Maryland four-piece The Dangerous Summer have been destined for big things since they were signed to Hopeless Records in early 2007, only 8 months after the band formed. The band have been keeping busy in 2011. They recently released their second full length, War Paint, are currently on Warped Tour and were set to head down to Australia for Soundwave Revolution next month. We caught up with guitarist Cody Payne to discuss the album, touring and everything else in the world of The Dangerous Summer.
Hello, how are you going?
Hi, I am great, how are you?
I am great thank you. Thanks for chatting with Kill Your Stereo. Just to help out our readers, could you start by introducing yourself and what you do in The Dangerous Summer?
I’m Cody Payne and I play guitar for The Dangerous Summer
You guys just released your second full length, War Paint. What was the build up like before the release?
Honestly, I feel like a lot of people weren’t sure if the album was going to happen or not. At least as far as our label went and as far as a lot of fans and the more involved internet bloggers and critics went, I don’t think they even thought that the new album was going to happen. I think so far it’s been pretty cool, it’s definitely been a good response.
Did you guys expect the positive reception the album has been met with?
We kind of just strive to write music that’s going to impress people, If we wrote an album that we didn’t feel confident about I don’t think we would put it out, honestly. We don’t decide on an idea or a song until it affects us, if I doesn’t affect us I don’t think we would want to show other people.
To record the album you went back into the studio with Paul Leavitt who you have worked with in the past. What was it like working with him again and what made you choose to go back with him?
We had talked about going with a few other producers, there were a lot of band members that we had looked up to over the years that approached us saying “I want to record your album, I want to produce you guys” but when it came down to it we felt more comfortable with Paul, we felt like we had more time to produce the songs the way we wanted with him rather than with someone that we are paying hourly where we have to stick to a clock to get it done. We felt that with Paul he’d give us the time we needed and let us make the album we wanted to make
Did you find it easier recording you second full length compared to recording Reach For The Sun?
(laughs) Probably way harder. We spent around a month in the studio then we had to go on tour for almost three weeks in the UK and then we came back for two weeks and recorded a little bit more then we went on tour in the US then we had to come back and finish up the album. So a lot of the deadlines got pushed back and the release date got pushed back and we weren’t ready and we didn’t have anything finished. Reach For The Sun just seemed to come together really simply whereas with this album we never felt fully confident until the very end.
Reach For The Sun was hailed as one of the stand out albums of 2009, how do you feel War Paint compares to it?
I think War Paint expresses us more musically then Reach For The Sun because it shows what we can write with just guitars and bass and drums. I think Reach For The Sun was just a lot more about guitars and vocal melodies whereas this album is a full band, more like the sound we want to be making and producing.
Releasing an album nowadays there is a pretty high chance of it being leaked on the internet. How do you feel about people downloading your album for free online?
I think this album did pretty well, it only leaked like a week and a half before. Everyone said they heard it, said they bought it, and I guess we are going to believe that (laughs). I think labels do a lot of things for bands that bands can’t do for themselves. And I appreciate everything our label does for us. I don’t know how we would survive if our label wasn’t paying for our albums to be produced and marketed and distributed and all that. I think albums leaking are a horrible thing honestly. Downloading is clearly not legal and its not fair to anyone involved. A lot of bands need numbers to go to certain cities, they need to be able to show that they’ve sold this many albums here, they need to be able to show that this many kids are willing to invest money in this band and if not than that band might not be going to that city or that country or that continent even. It’s unfortunate but that’s just how it works. We would love for people to just buy our album and support it and be proud of the fact that they only had to spend that much money on it rather than “Wow I had to spend 10 dollars on 10 songs”
The Dangerous Summer is on Warped Tour at the moment. The way we see it in Australia is that once you play Warped you have made it. Do you guys actually feel like they have made it yet?
I mean, honestly, I don’t even think that band’s like Coldplay feel like they have made it. I feel that no matter how successful you get, you always feel like there is going to be more goals and more things that you want to do or more songs that you want to write and more people that you want to impress. I don’t think there is ever going to be a time where we feel like we are satisfied, regardless of how big we get or whatever we do. I think we are always going to want to write a better album, impress this set of fans, go to this country, sell more tickets, whatever, I don’t consider us ever being satisfied with where we are at. Not in the sense that we don’t appreciate where we are at, just that there is always something more to go for and I think we want to experience the whole thing rather than settle.
Soon after Warped Tour, The Dangerous Summer will be heading down to Australia to play Soundwave Revolution. This will be the bands first time playing here, but have any of you been here before?
I don’t think any of us have been there, it is going to be pretty interesting. None of us have done that flight, none of us have experienced your climate, we don’t know what to expect or anything, so it’s going to be exciting, we are all really positive about it.
What are you guys expecting from the tour? Do Australian audiences have any expectations to live up to?
I know a lot of people have been telling us that they are excited to see us there and we have been told that this is probably one of the best tours you can get on if you are going to Australia and they take really good care of you and that Australia is just amazing in general, so we are just excited to be able to go over there. We have a lot of off days so we are going to try and experience the country as much as we can.
What will you guys be getting up to in your free time?
I don’t know, I want people to tell me what I should do so that I can make a list (laughs) what would you suggest? I think I just want to see your native animals for the most part.
For us Australians that have never gotten to see The Dangerous Summer playing live, what can we expect come September?
Mainly, I think, we are going to be playing a lot of our old stuff, a lot of our new stuff. We just go song to song during our live show. I think we are just going to be playing the songs that we feel most people want to hear.
What is your favourite song to play live?
For me, our newest single Work In Progress is probably my most favourite to play.
Recently your band had a momentary line up change, what was it like playing for the first time without Tyler?
To be honest, it was quite a scary transition for me. We didn’t know what it was going to be like playing with another drummer. As soon as he left we had a drummer play a few shows with us, for our holiday shows around Christmas time, and then we had to go into the studio with a different drummer and he came up and wrote songs with us and recorded them then after that we had to hire a few different drummers to play different tours with us. It is difficult to play with people who don’t know the songs like the back of their hand, whereas with Tyler he obviously knows the songs very well. It just feels a lot better to get back with him now.
How did you guys go about getting him back in the band?
When he left we didn’t really put to much thought into it, we were just like that is your decision and we are going to let you do that, we didn’t argue, we didn’t ask him why, we didn’t give him a hard time. We just kept going as a band, we kept writing, we kept touring and things kept looking up and I think he just had a change of heart and wanted to come back and once he did it felt really good.
What influences The Dangerous Summer’s sound and you personally as a musician?
Over the years our influences have changed. We will always love Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday, Third Eye Blind, just like the classic bands that we try to incorporate as well as our new influences. We just try to creat something new, something we want to actually grab onto and take a hold of.
What artists and bands are getting the most play on your ipod?
Id say probably Yellawolf, The Naked and Famous, The National, Death Cab For Cutie.
Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to chat with Kill Your Stereo, enjoy the rest of Warped Tour and we look forward to seeing The Dangerous Summer soon. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans?
Check out the album, check us out while we are down there, it’ll be a fun time, we are definitely excited and we are going to put on the best shows we can.