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The Summer Set

By Cara Demers  ,  April 01 2013

Just a few weeks before their third full-length album drops, Arizona-natives The Summer Set have spent the past month or so out on the road in promotion of Legendary. Though amidst all the chaos, Brian and John were more than willing to answer a few questions for all of us at Musiqtone.

Cara:  Do you mind just introducing yourself and telling us what you do in the band?

Brian:  I'm Brian Logan Dales and I sing for The Summer Set.

You guys lived together while you were writing for Legendary. Despite already spending so much time together while you’re on the road, how crazy of an experience was that?
It was probably one of the more questionable decisions we've ever made, haha.  We learned so much about each other.  We were having amazing life experiences that inspired our best songs ever.  The song, "Legendary," came from a night in that house and it's one of the songs I'm proudest of writing.  Oh, and we definitely didn't get our security deposit back.

Was it hard to differentiate between when you guys were all just hanging out and when it was time to just sit down and write or work on the album?
At first, absolutely.  It was difficult.  We were probably partying too hard.  But, eventually, we stopped trying to force the songs in a specific direction and wrote them naturally based on the amazing experiences we were having.

Do you have a favorite memory or anything that sticks out during the time that you guys were living together? It’s probably hard to pick just one.
The moment "Legendary" was written.  It took me a lot longer than I expected to get adjusted to life off the road.  I was lonely, ironically, and just out of another relationship and wasn't used to being in the same place everyday.  I remember, one night, there was a pool party and Stephen was drinking in the backyard with his old friends.  John was probably swimming naked as he usually did.  I, however, was sitting in the living room being antisocial and watching the How I Met Your Mother season finale.  All of a sudden, I realized I needed to get myself together and stop dwelling on shit.  I wrote this goofy little chorus idea, making reference to watching the show by myself.  I thought it was ridiculous, but the melody was cool.  So, I showed the Gomez Brothers and, if Stephen wasn't inebriated and John wasn't naked, my favorite accident probably wouldn't have happened.  It inspired the whole record.

Can you just tell me a little bit about this upcoming album, and maybe what fans can expect in comparison to your older stuff?
I think it's a conglomerate of the best parts of Love Like This (energy and attitude) and Everything's Fine (concise songwriting) while also finding an x-factor of its own.  This is the proudest I've been of our records and, after 5 years, I feel like we've gotten good at what we're doing.  Legendary is a windows-down, feel-amazing summer record, inspiring everyone to be the best version of themselves they can be.

If people could only listen to one song off the album to get a feel for you guys, which one would you recommend and why? "Maybe Tonight" - It was the first time we worked with Dan Book and Alexei Misoul and, when we got the demo back a few days after writing the song, it was like hearing our band for the first time.  It was fucking magic.  I hope everyone gets that feeling when they hear it.

So aside from the living arrangements, was the recording process or any part of putting this record together different than anything you’ve done in the past?
Very.  We got to spend a lot more time on this album. Almost a year. We focused on one song at a time, took a break and went on tour, came back and got to evaluate the music, etc.  It was liberating.  We worked with several different producers.  50 songs were written.  I wanna make every record this way from here on out because it's our best work yet.

Being your third full-length, was it easier or maybe a little more difficult to really decide on what kind of sound the record was going to have?
It happened so naturally.  This is what I feel like The Summer Set was meant to sound like the whole time.  It's our best songwriting.  We have a new label.  It feels like it's our first record again.  It's a good feeling.

Is that something that you decide ahead of time, maybe when you’re still in the planning process for an album, or do you just let the sound develop on its own?
We used to plan.  We started to plan with this one, but the plan destructed and everything happened naturally.

I actually saw you guys a few weeks ago in Boston, and you played at the Middle East, which is a pretty intimate venue. Do you prefer to play shows with a smaller setting like that, or do you like the big venues?
There are great things about both. The intimacy is great for a high-energy show, but, at the end of the day, you always wanna grow and sell out the bigger venues.

Do you have a go-to guilty pleasure on your iPod right now?
I don't ever feel guilty about what I'm listening to because I proudly love all pop music....but I may or may not be listening to The Lion King soundtrack while I'm doing this interview.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Legendary comes out on April 16th and please check us out this summer on the Vans Warped Tour!

Cara:  Do you mind just introducing yourself and telling us what you do in the band?
John G.: I am John Gomez and I play guitar in The Summer Set. 

You’ve obviously been incorporating a good amount of the new material into your set, so how does it feel to finally be able to play some new stuff for your fans?
We have been working on this record since May of 2012.  So, it’s been almost a year.  At the year mark, you become super attached to your new material.  It feels amazing to finally share what we have been working so hard on. 

How’s the reaction been to them so far?

We have been blown away by the response.  I'll never forget our show in Boston a week after we released "Boomerang."  I took my in-ears out to listen to the crowd sing along.  You would have thought this song had been out for years.  I was speechless. 

You guys are out on the road promoting your upcoming album, so how’s that tour been going? Any favorite memories, dates, or anything in particular that stands out so far?
Legendary comes out on April 16th and we couldn't be more excited.  This is kind of our first legitimate headliner and it has greatly exceeded our expectations.  Touring for 5 weeks with new people is always interesting.  Every band becomes part of a weird traveling circus family.  We have made some of our best friends on this tour with our label mates, Go Radio, and that alone is my favorite tour memory. 

Do you have a favorite song to play live, whether it’s one of the new ones or off an older album?
"Boomerang" has taken the cake for me.  The beat of the song is perfect for me to jump around like a total idiot. 

You’re making an appearance on the Vans Warped Tour this summer, how excited are you for that?
Terrified, but excited if that makes sense.  Welcome to punk rock summer camp where the sun seems to never set and a breakdown can be heard at virtually all hours of the day.  I'm excited to make new friends and see some old ones. 

I’ve heard from other bands that Warped can be kind of a tough tour to get through. What would you tell a band who’s jumping on for the first time? Any advice, or things people might not think to consider?

The only advice I would give is to go into it with 100% positivity.  It's more likely than not that bad things will happen: bus AC dies, merch tents break, sunburns happen.  In the end, it’s all part of the ride.  It’s best to smile through it all. 

What have you been listening to while you’ve been on the road so far? Any favorite albums, or artists you’ve kind of been favoring?
I have been loving this girl, Angel Haze.  She only has one E.P. out as of now, but I highly recommend her. 

Any goals you’d really like to get done as a band this year if you have some time?
I just want to keep growing as a band and as individuals.  I want to travel the world again with my best friends and, hopefully, our shows get a little bigger and a little bigger and so on and so forth. 

So what are The Summer Set’s plans for the rest of the year?
Play as many shows as possible and get this record out! 

Anything else you’d like to add?

This record means the world to us.  We have never felt this way about anything we have done before.  We hope you enjoy the songs and we invite you to come to a show.  I promise, if you come to a Summer Set show alone, you will leave with a new friend. 
Facebook Comments: Keep 'em clean folks!
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