Interview: The Summer Set [April 2016]

By Lais

The Summer Set have recently released their fourth album ‘Stories For Monday’, and it’s 100% the best thing they’ve ever done. It’s one of those albums that’s built for summer and driving with the windows down and feeling incredibly nostalgic. We spoke to them about what the album means to them, how it saved them from breaking up, and how excited they are about coming over to the UK in May.

Hi guys! How’s it going with you? You’ve just released your fourth album, ‘Stories For Monday’. I absolutely love it! How has the reaction been to it so far?

We didn’t have any expectations, since this album almost never happened. It’s a beautiful thing. The response has been unanimously positive and that’s really spectacular.

I feel like this might be your best album yet. How do you guys feel about it? How was the writing and recording process?

I feel like it might be our best album yet too! Very proud of this one. We took our time making this album. I did a lot of travelling. I saw the world in ways I always wanted to and it was inspiring. I saw myself differently. I lost myself too. I think I’ve grown a ton as a songwriter. These songs are very honest. We then sat down at home in LA and John and Stephen produced the album. It’s the truest album we’ve ever made sonically, because we did this ourselves. I think for the first time ever, we figured out what we really sound like.

On first track ‘Figure Me Out’, it sounds like you had some doubts about yourself and music, and there were rumours that you broke up in 2015. Is there any truth in the rumours? And how are things with The Summer Set now?

The rumours were definitely true. I got really lost within myself when we were writing this album. Apathetic, if you will. At one point last September we sat down as a band and thought maybe we had run our course. We decided we would finish our record ourselves with what we had, and give it back to our fans one last time. We let our guard down and made an album we were insanely proud of. It was a silver lining and the best thing that’s ever happened to us. We realised it wasn’t time to get off this ride yet, and that we were really proud of this album.

There are some ridiculously catchy tracks on the record. Do you have any particular favourite songs? (I know that’s like asking a parent to name their favourite baby, but still).

I think ‘Figure Me Out’, because it’s the most honest and cathartic and really shows where I’m at in my life, and ‘Jean Jacket’ because it’s timeless and shows the most growth amongst our band.

Where were you at when you were writing the lyrics for this record? Are there any common themes throughout for you?

I did a lot of travelling during the writing process for this album. Mexico a few times, cross country road trips to Nashville. I spent a lot of time in New York. I even spent a week in Alaska alone. This is an album about finding yourself and I found little bits of me everywhere. It’s an album about hope, desire, and being lost in your mid twenties. It’s an album about stories.

You’re coming over to the UK next month for a headline tour. I’m super psyched. How are you feeling about it? How do you usually find playing in the UK?

We love the UK! It’s our second home. This is the longest we’ve gone without being there actually. It’s probably the bit of our tour that I’m the most excited about. I’ve missed you guys.

You’ve also got a lot of US dates this month and next. How do you find life on the road?

I was born for life on the road. I love waking up in a different city every day. Seeing things that are familiar and also brand new in every place I go. We have friends and familiar places all over the world at this point. Everywhere is home.

You’ve also been confirmed for Warped Tour, which is awesome. How do you find Warped? Is it true that it’s like band bootcamp?

We’re only doing the last 11 dates. I don’t think I could handle doing the whole thing this year with the schedule we’ve got. It’s definitely a punk rock summer camp circus. The camaraderie is unlike anything else. We’re happy to be back.

Have you got any plans for the rest of 2016 or is it too early to announce?

You’ll see! Lots of touring. Revisiting places we’ve missed.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]