Bryce Avary is a quadruple threat: singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer. And if you add nice guy, that makes him a quintuple threat (if my math serves me well).
He is the creative force behind The Rocket Summer, a rock/pop music project that has been close to Bryce's heart for over ten years and through four EP's, four full-length albums and thousands of performances.
The Rocket Summer's latest cd, Of Men and Angels, was recorded in the spring of 2009 and was released in February 2010. Avary co-produced the album with CJ Eiriksson. As with The Rocket Summer's previous cds, this collection of tracks boasts irresistibly catchy pop hooks married with thoughtful, faith-based lyrics.
When I first met Avary in 2008 he had long blond hair which reflected his optimism and positivity. When Shotmonster.com spoke with Avary during Warped Tour 2010, his hair was shorter and less blond. Despite this superficial change, Avary 's sunny personality still remains.
Shotmonster: Are you, essentially The Rocket Summer?
Bryce Avary: Um yeah, I write all the music. It's kind of an outlet of my heart. I play all the instruments on the record. I enjoy creating songs from scratch using lots of different instruments. Then of course, live I bring a band and stuff.
Shotmonster: When you were a kid, did your mom send you to piano lessons or anything?
BA: Not really, no. I came from a pretty music-deprived family. I just figured it out on my own. I got a guitar when I was 12 and my friend had a drum set and we used to just go back and forth playing songs together.
Shotmonster: How did you wind up getting your first guitar?
BA: I think I did well on my report card. And I begged for it for a year, and they gave me a $30 pawn shop guitar.
Shotmonster: What is your preferred instrument?
BA: Drums, guitar and piano are all my preferred. I don't really have a favorite.
Shotmonster: You're like a renaissance man.
BA: Well, I don’t know about that.
Shotmonster: You're too modest.
Shotmonster: How's the tour going so far?
BA: It's good, it's good. Today's a lot hotter than I thought it would be. I walked out of my bus in a long-sleeve shirt. I don’t know what I was thinking. I would change, but now I'm at my stage and I don’t have time to go back.
Shotmonster: You could go topless.
BA: I could! That would be good for buzz. Then you would see my whole tattoo chest piece that everyone's always wondered about.
Shotmonster: Is it a secret?
BA: I'm totally making that up.
Shotmonster: I see you're fairly un-tattooed.
BA: [kidding] Just the secret ones.
Shotmonster: You have a lot of adoring fans. How does it feel when fans really believe in you?
BA: It means a lot. If it weren't for the fans I wouldn't be here. I mean I'd do it anyway, but….[LAUGHS]
Shotmonster: Have you ever had an awkward experience with a fan, say at a signing?
BA: Oh, yeah, but my real fans know enough not to ask for weird things. It's kind of like our "fair-weather fans" that'll walk up and ask the cliché rockstar-sign-this-thing. But I don't do it.
Shotmonster: How do you stay so modest and humble?
BA: Well, I'm a really spiritual person. Humility is something that God has shown me a lot in my life. I'm thankful for the talents He's given me but I'm also aware of who I am. I try not to believe too much of what people who don't actually know me think.
Shotmonster: You're pretty chill right now, but onstage you're very energetic.
BA: Well, I'm passionate about music and that comes across in our set.
Shotmonster: How's the food on Warped Tour?
BA: It's actually really good. Especially compared with 2007. The catering team is really awesome.
Shotmonster: Do they follow the tour across the country?
BA: Oh yeah. They have a harder gig than just about anybody. They have to get up at like five am to make breakfast and they work 'til eight, nine o'clock.
Shotmonster: What's next after Warped Tour?
BA: I'll take a few weeks off, maybe a month. Then I've got something really special planned for the fall.
Shotmonster: What do you mean, special?
BA: I want to talk about it so bad, but every time I do that, something falls through. So all I can say right now is I'm doing something very special.
At the time of this interview, Bryce wasn't at liberty to talk about his plans for the fall. Serious fans of The Rocket Summer have no doubt become aware that Bryce will be hitting the road with a solo acoustic tour specifically designed for fans to sing-along with all their favorite The Rocket Summer songs. Follow this link for October 2010 tour dates in a city near you.
You can see the entire The Rocket Summer gallery here.