An Interview with the Summer Set

Glenn Rohrbacker

Last week, the Summer Set rocked the German Club during the University of New Haven’s Fall Fest. Before the show, I got to sit down with lead singer, Brian Dales, and we talked about the band, their journey, and what is going on with their career at the moment.

The Summer Set perfomed in the German Club Oct. 2  (Photo by Sam Reposa/ Charger Bulletin photo)
The Summer Set perfomed in the German Club Oct. 2
(Photo by Sam Reposa/ Charger Bulletin photo)

Glenn: So where does The Summer Set come from?

Brian: We started the band about 8 years ago in Phoenix, Arizona when a couple of us were still in high school. We got the name because at the time we had already been booked with some studio time and we didn’t have a name yet, so John and Steven Gomez had discovered the town of Somerset, New Jersey. They thought it would be interesting to respell it like the season and it’s funny that it stuck.

GR: What kind of genre do you consider the band to be and what are you influenced by?

BD: We’re a pop-rock band and all I’m really trying to be is someone who writes the best songs I can. I just like good songs in any genre. I strive to write the best songs I can, we produce a lot of it ourselves, which is very fortunate to help us find our sound. My biggest influences would be Bruce Springsteen and Kanye West, where you can’t get much different than that. But we also enjoy other bands like Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World.

What kind of people have you toured with or played shows with?

BD: We’ve toured with everybody from Plain White Tees to All Time Low. We also got to play at the iHeart Radio festival in 2009 where we opened for Queen, Katy Perry, Elton John, Muse and Keith Urban. We’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of really great people.

So are you the backbone of the songwriting?

We’ve written some songs all together, there are some songs on this record that I wrote myself and there are producers we’re friends with that we collaborate with as well. We don’t really write on tour, there’s so much going on and I like keeping them separate.

So “Boomerang” is your biggest hit. Do you think that it was your breaking point?

Yeah that’s been our biggest song. I also want to give credit to that whole album cycle, things really changed for us during that time. That song kind of opened the door for us for new people to come out to see us. It was very much a pop record and we wanted it to be that way. It was kind of a re-introduction to our band.

So why do you do it? Why did you make the band and try to go all the way?

BD: I like connecting to people. I’ve always liked to write, I’ve always like being in front of other people. Every time I think about being just the songwriter, I realize how much I love this and connecting to people and being on stage and I don’t think I could ever really be without it.

What can you tell me about your new record?  

BD: Well it’s the first one that was majority self produced by John and Steven Gomez. It’s a very fun record but it’s very serious lyrically. It’s about being a confused 25 year-old who’s not sure if he’s still young or really old yet. It’s set to be out in the spring and it’s the most time we’ve spent on a record.

What would you want people to think about you that may not know you already?

I hope that word of mouth got around to the people didn’t come to the show tonight that we put on the best show we could have put on and it was fun and it was exciting. I just want people to think we’re exciting.

I want to thank Brian for talking with me and thank The Summer Set for putting on an awesome show at UNH.