Summertime Dropouts: A New Season Commences

Summertim Dropouts_StudioFor those who have already discovered Summertime Dropouts, many fans considered their debut release Rewind on Voluminous Records THE pop punk record for the Summer of 2012.  Channeling greats such as Yellowcard and New Found Glory, Summertime Dropouts unleashed their own melodic anthems that would surely heat up any time of the year.  Fast forward to the Spring of 2013, and the band has recently presented a new video for their song Amie and are about to unveil Be Kind, Rewind – Cast Commentary on ITunes – a hilarious auditory explosion as the band narrates you through their Rewind album.  Here is an interview we recently conducted with the Minneapolis-based band to find out more about the current and future happenings of this band on the rise.  So slap on that cheap crappy suntan lotion and check this out…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Summertime Dropouts, and what’s the most embarrassing song on your IPOD.
Danny: Hello, I’m Danny, and I play Lead Guitar. “We Run the Night” by Havana Brown is on my iPod. I like my pop music…

Steve:  I’m Steve, I play Bass! I have a Kelly Clarkson album on my iPod that I’m a little embarrassed over. I went through a phase…

Dave:  Dave Erickson, Vocals. Probably the fact that I don’t even have an iPod! After losing it in the middle of the woods deer hunting 2 years ago, I’ve been using my phone as my music player….

Josh:  Josh, Rhythm Guitar. I have never owned an MP3 player…so I don’t know if that is even more embarrassing than Dave losing his!

With Rewind being available for about a year now, how close is Summertime Dropouts to writing and recording all new material?
Danny: We’re organizing ideas, and I feel like we’re just about to get down to business again with the whole writing process.

Dave:  Yeah…everyone’s getting antsy to push new material. We all love music so, naturally, we’re all writing/recording new songs and ideas all the time. There won’t be a shortage of ideas come next album!

Josh:  Clint Gibbs, who was the executive producer on Rewind, is excited to work on our second album and is waiting for us to start sending demos over!

Steve:  We haven’t talked about a schedule of actually starting to record, though. I’m not always the guy that’s exactly in the loop on such things, though haha…

Any chance of Summertime Dropouts making their way out West to do some shows?
Steve:  I’d love to! I have a sister out in Oregon, and would love any excuse to go see her and her family. I’m mildly afraid of the ocean, though…

Dave:  Not sure at this point. So far we’ve been focusing hard on the Midwest but hopefully with some new tour opportunities on the table, we’ll be able to swing out West!

Josh:  I think we would all like to make it out there someday as our fan base increases.

At this point would you consider yourselves a Christian band or ministry? Why or why not?
Josh: I think the term “Christian band” is a very stereotypical term that is harmful in some ways. Just because a Muslim owns a grocery store does it make it Muslim? If an Atheist owns a gas station does it make it godless? So why should it be any different when a Christian is in a band? It’s a band. It’s a business. Period.

Danny:  Yeah…the concept of a “Christian band” is a whole category we don’t really feel the need to be a part of. However, I’m a Christian, and I know that the rest of the guys are as well. We were talking about opening up a “Christian Restaurant” though. ;o)

Dave:  To be considered a “Christian band” I feel your lyrics need to deal mostly with Christian ideals/topics. Although all the members of Summertime Dropouts happen to be Christian, the lyrical focus deals very little with Christianity or its ideals/beliefs.

Steve:  We just don’t feel like we’re supposed to writing or playing music for the Christian market. The majority of our music is just fun, unadulterated nonsense. And it will continue to stay that way.

How do you feel about non-Christians kids who may really like your music but may disagree with you about certain issues?
Josh:  The same way anyone who believes in Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Atheism, Scientology, Rastafarianism, or “Pastafarianism” (The Flying Spaghetti Monster) probably feels about someone not sharing the same beliefs as them. I’m just glad we can all share a bond of what I think is some pretty fun, light-hearted music.

Dave:  More power to them. Life is all about growing, maturing, and asking hard questions. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my beliefs. When people ask hard questions, it pushes both parties to think about how much they really believe in what they preach. As long as everything is handled in a loving, respectful, and considerate manner, I love debate about religious beliefs.

Danny:  Personally, I love them! We don’t have to agree. That’s fine.

Steve:  Yeah…a non-Christian and I might disagree on an issue, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have respect or love for each other.

Summertime Dropouts_Live_06Tell me about the upcoming video for the song Amie and who came up with the concept for it?
Steve:  I think Josh came up with the concept. It’s a compilation of some footage of us recording “Rewind” and some footage of one of the first album release shows in Warroad, MN. Our buddy James Erickson did all the filming. He, Josh, and I were in a high school band together. It was pretty cool to get the gang back together.

Josh:  Yeah…he later compiled all the footage he had and made a nifty little video for us.

Is there any story behind the lyrics for Amie?

Steve:  Amie got him all lovey dovey and he wrote a cute little pop song. How cute… haha

Dave:  At the time I wrote the song, Amie was my girlfriend but as of January, she is now my fianceé! I can’t even describe how excited I am to be marrying such an amazing woman! She’s been so patient, loving, and understanding through the last few years of me running recklessly through this music industry. As un-masculine (is that even a word?!) as it sounds, she really is my “Disney princess!”

If your music was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Steve:  The kind that cops put on the wheels of cars, because our music is incapacitating…

Dave:  Powdered. Because every member of this band is addicted to cocaine. LOL! Just kidding! Completely joking!

Danny:  Actually, we discussed this through much of the writing process and found that our music is more fitting as an original glazed donut. We’re not quite as brutal as one of those jelly-filled metal bands.

Josh:  Yeah, a Krispy Kreme because it will give you diabetes. Wow! What does that even mean?

When in the world are we going to see Summertime Dropouts on the Vans Warped Tour? Have you played Warped yet and if so, what was the experience like?
Steve:  We haven’t played it yet! I would love to, that kind of seems like the Super Bowl for the kind of music that I grew up listening to.

Dave:  Hopefully 2014! Got some people working on 2014 possibilities!

While on the road, some drunk guy offers you $100 to play What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. He is serious and wants to hear the song. What do you do?
Dave:  Swallow my pride, sing the song with Steve doing harmonies, and enjoy a fantastic steak dinner that evening while feeling a small part of my manhood die……

Steve:  Learn the song, rock the house, and make sure the guy gets a ride home!

Danny:  I have nothing against this homeless man. He will hear One Direction.

Josh:  … every day of the week!

What’s up next for Summertime Dropouts?
Josh:  Actually, we’re getting ready to shoot a music video for our next single, 1999. So that’s what’s up in our immediate future.

Dave:  Who knows for sure….hopefully a solid national tour opening for an established Pop Punk band……or maybe we all just hit the road working as carnies for county fairs!

Steve:  I’ve been in bands long enough to learn not to live in the future…haha. I’m just super excited to be doing something I love with some of my best friends. Sorry if that’s a really ambiguous answer…

Any final words of wisdom?
Dave:  Never ask Steve about his mom’s tomatoes. He’ll talk your ear off about them….

Josh:  **crickets chirping**

Danny:  Yes… **no further words**

Steve:  Never ask me about my mom’s tomatoes. I’ll talk your ear off about them. But seriously, Ken, thanks for the interview! Hopefully we’ll get to come out and meet you some day. I’ve never been to California…and feel like less of a musician admitting that! Cheers!

Watch for Be Kind, Rewind – Cast Commentary by Summertime Dropouts, coming soon to ITunes!!!

Summertime Dropouts are:
David Erickson – Lead Vocals
Danny Knoblock – Lead Guitar
Joshua Stoll – Rhythm Guitar
Steve Daniels – Bass Guitar
Joe Schaumann – Drums

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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