It is my firm belief that pop punk will never die. Has classical music? Nope! Somewhere someone out there aspires to be the modern day Beethoven, writing complex scores of music with precision, and of course, with their own personality shining through each stave. Five dudes from Albany, New York also have the same dream and passion to keep the sound that influenced them alive. The Summer Switch is a budding pop punk band with an energetic sound that definitely exhibits, not only their individual musical talent, but their knack for tackling a familiar sound with a crisp and refreshing new twist.
“Act Like Nothing Happened,” was one of the first songs I was exposed to on the band’s Facebook page. Its anthem-like characteristic is what gravitated me towards their sound and subsequent tracks soon sucked me into a lively vortex of voices singing in unison and upbeat guitar riffs.
With one EP under their wing, another is soon to be released,which, happened to be recorded at a studio with a rather extensive resume. Although no tours are scheduled to date, these dudes are gearing up for their show with the The Ready Set on November 23rd. Still, despite the talent guiding their recording and otherwise, The Summer Switch remain humble enough to be interviewed by yours truly.
ASHLEY JEAN: Your band is a little over a year old – which I can imagine – while it’s been fun it’s also been something of a struggle to start out. What have been the challenges you’ve faced to keep it together and continue to push towards your dream?
TONY: Well I think we all love what we do but our biggest obstacle has always been that we all are involved in commitments outside of this band. While I think we all have a dream to achieve something greater, I want to also go to school for sound recording. Ian for example is one of the fastest runners in New York so his focus is always going to be on running. Everyone in the band has their commitments so I think we’ve always struggled to balance commitment to the band, family, friends, work and other hobbies.
ASHLEY JEAN: All your hard work has certainly paid off because you’re going to be releasing an EP in November. Can you describe what listeners might expect to hear by way of soda? What do you think your musical soda would taste like?
TONY: Well our first EP I think was a bit like Price Chopper Cola because it had elements very similar to mainstream, major label artists like Mayday Parade or The Wonder Years for example but it just didn’t have the same crispness and surprise elements that our new songs do. I think we’re probably Dr. Pepper because anyone who’s had that knows that there are 23 flavors, and these new songs honestly combine a lot of other elements from what we had been listening to of late.
ASHLEY JEAN: I understand you want to take pop-punk to a “whole new level.” What does that mean, exactly? Are you going to add some elements of other music genres, is your stage presence different from most other pop-punk bands? I’m curious!
TONY: I think when people think of pop-punk as most of us formerly knew it we think of Blink-182 or Green Day, the originators. I think the next big movement of pop-punk is really bound to be this very raw, real, almost old school punk sounding brand of music. Bands like The Wonder Years and even Transit or Man Overboard have really grabbed the attention of the national spotlight and I think we have some similarities to those bands in terms of sound and also our live stage presence. I think we all really push ourselves almost to a breaking point each show so that we know we gave it as much as humanly possible, and hopefully it shows.
ASHLEY JEAN: We all have our heroes, so do you try to emulate your favorite band/artist’s specific sound or do you try to grow from what you’ve been exposed to?
TONY: I wouldn’t say emulate as much as I would say aspire to be as great as our favorite artists. I am a firm believer that no band INTENTIONALLY rips off other bands riffs, lyrics or melodies. That being said, we love and support bands like The Wonder Years, Taking Back Sunday, Just Surrender, Four Year Strong, and The Story So Far. Even good friends of ours like State Champs, Burn The Charts, Of Fortune & Fame, Far From Proper, A Story Left Untold, we love all of them, as well as those other bands, but I think we simply hope that both we and those bands can all expand and grow as musicians, composers, and as a unit. We’re been told we sound like this band or that band but whenever we do it’s completely unintentional.
ASHLEY JEAN: How has it been working with Tim Lynch? Collaborating with a producer with a reputation has to be a little more nerve wrecking than the first day of school, right?
TONY: We love Tim Lynch dearly and I think he puts out great recordings but we actually didn’t do our most recent EP with him. We actually went down to Nada Recording Studio in New Windsor, NY to two guys named John Naclerio and Eric Castillo. However, Nada also has quite the impressive clientele (My Chemical Romance, Brand New, Just Surrender, Bayside, Fireworks). I think when we sat down with the two of them we sat down knowing that even though they’ve done all these bands, we have work to do and we can’t get caught up in shock and awe while we’re trying to record. Walking in I’m sure we all had butterflies and nerves but as soon as you hit record we’re ready to go.
ASHLEY JEAN: Do you have any tours planned after the release of your EP?
TONY: Not currently, we’re hoping to get a CD release show together for November with some bigger bands but who really knows what’s after that. Assuming the EP returns to good reception that I’m sure none of us would object to a tour!
ASHLEY JEAN: Pick your dream tour: when, who, and where? (Everyone join in on this one!)
TONY: Go Radio, Valencia, Just Surrender, and Taking Back Sunday probably. As far as location, anywhere outside New York would really be an adventure and it doesn’t matter where we are and who we’re with, as long as there’s even one kid in that crowd, I’m gonna give it 110%.
ETHAN: The Wonder Years, Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, The Story So Far.
RYAN: I don’t really care who with or how big each show is. I wanna play for a group of people who go crazy for our music and have just as much fun as we do each night.
IAN: The Wonder Years, Brand New, Fireworks.
ERIC: Four Year Strong, Every Avenue, All Time Low, Paramore.
ASHLEY JEAN: Finally, as it IS a tradition, could you make me a 5-song mixtape of the songs which inspired you to begin your career in music?
Fall Out Boy – “Saturday”
The Pussycat Dolls – “Don’t Cha’”
Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On”
Brand New – “The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot”
Metallica – “Master of Puppets”
*Please also be aware that four of these five tracks ACTUALLY inspired us.
Originally published on Sept 25, 2011