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Artist Interview: Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer

Bryce Avary is the mastermind behind the indie pop/rock force known as The Rocket Summer.  A true DIY-minded artist from the git go, Bryce recorded and got his first release into local record stores around his hometown of Dallas at the age of 16. While he’d go on to release albums as the Rocket Summer via Island Def Jam, we’re proud to say Bryce has been using TuneCore to distribute since 2011!

Over the past decade Avary has made a splash on the Billboard charts on multiple releases, toured with artists such as OneReplublic, Third Eye Blind, and Goo Goo Dolls (as well as on high profile stretches like The Vans Warped Tour), and aligned himself with philanthropical efforts and organizations.

Most recently, The Rocket Summer has undergone a successful PledgeMusic Campaign surrounding an upcoming release. One trip to the campaign’s page and you’ll learn that Avary is a man who knows how to connect with fans: Skype sessions, record shopping experiences, and even the opportunity to knock on the cowbell on stage with Bryce are just a few of the opportunities fans who invest in the new release are given! We got a chance to interview Bryce about his background, the campaign and his plans for 2016.

Let’s go back to the beginning: what was your first instrument, and how old were you when you knew you wanted to pursue a life of music?

I started playing drums and guitar at about the same time because I had a friend in 7th grade who had both instruments in his garage. I’d go over to his house and we’d just jam on Nirvana songs because you can play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” using the same bar chord just moving it around the neck.  It was mind blowing to me. I knew at that moment that music was my passion and it just never stopped.

Who would you consider to be some of the pivotal artists in your early days of songwriting and playing in terms of influence? Anyone who inspires you especially these days? 

I was really into Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and indie rock stuff like Pavement in the early days. I’m moved by anything raw with passion and authenticity these days no matter the genre. I just want real. Honest music that is believable; it needs to sound like it’s coming from the depths of the artists soul or else I can’t really hang.

You’ve mentioned that you’re really looking to share a new sound with your fans on this upcoming album. Expand on that a bit and let us know what we can expect. 

I just followed the songs as they came out. It was very freeing. There wasn’t any kind of deliberate attempt to change the sound but simply to not allow any sort of rules or restrictions that may have subconsciously been there on previous albums; to allow myself to venture further into unknown territories. The result is a very real, alive, sonically interesting sounding album with a bit more grit than past albums. I’m really excited about how it turned out!

Your PledgeMusic campaign seems to be going very well! What led you to give this platform a shot, and how has your experience been so far?

I’ve never done a pre-order experience like this that just really interacts with fans on another level and it’s been totally amazing.  I can’t believe it took this long to do something that seems so obvious now. Giving fans extra options like handwritten lyrics or more interactive options such as coming to a show and playing a song with us on stage as an add on to the album pre-order was something exciting that just helps makes the whole experience more fun for them as well as myself.  We’re all in this together.

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TuneCore and the Rocket Summer have had a lengthy relationship! What can you say about your time and experience usingTuneCore to distribute your releases?

The ease of uploading your music through TuneCore and to have it available worldwide digitally is really an incredible asset in this day and age for artists that make and release their own music.

What plans for promoting and touring the new album lie ahead in 2016 for The Rocket Summer?

Tours, videos, and hang-times with fans hopefully everywhere they’ll have me. I can’t wait to play these songs live and to be back with my best friends celebrating life through music.