Bryce Avary and The Rocket Summer has launched into Warped Tour 2010, and will be playing all the dates over the summer. Having just finished a tour with the Goo Goo Dolls, Avary and his crew took on Warped headfirst, very much ready for the summer to commence. This is actually their second time performing at Warped, making them seasoned veterans in a way. We caught up with Bryce at the Ventura, CA Warped date and spoke with him about his new album Of Men And Angels, the Goo Goo Dolls tour, and the fact that over the years he’s become an inspiration to many a new aspiring artist. Read on…
How has Warped Tour been going so far, and does it get any easier now that you’re a Warped Tour veteran?
It’s been going really well, and having done it before, you kind of know what to expect the second time around. I just came into it with a very grateful attitude. I’m so happy to be here.
What advice would you give a new band about to attempt this tour for the first time?
Just come into it with a good attitude. Come into it expecting to work really hard. Especially for a new band – it’s not the most luxurious tour in the world. But it builds character – and you’ll look back on it and be like, “That was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done!”
What was it like touring with the Goo Goo Dolls? It seems like such an unusual bill…
It was great, man. It was really, really good! We love those guys and we were really grateful that they asked us to come on tour with them. We made a lot of fans on that tour. I never really saw Rocket Summer as being exclusive to a Warped Tour kind of a scene at all. It’s just sort of what happened by all of the bands we were touring with – that’s how we sort of become “popular.” (Quote, unquote). So it was a really amazing thing for us to get to branch out and do that tour – and then immediately come back and do this. It’s definitely two different sides to the spectrum there.
Tell me about the new single Walls and what inspired you to write that song.
I wrote that song from personal experiences of my life and other people in my life that were just going through really heavy times – whether it was depression or just struggles – it would be like your work or anything. It’s the feeling of trying so much and nothing really working. It’s just kind of having someone in your life to help you – when people come together and just lift up one another – and how important that is. It’s a really honest song.
What’s the story behind Japanese Exchange Student?
It’s funny – it’s a really quirky song but it’s actually a really sad song about loneliness – it’s about the feeling of “you’re hot and then you’re not” kind of a thing. It’s just how what that’s like. I k went through a season where I was waiting for my record to come out and nobody was calling me – it’s just the ups and downs of what I do for a living – where you find your real friends. And I just of thought, “Well I might as well just be a Japanese Exchange Student – because people want to know me right when I show up, but then the thrill wears off and then I’m alone.” And so that’s kind of where that song came from.
Why are you telling Tara that You’re Terrible? Is that a song for your wife?
Yeah. It was just a fun little hooky line. The words are, “Tara I’m terrible for telling the whole world about how terrible tolerant you are with my crazy antics.” I don’t know – I just thought that Tara I’m Terrible was kind of a cool name.
How is married life been and is it complicated being on the road together? Is she out with you on the road now?
Yes, she’s out with me now. And it’s good! I’m really fortunate – I’m very blessed and it hasn’t been complicated at all.
You’ve inspired so many young musicians. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel good, you know. It’s weird, like being on this tour; I’ve kind of seen that more. A lot of these bands are like, “Hey man, I’ve listened to you and you’ve really influenced me.” And it’s like, “Wow! That’s really flattering.” It makes me feel like old or something. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m on the way out or something…
How old are you now Bryce?
You’ve been doing this for a while. You’re a veteran now…
You know, I am, but I still feel like it’s just the beginning in a weird way. Maybe because I’ve never really a had a really big look, you know – I’ve never really had that big radio moment or MTV or whatever. It’s still just the beginning in some ways.
How do you feel about younger bands like Never Shout Never who are coming in and making a really big impression?
I’m happy for them, you know. It’s cool. Good for everybody.
Have you heard that song Technicolor Eyes by Backseat Goodbye where he mentions you?
You know, I think I have heard it. I obviously know what he says in the song, and that’s really flattering – it’s really cool. I think my sister showed it to me like a year or two ago. It was really cool!
What was the very first song that you ever wrote and what was it about?
I think the very first song I ever wrote – I wrote it when I was in 6th grade and it was about how cruel kids could be and how one day it was all going to be over. And how pointless being rude was when I was a kid. I have it on a four track somewhere…
With Of Men And Angels being completed over a year ago, how close are you recording all new material?
I’ve been definitely writing. I’m prepared to make a record fairly soon if I need to. And I’m really excited about the new material. It’s like actually exciting – the actual sounds. I think it’s maybe a little more exciting maybe than this last record – which I’m excited about.
Tell me about your clothing line – Call It Captivate…
CIC – we’re actually in the middle of doing a big re-launch – not a re-launch but a big revamp. We’ll be announcing the new line later this year – hopefully this summer even. We’re almost there – we just have to get our website finished. It’s cool – we’re just trying to make great clothes and trying to spotlight a bunch of different charities to be partnered with – so when people come to our website and check out our clothes, they could also get to read about some of the charities that we support and are partnered with. And when they buy something, they get to decide which charity they want to give a significant portion of the money to. So it’s pretty cool.
Is it true you did a concert on the White House lawn? Tell me about that.
I did that was Invisible Children – it was me and Kristin Bell, actress (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) – Nada Surf was there and Aaron Gillespie was there. We were just performing for this thing called How It Ends – they were lobbying to raise awareness about what’s going on in Uganda with these kids being abducted and forced into this rebel army. And it was cool because the bill passed – it was pretty amazing to be a part of that.
What President was in office when you did this?
It was Obama – it was just last summer. I didn’t get to meet him or anything.
How does it feel to know that so many kids are genuinely touched by your music and what you say?
It makes me feel really good – especially when I lose sight of that. Like where things were kind of rough for a while or things are stressful – to hear somebody come up and tell me how much it means to them and what it’s done – that’s like the most amazing thing that somebody just told me that. It can really pull me out of a funk, you know? It’s like teamwork – I give, they give.
Do you have any messages for your fans here in the Los Angeles area?
Just thanks for always being so rad. LA and Orange County are always some of the greatest cities we’ve ever played. Hope to keep it that way forever.
(Interview and Warped Tour photos by Kenneth Morton – Note: Live pix taken at Warped Tour Carson – Interview pix taken at Warped Tour Ventura)
The Rocket Summer on Myspace