We talk with Tripp Rowe of Summer Wars about emotion, creating their new record, and what he did different this time around.
Q: Summer Wars was born “as an expression of frustration and disillusionment.” What’s the story behind that? Was what is now Summer Wars the result of heartache or you finding out that the moon landing was a fake?
A: Yes Summer Wars was definitely born out of being frustrated with where I was at in my life at the time. I had been in a few different musical projects over the years, and hadn’t quite achieved what I wanted to with them. It wasn’t just musically, I had come to accept that I wasn’t going to do what I wanted with my life and that can have a huge impact on how you view the world and how you treat people so I knew I had to make a change and have a more a positive outlook and the only way I knew how to do that was to dive head first into music and this band. I was mainly playing drums in all the bands I had been in up until that point, so with this new band I decided I wanted to take more control and build it from the ground up, write the absolute best songs I could and use everything id learned about the music scene over the years and combine it all into something that I didn’t think people could ignore.
Q: Summer Wars was originally a solo act, yeah? Why did you decide to transition into a four piece?
A: Well Summer Wars started off as my idea for sure, I had my own project before this where I played acoustic songs but the intent was always to find a group of like-minded guys and have a full band. I had known Phillip our drummer for years, and played in several other bands with him over the years, Noah our guitarist, and Brett our bassist came into the picture a little bit later, but I consider them all great friends. A four piece just felt like the most natural fit.
Q: How many years of experience do you have in realm of music? Has that plethora of/minuscule amount of time affected Summer Wars in any fashion?
A: Cumulatively we definitely have a lot of experience with music. I’ve been playing music in various bands around the North Carolina music scene for a few years. It has absolutely affected how we operate as a band, I think we had a clear vision with what we wanted to do from the start. We figured out what worked and what didn’t work in our bands and its helped things with Summer Wars become much more streamlined.
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Q: Better Days was produced by Seth Henderson which is apparent when you listen to your record then to Knuckle Puck’s Copacetic or Real Friends’ Put Yourself Back Together. Do you think Seth did a good job in helping shape the record into what you wanted it to represent?
A: Yes working with Seth was great, before going into the studio with him I had listened to some of his work, including Knuckle Puck and Real Friends like you mentioned and I immediately knew this was where we should go to record our first EP. Seth’s work always seems to straddle this line between sounding raw and emotional, while still maintaining a high level of polish and power. He has an incredible ear for what makes a great pop punk song, having him in the same room with me and bouncing ideas off each other was invaluable. I wanted to come right out of the gate with professional well recorded songs so people would take notice and he was a huge part in making that happen.
Q: What do you think the reasons are for you having accomplished so much in your short time in being a band? A new record, a show as support of the Handguns/Roam tour coming through? That doesn’t usually happen to new acts even sometimes to established acts.
A: I think a big part of why we have accomplished quite a bit already goes back to your earlier question about how many years of experience we have in music. We had a set plan when we started this band because we knew the things to avoid. So much of what held our other bands up was not knowing what that next step was. Another huge part in why I think people are taking notice in our band is we don’t have a back-up plan, when you have nothing to fall back on you put everything you have into what you are doing and it kind of lights a fire underneath you. Each new success, whether that’s releasing an EP, a booking agency taking notice in you, or a fan who you can really tell digs your music, it creates this high that you want to build upon.
Q: What is next for Summer Wars?
A: Continue promoting and playing as many shows as we possibly can through-out the rest of this year and into 2016. Early next year we are going to be releasing an acoustic version of the “Better Days” EP along with one brand new acoustic track. But we really just want to keep getting our music in front of as many people as possible.