Everyone's favorite punk rock summer camp, the Vans Warped Tour, returns to Salt Lake City Saturday. Among those on tap are punk bigwig Pennywise, Reel Big Fish, Gym Class Heroes, the Horrorpops and pop-rocker Katy Perry.
Perry's song "I Kissed a Girl" has taken MTV by storm, and it reached No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 two weeks ago. Her album "One of the Boys" was released June 17.
Speaking by phone while on the way to rehearsal in Santa Monica, Calif., Perry said she's excited and nervous to be part of this year's Warped Tour.
"It's funny because people ask me why I'm on the tour," said said, noting her music is more pop-oriented. "But I do notice on other dates there is a pop influence on the tour. Paramore (which will not be playing in Salt Lake City) is in the lineup as well.
"Also I am a bit nervous because the ratio of men to women is very different, but I can take care of myself."
Still, Perry, who is also an actress (she appeared on "The Young and Restless") said she is also excited to be part of the tour.
"When people see my set they will know that I definitely fit the Warped Tour," she said. "I use a lot of props."
It's no secret Perry has ranks Queen as one of her biggest musical influences, but she also gave a nod to singer/songwriters Jonatha Brooke, Patti Griffin and the late Jeff Buckley.
"Then there are the big three Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper and Pat Benatar," she said.
When Perry launched her music career, she found it was hard to get people to listen to her opinion or show her respect. "I learned that you had to earn that right," she said.
"But looking back, I'm glad it took a while for me to get to where I am now," she said. "Although it took five years and three record labels, I am happy at where I am."
Perry calls Capitol Records home, and her new CD features 12 songs all autobiographical culled from a list of 65.
"For this album I picked myself off the the ground, albeit scuffed and scratched, and kept writing," she said.
"I can tell you the place, time and person I was with when the songs developed," she said. "But I won't, because I shouldn't do that. But I know that my songs are written from my perspective. And when other people listen to it, they hear it from their perspective. And they latch onto it. I've had people tell me that they couldn't believe that I was writing songs about them.
"In reality, the songs are about me in situations that they had also gone through."
And the recent success of "I Kissed a Girl" surprised her.
"I worked hard on that song, but didn't know how popular it was going to get," she said with a laugh. "So, I'm celebrating right now. And we have plans for the CD. We're planning on breaking it to the rest of the world in September.
"I mean, the United States is only a little country in the whole world, especially the music world. I am looking forward to going to Europe and Japan."
And, she already has plans for other CDs.
"'One of the Boys' is my pop record," she said. "I would like to do a CD that is a cross between Joan Jett and the Beastie Boys. And I'd like to do an acoustic album, like what Beck did a few years ago."But I do know when you take the bells and whistles away from whatever I do, it all comes down to whether or not the songs I write are good."
If you go
What: Vans Warped Tour
Where: Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West
When: Saturday, 11 a.m.
How much: $27.66
Phone: 467-8499, 800-888-8499Web: www.smithstix.com
E-mail: [email protected]