The Vans Warped Tour has taken music and extreme sports across the country every summer since 1995. This year's lineup features new-school and veteran rockers, among them many groundbreaking and truly indie artists.
Shanti, a pop singer/songwriter with lungs to die for, is one of those artists, performing on the "Kia Kevin Says" stage, her new self-released CD, "Stranger Days," in tow. It's the third Warped Tour and second full-length album for the pint-sized powerhouse, but hardly her first rodeo. This child of musicians debuted onstage in utero, kicking to the drumbeat of her parents' band.
Since then, she's sold some of her songs for use in commercial television, acted as a roller derby girl on "CSI: NY," and just last year she and husband Greg Attonito, singer of the Bouncing Souls, published "I Went for a Walk" -- a children's book they wrote and illustrated together.
Shanti plays on the July 31 Warped Tour stop at Verizon Wireless Music Center. Her CD is available at www.cdbaby.com and www.shantimusic.com.
What's it like playing this time around with your husband on drums?
It's been good. He's not the world's most experienced drummer, but it's been fun and he's getting a lot better. We play music together all the time at home -- we kind of switch it up and try to get better at the instruments we're not so good at.
At times you're playing in something called the Girlz Garage section of this tour -- what's that all about?
It's a great tent that has breast cancer awareness stuff in it and artwork of women's bodies done by different bands. There are a lot of awesome girls in there.
Sometimes I'll play a quieter set in there or pass off the guitar and give some lessons and ask people if they want to play a few chords. Some are kind of shy, but then they learn a couple of chords and they're so psyched afterward.
The word "serendipity" seems to be a theme on your new CD -- from the song to the liner notes. I wondered if you truly believe in that.
I guess I do. I feel like we're all connected and we're all on our own paths and when those paths cross each other, it's kind of magical. It trips me out sometimes .....
You did a YouTube video for a song that's not on your CD --"Michel Gondry, I Wanna Do Your Laundry." Do you really want to wash his dirty clothes?
I would be psyched if he sent me his laundry. I would do it and send it back to him.
The story behind the song is that I met him in L.A. at the Roosevelt (Hotel). I was dancing in the bar with my friend, and all of a sudden Michel Gondry walks in and I was like, 'Oh my God, that's Michel Gondry!' He's not a rock-star director in that everyone would recognize him, but for whatever reason I couldn't just go up to him.
So my friend goes up and says, "My friend really likes you," and I felt like an idiot. He asked me my name and I said, "Shanti" and he said, "Ah, enchante, Shanti." He kissed my hand and I almost melted into my boots. Then he danced with me for a minute.
Then he said "Goodbye" and left but again, I couldn't give him a card and say, "Hi, I'm a musician and an actress and I want to be in your next film." I totally kicked myself that I didn't take any action on that.
So about a year later I wrote those words and then Greg and I recorded that and shot a video, and I thought, "That will be my calling card."
Vans Warped Tour
What: Featuring 79 bands.
Where: Verizon Wireless Music Center, 12800 E. 146th St.
When: Starts at 11 a.m. July 31.
- by Shawna Kenney / Indy.com corrrespondent