I had the opportunity this year at Warped Tour to speak with To Write Love On Her Arms. To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. This organization has been a staple of the music community for a long time now, and is making great strides in removing the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
I spoke with one of their team members named Harry. Harry is from the UK and works in the mental health field, working with adults with complex mental health diagnosis and learning disabilities. Harry started out doing an internship with TWLOHA and then was asked to work Warped with them.
Josh: You guys are out here on Warped Tour again, for the 11th year, obviously its always a different vibe. What’s it been like so far this year?
Harry: It’s great, its my first time on the tour, and my first summer in America. I love it. It’s a cool place to be, cause there are tons of kids that come by the tent everyday that have seen us at Warped before or at other events. And then there are always bunches that have never heard of us before so they stop to check us out. Its been a great vibe.
Josh: What is this years theme for Warped Tour?
Harry: This year we are asking people stop by the tent and write down anything that they want to say, this year is been kept pretty open, and just having people write down what they want to say to a friend, family member, themselves, or just something encouraging. Then like later in the day coming back by and taking a card that maybe says something someone else has written that they want or need to hear. We’ve had some pretty awesome things come from it. At one of the events in California, we had someone come by and pick up a card, then throughout the day the person that wrote the card saw them with the card and they stopped and exchanged stories and it was a really cool thing to see.
Josh: Obviously tons of kids come out to Warped Tour every year, for many of them it’s the biggest event they go to. What kind of advice would you have for them?
Harry: Well I would definitely say come out and check out our tent and talk with us. Whether you’ve heard of TWLOHA or not. If you are in a place that you are struggling or know someone that is and you need someone to talk to our tent is kind of the safe space on tour. And definitely check out some of the other non profits that are out here like, A Voice For The Innocent, and I Am Second, and the others out here doing great work.
Josh: Every year there are bands out here supporting you guys, who are some of those bands this year?
Harry: I mean Hawthorne Heights have always been really good to us. We are really good friends with a band called Save Ferris, and The Gospel Youth. The Gospel Youth are from the UK as well and have been wearing our shirts a lot and talking about mental health.
Josh: Awesome, and what bands do you think kids should check out that maybe weren’t on their radar but should be.
Harry: Oh man there are so many bands. Being As An Ocean, Neck Deep, blessthefall. Definitely go see Save Ferris, they are one of the most fun shows.
Josh: Awesome, I appreciate you guys taking the time for the interview. Any last things for the kids to know?
Harry: Well again, its our 11th year here, we are always super grateful to Warped Tour for allowing us to come back every year. We will be doing our World Suicide Prevention Day a little later this year, and Heavy And Light, and the 5k again. We just really want people to check out what we are doing and hopefully next year will be 12 years at Warped Tour.