The Rocket Summer chats with us about his brand new record, “Zoetic”!

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It’s been a minute since The Rocket Summer has released a new record but he’s breaking that silence with a record he seems to be incredibly proud of with “Zoetic”. We were able to grab a few minutes with him to chat his upcoming tour as well as everything you need to know about the new record!

You have a lot coming up over these next few months with “Zoetic” coming out and the tour to follow. Maybe a soft one to start, the three touring essentials you just have with you while on the road?

That’s a good question. Generally, whatever I can do to hold onto sanity I do, I really try to have my sanity with me. That’s the first thing. I know this isn’t the kind of question you’re asking but just trying to have this zen-like anticipation of how tour is going to be like at all times. Because playing music is the greatest gift ever and being on the road can be like the gnarliest thing. You can start to lose it. There’s just so many people saying the same thing over and over again. People saying like when they’re off the road, they can’t wait to get back on the road and when they’re on the road, they just want to get off the road. I’d love to just be on the road. I mean, touring is everything to me. Sharing that moment every night with people is like nothing else and I’m totally psyched to get there. So, yeah a positive mental attitude and my sanity. I’m trying to like dig through my mind and all I can think is guitar. Which is like really normal. I supposed I have to have Amy’s Burritos. I’m so into them. I eat those everyday. That’s sort of my go to.

Perfect and then, the tour that you’re starting in March just a few weeks after “Zoetic” comes out is your first one in quite a while in the US. Maybe how do you plan to go about these sets? Is it going to focus on the new record because it has been a while since you’ve released new music? Kind of what’s your plan for these sets on this tour?

Yeah I’ve been thinking about that. Because it’s always interesting when you make a new record, I did spend a lot of time in this one. So for me, my mind has been totally in this new music which in a way is sort of a break out from what I think the last handful of records have kind of sounded like. This is a different record so my mind has been totally there. So probably the really interesting thing to figure out for a tour after spending so much time on the music is obviously, the reason all of these people have bought tickets to this point is because of everything I’ve done up to this record. That they haven’t even heard yet. So the idea of going out there and just playing a ton of new songs, as much as I’d love it, and quite frankly I’d probably prefer it, I’m not going to do that to my fans. I think we’ll probably play like six or seven new tunes. Then a bunch of old stuff too. It’s all about the whole package. All the albums with a little more focus on the new one.

Then speaking of the new one, I know it’s been announced to come out February 26th. Maybe how long has “Zoetic” been in the making for you?

Well, it was an interesting process, the whole thing. I kind of went through a phase where I just wanted to really get totally creative and I didn’t want there to be any boundaries. To the point where I was even, in my mind, okay with putting out a side project if that’s what ended up coming out of it. If it was something too different. I ended up making so many sings. Ended up narrowing it down to this aggressive lean, kind of groove record. I mean it took a while. So if I would have known that the eleven songs that were on the record were the songs, it would have been a much shorter process but I didn’t know that when I was making it. Honestly, I probably would have been on my next album. There was a part of me where I thought I was going to put out like a quadruple album. Sorry I’m just like rambling right now.

I was going to mention this but you just kind of talked about how these songs maybe are so different that they could have even been a side project release but you narrowed it down to these eleven songs. How did you pick them? Did you prepare a collection then pick out of those ones?
Pretty much I had this huge list. Shared it with different people. Everyone had different opinions. I realized at that moment, I needed to make the decision with myself. At that time, I narrowed it down to this kind of unique record. There were a lot of songs left over. I don’t really know how they’re going to come out but I’ve been saying, if I die tragically, I’ll release albums for like the next ten years. So, we’ll see.

And then just from listening to some of the new tracks and reading about the songs on it, it’s obviously a bit of a different vibe then maybe people are used to. Was there something really new you tried in the recording of the record that maybe even surprised you?
Yeah, I mean I tried a lot of new things. I don’t think it’s like so different. I think when people hear it, it’s still a Rocket Summer record. Still me. I don’t think this album is like the other records. I really put a lot into the production with it and I really put a lot into the individual parts and individual tracks. Because those are the kind of records that I love, in addition. In a way, I had my own studio this time. I wasn’t like standing in a box in someone else’s studio like before which I think can be a really good thing because it forces you to make decisions quickly but there is a flip side to that and it can be a bad thing as well. We’re in a time where a lot of people are making their own records. More effort can be put into making it more special just because there aren’t really any limitations to the project. I mean there are limitations to the budget. It was the first time I had in my mind a lot of time. A lot of opportunities to just get a little more weird. More expressive and more experimental with sounds and stuff. There were plenty of days where I worked all day and next day was back at it again. Due to that, on the record I think there is more, on the logistical side, energy. Bass guitars, piano, vocals. I just had more time to create within my own little world.

Then obviously the title is a little unique. Maybe the story, if you care to share it, behind the name of the record, “Zoetic”?
Well, the record kind of in a way is a alive record. It kind of sounds like bombs going off in my head. I wanted to find a word that expressed that. I was just looking through the dictionary and I came across the word zoetic. I couldn’t believe that that word actually means alive. That’s actually the definition of it. I wouldn’t actually believe that word existed. It means related to living. I’m seriously so proud of that. I don’t know how that word wasn’t something I knew because it’s so fricking beautiful. At that moment, I was like dude that’s the name of my record. Funny enough, I wrote a song called Zoetic and it didn’t make the record. That’s how much of a process I went through. Where the title track didn’t even make the record. I think it really reflects the sound of the record and I’m really proud of it.

Then maybe to end it off, the next few months are pretty set up for you. The record’s coming out then you have about a five week long tour. Maybe what do you think 2016 will be like for The Rocket Summer? Do you think it’s something where you’re going to be touring like maybe overseas or do you think it’s going to be a little while before you go back on the road?
We’re touring from March to May. We have a second leg of the tour that we’re announcing in a week or two. And yeah, we’re talking about doing international stuff. After that, I’m not really sure. We’ll probably do some stuff this summer. Hopefully in the fall, we’ll do a tour. If I could, I would be on tour every day of my life. In a perfect world, I fantasize about being successful enough where I could stay on the road and have a trailer with a studio in it. So I’d just record during the day and play a show at night. That would be amazing. I don’t know how realistic that is so come to the show! Come to the show because I don’t know when we’ll be back!

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Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.

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