You may have heard of Warner Drive from their countless shows across the nation, or perhaps you remember them from our interview with Los Angeles band ACIDIC, who toured with Warner Drive, but wherever you heard of them, odds are you remember them. Warner Drive is not a band to be forgotten.
An original rock outfit based out of Hollywood, Warner Drive is known for catchy riffs, energetic performances, and bridging the gap between punk and rock. Warner Drive recorded their first full-length album with legendary producers Mike Clink (Guns & Roses, Megadeth, and Motely Crue) and James Michael (Motley Crue, Deftones, and Alanis Morissette).
Warner Drive has sold out every top venue in Los Angeles including the House of Blues, The Viper Room, and the Roxy, and in this exclusive interview, their lead vocalist Jonny Law talked to us about their music and Los Angeles.
So how long have you been together?
This version of Warner Drive is relatively young. The core of this new line-up is about 2 and a half years old. The band originated with my 3 best friends who all grew up in my neighborhood and learned to play our instruments together in my parents garage on Warner Dr. in Los Angeles.
That band was just a fun means of playing with my best friends and enjoying each other's company and honing our musical skills together. When we decided to start taking music more seriously, the rigours of touring started to become an issue for the other members of the bands who were married, some with kids, some with mortgages, etc, and fulfilling 250-300 prospective dates in a year wasn't an option for them.
We all sat down and decided that it was in my best interest to amicably split and reform Warner Drive with new members who didn't have those same responsibilities that would prevent them from touring the way I needed to to make a living. That was 3 years ago now and it's been a wild ride ever since.
How hard was it to pick a name and what do you hope your audience thinks of when they hear your name?
Picking the name was easy. It's a reflection of my roots in music. It's a tribute to my parents who supported my musical dreams regardless of the fact that I'm sure they would have much preferred to see me choose a more academic path in life. And to the original members of this band, my best friends, this band is a reflection of where we came from.
Do you remember your first performance as a band? Where was it and what was it like?
We sold pre-sale tickets at the Whiskey and Roxy. I was 13. It was fun but, again, it wasn't serious, it was my best friends and I performing songs for our friends. It was an absolute blast!
Who are your influences and why?
As far as influences go, they're all across the board. I grew up on Elvis. As a pre-teen I started getting in to punk rock and bands like NOFX. Guns N Roses is probably one of the only bands from that era of music that I really identified with. But as a band, each member of Warner Drive has influences that differ, however, I think we can all agree that bands like Billy Talent and The Foo Fighters are the kinds of bands we respect and admire most.
If you could tour with one super famous band, who would it be?
The Foo Fighters. Done.
What is one of your fondest memories from the road?
My Dad was battling leukemia and we were in Montana... I got a call that I was sure was the call to break bad news to me, so we stopped the bus, and I got out to talk to my Mom on the phone, but the conversation was about my Father being in a remission, and my band mates gathered around me, all with tears in their eyes. It was a really special moment for me.
How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it?
I like to say that we're a familiar sound that you've never heard before.
What's next for you? Is there a new album in the works?
Yes, a new album, with 5 live songs from our next show at The Viper Room on July 13th is coming soon, with 5 new songs added to it. We're really excited. We also leave for a European tour in August- September and we can't wait to bring our music across the pond to 11 different countries.