Texas-based pop act The Rocket Summer, who co-headlined at The Chain Reaction on April 24 with label mates Brandston and supported by Cartel, caused personal confusion in the area of pronoun usage.
Stay with me on this one. I’ll explain. On May 17, The Rocket Summer will be releasing their second full-length album ‘Hello, Good Friend’ on The Militia Group, a much-anticipated follow-up to their critically celebrated underground smash hit ‘Calendar Days.’ In this sentence, the very problem arises. Though in music journalism a band name implies a plural entity, I really should say ‘his’ second length album or ‘his’ smash hit, because these things are not the products of a group, but rather of one person whose name is Bryce Avary.
‘I’m just so proud of it,’ said Avary on ‘Hello, Good Friend’ after the show. ‘I kind of felt blessed with [the new songs], you know what I’m saying, like God gave them to me, basically. I mean, I worked and wrote them. But it wasn’t really that hard writing it. It was really hard recording it.’
The reason that it was hard for Avary to record the album and why I experienced some minor pronoun confusion was because, like on his first album, the singer/songwriter wrote and recorded the parts for every instrument in a studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., also sharing a producer credit with Tim O’Hair.
‘Yeah, I did everything,’ Avary said. ‘It was just dark when I was up in New York. I got married a few months ago. We finished the record a couple days before I got married. It was weird. It was a bad timing deal.’
Though for his live act Avary puts together a group of friends to play his songs, he is the reason that people come to see the band. Onstage he definitely earns his admiration, working so hard onstage, with more energy than anyone that I’ve seen in a good while, even switching between guitar, piano and drums, and sounding great on all of them. His voice also sounds amazing live, as powerful as his presence on stage.
‘I might put a band together. I don’t know. It just started out of necessity of not having a band. But now I can have a band if I want one. It’s almost like a choice. I don’t know what the people would want. I feel like I have such an awesome personal connection with everybody, what would it be like to have a band? Would that be good?’ said Avary.
Though this sounds like the slightly paranoid concerns that would only apply to a one-man band, the personal connection that Avary spoke of was definitely in full force at the Chain show. It began when he entered the stage to a roar of screams and ending after the show when he spent an hour and a half signing autographs for fans.
Avary’s road to success began in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas where he began writing songs early in his childhood at the age of twelve. Somewhere in there he learned guitar, bass and drums, recorded ‘Calendar Days’ and got signed to The Militia Group, all before graduating high school.
‘I learned piano literally a couple months before I made Calandar Days,’ said Avary.
When it came time for The Rocket Summer to make a follow up after a lot of touring and the success of ‘Calendar Days’, the only difference to Avary’s approach to he shared a producing credit with O’Hair. Avary did however speak of a difference of his emotional status while writing ‘Hello, Good Friend.’
‘Yeah, this one felt different. You know, Calendar days I was just in High School, lived with Mom and Dad, you know just had dreams of all of it. It was just like an experiment. Years having past, toured the world. Musically and as a person I grew up a little bit, went through some hard times. I kinda grew up a lot spiritually. With this record I felt like it was a really good example of who I was and where I was at that moment,’ said Avary.
The Rocket Summer is finishing up their tour in May, traveling most of the West Coast and some of the Mid-West. Information on their tour and [his] upcoming cd release ‘Hello Good Friend’ on May 17, can be found on www.therocketsummer.com.