The Dangerous Summer are without a doubt one of the best pop rock band’s in the world at the moment. Armed with a new album, ‘Golden Record,’ the band will hit our shores as part of the Australian leg of the Vans Warped Tour this December. Guitarist Cody Payne recently took some time out to chat with Killyourstereo.com about both.
G’day Cody, how are you doing this morning?
Yeah, I’m doing well. It’s a day off for us, so we’re not doing much.
You guys are currently gearing up for the release of your new album, ‘Golden Record,’ which is due for release in Australia on Friday and has been streaming online for a couple of days now. What’s the response been like so far?
It’s been amazing. I mean, a lot of websites, and magazines, and music journalists have had some really good reviews for it and some really nice things to say about it. Some are saying it’s one of our better albums, which in some ways is surprising because we were pretty nervous about showing people, but it has gone over great.
Something that I found really interesting was the album artwork. Does that have any significance to you guys?
We were just kind of shooting photos and planning imagery for it, and we just wanted to do something with fireworks, and flares and cool timeless photos, to give the songs something of a reminiscent vibe. That’s really all I could say.
‘Golden Record’ is the first release to feature work from your new guitarist and drummer, Matt Kennedy and Ben Cato. Was the studio dynamic any different to usual with them involved?
Yeah, it was actually very different this time. We did a lot of jamming in the studio as a full band, live, with AJ kind of making up vocal lines and figuring out the songs that way, rather than figuring it all out acoustic, and then doing lyrics that way. We wanted to make it a full band effort and do what feels good there.
There was a recent news item where AJ called out those in the music industry who took a "fake" approach to the production of their music. How did that attitude impact the production of ‘Golden Record?’
I think mainly it’s just like, there’s so many people these days who will pay a songwriter to write all their songs, and half the band members don’t even play on the albums. Then they go on tour and they have tracks running so they don’t have to really sing or play, and we’re kind of just making a point that we don’t do that. You know, it’s all us. There’s no co-writing, we play all the instruments, there’s no auto tune or editing. Or not too much editing at least. It’s just become so easy for non-talented musicians to put up something they haven’t really done and get so much credit for it.
Where there any artists who you would consider key influences over the sound on ‘Golden Record?’
I wouldn’t say there’s any one band specifically, but at the time we were listening to a lot of Japandroids, we’re always listening to Jimmy Eat World. I think those two guys have had a really big influence on us while we’re writing.
You boys are heading back down to Australia for the Australian leg of the Vans Warped Tour. How are you guys feeling about it?
We’re excited! We have no idea what to expect, since Warped Tour hasn’t been done in such a long time down there. I have no idea, i think there’s only like 19 bands or something, so there can only be like, 2 or 3 stages really, so I reckon it’ll be kind of closeknit, and I’ll probably get a chance to meet and hang out with a lot of the bands on the lineup, and that should be sweet.
Are there any bands on that lineup that you’re particularly excited to see or play with?
We really wanna meet the guys in The Used and The Offspring. They’re probably the two that we’re really excited about.
Given that there’s a fair bit of time off between those shows, is there anything you guys are hoping to do in your off days?
We’re not really sure where exactly we will be, but we wanna find some people that live there that can show us what’s cool to do there. Show us a good time. You know, there’s always the typical tourist attractions, but I think it’d be better to find people who actually know what it’s like there to show us a good time.
This won’t be your first experience of the Warped Tour, having done the US run in 2011. Do you guys have any great memories that stick out from that?
It’s just really cool, hey. I expect it to be different, the way they run it compared from there to here, but it’s just really cool. The lineup is always a bit random, you never know when you’ll play, and it’s heaps exciting. Lots of people can find out who you are really just by walking past your band playing and it’s just one of the coolest things you can ask for.
You guys were also on the fantastic Soundwave lineup in 2012. Any highlights to that tour that you can share?
That tour was amazing. Some days were better than others, but overall being a part of Soundwave is unreal. They treat you great, and everything’s really organised, and it’s just really great. It’s a very professionally run festival. I reckon hanging out with Andrew McMahon would’ve been a bit of a highlight. I can’t remember much else that I did down there, but that was great.
How do you guys go about selecting songs for your setlist, particularly for a festival like Warped?
It’s always really hard, because there’s always the fans that want to hear some song that you never really play. With festivals we tend to stick with the more popuar ones, and the more upbeat ones, and the ones that really catch anyone’s attention. In Australia you can probably expect a fair bit of our new album, and a lot of the more upbeat songs from past albums that are more popular with people.
The Warped Tour has stops in both Coffs Harbour and Canberra, which are places in Australia that generally don’t get many shows. What are you expecting out of those shows?
I really have no idea what to expect. I’ve never really heard of either of them (laughs) so I’m interested to find out a bit about them. I guess it’s one of those ‘we’ll find out when we get there’ situations, but everywhere we’ve been in Australia before has been great and always a good time, so we’re excited.
A couple of quick ones to finish on, what would be your dream lineup for a show?
Hmm. If I could play with any bands…probably Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, and something like a Box Car Racer reunion tour or something.
What’s your favourite place to tour?
.I dunno, give me some examples (laughs)
Just countries you’ve played. Australia, Europe, home in the US, anywhere really. What place has stuck out to you the most.
I can’t say Australia, because so much of it is similar to home, you know? There’s times where you don’t even feel like you’re in a different place. Probably one of the more ‘middle-of-nowhere’ parts of Europe.
You’re stuck on a deserted island, and you can choose any five records to have with you. What are they?
That’s so hard (laughs). I’d say Japandroids – Celebration Rock. I’d take Jimmy Eat World- Futures, although I guess I could say that about any of their albums. I dunno, there’s so many bands I listen to where I don’t know the names of their albums (laughs) anything by The National. The Con, by Tegan and Sara. And probably something by Blink. Maybe their self-title.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on tour?
That’s always a hard question because you can never think of it on the spot…..I really don’t know, hey. Sorry about that. I’m just not able to think of anything right now.
Any final words for your Australian fans before we wrap up?
If anyone’s going to Warped Tour, check out the set times, check out the signing times, cause we’ll be doing both every day, and we’re keen to meet and hang out with every one of you.
Check out killyourstereo‘s review of The Dangerous Summer‘s new album ‘Golden Record,’ here.
Find more details on the Vans Warped Tour here.