The Dangerous Summer have had a rough past couple years, after losing members, canceling tours and more. But things seem to be back on track with new members, a new album and a more focused and defined sound. I got to ask AJ a few questions about the band's new album, "Golden Record" and the future of the band.
So the new record is titled Golden Record, how did you come up with and decide on that name? Does it correlate with the music or is there some other meaning behind it? Golden Record comes from The Voyager Golden Records that were sent into space in the 1970's. The records included music and images from Earth in hopes that one day they will be intercepted by extraterrestrial life. This record is our Golden Record. A collection of 10 songs that we feel sums up our entire band. This is our statement, and the impression we want to make on the world. These are the sounds of The Dangerous Summer.
Obviously you've been playing "Catholic Girls" for a few months now, what made you decide that it was going to be the first track to share with the public?
When we were writing this record, "Catholic Girls" came out of nowhere. I never thought it'd be the first single. We were up in the middle of the night in the studio, and we just played it together. I started free styling a melody, and some lyrics started coming out. We listened back the next day to what we made, and we were amped about the product. I went back and re-wrote the lyrics around some of the ones I freestyled. It turned out to be such a personal song to Cody and I especially. Growing up where we grew up, and the way life was when we were younger; it's way more autobiographical than any song I'd ever written. I think it really sums up where we have been and where we are now. With that, I feel like a ton of people can relate to it. It's a good song to kick people into summer, yet it should leave people hungry for more.
Would you say that it's a good indication of the direction the new album is as a whole?
It definitely shows off what we have going on now, though I wouldn't necessarily say it holds the mood of the album. There are a bunch of different vibes going on with this album.
I think the musical growth on "Catholic Girls" is on a completely different level than from the past, how different was writing a record with Matt and Ben compared to Bryan and Tyler?
It was an amazing experience to work with them. Ben and Matt are two of my favorite musicians. It was almost effortless to write the instrumentation. Matt can play anything, he's like a magician. Ben is an extremely technical drummer, but with very very good taste. I think the instrumentation is intricate, yet focused.
On the discussion of Matt and Ben, what was the deciding factors for having them join the band? Obviously The Graduate was a beloved band of the scene and 1994 was severely underrated, but was there a moment where you both just knew it had to be them?
We toured with The Graduate in 2011, and we partied with Matt every single day. He is such a nice dude, and he is obviously a very talented musician. Cody and I made a move out to LA, and Cody moved in with Matt. It was the perfect situation honestly. We had known Ben for years. He came to our shows in Atlanta every single time. I also got 1994's CD just before they broke up, and it is unreal good. I recommend everyone check them out. Ben is such a G. Nothing but love for our new members.
Do you feel like with Matt and Ben you've been given a second life/chance as a band? I mean there's been a pretty documented rocky past up until recently. Do you feel as if this was a rejuvenating change that needed to happen to preserve the band? And do you think that the change has made you more driven and inspired?
Matt and Ben were definitely sent from heaven. They came at the perfect time. We were trying out drummer after drummer and guitarist after guitarist. After so many misses, we finally found the men we were looking for. It was so hard to go on day after day, not feeling like our band was at it's full potential, but we made it through. We always make sure that we push through any hard time. When Tyler left the band, we recorded War Paint a month later. When Bryan left, we recorded Golden Record a few months later. There is no stopping in this industry, and we were lucky enough to find a light at the end of a dark tunnel we were going through. I definitely feel way more confident knowing that we have solid permanent members. There are nothing but clear skies ahead.
From what I've heard of the album so far, it's easily the strongest and most impressive material of your careers so far, if you had to explain it in your own words, how would you describe the new sound?
I have thought about a way to describe it, but it really is hard. It definitely is a The Dangerous Summer record, but it is reinvented. Every single album we do, we have to be new and fresh. We listen to so much more music now. The huge rise in indie music has definitely affected us to a degree. There is a 90's vibe that we resurrected, a little bit of grunge, a little bit of Smashing Pumpkins / Third Eye Blind / Jimmy Eat World. I could name band after band, but I will let you people be the ultimate judge.
After the release of the new album, what's in store for the band next and what can fans expect?
A lot of touring. We will be hitting every single country and state that we can. As a musician, you pour every ounce of blood and sweat into the album, then you get to go off and party/tour for a year or two. We're so ready to play these songs, and our old ones. So we will see you on the road everyone.
The Dangerous Summer's new single "Catholic Girls" is available on iTunes now. The band's new album, "Golden Record" is set to be released on August 6th via Hopeless Records.
Wow, I'm really excited about this thing. I've never listened to 1994, but, everybody seems to rave about how good they were so I'll probably check them out. And I had no idea the new guitar player was from The Graduate.