Chances are you’ve never heard of one of San Diego’s biggest bands. Even though their 2014 debut album ("The Angst in My Veins") landed at No. 13 on the Billboard New Artist chart, and they’ve hit the road in years prior with bands like Silverstein, Senses Fail, Being As An Ocean, Defeater and others -- you might be surprised that Capsize, one of this year’s Warped Tour headliners, in fact hail from America’s Finest City.
That’s probably not your fault though. The post-hardcore band (which includes vocalist Daniel Wand, guitarist Ryan Knowles, guitarist Nick Lopez and drummer Andrew Tamayo) sometimes skip San Diego altogether when their tours are plotted out (not their choice, mind you). But with more than 70,000 fans on Facebook, a huge new sophomore album now out on Equal Vision Records (“A Reintroduction: The Essence of All That Surrounds Me”), and a Warped slot (which hits Qualcomm Stadium on Friday, Aug. 5) -- how have they flown so far under the radar here in town?
Luckily, Wand was gracious enough to take a phone call with SoundDiego and explain it all.
Dustin Lothspeich: What’s the deal? It seems like you guys never play down here?
Daniel Wand: Even though we’re from San Diego, we don’t personally choose the cities we’re playing in. Whenever we’re in SoCal, our shows are usually at Chain Reaction -- sometimes we just don’t end up in SD. That’s kind of become our home -- I was born in the OC, and even though no one in my band resides there, whenever we’re at Chain Reaction, it’s super cool. It feels like a homecoming.
DL: Chain Reaction definitely has a legacy. I remember going up there a ton years ago for my brother’s band [Noise Ratchet] -- but what about all-ages venues down here like SOMA?
DW: We’d go to SOMA when I was younger, but it seems like our tours don’t land there for whatever reason. We’d go there when we were kids, so there’s a bit of sentimental value to the members who grew up in San Diego. For me, I’d love to come there more often. But the last time we played San Diego was at the Observatory North Park last November on a show with Silverstein. The venue is absolutely beautiful, but as far as the crowd goes, it might’ve been better at SOMA. I’m sure the music scene is cool there, but it’s just not on our radar.
DL: Since you guys are from here, I’ve gotta ask: Favorite taco shop?
DW: I feel bad speaking on behalf of my whole band ‘cause we’ll all have a different answer, but my personal go-to is Senor Pancho. If you’re at SDSU, it’s at the triangle building in the busy intersection with a super tiny drive thru. That’s mine, but everyone has their own.
DL: Good call. Your next show in town is at the friggin' Q of all places. It doesn’t get much bigger than that. How does playing a huge festival like Warped compare to doing your own shows?
DW: The main difference is that the Warped Tour is pure opportunity -- every person walking around could be a fan of your band that day. It’s cool to headline and play a show for people aware of us. Whenever you’re headlining, people show up just to see you. At Warped though, you’re potentially getting fans who’ve never heard of you.
DL: With so much going on all day at the fest, how hard is it to get people’s attention?
DW: The thing is, it comes down to how much energy you’re bringing as people happen to be passing by. If you can exert enough physical energy and have people looking in your direction, that’s like the only way you can succeed. I want them to just glance at us and know that we’re putting ourselves into it. I want it apparent that we’re giving our all.
DL: My niece is a huge fan and she wanted me to ask you this: Let’s say you’re booking your next tour and you get to pick the lineup -- what bands do you ask to join in?
DW: I think, right now, the best thing that could possibly happen that’s anywhere near realistic is: Underoath and the Used.
DL: What’s up next for you guys after Warped wraps?
DW: We’re heading back out on the road, and we’ve got some more stuff in the works -- we’re definitely not coming home for a while.
Dustin Lothspeich books The Merrow; plays in Diamond Lakes and Boy King; and runs the music-equipment-worshipping blog Gear and Loathing in San Diego. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.