The Summer Set is one of today’s catchiest pop-punk acts. Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona, the band have released two full-length albums since their formation in 2007 and are enjoying their first co- headlining tour with The Cab. When they played at The Mod Club on February 4th, the dynamic of the room changed instantly into one big sing-along dance party when they hit the stage. Before their high-energy set I got a chance to chat with lead singer Brian Dales about their tour, their latest album Everything’s Fine and pop music.
How is the tour with The Cab going so far?
Brian: It’s almost over actually and it’s my favourite tour we’ve ever done. It’s our tour! It’s not us opening for someone; it’s us and The Cab coming together. Fans of ours who have seen us for years now are coming out and I think everyone loves seeing us together. It is fun playing with everybody and its cool doing this with our best friends. It’s amazing. We had our biggest show last night playing in front of a little over 1000 people in Detroit.
That’s awesome! The tour was only 5 weeks. Are there any stores your willing to share with us?
Brian: Well…we were in Vegas pretty early on this tour…maybe a little too early [laughs]. Shit got a little out of hand. Nashville has a tendency to get the best of Alex and I. It’s our favourite city ever, we had a good time. Alex and I should never go out in public together. [laughs]
Everything’s Fine was released last summer. How has the response been for the album?
Brian: It’s awesome! It’s great to play the songs on this tour to a lot of kids and their singing the words, it’s amazing! Even if in the music industry today albums aren’t selling, kids are getting their hands on music somehow and they’re singing. They’re buying tickets and the shows are incredible.
Check out the song “Mona Lisa”
How did the recording process for Everything’s Fine differ to that of Love Like This?
Brian: Well, back then we didn’t know what we were doing and we were all about eighteen so it was a starting point. We spent more time and were more careful. For this record we recorded forty-something songs in the studio about everything and we had to narrow it down to the ones that were the most honest and sincere to everything I’ve gone through in the past two years. It’s a real sincere record from my standpoint. We went in the studio with John Fields who really pushed us to experiment and try things we never tried before. We wanted it to be a little different the second time around.
Is there a song on Everything’s Fine that has the most meaning to you?
Brian: I couldn’t possibly choose! Every song is one chronological story of the trials and tribulations of a relationship. I think for the next record we won’t have so many songs written about a girl [laughs].
I found the Everything’s Fine album art very interesting because the sad face on the cover is very ironic to the title.
Brian: Yeah, like every relationship will have its ups and downs. It’s the ying-yang mentality. The songs for the most part are happier songs. It’s just about how everything will turn out fine in the end.
What’s the coolest thing that the band got to achieve?
Brian: To me last night was pretty high up there. It was the biggest headlining show we’ve ever played! We sold out 75% of the shows on this tour! That’s the biggest compliment to me! It’s awesome.
If you weren’t pursuing music as a career, what would you be doing?
Brian: I knew pretty early in life I’ve always wanted to right in some extent, whether it’s songs or some sort of journalism. I’ve always had this love for words. I wanted to go to school to be an English major. Who knows where it could have gone? But I know I would’ve been writing something.
What are three must-have items when you go on tour?
Brian: Since the tour has started, I have committed to the iPhone life. It’s about the only thing I need anymore [laughs]. It has everything on it! I like having a book, and coffee. Coffee gets me through a lot of things! I don’t sleep much anyways.
Are there any guilty pleasures on your iPod?
Brian: I don’t have any guilty pleasures. I am proud of my love for all things pop music from musicals to Lady Gaga to bands like us and The Cab. I just love pop songs.
Not even a Spice Girls or a Backstreet Boys guilty pleasure we’ll find?
Brian: I have Backstreet Boys! Spice Girls I never liked. Backstreet Boys I wasn’t a big fan of as I was of ‘N Sync. I’m not really guilty. [laughs]
What’s your favourite song to play live?
Brian: “Someone Like You”. It’s a very rhythmic song and a very danceable song. It just creates a different rhythm around the stage. The kids are always singing and going nuts to it.
What does The Summer Set have planned next?
Brian: We’re touring internationally to Australia, then to Europe. We actually don’t have a North American tour booked for a while. Hopefully by summer we’ll start writing a new record, but we aren’t going to rush it.
Finally, why should someone who has never heard of The Summer Set check you guys out?
Brian: Because we write songs that are really really really brutally honest. We’re sincere. There’s no bullshit in our music. We are exactly the people we are.
Check out the song “Boomerang”