I noticed the lovely poetic name of To Write Love on her Arms at the opening of Warped Tour and finally got around to chat with the organization at the closer in Pomona last week. I spoke with Jason Blades.
JB: Our organization is a non-profit organization that helps people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. We also exist to inspire, encourage, and inform those about treatment and recovery.
We started in February 2006 as a way to help a friend by printing up some t-shirts and selling them so we could pay for her treatment. From there, we wrote her story and put it on a MySpace, and here we are now, 4 years later at Warped Tour, still going!
JB: Yeah, well when we put her story online we had a lot of people who related, her redemption as she entered treatment and her pain. People found a lot of hope in her story. We still sell the T-Shirts and spread the message of hope.
You’re based out of Florida?
JB: Yes, Coco, Florida.
What tours have you done in the past year?
JB: When we first started small and now we’ve done Soundwave in Australia, New Chapters Tour that is a college tour, Warped Tour for 3 years now. We like Warped Tour because it’s a chance to reach a lot of people. The number is something like 800,000 people attend Warped Tour a year in like 40 or 50 different cities, so having reached that many people nationally is really awesome.
And you’re reaching a diverse age crowd-
Many younger people too which seems important to get the word out to them?
JB: Our organization tries to reach all demographics, but yes the general age here is 18-21 year olds and so we’re not limited because there is such a great age range at this festival. It’s just perfect for us.
Did you get to go to Australia?
JB: I did. Chris and I went. For Soundwave. It was amazing and people were familiar with what we are and what we are doing which is great being in a different country and have that response.
They have 6-7 stages going on all at the same time.
Last year Under Oath was there and they’re big supporters of us. This year, I’m a big fan of Jimmy Eat World and they were there which was great.
Do any of the bands come into your booth on tour?
JB: We used to do signings, but not this year. There’s this band Deas Vail that comes and hangs out here and talk with us about how they can help and support us.
Do you have a website?
There’s an online store where they can buy T-Shirts or just make a donation.