MEB staffer Heather Allen got the chance to chat with lead singer-songwriter of The Summer Set, Brian Logan Dales, at the Vans Warped Tour this year to talk about the band, their organization Half Moon Kids, and a possible break-up with the band for him to join One Direction. *Kidding ladies, don’t freak out*
It’s been a few years under Fearless Records for you guys, how has the experience been different from being on Razor & Tie?
It’s a totally different experience, like, we had a great relationship with Razor & Tie but it was just time for that relationship to come to an end. We went over to Fearless, Bob (the owner of Fearless) has been really kind to us since we started this band 7 years ago. I rememeber when we met our A&R person Chris Foitle, I sat down with him and really connected eye to eye with him and really wanted to make a record with him and we did and then it came out. Fearless just has such a huge following as a label itself with such a grassroots way of really getting bands out there. We’ve actually seen so much more love on Warped Tour in general from seeing Fearless’ team go out there and making sure that it’s known. We’ve had a really great experience with Fearless and I think it’s time for us to make another record soon.
Your current single is “Lightning In A Bottle.” What inspired the song?
That’s almost a crazy one because I write a lot of songs and some songs take like an hour and a half to write while some songs take like 4 days. That one [“Lightning In A Bottle”] was one of the ones that was a longer one. I remember that I kind of subletting an apartment in LA right before I actually moved here for good, would’ve been about August of 2012 so 2 years ago. We kind of started working on a song and we finished half of it, John [Gomez] and my friend Emily Wright, we started working on this song, the song was done and we had this crappy little demo. I remember getting in the car that night with my friend who’s now my roommate in this tiny little Mini Cooper with me, him, John from our band and a couple of our friends, and we had this acoustic guitar and 6 people deep in a Mini Cooper. You can imagine that was some clown car shit. Yeah, we piled into the Mini Cooper and we were driving around Hollywood just listening to this song on repeat that wasn’t even close to being done. What started as a song where we didn’t really know what it was about, we kinda just had this idea, really was finished because of that night and how epic of a night that was. “Lightning In A Bottle” is a phrase that I’ve said my entire life and it kind of just clicked and became a song. We finished the song after just a really great night of driving around with 6 people deep in a Mini Cooper.
Speaking of “Lightning In A Bottle,” you guys have a remix contest going on her that song and “Boomarang.” Have you heard any cool remixes from the contest?
I haven’t heard any of them actually. We don’t get to hear those for a little while longer.
You guys are involved in Half Moon Kids. And what is in your time capsule?
We started Half Moon Kids, it’s our organization. We had kind of announced our new album anonymously through the website HalfMoonKids.com, we basically got a bunch of friends together to make Half Moon Kids this place where fans of our band, and fans of other bands or artists or actors or any type of entertainer, can go and meet people just like them to share their music or their art or their painting or poetry and meet other people just like them. We go on the road and we meet so many fans of ours who are absolutely just as creative, if not even more talented than we could ever be, and have no way of getting themselves out there. We wanted to kind of create that medium for them so we started Half Moon Kids. This summer, we have Half Moon Kids shirts at our Summer Set tent, but you can also go write yourself a postcard, like a note to your ‘Dear Future Self,’ and you would put your address and we would mail it to you after Warped Tour. If you’re watching us and want to come by our tent this summer, fill out a postcard and we’re going to mail it to ya in a few months.
What have you filled out in your postcard?
I haven’t filled out a postcard yet. Still trying to figure that one out *laughs* Stay tuned for that one, I’ll fill one out for myself by the end of the summer. I don’t know what it is yet.
You guys released the B-sides and demos for Legendary exclusively for Warped Tour. Why did you guys choose to do that?
The album has been out a little over a year now and we didn’t want to come on Warped Tour without something to promote. At Warped Tour, you’re getting in front of so many people and so many different people pass by your tent and by your stage that we wanted to give them something to promote. We had these 3 songs that we wrote when we had first started working on Legendary that didn’t make the album but were still pretty cool songs, so we polished them up and released them. If you go to our tent this summer and you buy Legendary, you get a download of 3 extra songs so it’s kind of like a deluxe edition. It’s 3 old songs that we had redone and self-produced between Stephen [Gomez], our bass player, and Josh [Montgomery]’s brother Cameron. We’re really proud of the songs and it’s cool to like take a step back and revisit songs that were some of the first songs you wrote for the album that didn’t make it and to realize that they’re still pretty good, you know? I’m excited that people are getting to hear them.
Speaking of Warped Tour, have there been any cool proposals so far?
Nothing this year, but we did have people getting engaged on stage last stage and it was pretty epic. I’m sure it’ll happen again.
You did a cover of “Story of My Life” by One Direction for Sirius XM. If one direction asked you right now to be there sixth member, would you do it?
Yeah, I’d be a billionaire right now! *laughs* I probably would, only if they let me write because I want to write. I totally would do it. I totally look like I could be the American member of One Direction! I look like I’m 18, they’re not gonna talk about how old I actually am! *laughs*
Going back to Warped Tour, this is your 2nd year on Warped Tour and you get to play the main stage. How has the experience been thus far?
It’s really great and very different. This is the 2nd year in a row that we’re doing Warped Tour, we also did it once in back in 2010 and we didn’t know what to expect. We felt like we were like freshmen in high school and I guess if you want to complete that metaphor, this year kind of feels like we’re not just the seniors in high school but the seniors that just got back from spring break who are kicking rocks and coasting through to graduation. It’s really cool and we know everyone, it’s such a campy community out here. To me it’s the same people working production side every year and they’re all familiar faces and we know each other, I get to say ‘hi’ to them every morning. It’s a really cool tour and it actually ended in Houston last year and started in Houston this year so it’s kinda like we never left. It’s really crazy but we love it out here.
You were the winners of the Macy’s iheartradio Rising Star Contest last year and We Are The In Crowd is in the running this year. Have you been giving them advice for the contest?
Unfortunately, I think they didn’t make it through the 1st round of the contest. But there is a band called Paradise Fears that I actually wrote a lot of songs with and did a lot of work with and I produced a few songs with them. We brought them out the UK with us and they’re just a little baby band to me, I love them to death. I’m trying to pull for them and give them some advice and I hope for the best. I think they deserve it, I think they’re one of the most talented little bands I’ve ever met. It was an absolute privilege getting to write some songs with them too.