INTERVIEW: Summer Scouts | RIYL: Echosmith, Mayday Parade

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Vessel”?

“Vessel” is a mix of emotions: the music ranges from dancey to atmospheric and powerful. Lyrically, the song is charged with deep feelings of pain, reflection, awareness, relief, and peace.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Family life and norms change dramatically after the death of a parent. When I was 18, my mom died from breast cancer, which naturally was a life-changing event for me, my three brothers, and our dad. Through coping with her death and rebuilding our family structure, I noticed over the years that the home itself takes a drastic shift in its overall aura, a shift that slowly continues for years after the death, forever losing its original feeling that you and your family had created and grown up with. While the surviving family’s personalities experience alterations as well, the house itself holds the significant, glaring symbolism of this dark familial change. “Vessel” accidentally became my cathartic expression of these feelings I had been experiencing in different ways for over seven years. It visits this feeling that no one in the family wants to face and confronts it in an emotional dialogue between the singer (an affected family member) and the house.

How was the film experience?

Filming the music video for “Vessel” was incredible. The amount of preparation and effort that Jared’s girlfriend, Lenore, put into the scripting, hiring, location-seeking, and so on is beyond admirable and impressive. She and the crew made the vision a reality, and we had so much fun filming it. We must’ve shot each scene a hundred times each, but the final product made that exhausting day so worth it. There’s nothing like being involved in a film, both as “the talent” and behind-the-scenes crew member, and seeing everything come together beyond what you imagined.

The single comes off your new album Furthest Reach – what’s the story behind the title?

“Furthest Reach” is in reference to how far we’ve come so far. Furthest Reach is finally what we’ve all been working towards for the last two+ years – both personally and as a banded group of musicians. But as a team, we’ve finally achieved our goal of turning our EP, Deep Breath, and our sound in general into a full length – the full length we always meant for Deep Breath to be. This album is the furthest reach we’ve made so far as a band.

How was the recording and writing process?

As a band, we are constantly writing and demoing new ideas. A lot of these songs were already written when we hit the studio for our last EP, however due to time and financial restraints, we weren’t able to record the album at that time. Working at Atrium audio with Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland is always an awesome experience. Finishing the album there was a seamless and very enjoyable process.

What role does tragedy plays on this record?

I think it’s safe to say with any artist that tragedy encourages and easily shapes expression and creativity. Tragedy breathes emotion and moving words and music, which definitely makes some appearances on the record. Songs like “Vessel,” “Once Lived,” and “April” visit deaths that Ross and I have experienced. However, these songs can easily be interpreted to be about tumultuous relationships, and that’s okay. The idea is for us to be able to express ourselves and work through our feelings/emotions through our songs – whether through recordings or live performances – and for the listener to take away from the songs whatever best helps them work through whatever he or she may be going through/experiencing (or have experienced).

Would the whole album deal with loss and sadness – where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Admittedly, much of the album’s lyrics were inspired by loss and sadness. However, there are songs on the record that express positivity, friendship, inciting change, and such. As for the songs inspired by loss and sorrow, they’ve been inspired by deaths of loved ones. Another inspiration for these themes have been relationships – both fictional and true. Tragedy has a way of extracting expression from any artist. Not only does it move the artist, but it also moves the consumer, as tragedy is something everyone has experienced and can empathize with or use the art to cope with it. As a result, it was almost seamless to draw lyrics from these life experiences and morph our music into an emotional release.

Any plans to hit the road?

We just returned from an eight-day tour about two weeks ago. We’ve got plans for some weekender tours throughout the summer, but until then there’s nothing major in the works.

What else is happening next in Summer Scouts’ world?

Other than releasing our first full length, Furthest Reach, on May 20th, we’ve got some great shows lined up throughout the summer: a few festival dates, as well as some great local shows. Besides that, you can expect another music video in 2016 as well as some other new content!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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