At Vans Warped Tour’s, Weekender spoke to July 11’s PLAY Warped Tour winners From Lambs to Lions. The Albany, New York, band was selected from a field of local and regional artists to perform on the traveling festival’s main stage at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain. Each stop on the tour chose one act; during Warped’s July 15 Pittsburgh stop, that act was Charleston, West Virginia’s A Story Told.
A Story Told formed in 2013 and in two year’s time earned their first spot on Warped Tour in 2015. This year they returned to Western Pennsylvania’s First Niagara Pavilion to play its main stage set as PLAY Warped Tour winners.
“We were still so excited to be able to do it (in 2015), but it was a smaller stage off to the side,” said A Story Told bass player Zach Holley. “We still had a great turnout; it was super stressful but so much fun, definitely a bucket list thing, a dream come true. This year they changed the contest so that there was only one winner per city, so the stakes were much higher because you got to play the main stage which is definitely a big deal.”
The selection also makes them eligible for the grand prize: a three-song recording session with New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert. For Holley, the opportunity represents a chance to record with one of the prominent players in his favorite genre.
“We’re trying not to get our hopes up or anything, but if for some reason we get to do that we’re going to bring all we have to the table and learn as much as we can,” Holley said.
In the studio, the band takes a collaborative approach to songwriting; according to the bassist, that’s why their sound is so unique. The five-piece is isolated from large alternative scenes in their mid-West Virginia home, which gives them room to blend their own influences together without the added pressure of trying to fit a certain mold. That said, it’s not like A Story Told is out of the loop — their sound is influenced in-part by acts like PVRIS and The Dangerous Summer.
“Those are two bands that we definitely like and we admire how they’re able to take an existing genre and put their own spin on it,” Holley said.
Those factors came together to form A Story Told’s debut full-length “Keep Watch,” released this March. The 10-track LP’s lead single “Cold Blooded” is a showcase for their sound — part The 1975, part Vans Warped Tour — and represents a crucial turn in what Holley described as an up-and-down, roller coaster collection of music.
“As you listen to each song throughout the album I’d say there is a theme,” Holley said. “It’s got a bit of darkness to it, but also there’s some songs that bring it up a little bit. It’s a different sound. I think fans of many different types of music would enjoy it… I think its versatile.”
A Story Told finished a roller coaster of concerts in Ohio and Indianapolis, as well as their Warped Tour date in Pennsylvania. They plan to take a break before announcing more dates. To keep track of the band, follow them on Twitter @AStoryToldBand or visit their website, AStoryToldBand.com.
Have a band? Know a band? Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121