The Rocket Summer is all grown-up

Brittany Moseley

Lead singer Bryce Avary is more than meets the eye, self-made musician


Credit: Jason Hall

Bryce Avary looks like a scrawny teenager.

With his messy blonde hair, tight black jeans and beat-up Converses, he looks like he belongs in the front row of a Taking Back Sunday concert, not on stage opening for Hellogoodbye.

The old adage is true, though: Looks can be deceiving.

One would never guess that Avary, lead singer of The Rocket Summer, self-released his first album at the age of 16. Or that he taught himself guitar, drums and piano.

At the age of 24, he is already a music veteran – and Avary said he’s finally growing up.

“I feel like an adult now, and I just want to tackle more issues,” he said.

Avary takes on new subjects in his upcoming album Do You Feel, and said he is most excited about this record.

“It sounds kind of clich‚ to say, but it’s a step up,” Avary said. “I’m just really stoked about what’s being said on it lyrically.”

This album is saying everything Avary wants people to hear.

“The title track is about people having the desire to do great things, but they don’t because they get involved in their own daily issues.”

The Rocket Summer

Playing with Hellogoodbye and Boys Like Girls

Where? House of Blues

When? May 11 at 7 p.m.

How much? $17

Avary is known for his piano-driven pop songs, such as “Brat Pack,” so fans may be surprised to hear him sing about deeper issues. But from the reaction he got after playing a new song at The Early November concert in April, fans will love Avary’s upcoming album just as much as his previous ones.

“I’m going to play some new songs on tour with Hellogoodbye, but I don’t want to play a lot of stuff that people don’t know. We want them to have fun and sing along,” he said. “I can’t wait till I can play only these [new] songs though.”

Right now Avary is content with playing songs from his last record, Hello, Good Friend – a record that isn’t as carefree as most would expect. With lyrics like “The truth is that I’d like to die but I fear of where I could go,” it’s obvious Avary isn’t afraid to express a darker side.

“There are songs that are not necessarily dark, but darker than other songs,” Avary said. “It was a growing time for me. A lot of good things and a lot of bad things were going on at the time, so that’s what went into the album.”

For someone who has spent the greater part of his young adult years making music, Avary had to grow up fast.

“I’ve been obsessed with music since I was 12,” he said. “I knew I wanted to do music and I wanted to start soon because it wasn’t going to be easy.”

It has gotten a lot easier for Avary now that he’s no longer producing his own music. Now he has more time to concentrate on what he loves: touring.

“Live shows are really important because you get to interact with people,” he said. “Now the shows are getting bigger so it’s hard.”

When he isn’t touring or recording, Avary works with two charities: To Write Love On Her Arm and Invisible Children.

“It wasn’t like a deliberate decision. It’s just something I wanted to do. I’m not Bono or anything,” he said.

Avary has no desire to become the world’s biggest rock star, and at a time when many bands are criticized for their similar sounds, his attitude is refreshing for such a young adult.

“I think it’s rare when bands are individualistic. I think there’s a major lack of quality mainstream music,” Avary said. “I don’t want to be that jaded guy and sound all negative, though.”

Avary is far from jaded and negative, and he may be the individual that mainstream music has been missing.

Contact ALL reporter Brittany Moseley at [email protected].