Interview with The Rocket Summer vocalist/guitarist/everything Bryce Avary
Warped Tour 2007
S&S: What is the best part about being on Warped Tour?
Bryce: I think the best part about being on Warped Tour is the energy – waking up every day and bands are playing. It’s like summer camp. I haven’t experienced anything like this since I was a kid. We’re all playing rock music, so it’s pretty cool.
S&S: How is Do You Feel different from your previous albums?
Bryce: I think it’s a lot different. Musically, I had a goal. It’s definitely much bigger sounding, like sonically. Lyrically, I had more to say. I knew what I wanted to say.
S&S: What is your favorite song on Do You Feel?
Bryce: I think my favorite song is “So, In This Hour…,” the last song on the record. I love that song. Lyrically, it kind of sums up the album. Musically, it’s one of my favorite songs to play live. It’s like six minutes long.
S&S: You play all of the instruments on your recordings. How do your songs usually come together? Do you start with a beat, lyrics, or riff?
Bryce: It’s all kind of different. Generally, I start on piano or guitar. There are a lot of songs on the record that I actually started with a drum beat. I think I still write the music first, like the melodies and stuff. Then, I hear the beat.
S&S: Describe your dream tour. What bands would you play with, and where would you go?
Bryce: My dream tour is headlining and being freakin’ huge. My favorite bands aren’t really bands that I would really want to tour with, because they’re different. I’ve been listening a lot to Wilco, and it wouldn’t make sense to open for Wilco.
S&S: That would be great! I’d go to that in a second!
Bryce: You’d go? I would love it. It would be cool to tour with Weezer, because they’ve been one of my favorite bands since I was a kid. That would be kind of cool.
S&S: Have you ever been “star-struck” while meeting another musician?
Bryce: I think so. I’ve met so many people randomly. I’ve met almost all of my favorite people. So often, it’s so disappointing. I haven’t met Robert Smith from The Cure. I don’t really want to meet him. I’ve never met Thom Yorke from Radiohead. I don’t want to meet him either. I’d rather keep them mysterious. I met Jeremy Enigk from Sunny Day Real Estate when I was a kid. That was really cool. I played [a show] with Rivers Cuomo, and he didn’t talk to me the whole time.
S&S: What are some essential items you need on the road?
Bryce: Water, music, good attitude. I know that’s not an item. For me, I bring my Bible. It’s a big part of my life.
S&S: How do you like to unwind after a show?
Bryce: I’m always so exhausted by the end of the day. There’s not much unwinding. I just like to watch tv. Maybe have a drink. It depends.
S&S: What is something that can always make you laugh?
Bryce: My wife makes me laugh all the time. She’s like the funniest person in the world. So, nothing really specific. She just makes me laugh a lot.
S&S: What is your favorite song lyric, be it from one of your own songs or another band’s music?
Bryce: Oh, man. I really like Jets To Brazil.
S&S: I love Jets To Brazil! My favorite song is “Sweet Avenue.” My favorite lyric is in that song.
Bryce: What lyric?
S&S: “Budding at my fingertips, touching you I start to bloom.”
Bryce: When I was a kid, Jets To Brazil was a huge part of my life. I saw them a lot. I really like the line, “For all the bands who mean what they say, it’s not what you sell, it’s what you make” (from “All Things Good and Nice”). It’s something that even today, you can start to lose that thought sometimes. I think it’s a beautiful thing to say.
S&S: Can you improv a short rhyming poem that describes your life right now?
Bryce: Woah. I’m not really good at freestyle rapping. I think I would suck. How about you do it?
S&S: My life is great as of late. It’s always fun under the sun. I can’t do it!
Bryce: Well, you didn’t really say anything about your life.
S&S: It’s tough going into detail when you’re trying to rhyme real quick, too.
Bryce: I’m trying to rhyme. The first thing in my head was, “Listening to Superchunk,” and then I didn’t know what to say. What rhymes with Superchunk?
S&S: Something funk. Or plunk.
Bryce: I don’t know. I’ll think about it for the next interview we do.
S&S: You’ve been performing since you were a teenager. What are some life lessons you have learned from your experiences in music?
Bryce: Try to enjoy it. Take pride in being original and not ripping off anyone else. Just enjoy music. I’ve played with many bands that I think are in it for the wrong reasons. Just keep that in focus. Like good ol’ Blake said.