Interview: John Gomez of The Summer Set
Whether you’ve heard of them or not, Scottsdale, AZ’s power-pop THE SUMMER SET are quickly becoming one of the most talked about upcoming bands in the industry. Since their forming in 2007, THE SUMMER SET has built a strong following capped off by tours with THE CAB, CARTEL, A ROCKET TO THE MOON, EYE ALASKA and THE MAINE. If that doesn’t sell you, catch them on the road as part of this year’s AP Tour (HOB Sunset on 3/30/10) and a spot on the Smartpunk.com Stage this summer at Warped Tour. We caught up with guitarist John Gomez to discuss what’s in store for the band in 2010 and their upcoming performance at The Bamboozle in Anaheim on March 28th.
SoCalMusicToday.com: You’re getting ready to hit the road with THE CAB, NEVER SHOUT NEVER and HEY MONDAY. Briefly share your feelings heading into this tour.
John Gomez: Yeah we’re currently at home in Arizona getting ready for the AP Tour and actually leave in three days. This tour is going to be amazing and I’m really excited for it. There are some of our friends who we’ve previously toured with like EVERY AVENUE and THE CAB who are some friendly faces we know. Then having HEY MONDAY and NEVER SHOUT NEVER are some good people who will be fun to hang out with everyday too. I like the AP Tour lineup this year since none of the bands haven’t broken out big or onto radio like 3OH!3 who were on last years tour have. Every band on this tour from the opener to headliner haven’t broken out huge nationally yet but are more on the brink you know?
SCMT: I absolutely agree and there has to be some sort of expectations going into it as well?
John: It’s our first record we’ve ever released and we’re so proud of it that we were finally able to release it after the label battle that we went through. It’s quite a miracle that the record even came out and just being able to put a lot of our energy from the record into the live show will be great. We’ve been working really hard practicing hard everyday with our new stuff. On this tour we’re also going to be burying an old song that we’ve been playing which helped break us out of Arizona which I could also call out first single. We’ll be playing that song as almost a thank you for our fans who have been going to our shows for the past two years whether it’s 50 kids or hundreds of kids. So we’ll be playing one old song to appease our fans to show our thanks for helping us get out and do what we do.
SCMT: Speaking of Arizona, what is it like being apart of the music scene that has produced one band after the other on a constant basis?
John: It’s weird since when I look back in retrospect that I never really knew how big this scene was since I thought it was status quo. When our drummer, my brother and I who are also in this band started playing music when I was in 6th grade playing local shows when I was about 12 years old, at that point we were playing a band called TROOP 101 at this local place. TROOP 101 is now ANARBOR who is signed to Hopeless Records who we played together when we were 12 to 13 years old along with this band that Pat and Garrett from THE MAINE were in. Our old singer Kennedy was in another local band called LAST CALL FOR CAMDEN before he joined THE MAINE. It’s like a triangle that was going on here and now kids are also going to shows of BLESSTHEFALL, GREELEY ESTATES, SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS, JIMMY EAT WORLD and THE FORMAT that just seemed normal. Now when we’re starting to tour it’s interesting since we’re part of the touring machine that Arizona has produced the past few years.
SCMT: I’ve always noticed that every show you’ve played at Chain Reaction in Anaheim has been high energy and near capacity every time.
John: It’s funny how that became almost our 2nd home. I still remember our first show at Chain and from then on its been kind of home to us since then.
SCMT: THE SUMMER SET will be performing on a daily basis this summer at Warped Tour on the Smartpunk.com Stage. Talk to me about how that was setup.
John: I don’t know exactly how it happened but we do have a really good friendship with Smartpunk along with our management working out of the same Warped Tour office as Kevin. We’ve worked really hard and I guess Kevin knew we were working hard on our record to get it done along with the AP Tour. After all of that he said he had been hearing good things about us and wanted to put us on the tour. It was like he’s looking out for the bands that are doing things and gave us a shot. We’re lucky our management sits a desk away from him.
SCMT: You will be performing at Bamboozle on March 28th. Any idea yet which stage you will be on or what time your set is at?
John: I have no idea yet since I haven’t looked at any of the info yet. It’s kind of weird that not a lot of bands are announced yet and we were actually kept under wraps for awhile. It’s good we get to play the festival since it’s our turf in California and Arizona area and a lot of kids were asking if we were going to be playing it or not. We already knew that we were confirmed and kept getting asked questions about it but we still couldn’t even answer any of them.
SCMT: Being apart of a festival that is widely recognized like Bamboozle is, you have many opportunities to meet and hang out with the fans that have helped you get to where you are.
John: I feel like festivals are good for a band in general, whether it’s Warped Tour or Bamboozle due to the amounts of different music and exposure. I’m very excited to be playing Bamboozle and Hoodwink in New Jersey the day before Bamboozle Right since I think it will be amazing with a lot of good bands playing cover sets.
SCMT: Speaking of covers, your band has a cover of the KISS classic, “I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night” on the upcoming Fearless Records release “Punk Goes Classic Rock.”
John: We were on tour, if not about to start a tour with CARTEL and we were sent an offer list of songs to choose from and decided to listen to the KISS song. We felt like it was one of the worst songs ever from the recording since the drums were off in the original recording, guitars are off time and there really is no song structure but more repetitiveness to it. We felt like the song was such a mess that we could make our own version of it and are able to put a little twist on it. We added a solo and bridge and kind of made it our own. There is a very good possibility that we might be playing it this summer since it’s a pretty good Warped Tour song