INTERVIEW: Brian Logan Dales of The Summer Set Talks All Things ‘Blossom’
The Summer Set became well known throughout the pop-punk/rock scene since their formation in 2007, and after 6 years without new music, they are FINALLY back with their brand new album, Blossom, available everywhere now! We reviewed the album for you and spoke to Brian Logan Dales about all things Blossom.
By definition, Blossom means to “mature or develop in a promising or healthy way,” which is what the band did with this album. They went their separate ways as a band for a few years so they could all bloom into the people they’ve become today. The quartet’s (Brian Logan Dales, Jess Bowen, John Gomez, and Stephen Gomez)music is often filled with honest lyrics and their signature uplifting feel-good sound, and that’s what this album is. After listening to all of the songs, it feels almost as if The Summer Set never left.
According to Brian, Blossom is an album about growth and togetherness, letting go of the past, and looking forward to the future. Brian told Strife Magazine, “I used to have a long list of things I wanted to accomplish as The Summer Set and was really let down when some of them didn’t happen. This time around, I have no expectations. I just wanna play one great show at a time.” And we think that’s a wonderful way to do it.
Opening with the song, “The Color Of Everything (Inro)”, it’s exactly what it says it is, an intro. After listening to the slow and calming instrumentals, there’s a woman saying, “I want to see the color of everything.” We were really curious to know if there was a special meaning behind it.
Brian told us, “Yes, actually. I got sober right at the beginning of the pandemic, and in a little notebook I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?”, and answered with, “Too long I’ve lived in a cloudy world of grey. I want to reconnect with the child in me and see the color of everything.” I think it’s a reminder to be amazed by every wonderful thing, big or small.”
The next song on the album, “Street Lightning”, is the one that brought the band back together and was their first single coming back this year. It’s a very feel-good song that makes you want to dance and seems to be the vibe of the album, which to us is about growing up and wanting to make the most of life.
Asking what inspired that track, Brian shared saying, “”Street Lightning” was the catalyst for getting our band back together, for sure.”
“I moved back into my parents house in Arizona during the pandemic for a while, a place I hadn’t lived since back when we started the band,” says Brian. “I remember being in my teenage bedroom and wanting to write a song that reminded me of being younger. I just wanted to write a song for fun without an expectation. I had the title “Street Lightning” floating around for many years, based off a street sign I misread in Los Angeles. I sat down with an acoustic guitar and wrote the song in an hour or two without really over thinking it. A little bit later Stephen and I were reconnecting and he asked if I wanted to make some music. The timing was perfect, and I sent him an iPhone voice note of “Street Lightning” that he brought to life. We showed it to John and Jess and suddenly we were alive again.”
With lyrics like, “I don’t listen to the words I say / Yeah I love to make the same mistakes / Just to end up where I began,” the next track “My Own Medicine”, seems be all about not taking your own advice and repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Although upbeat, the track is honest and is a reflection of finally understanding that only you can change yourself so things can finally get better.
The next song, “Teenagers”, is featuring Against The Current. With lyrics like, “Late nights and long weekends / Free fallin’ off the deep end / And I don’t wanna give it up / No, I don’t wanna give in,” this pop track is all about being young and carefree, and never wanting that time of your life to end.
Coming back with another catchy pop track, “FTS” features Travie McCoy and is their latest single. This song is another perfect example of the vibe of this album that we mentioned earlier, making the most of life along with being yourself, with lyrics like, “But I say hey, hey, hey, hey / F*ck that shit / Don’t try and tread on me / ‘Cause I ain’t having it.” For us, “FTS” also brought back a lot of nostalgia to the early 2000’s-2010’s!
We asked Brian what made them choose Travie for the track, and he said, “We actually wrote “FTS” almost 8 years ago and then shelved it for Stories For Monday. When we brought it back around for this album, we thought it would be fun to get someone else on it to bring out a fresh point of view. We asked Travie sorta as a Hail Mary with not a lot of time left to spare, but we’re so thrilled he said yes because his verse brought this song to life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.”
The next track, “Hard Candy”, explains a period of Brian’s life living in LA where he was really addicted to a lifestyle full of things that felt good in the moment, but were really bad for him, expressed with lyrics like, “Blood sugar rush, I shouldn’t touch / But I’m a sucker for your hard candy.” Throughout the song, he is reflecting on the many late nights filled with reckless habits that would end with a drunken phone call to the same person, ultimately with him crawling back to their bed. This is a song about those nights, and how awful he would feel the morning after, even though time and time again he would keep coming back for more.
“Famous,” is another one of their iconic upbeat tracks with meaningful lyrics. It seems to be about feeling a bit left out and not knowing where you belong, which we’re sure many people could relate to at some point in their life. With lyrics like, “All my friends are getting famous, but I couldn’t fake it even if I tried,” Brian told us that that the line specifically refers to a pretty low time in his life.
“I was going out a lot in Los Angeles and feeling like everyone around me was either an Instagram “influencer” or in a band that was blowing up while I was in the corner unsure what I was doing with my life. Pretending to be a part of a crowd I didn’t belong in.”
The last track, “Back Together“, is the most personal song on the album for Brian. “Songs like that are once in a lifetime,” he told us. “I had a lot to say and a lot to apologize for and it was very easy to open the vein and let it all pour out.”
We’re loving the lyrics, “I’m forever just an emo kid at heart,” as well as, “And the diehards on the barricade won’t care how long its been. They’ll just be happy to be here.” When asking if this was sort of an apology and missing the fans, Brian explained, “Yes, I think it’s an apology to the fans who didn’t get to see us again before we broke up. I think it’s also a thank you to the ones who’ve never left our side. Most importantly, I think it’s about me taking a moment to be grateful.”
When it comes to their fans, there are so many rewarding things that fans have told them when it comes to their music that he couldn’t pick just one that stood out. “We’ve really run the whole gamut of stories about what our music means to people,” says Brian. “I’m more grateful for it than ever.”
Rather than l putting all the songs together in one album, Brian told Strife Magazine that the band decided to split it in two for two reasons.
“1) Honestly, because we didn’t have a ton of songs even ready to go, but didn’t want to wait any longer and knew we wanted to release what we had ready,” explained.”
“2) Because in today’s culture it seems like artists put out an album and then it’s virtually forgotten about month later. Why wanted to see if we could keep the conversation going longer and eventually release a Part 2 of the album that will ultimately complete itself. The inspiration was taken from TV series like Stranger Things and Ozark that have very impressively been released in multiple segments, thus keeping the conversation in the zeitgeist for longer.”
And we’re so glad that they did, because now we have more to look forward to! We were also excited to know if there would be more features on Part 2 of Blossom after seeing Against The Current and Travie McCoy on this one. Brian told us, “I imagine so! Nothing confirmed yet though. Right now we’re just trying to write more songs to make up for lost time.”
He also confirmed that the band is looking to getting out on the road during 2023 to sing songs off the new album, so stay tuned!
And for those of you who have never experienced a The Summer Set show yet, we asked Brian how he would describe their show in a few words. He said he would say, “Come see for yourself! I think we’re the best we’ve ever been and having more fun on stage than ever. Take my word for it!” As someone who has seen them live, we really do think you should take his word for it, because they are AMAZING live!
We’re so proud to see The Summer Set back and thriving and having more fun than ever with this release, and are looking forward to Part 2 Blossom after loving Part 1!
Get/listen to Blossom here: https://onerpm.link/blossom
You can also get the vinyl here: https://www.diggersfactory.com/p/122451/the-summer-set
Check out their first single and music video off of Blossom below: