INTERVIEW: The Rocket Summer talks “Do You Feel” tour as well as new material!
“Sometimes waves come and you catch them and sometimes you got to wait a little bit longer but it’s been largely a good ride. It hasn’t been luxurious ever but it’s rock and roll, it’s not supposed to be,” ran off Bryce Avary’s tongue in our new chat with the man behind The Rocket Summer moniker. It’s clear just from even an interview with Avary, his innate song writing abilities, through the way lines like this run out of his mouth without thinking about it.
While The Rocket Summer is out celebrating the tenth anniversary of easily one of his most loved records, “Do You Feel”, we spoke with Avary about his current run as well as the constant work he puts into what he loves. “To me, it’s just the beginning and we just keep going. I have a lot of songs to sing. Lots of songs to write, lots of records to put out,” told Avary. Avary doesn’t show any signs of stopping any time soon despite releasing records since 2003 and I’m sure many, including myself, are glad to hear it.
You’re coming up on the half way mark or so of this run. Huge tour for you being the ten year anniversary of “Do You Feel”. How do you feel the shows have been going so far and maybe how has this experience been, replaying this record that you’ve had in your catalogue for so long?
The shows have been incredible. Literally every show has been super packed or sold out. It’s really cool to do these songs live, some of which we never even played during that era. But we also play like an entirely different set. The whole night is about celebrating the community of The Rocket Summer. Looking back at itself but also looking forward at the same time. Playing these songs, some of every album. So with “Do You Feel”, it’s kind of a trip to look back and play these songs, it’s been really cool.
Then I know from reading about it, like you just mentioned, you’re playing also a group of songs from your full catalogue. Does that even include maybe new material that you’ve been working on? You’ve released the single, “Gone Too Long”, very recently. Is that just two or three from each record?
Yeah we learned more songs then we’ve ever learned for any tour. And we play different sets every night. Sometimes the crowd calls out, sometimes I’ll call it out but we’re trying to keep it special every night because a lot of people are going to a lot of shows in a row. So we try to keep it fresh for everyone. Yeah we’re playing new stuff, stuff off of every album.
And you obviously have released several albums. You’ve been performing for so many years. Is there something, now you have your independent record label but you’ve doing been this for so long, maybe you would have told yourself at the beginning of this? Maybe something you wish you had done and if there is something, something you may have avoided? Kind of looking back at this career that you’ve had.
Not really. It’s just I’m kind of just going with the flow, you know. All you can do is ride the waves, work really hard and just write the best songs you can and try to put on the best show you can. Sometimes waves come and you catch them and sometimes you got to wait a little bit longer but it’s been largely a good ride. It hasn’t been luxurious ever but it’s rock and roll, it’s not supposed to be.
Exactly. Then I wanted to ask from looking on Facebook and social media, in this tour you have partnered with an organization called Child Fund International and talked about how people can get some information at the merch table. How can fans engage with this charity at your shows?
Yeah we have it at the merch table, you can also find information online. It’s an operation called Child Fund which works to alleviate some of the struggles that kids in poverty around the world are faced with everyday. It’s a very legit company. It’s something we thought would be a good feel for the “Do You Feel” tour. The record is largely about just getting off your feet and doing something to make a difference. So we just wanted to do something a little bit extra then just play the songs. You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. It’s just a cool idea, a cool opportunity.
Then like I said before, you dropped the single, “Gone Too Long” and I know from reading about it, you are doing this tour but you have been working on new music, new material. The song is a little bit of a different vibe. Is it a good indication of what’s to come or is it like a stand alone track?
It’s a stand alone. Just a jam. All the new stuff I’m working on is pretty different. Right now, I just kind of felt like I wanted to just put out something before the tour. In the middle of constantly talking about something that happened ten years ago, I couldn’t really get myself to go on tour with at least putting out something new. We put it out on cassette tapes.
As I keep saying, you have been working on new material. How do you feel your songwriting process changes, if it still changes? Is it something where you’ve fallen into that steady rhythm considering you’ve released so much music and maybe what is that new material for?
That’s an interesting question. To me, it’s just the beginning and we just keep going. I have a lot of songs to sing. Lot of songs to write, lot of records to put out. I don’t really view it like I’ve done so much material. It is a bit of an interesting thing to evolve and try to know how to navigate. Emit an actual brand, you don’t really do it like that. And it is just me so it’s kind of hard. I just see what comes out.
You still have a while to go on this tour. What is the plan for The Rocket Summer, you Bryce Avary, after this next month or so of touring.
I’m just going to sit down and do what I do. I’m going to head back to the studio. I might go on vacation. I need to paddle board. I want to like paddle board somewhere.
I think you deserve a vacation.
Yeah I think I’ll do a vacation even though the whole purpose of that is to get really excited about getting back into the studio. I’m taking a lot of fuel from these fans every night. The shows, the energy, is like on another level. I generally just try to harness that then go and come up with ideas. But everyone in my team will tell you that I’m sort of like non-stop. I don’t know how to stop. So I’m really trying to learn how to take a break or like read a book. It’s really hard for me. All I want to do is write music and record it then play live. So I’m going to force myself to take a few days away then generally what happens when I do that is songs just come out like that. Like bam, bam, bam. And then there’s a record. So I’m looking forward to all that.
I’m glad you still have the passion after doing it for so long though. If it’s not like instant success for a lot of people, they just kind of give up after two years and you’ve had this long lasting career.
Yeah I’m really blessed that in the end, it doesn’t feel like it’s been very long. Not to compare myself to McCartney or anything but only in a time frame way, I’ll compare. That dude has been doing it for a long time, why can’t I do it for a long time you know? I mean I feel like I haven’t done my best record yet. We haven’t gotten to where we’re going yet. We’re still on the journey and we’re just enjoying it along the way. It really is the beginning. At least it is to me. I don’t know what it is to other people. I don’t know what it is to our fans but it is to me. I’ll keep making records.