The Rocket Summer flies into Frankie’sWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
When asked about the time he realized making a living as a touring musician could become a reality, Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer jokingly referenced a gig at the Longhorn Saloon in Toledo nearly a decade ago.
“Even then, I put up a banner and we were shooting confetti cannons in this place that had, like, 20 people in this bar,” Avary recalled of the show. “And there were all these rough and tough dudes sitting at the bar just kind of with confetti in their beer going, ‘Who the heck is this kid?’ It’s pretty funny.”
While Avary was only kidding about that T-town gig being the moment he realized earning a living as a musician was possible, it displayed his desire to put on a big show regardless of the venue or crowd and foreshadowed the success he’s had since.
The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist behind The Rocket Summer, Avary has played internationally, been part of major U.S. festivals like Warped Tour and Bamboozle and has a new, fifth full-length album titled “Life Will Write the Words” due out June 5 via Aviate Records, which is his record label.
On April 22, Avary will be back in Toledo when The Rocket Summer performs at Frankie’s. Now 29 with more than a decade’s worth of experience in the music industry, the one constant on his journey has been his faith in God.
“I honestly remember knowing God as a little kid,” Avary said. “Like, from as long as I can remember I’ve had a relationship with God, and it’s something that I won’t deny in any way.”
Though Avary said The Rocket Summer is not strictly Christian, the positivity and uplifting messages found in its music have helped him gain a large fan base over the years.
“As far as The Rocket Summer, I love telling stories,” said Avary, who plays every instrument on The Rocket Summer albums, including guitar, bass, keys and drums. “I love music. I love life, and I’m really inspired by the struggles and the victories in it and so I write stories, too.
“That’s why The Rocket Summer has kind of never really been considered, I guess, so much a quote-unquote ‘Christian band’ in the sense of, like, Christian market because I sing about everything. But that’s certainly probably one of the main things, the main verses of creativity and what I like to sing about. I never set out to do one or the other.”
When “Do You Feel” — the third full-length from The Rocket Summer — released in 2007, it peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart and No. 44 on the Billboard 200 chart. The fourth full-length, “Of Men and Angels,” did even better when it came out in 2010, debuting at No. 1 on iTunes, No. 4 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart and No. 38 on the Billboard 200 chart.
“I’m actually pretty grateful about the fact that I was never, like, a one-hit wonder or something like that, you know?” Avary said with a laugh. “It just creates a space for you to continue to grow.”
Music isn’t the only tool Avary has used to give back, either. His Call It Captivate clothing line donates 20 percent of each purchase to charity, giving the buyer the option of choosing which one of the Web site’s listed charities they would like the proceeds to go to.
“In the past year, I’ve kind of just wanted to put more of my efforts towards guiding people just directly to other nonprofits and being focused more on just music,” Avary said of CIC. “And so it still definitely exists and it’s there, but we’ll see. We’ll see what the future is for CIC.”
Now Avary is looking forward to the next step with “Life Will Write the Words.” He decided to record it in his hometown of Fort Worth, something he’s never done before but a decision he felt helped him make his best album yet.
“That same thing going back to kind of like, not going to L.A. or New York and just kind of not allowing myself to get into a situation where all I was trying to do was write a hit,” Avary said of “Life Will Write the Words.” “I wanted to make sure that I was writing an album that musically was a huge step forward, as well as lyrically.
“And so I didn’t want to be surrounded with the garbage of the music industry. I kind of just wanted to be surrounded by farmland, so I’m excited about it.”
On April 22, The Rocket Summer will perform a show that also features Sam DeArmond and Don’t Fear the Sun at Frankie’s, 308 Main St. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door the night of the show. Advance tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, as well as locally at Culture Clash Records ((419) 536-5683) and Ramalama Records ((419) 531-7625). Doors are at 6:30 p.m. and all ages are welcome. For more information, visit frankiesinnercity.com.