May 21, 2011
Straight from the pages of the new special Brasil edition of RAGGED, we’re thrilled to give you an exclusive excerpt from our feature story with Tonight Alive! Catch us on Vans Warped Tour all summer long and download the entire issue featuring more photos with the band for free right here.
It’s not that Tonight Alive’s Jenna McDougall didn’t expect her musical dreams to come true. It’s just that no one in the pop-punk band she fronts thought that their combined musical aspirations would happen so quickly.
“I think I must have been 13 when I first heard of the Warped Tour,” says the vivacious 19-year-old Australian. “When Tonight Alive formed three years later, I remember saying on the night of our first show, ‘All I want to do is go to America and play the Warped Tour.’ All I knew was that all of my favorite bands had played it and it just seemed like the ultimate goal at the time.”
Hailing from a country where even the longest national tours check in a shade under two weeks, McDougall admits she’s looking forward to the day- to-day grind of Warped—regardless of what it might bring. “I never went to summer camp as such, but school camps were always the best fun, and my dad used to take us on camping trips every chance we got when we were growing up,” she says with a laugh. “I guess there’s not really any way you can know what Warped Tour’s gonna be like if you’ve never done it before, but hopefully as Aussies we’ll be well-conditioned to the sun and the heat that everyone’s been complaining about!”
But what about being a woman on what many have come to assume is a male-dominated tour? McDougall laughs at the near-obligatory question, making it clear that she’s heard this one before. “I’m definitely proud of who I am and what I do, but being female-fronted really doesn’t change anything about being in our band,” she says, citing Gwen Stefani’s relationship with No Doubt as a prime example. “We still go through all the same hardships as anybody. I just like being given the opportunity to show the world what we’ve got and stick it to the people who never thought we could! It’s kinda nice to be able to set that example for other girls out there, too.”
The Sydney-based five-piece (which also includes guitarist/keyboardist Whakaio Taahi, guitarist Jake Hardy, bassist Cam Adler and drummer Matt Best) have been out to set examples since forming three years ago, after founding members Taahi and Hardy first heard McDougall’s sugar-sweet, powerhouse vocals. “I was definitely a ‘hairbrush-in-the-mirror girl,’” McDougall says of her performance style—which, over the years, has graduated from the bedroom onto stages alongside touring mates such as Forever the Sickest Kids, Breathe Carolina and We Are the In Crowd. “I like it. I like throwing myself around and not feeling like I look stupid, because when you’re on stage you can do whatever you want.”
(Continued in the new issue of RAGGED…)
posted by Staff