011. Kevin Lyman (the owner) and I had met on multiple occasions prior but reconnected at the Billboard Touring Conference in NYC. He got me on the VIP list to a rad F.U.N. concert at the Bowery Ballroom. I was definitely the least cool person there. ;) I told him about this thing I was doing with the Army (at that point, it was literally just months prior).

Let me tell you, Warped Tour was not an easy sell. Not EVERYone I worked with, but a good portion of them, started freaking out about us even discussing having an Army-affiliated act there. From "Look at these bands with their facial tattoos and septum piercings, they could never join the Army." to "What about when Rise Against said they got the Army to leave Warped before?" (btw, they didn't - classic bravado without facts). It became a REALLY poor topic for me to even bring up and, in early 2012, I dropped it. Until late 2013, 'cause I'm a sucker for punishment. ;)

We did a pilot run in 2014, the full tour in 2015, and the first third of 2016 which was cut abruptly short. More on that to follow. Let's get into the music.


Not For Sale

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Behind the lyrics

When I first got into the Army deal, it was not easy. I didn't really realize that I would need to draw some hard lines in the sand about what could be done with my music, and what I would fight. Keep in mind, when I came into the position, I had personally paid for and procured all my recordings. The Army didn't pay for a cent of that, which was by design. In theory, if they paid for my studio time, the mixing and mastering, even if I just used a government-owned instrument or wasn't on leave when I recorded, they could argue some form of ownership over my music.

My intentions, my motivations
are not for sale.
I’m not for sale.

So, punk kid I am, I got into a pissing match that was WAY over my head. The very first project I produced with the Army was a music video. Without getting into all the boring details, I'll just say that I thought it was terribly done and came off like super cheesy propaganda. I hated that my song was synced with it and fought as hard I could to get it shut down. There was one guy in particular who really had it out for me, REALLY wanted to put me in my place. He just couldn't stand being challenged in any way (still can't, from what I hear). It was constantly being voiced to me that I should be "grateful for the exposure".

Five figures' worth of my own money later in legal fees, I didn't "win"... but I did draw a line in the sand on who was the copyright owner of this music, and how it would be dealt with in the future. So it was a win, but I went broke doing it. What do YOU think of the vid? Think I made the right call?


pieces

Featuring quite a bit of my good friends Dangerkids - who you should check out if you don't already know them. ;)

Oh, this song was sooooo dedicated to the same guy. I felt like his one mission in life was to bring me down. Anything I brought to the table was immediately wrapped in the all the complications he had triggered in the first place with this dumb music video. The stories were TWISTED and he made me an enemy, cutting off all communication between me anyone else until the legal shit was over. Meanwhile, he did nothing but try to plummet my reputation while I had to keep my mouth shut and couldn't defend myself against his lies.

 The most fucked up thing about all this is that I was donating all this music for FREE. It was literally millions of dollars' worth of licensing (we distributed tens and tens of thousands of copies). I never wanted a cent for it - I just wanted to contribute to something I believed in, and this guy... well, he just wanted to be King.

I wrote this song in almost a single sitting - I was SO. ANGRY. It had to go somewhere. You can hear how difficult it was just to sing on this demo. I couldn't even understand why we were fighting.

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Somehow you’ve shut down all the chatter
But you were the only one to speak
I scream a silent cry
Just begging pleading why
...
But it’ll bring you down
and spiral to the ground
I’ll use it to break you
into pieces.
...
This is war, this is war
Don’t even know why
Can you feel, can you feel
the ticking bomb inside?

truly untitled

It continued to be ironic for me... I TOTALLY believed in what I was doing, and tried to just keep it all positive in the public eye, but there were people all the way up to the end - especially in the higher echelons of Army Marketing who just WOULD. NOT. get on board. Which is just a damn shame, 'cause they had the chance to actually be a part of something forward-thinking and inspiring.

That said, there were a lot of people who DID put in a ton of work and support, and I'll be forever grateful for those people. The poo-poo'ers did win in 2016, though when we were pulled off the road 1/3 the way through the tour (even though we were supposed to do the whole thing) due to contracting issues and people at the top who just wanted to kill it (and/OR didn't want to go out on a limb for it, whatever you wanna call it). To this date, I'd guarantee NO one could show an event where the Army got so much feedback and positive impressions from their dollar.

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Okay, Day Three is a wrap - tomorrow it gets a liiiiiitttle bit personal. ;)

Luv, C.