With the release of their sophmore album, Everything’s Fine last year, The Summer Set injected some life into the pop rock genre, while gathering a whole lot of praise and attention. Now as they prepare for their first Australian tour as a part of Soundwave, vocalist and songwriter Brian Dales took some time to chat to Kill Your Stereo about the festival, the Australian release of the album and the future for The Summer Set.
Hey Brian, how you doing?
I’m doing good, how are you?
I am really good. Thanks for chatting with Kill Your Stereo.
That’s good, and of course.
Before we begin, can you tell me about your self and your band The Summer Set?
I am Brian Logan Dales, I sing for The Summer Set and we have been this band for about, we started this band in the summer of 2007, John and Steven Gomez who are our guitarist and bass player are brothers and the two of them along with Jess Bowen, our drummer, have been playing music together for about 10 years now from garage band after garage band and one year in high school we started The Summer Set and we have kind of just been doing this ever since. I like to think of us as a good old fashioned, American pop rock and roll band.
Your second album, Everything’s Fine, is being released in Australia and New Zealand today. For anyone that might not have checked it out yet, can you give us the Brian Dales run down of it?
Everything’s Fine is being released in Australia today?
That’s amazing, I didn’t know, that’s really cool. I didn’t even know that. I knew it was happening but I didn’t know it was happening today, that’s really amazing. Everything’s Fine is our sophomore album, I like to think of the album as being about the trials and tribulations of boy meets girl and I guess the trials and tribulations of a first love. I think it is the most honest and sincere record, for me as a songwriter that we really could have written. Between our first record and our second record we wanted to make sure we were more prepared when going into the studio, so we had 40 something songs and we went into the studio with John Fields who pushed us to try a lot more than we were used to and experiment with a lot of different instruments and I think we made a very eclectic record and I am really really proud of how it turned out.
Do you have any plans for the songs that didn’t go into the record?
Yeah we do. A lot of them I don’t really like, as a songwriter you write a lot of songs and some of them don’t turn out the best but that’s kind of how you get the good ones. There is probably about a dozen songs that I would love to see the light of day somehow, no plans for them yet but we’ll see. There’s quite a few songs I still really enjoy.
The Australian release features two new tracks on it, how did you choose the extra tracks?
I am not actually sure what they are (laughs).
I can tell you that. They are Crash and Last First Kiss.
Thanks, I am glad. Crash was the bonus track on the American iTunes version as well so Crash has already been released. Last First Kiss is one of my favourite songs that we wrote but it didn’t end up really fitting in or making the cut onto the record but I am happy it is being released in Australia. Australia is one of my favourite countries and Last First Kiss is one of my favourite songs so I am stoked that you guys get to have it and I hope that everyone enjoys it.
Later this month The Summer Set will be heading to Australia for the first time as part of Soundwave Festival, but you said you have been here before?
That was on holiday with my mum for her 50th birthday. One of her best friends is from Australia and my mum was off to Australia to see the Australian Open, this was about two years ago, and I went with her. We were there for about three weeks and it was the most amazing time of my life so I am so excited to come back and actually play.
What have you heard about Soundwave and what are you expecting from it?
Well I have seen the lineup and it is one of the most eclectic and coolest tour ever, I didn’t think I’d ever get to say that I went on tour with Limp Bizkit before (laughs), so we’ll see. But I have heard that it is the most accommodating, most awesome tour, I have heard from a lot of my friends in other bands that you are treated so well on this tour and you are always playing to a huge crowd and the crowds are amazing and the weather is amazing so I’m really excited.
Are there any bands that you are definitely going to be checking out during Soundwave?
I think I am probably going to check out Limp Bizkit for a novelty factor, I think that’ll be really funny, I will probably watch Jack’s Mannequin I have always been a big fan of them and a lot of stuff Andrew has done before.
For us Australians that have never gotten to see The Summer Set live, what can we expect from the shows?
I guess our live show versus our recording is that we try to be a very fun and high-energy band for people live, we always want everyone to have a really good time. It is important at a time in the music industry when records aren’t selling very well for bands to be able to put on a really good live show visually and I think I move around a lot on stage, I always have a great time up there and I hope that everyone watching us is having the same great time as well.
The Summer Set will also be playing two sideshows. How different will those sets be from the main festival ones?
We might get to play a couple of extra songs and throw in a couple of different ones, but we will see. They will be pretty similar structure wise, I believe.
Being your first time in Australia, will you be playing songs from all your releases? Or just sticking to more recent stuff?
We will probably play a handful of songs from Love Like This and a bunch of songs from our new record Everything’s Fine, nothing from our EPs or anything like that, we only play those in the US (laughs). Probably a lot of Everything’s Fine songs mixed with a handful of older songs.
The Summer Set also recently released a small holiday EP. What was the reasoning behind releasing that?
Yes we did. It was something we always wanted to do. We wrote a Christmas song that we were really proud of, it is one of my favourite songs we have every written and then a friend of ours, a writer/producer named Mike Daly who we wrote Someone Like You and Mona Lisa with on our record used to be in this band in the early 90’s called Whiskeytown, and they are one of my favourite bands ever, and one day Mike kind of emailed me asking if we had any interest in recording an old Christmas song of theirs that they never released and I was just honoured to do so and I thought it was a great song and I felt pumped about this time of year and so we wanted to record it because they never released it and we kind of figured out a way to package our Christmas song called Old Mexico and his song and then give away all the proceed to charity. That was the important part for us, we wanted to donate all the proceeds to charity and we raised $6000 doing it, so we felt really happy about that.
Wow, congratulations on that. What is your personal favourite song to play live and why?
Thank you, The song changes a little bit but it is usually When We Were Young because it is my favourite song that we have ever written, or Someone Like You because it is very different and it’s very rhythmic and it’s a fun song for me to move around to and kids can get really lively so it’s always between those two.
And will we be seeing both those songs in Australia?
You will be seeing both of those songs in Australia, no doubt, they are two of our most popular.
What influences The Summer Set’s sound and you personally as a musician and are the two quite different?
The two are different in the sense that all five of us do listen to a lot of different music and I think that is what makes us us, that natural blend of all of our different influences, but I think collectively as a band we are all children of the 90’s and we grew up on bands like Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20 and we are from Arizona so a lot of like Jimmy Eat World and the Gin Blossoms but I don’t know, my influences are personally very eclectic, I am the biggest Bruce Springsteen fan, I grew up in a house where I was raised listening to him so he has always been, kind of, the holy grail for me. But I also dig a lot of Justin Timberlake and a lot of hip hop so my influences are very eclectic, I love pop music, I just love great pop songs.
Any chances of a Brian Dales hip hop side project any time soon?
If anyone would take me seriously in doing so then yes, definitely (laughs), I would love to do a solo thing though seriously.
What bands, artists or albums are getting the most play on your ipod lately?
That goes back to before, the last few months I have been on a very big hip hop kick, I think I go through fazes where I get pretty tired of rock music because I am around it all the time. So lately, I was on a really really big Kanye West/ Jay Z Watch The Throne kick after seeing the tour live, I was listening to a lot of Childish Gambino, I am really excited for fun.’s new record. What else am I listening to? Let me think about this (laughs). Oh I really like the new Lana Del Rey.
What does the rest of 2012 look like for The Summer Set?
A lot of international touring, after Australia we go home and take a month off, then we will do a Europe tour in April, and then it looks like we might take the summer off and start casually thinking about a third record and start writing.
Thanks for chatting with Kill Your Stereo, Brian. Is there anything else you wanted to add?
I think we have covered it, but I can’t wait for Soundwave and I am so excited, it’s my favourite country and it’s my favourite time of year so I am really excited to get out of the cold weather in the US and down to an Australian summer, and thank you.
Well thanks a lot and we look forward to see you in Australia soon.