It’s always exciting to sit down with musicians who have done so much in their careers when they are still so extremely young. With such a bright future ahead, I had the opportunity to recently chat with Brian Dales, lead singer of The Summer Set. They recently embarked on the Wake Up & Be Awesome Tour, hitting venues across the U.S. with bands including Go Radio and We Are The In Crowd. We chatted about life on the road, new music, his favorite musicians, and what advice he can give for young musicians striving to make it big!
I know you guys just embarked on the Wake Up & Be Awesome Tour. It’s a great lineup featuring Go Radio, We Are The In Crowd, and For The Foxes. I am so excited to hit up the New York date, so tell me, how did this lineup come about?
Well, we wanted to properly headline a tour, and we had toured with We Are The In Crowd once before, and we are actually labelmates with Go Radio. It’s a great lineup with a bunch of awesome bands, and so far it’s going great. We are on our fourth date and every show has been incredible so far. The energy has been amazing.
I am actually good friends with a few of the boys from For The Foxes. They are Jersey boys, and a great band!
Yeah, I am really excited to tour with them!
I recently saw that the band would be back on the Warped Tour again this year, as you were back in 2010. This must be exciting considering it starts up right after your tour ends! The lineup is incredible this year, and seems to be having more bands added every week! What is the most enjoyable part of being on such a popular tour?
We had a blast with it in 2010, and we are definitely looking forward to it again. It’s funny, because it’s a crazy experience. You play a different set time each show, so you literally wake up to find out what time you will be playing that day. But it’s cool, because you always have to be prepared.
Then the next day, you wake up in a different city and do it all over again. And yes, the lineup this year is great, a lot of heavy bands, a lot of bands I am looking forward to checking out for the first time too.
Do you ever get homesick when on the road for long increments like this? I mean, it’s basically for a few solid months with no downtime.
You know, as funny as it may sound, I am actually the complete opposite. When I am home, I guess I get what you could call “road sick.” I love being on the road, and once I get home, of course it’s great to see family and friends, but touring is what I love, and playing music. Touring definitely takes a toll on you, but I love it.
What was the music scene like growing up in Arizona?
The music scene when we were just starting out was actually awesome. There were a lot of local Arizona bands that would always play shows together, who were all coming up around the same time. We all seemed to form a community, touring together, and joining forces. Each band supported one another, and it was a very unified scene. I mean, we have a lot of successful bands that have come out of Arizona; bands like Jimmy Eat World, Blessthefall, and more. So yeah, there was a great scene.
I love the new single, “F*ck U Over.” We have to know a little backstory on this song. Was it about someone specific?
You know, it really wasn’t about someone or something specific, just more about my current state of mind post-breakup at the time. Our past records were much more emotional. As you grow older, things change. This song is just a message. It’s available now on iTunes. It’s getting a great reaction so far, and it’s fun to perform live.
When can fans expect new music?
On this release [Legendary, due out April 16], you can definitely experience positive energy; it’s putting out the message to always be the best person you can be. We are playing a lot of the new songs on the road on this tour, so fans can check it out before it comes out. It has been getting a great reaction so far. I am 23 years old and releasing our third record. I’ve made so many of my dreams come true, and we still have so much more to do.
What influences the lyrical content in your music? Does the band follow a certain process or is it different every time?
It really does change each time. It all reflects where we are in our lives. We literally just learned a lot about each other on this record, recording, having fun, seeing friends, and hanging out by the pool, drinking, and just writing. It’s funny because it’s almost like you are hearing your band for the first time every time you write a new record. The vibe is very positive on this one.
Other than your own music, what bands are you really into right now?
Hmmm… Good question. Well, I am really into my good friend Hoodie Allen; his new mixtape [Crew Cuts] is amazing. I also really love Macklemore. I really just love his story, how he is an artist that made it to number one all on his own, and “Thrift Shop” is a great tune. I am really proud of him and excited for his future. I also am really digging the new Twenty One Pilots record [Vessel]; you have to check it out if you haven’t. And, of course, the new Justin Timberlake.
Are there any bands in particular that you would love to work with in the future?
Well, working with Justin Timberlake as I just said would be amazing, I just love his music. Jay-Z would obviously be really cool. I love hip-hop, there are just a ton of artists. I also really like fun. I dig their production styles.
I host a show called Jersey Rock, where I only play local music and musicians striving to make it big. Do you have any advice for young bands starting out that want to make it big?
Absolutely. First and foremost, take advantage of social networking. It’s free and the best tool you can have. Always promote your band and what you have going on. Plus, write tons of songs. Write, write, write. Even if you don’t end up using the song, keep writing it. Hmm… Oh, and tour outside of your comfort zone, branch out, get new fans, and keep the momentum going.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us Brian, I am looking forward to seeing the Wake Up & Be Awesome Tour on the road!
Thanks so much for having me! Come check us out on tour!
The Summer Set will play at the First Unitarian Church in Philly on March 15, and The Gramercy Theatre in NYC on March 19. For more information, go to thesummersetband.com.