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Interview with AP Magazine CEO Mike Shea

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On July 22nd, all of your favorite pop-punk bands, alternative rock artists, and classic rock legends will come together at the Quicken Loans Arena, the home of Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the second annual Journey’s Alternative Press Music Awards!

With 142 days until the big event, Mike Shea, CEO of Alternative Press Magazine and one of the producers of the APMA’s, says the soul reason for the APMA’s is to bring everyone in the community together, and allow fans to get up close and personal with their favorite bands. “The APMAs are the place where the alternative music scene all comes together on one night not only to celebrate and honor the best in music from the previous year but also to have one giant party. As a community, due to constant touring and our individual careers, it’s difficult to get us all together in one place to celebrate and have some fun.” Shea also said, “We want it to be like the Oscars for our community, we want it to be a who’s who, and everybody who’s anybody is there.

The planning process for this year’s event started right after the completion of last year’s. Because of the huge success of last year’s event, Shea knew there was some little things to be tweaked in order to have a more successful event. “99% of all the [production] problems were because it was the first time… and because we couldn’t have a rehearsal,” Shea said. But, for this year’s event, Shea took matters into his own hands, and brought in the big wigs to help make the award show run smoother. “We’re bringing in people who have worked on the Grammy’s, have worked on the Tony’s, and MTV Award shows, so we’re bringing in top notch people who know how to do these shows this year, and we’re learning a lot from them too.”

Even though they’re still in the process of finalizing a lot of things, Shea said they were so excited about announcing the hosts for this year’s event: Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat of All Time Low. Shea told us that it’s their onstage chemistry and antics that really drew them to believe Alex and Jack would be great hosts. “The guys approached us last year with the idea of hosting the award show,” said Shea, and he realized it was a no brainer.

The award show’s debut last year created memories that many of us will ever forget. Shea said some of his favorite memories from last year’s show were Ollie Syke’s speech, which he said was “completely heartfelt, and management didn’t know he was going to say that speech, so everyone was caught off guard.” He also said another one of his favorite moments was All Time Low coming together with New Found Glory and Yellowcard for a song.

Although Shea couldn’t reveal any performances or award show secrets just yet, he did tell us that they’ll be changing it up a bit from last year. “Our line-up will not be linked to the Warped Tour line-up. Last year… we had 3 artists who flew in [from warped tour], and everybody else were one offs and flew in full set. We’re wanting to do the same thing this year; we’ll have a couple artists from warped tour, [but] primarily we’ll have all different types of bands”

Shea also told us that March 23rd is the day things will start to be revealed such as ticket prices and voting. Shea said, “As the weeks go on, we’ll be announcing special guests and more add-ons.”