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By James Herd
The Rocket Summer, the stage name for solo artist Bryce Avary, is the prime definition of a self-made musician.
Getting the name of the solo project from a chapter title of Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles,” Avary has been recording and performing since age 12.
Sitting down with Avary before a recent performance in Waco Hall, the Lariat learned more about Avary’s entry into the music scene and his life experiences so far.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. You started off as a solo project, The Rocket Summer, and it kind of grew into this full band thing. How did you start?
A: I think when I was 12 I started playing guitar and drums, and I just fell in love with it. I recorded the first Rocket Summer CD a couple of years later. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I love music and I love playing a bunch of instruments, and The Rocket Summer has kind of always, and it actually still is, the same thing it always was. I mean, I play all of the instruments on the record, and I get to tour with really great dudes….I’m really blessed to do it, and I’m going to play music forever, I hope.
Q: How does it feel to have such success? Starting off from a solo project, and slowly going up and up, how does it feel to be at this point in your career?
A: It feels good, you know? You can never get entitled because one night we’ll play a really big show, and we’ll drive somewhere else the next night and play a really small show. There’s never really this feeling of, ‘Oh my gosh, man, I’ve made it!’ It’s not really like that, but what’s good about that is that I’m just so grateful for any time that it’s good… It’s not even that, I’m grateful of the fact that anybody cares and listens, especially because I have been doing this for quite a while now — in rock ’n’ roll years I guess — you can say it’s kind of a long time to be putting out records and touring every 10 years. So yeah, I mean it feels good. If I ever come off of the ground, life has a way of pulling me back with the next show.
Q: What would you say is your genre?
A: Probably a really bland, watered-down way of putting it is ‘pop-rock,’ because I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s rock ’n’ roll, it’s melodic and emotional. I just try to make the music. When I write songs I just think about the life that can come from music. There’s kind of [a] celebratory, jovial vibe in a lot of the music. Even when it’s heavy, like heavier topics, there’s kind of a hopeful common thread throughout the whole thing.
Q: Are there any particular recording rituals that you may have, that you have to do each time you go into the booth?
A: Not really, since I do it all on the records, like every Rocket Summer record if you’ve ever heard a song, everything is actually me playing those parts. I’m never not working, so if I had a ritual before everything, it’d probably take a really long time. I certainly try to pray before I make a record, and during the process, because I just feel like everything good that exists is because God was working through something. Without his favor, I just feel like I would end up just sounding like a hack on whatever I’m playing.
Avary performed alongside David Dulcie and Layne Lynch on Nov. 15 in Waco Hall, with many of his fans in the audience singing along to the words like they’ve known them for years.
For more information on Bryce Avary and The Rocket Summer, visit www.TheRocketSummer.com.