By Dana McCurdy
Orchards is an up-and-coming, Dallas-based alternative metal band that is rapidly expanding their fan base. The six-piece band -- comprised of RJ Lee, Mark Leon, Ricky Covarrubias, Reggie Sanchez, Benjamin Neumann, and Tristan Lester -- released an EP last year titled “IDLE” via We Are Triumphant. The group was given the chance to play at the Full Sail Stage during the Dallas date of the final cross country Vans Warped Tour on Friday, July 6. Luckily, I had the chance to see the band perform and still had time to catch the end of The Used’s set. After their set, I had the opportunity to interview one of the vocalists, RJ Lee.
At what point did you know that you would be performing a set at Warped Tour?
RJ: We knew back in February, I believe! Our label got us and a few other artists on the roster spots on the tour in their respective cities.
What are your thoughts on being able to play at Warped Tour?
RJ: Honestly, we were very excited and humbled to have been able to be a part of the last full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour. When we started the band, it was one of our goals to be able to play such a legendary tour, and to be able to cross that off our list in such a short amount of time is surreal.
What was your favorite thing about Warped this year?
RJ: My favorite thing about Warped Tour this year was the fact that they included so many artists that have helped shape the tour into what it is today, as well as a ton of newer generation bands that are currently killing it. I also liked that there were a fair amount of international artists on the tour this year!
Did you have a favorite moment during the entire day?
RJ: My favorite moment was being on stage and seeing people singing our songs back to us. That made our appearance at Warped Tour very special, and it will be something I will always remember.
What was your least favorite thing about playing Warped Tour?
RJ: Not directly related to the tour, but the rain was a real bummer. While it did feel good to get a cool-down temperature-wise, the humidity afterwards was not fun to deal with. A lot of people also left early due to the rain so that was a bummer.
Talk about a good fan interaction you had.
RJ: After our set, we had a few people come up to us and say that they had never heard of us but decided to stay and watch our set as they were passing by because they liked our sound so much. That was humbling to me because we played at the same time as The Used and Don Broco, so to have people pass up on seeing those great bands to watch us truly means a lot.
With their previous fan base and the exposure from performing at the Dallas date of the tour, I am positive the band’s fan base will continue to grow immensely. I am excited to see what they continue to do in the future and watch them progress as musicians. Keep up with them on Spotify, YouTube and their social medias.