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Throw Back Thursday: April 2010, Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer

Magpie and Avary 2010

Magpie and Avary 2010

Four years ago at age 13 I set out to Worcester MA to interview a long time idol.  Meeting up in a corner pizza shop we spoke to Rocket Summer frontman Bryce Avary.  The Rocket Summer is still chugging along having their most recent lp being “Life Will Write The Words”.  Avary also spends a tremendous amount of times on his charity work Call It Captivate to  “express relevant art through fashion, to inspire, to educate, and most importantly, be used as an outlet to encourage people to give to those in need.”

Here’s how it went down:

Rock NYC  met up with Bryce Avary, leader of the Rocket Summer,  in Uno’s and I sat across from him and was so excited out of my mind.
The first question I asked was ‘How do you think social networking, if at all, has affected your fan base?’ and I included how he takes pictures of crowds and life on the road.
Bryce: “I think it’s just cool to involve our fans in this because our fans our just as much a part of it as I am. And I thought it’d be a really cool thing to take a picture of the crowd every night. People tag themselves on Facebook and it’s really important to stay connected with people. You know, you kind of have to be on top, I mean A) I like it, but B) you almost kind of have to do that thing these days in order to just stay relevant with them in a way, you know?”
With people commenting on his Myspace saying how you saved their lives, ‘Who inspires you?’
Bryce: “I mean, man, I…”(Camera flash sound. Photo op) “I’ve been inspired by so many things. So many bands. I’m really inspired by stories and stories within my family with my life. I’m really inspired by, just, great songs and what they can do. And…yeah.”
With the obvious change in lyrics from “Do You Feel” and “Of Men and Angels”, I asked him about what happened.
Bryce: “How have you noticed a difference?”
I elaborated with ‘It just seems so more reflective.’
Bryce: “I mean, I think I sort of went through a, I don’t really know how to put it. I just wanted to make a really honest record and kind of the only things that I could write about were sort of some refining periods that I was going through. As well as some victorious moments. I just kind of was like, I mean you’re right, it was a much more reflective album. It was much more of just really trying to find any light I could to grab onto as opposed to just writing upbeat pop songs. I don’t think it’s a sad record or anything, it’s just a bit more real, I think.”
I then spoke to him about how big of an influence has on me and my friends and how I reviewed “Of Men and Angels” for my school newspaper. “Who was your musical influence growing up, and is it similar to your current sound?”
Bryce: The stuff I was listening to…by the way, thanks for reviewing it and putting it in your school paper…the stuff I was listening to back then…I was really into some underground indie bands. Bands like Pavement, Jimmy Eat World which kind of helped shape a lot of nowaday bands. But I wouldn’t say it’s similar to what I do now. I mean, I guess it’s similar. I think it’s grown over the years. I mean, when I listen to “The Early Years” EP, not that I really listen to it or anything, but if the record ever comes on it’s definitely weird, in a way, it still feels very fresh, like there’s still so much further to go and I just kind of feel like it’s the beginning still. I never saw a shelf life on this.”
Helen popped in, and mentioned doing a few side shows then the Goo Goo Dolls.
Bryce: “We didn’t like the idea of just opening for bands, I mean because we have, over the years, I mean, but our main thing is our fans and we’re excited to do those tours for sure and we also think it’s going to put us…(fan walks by, “The Rocket Summer!”)…but we plan on doing those tours so we can play for a new audience. I think a bit of an older audience too, but we don’t like doing that more than we do doing what we always do. We had this week and a half off and we booked these last minute shows, I was like ‘Dude, we have not played headlining shows in a long time’ and we looked at our schedule and we were like ‘we’re not going to play any headlining shows for a long time’ and that’s what how we are where we are and so we booked these super last minute, really small rooms. They’ve been, like, modest turnouts and really intense, but most people are showing up, like, ‘I heard about this 5 hours ago.’”
Helen mentions the show tomorrow being huge, and that’s where Iman’s going to be(he’s in for a great surprise tonight).
Bryce: “We hope so, we hope so. It’s just so last minute.”
Helen talks about them being on Warped.
Bryce: “We’re excited to do that. That whole scene is sort of where we [caravaned] yeah, it just sort of happened there, so we’ve been dealing with these kind of, more, adult rock-friendly tours and it’s cool, but we wanna hit it all. So it’s just like, I never saw this being only for, like, emo-teenage scene. I never saw it as just being just one scene. I’m just thankful we get to play music, and some of these shows, I’ve played the Palladium completely sold out before and tonight’s probably going to be, like, 200 people in a small room but it’s just gonna be, I don’t know. Both of them are cool to me. We knew it was going to be like this, booking a tour two weeks out. Like nobody’s going to know about this but let’s just do it.”
I asked about his most embarrassing song on his iPod then, eager for a response.
Bryce: “Oh…well I think that the only thing that’s, I’m not really embarrassed by it by having anything on my iPod, but I do, you know how sometimes if you accidentaly just hit ‘play’ on your iPod, it just plays the very first thing? The very first thing that somehow comes up is “Dirty Pop” by NSYNC. And so, like, sometimes if I plug it into my stereo, and I just accidentaly push play, it’s like (in sing-song)’Dirty Pop’ and I’m just like ‘GAAAH’.”
That last statement made me love him as a person even more. I interviewed my hero at Uno’s.

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