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Sound bites backstage at the Warped Tour:

If there is a single thread that holds the many Warped bands together, it is their love of live music.

"I love the crowd, the frenzy and enthusiasm of a show," explains Mighty Mighty Bosstones bassist Joe Gittleman.

"The chemistry of a live band is so hard to create. Anyone can go into the studio and make a nice sound, but playing live tests the quality of a band," he adds.

When asked what the craziest MMB show has been, Gittleman says, "There have been so many." He cites a "now famous" concert in Rochester when the dance floor collapsed. Overall, though, he is not overly concerned with safety at concerts, explaining that the Bosstones have "caring fans."

Tell that to the hundreds of fans who felt like they were in a dryer's spin cycle in the mosh pit during their Warped Tour set.

Many of the performers said that the thing they like best about the tour is getting to know and hear the other bands.

MMB lead singer Dicky Barret was seen backstage singing along at numerous performances during the day, including a loud set by H2O. Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath explains that his favorite thing about the tour is watching bands every night that he grew up loving.

Sick Of It All bassist Craig Setari adds that "most of the bands are friends, and this tour is a great opportunity to make new friends."

Most Warped Tour bands seem to be having the time of their lives performing music they love to enthusiastic fans night after night. Is the rock 'n' roll lifestyle as great as it seems?

"In a word, yes," admits the guitarist for Sugar Ray. McGrath adds, "Imagine you are kicking back, watching MTV, and you know there is a chance your video could be on . . . and then it comes on!"

"We've been at this for 10 years now," explains Sugar Ray's DJ Homicide. "We're glad to be successful because we are doing it our way. Our record company gives us complete control."

Sick Of It All's Setari puts it all into perspective: "I got up really early this morning, and went to this 7-11, and there was this guy there looking really bored, filling up the doughnut rack. I've got to appreciate my job, and say I'm really lucky."

The guitarist for the Suicide Machines tells a similar story. "I used to work in a factory making plastic parts all day," he says. "I don't care about fame, just as long as I don't have to go back to that factory to make a living."

Fame is a different issue.

"Don't get me wrong, I didn't get into this business not to be successful," explains the Bosstones' Gittleman. "MTV got to the point where they had to come to us. We created ourselves without their help.

"Some fans come to our shows for the wrong reasons, but after a while some MTV fans can become loyal fans," he says.

"If I can be very successful by making music my way, that's fine with me," explains Sick Of It All's Setari.

Other than getting recognized in airports more, Gittleman says not much has changed for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones since the breakthrough of their latest album and its hit single, "The Impression That I Get." And he would like to keep it that way.
-- Matthew Smith

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