Sub.Live: The Summer Set give Atlanta words to live by and a ‘Legendary’ performance in Atlanta on the “Wake Up & Be Awesome” tour

Original Show Date: March 22nd
Amongst their lengthy and hectic schedule recently: headlining tour, Warped Tour announcement; new record, Legendary; iHeartRadio’s Rising Star contest and (most importantly) gracing the cover of Substream #34, The Summer Set  (TSS) always plays it cool.  During the “Wake Up & Be Awesome” tour, Brian Logan Dales and John Gomez shared some of their downtime with this writer in Atlanta to discuss TSS, touring and Legendary.  Later that night, they put on one  
Substream Music Press:  Last time I spoke to you, the album was untitled, how did you decide on Legendary?
Brian Logan Dales: Of the songs that made the record, Legendary was one of the first songs written.  Part of me knew then that I wanted the record to be called, Legendary.  When we had chosen all the songs and got to the end of the cycle, it just seemed so fitting.  The thesis of the record is ‘We all want to be legendary to somebody,’ and it became a no brainer for that song to be the last on the record and the album title.
SMP:  Was there a close runner-up?
BLD: We’ve tried to call every record we’ve ever made, Naked, just so we can go out and tell everyone to “get naked”.  We’ve never done that, but every record has almost always been called Naked, so hopefully one day.
John Gomez:  It’s a title that is always on the table.
 SMP: Before Legendary was released, you tested the waters by performing some new songs while on tour with All Time Low, was there any hesitation/anxiousness performing them live?
JG:  I think you are always a little anxious performing new music, but more than anything, we wanted people to hear the record and that’s how we started playing
‘F*** You Over” and “Legendary”.  To test the waters, yes, but personally, we’ve had these songs for so long, we just wanted to play them for ourselves.
BLD:  You have these songs that you wait to play, but then you go out and play the same songs for so long, we just wanted to change it up.




SMP: Wait, how long have you had these songs?
BLD: By the time the record released on 4/16, from first write to then, it will be a whole year process.  It’s the longest we’ve ever spent, by a mile, keeping the songs.
JG: It was written one song at a time, with breaks, during which they went on tour, in between. We would write a song, tour, then come back, write some more and then tour again.  We didn’t just take 2 months, write the record, then be done.
BLD:  It was a really cool way to do it and we wrote 50 songs instead of 20.
SMP: After writing, then coming back from tour and looking at everything, did the songs change?
JLG:  YES!  We would change it, cut it or fall in love with it again…
BLD: If we didn’t take a break and go on tour, there are songs that might not have made the record.  We probably would have forgotten about “Rescue”. Touring after writing a big batch of songs allows you to look at the bigger picture.  When you finally go back and revisit them, there’s a fresh perspective.  We wrote “Maybe Tonight” with Dan Book and Alexei Misoul, who produced the record, and Keith Follese, a country music songwriting legend.  One of the most important things he said really stuck with us.  “You will write a lot of songs, but always go back and look at your first five.  So many people assume that the most recent writing is the best, but you have to go back and look at everything.’ 
JG:  One of the songs on the record, “Jukebox”, I was so dead on at the 6-month point, but I knew in my mind, after he said that, it had to be on the record.  It was funny because I was so tired of it and by now, 6 months after, I’m so into it.  It is similar to a long-term relationship, back and forth between make-up and break-up.
BLD: We’ve been having these bus meet & greet/listening parties for a dozen people a night, “Jukebox” is an immediate fan favorite. 
John:  I’m glad we took that advice from Keith.
SMP: What kind of reactions have you had from fans at the listening parties?
JG:  No one has walked off the bus yet…
BLD:  We haven’t gotten any negative feedback.
JG: Actually wait, there’s one girl who flat out told us, “I don’t like the new record!” I was like ‘cool… well do you want a picture or anything?’  I was like what, okay, that was mean?  She didn’t say it until after, but to someone who is so nervous, that blew me away.  You just don’t say that right after they finished creating it.  I take this quote from Get Him To The Greek: “I respect all the honesty and bravery it took for you to say that to me, however, the contents of what you have said have made me hate you.”  There’s a light layer of respect peppered with a little hate.
SMP:  What is the best feedback you have heard?
JG:  “I love it” “I can’t wait” “Is it April 16th yet?”
BLD:  The best thing you could hear is “This is my favorite record yet.” And I heard it, so it doesn’t get any better than that.
SMP: On this tour, is the set list a good division of new songs and past songs?
BLD: We’re playing four songs from Legendary; “F*** U Over”, “Boomerang”, “Maybe Tonight” and “Legendary”.  We dabbled with playing “Legendary” live on the All Time Low tour last fall.  We play 4 new songs, a couple from Everything’s Fine and a lot of songs from Love Like This plus one cover.
SMP: Was there any consideration to call the tour “Wake Up and Be Legendary” Tour?
BLD:  When we were originally talking about this tour, we wanted to save anything related to ‘legendary’ because we hadn’t announced anything yet.
SMP: How did you choose the name for the tour?
JG: We started making it on a t-shirt for our crew, it was a phrase we were all saying a lot.  It wraps into the thesis of “Legendary”, we all started being inspired human beings to wake up and be alive, so we would say ‘wake up and be awesome’.
 SMP: Do you have any crazy stories on this tour?
BLD:  The craziest thing I’ve experienced through all my years of touring, we were in Milwaukee playing at The Rave, the power went out for the entire city block.  We played a few songs acoustic on the front steps of the venue in the snow.  Somehow I ended up calling into the news the next day.
SMP: Brian, you have previously mentioned randomly writing one last song for this record that ended up being your favorite, what is it and what is it called?
BLD: The song is called “Someday”… after a crazy night at a friends birthday, I woke up and thought ‘Brian, you need to get your sh!t together!  What are you doing?’  I called Dan Book and told him I can’t help but want to write one more song, what are you doing today?  If it’s great, we’ll turn it in, if it’s not, then it never happened. the opening lyric is ‘even if I were king for a day, I’d leave this place behind.’ It’s about not really being satisfied and that is where I was, the calm before the storm, unsure of everything.  To write a song like that and have all the problems be gone is amazing.  I sent the song to John and the label, it went over extremely well, so we took a song off and put this song on.  It was a full circle feeling to write that song about wanting to write that song.
SMP: Can you pinpoint a defining moment of Legendary?
BLD:  I am equally proud of all 12 songs, which is the first time that has happened ever.  Every record I’ve had my immediate favorites, but this time around, I can’t pick one.  They are all so equal and cohesive to me, everyday we play these songs for the fans and my favorite song changes. It is the best songwriting we’ve ever done.
JG:  Hearing “Maybe Tonight” back for the first time started the whole thing, like  ‘Wow, this is what The Summer Set is going to sound like, let’s chase that on every song we do.’
BLD: I had that moment with “Legendary” when the song was written.  We were in this house together and had written the first four lines of the chorus of it.  I was unsure about it, but I showed John and Stephen anyway.  It went over really well and that moment alone was a transcending one for us.   “Jukebox” and “Heart On The Floor” were written with the same feeling, thinking the songs were at the other end of the spectrum of what we normally do.  To have the same reaction to those two made me think the record is really coming together.  There’s a story for every song.  We had a straight from the board first mix of “Lightning in a Bottle” on repeat on the way home from the studio and then again later that night and it felt like the coolest, most infinite feeling in the world.  To have that moment for every song makes me feel so proud of this record.
SMP: Did you have that feeling about Half Moon Kids?
BLD: Yes, it was an idea that started while we were living together and writing.  It all happened so naturally, an idea of wanting a larger than life community that was more than a street team, where we weren’t the forefront.  HMK is where anyone can go and share anything.   It was so fitting to have that be released at the same time as Legendary.
SMP: You’ve adapted the phrase “Be Brave, Be Curious, Be Legendary”, is there anything you can apply to it?
JG:  Be Brave – not be afraid to be yourself or put yourself out there. Be Curious – you are never done growing and learning, don’t close yourself off to anything.  We are 21-24 years old, where in society, we should be done learning, etc… but I don’t think we ever stop that.  Be Legendary – keep everything fresh and exciting.