Carlson seems extra-sweaty, probably because he's been an absolute madman on the drums tonight. As Kyle hollers out the lyrics to "Now or Never," the shirtless drummer beats the skins mercilessly. His passion for working the sticks came somewhat from growing up around the heavy metal ways of father Ed Carlson, guitarist for Valley thrash legends Flotsam and Jetsam. (There's a video of a young "Cooter" playing the drums at age 7.)

Ian says Carlson's kind of a Beavis-like spazz, which makes him a natural at banging out the band's backbeat.

"I have a theory with Cooter, why he's such a good drummer. He's got the worst case of ADD I've ever seen," Ian says. "But I think that's why he's so good at drums, because he's got so many things to concentrate on and hit at one time that his mind can't wander."

Jamie Peachey
"Cooter" Carlson
Jim Louvau
"Cooter" Carlson
Jim Louvau
Jamie Peachey

It's not just Carlson, though — the entire band seems like they're putting something extra into rehearsal tonight, probably because Kyle says their EP/DVD release show this weekend at the Venue of Scottsdale will likely have A&R scouts in attendance.

They've had many successes over the past two years: They won a KUPD contest in 2007 that nabbed them a slot opening for Godsmack at Dodge Theatre. They've also gotten regular airplay on the station, as well as a few spins on The Edge 103.9. Kyle estimates they've sold 6,000 copies of their 2007 album Cause and Effect through local stores like Zia Record Exchange and over the Internet (iTunes, CDBaby, Rhapsody). Then there's the fact they're hoping to start distributing their music through Best Buy stores around the Southwest later this year.

"We're trying to be our own record label. There's certain things we don't have that we could gain from working with a label," Kyle says. "We don't have the capital. We don't have 100 grand to put into marketing and promotion. That's, like, the only thing the labels have to offer right now, outside of distribution — which there's ways to get on your own now."

But is there a chance they could get signed by a major label? McFeely thinks so.

"I do think they have what it takes to make it," he says. "Unfortunately, sometimes labels will take over bands and 'shelve' them. And I would hope that would never happen to these guys. It would probably kill them.

"Fortunately for them, they're still at the point where they can play a show, rock the crowd, sell a bunch of CDs and merchandise, make a lot of money, and walk away with it all and they don't have to pay the label back because they're not signed."

Elyea thinks it's not so much a question of Digital Summer's talent, but rather the state of the music business.

"If it was six years ago, they'd already have a huge deal and be touring. It's just a good reflection of how depressed the music industry is right now, to see a band like that and them not having any kind of a deal," Elyea says.

Either way, Kyle says they're fine for the moment.

"Right now, most of us in this band make okay money. We've got careers. We're not starving. We gotta do what's smart for us, business-wise. We move — not an exorbitant amount of product — but we move a decent amount of CDs and we make decent money at shows.

"Doing it on our own takes a lot of time and is stressful," Kyle continues, "but if we can keep pushing the machine the way we are and if it keeps growing at the rate it does, ultimately it could almost be more profitable to do it on your own, if you do it correctly."

See Digital Summer's PR machine in action for yourself in our pair of Digital Summer slide shows.

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15 comments
Chris
Chris

I'll admit....these guys don't suck. Nice to know AZ might actually have something of value to offer to the music world.

Melissa
Melissa

I just wanted to say that the Digital Summer article is awesome and the pictures are fantastic. Let me just say that us street teamers take alot of pride in our work around the valley. There is nothing that we wouldn't do to help the guys get their name out there!!!

Josh
Josh

Killer article, they sound like they really have what it takes to make it big. I'm going to go get there cd tomorrow! Keep up the good work-josh

mark
mark

heard of these guys awhile back. didnt listen to their music till newtimes put them on the cover, and i gotta say i was impressed. they have some really good music. after reading the article, if all is true, they definitely deserve the cover. so to the two assholes above, talking shit isnt gonna take Digital Summer off the cover, and jealousy isnt gonna get u on it! so save ur breathe! good band, great article, good job new times!

dante m.f. white
dante m.f. white

digital summer is the shit. bottom line the first time i realized that they were THE band to represent arizonas rock scene was when they played homeless for the holidays acoustic set. any band that can play acoustic and sound just as good as thier cd has talent.

SANDY
SANDY

Those last two comments are pretty ignorant. Quite obvious that jealousy is playing a role. I went to their show last night. Not only was it sold out, but it was probably the best show I have ever seen, local or not. So you could definitely consider me a fan now, in which case that last moron would be calling ME an idiot....so FUCK YOU. Digital Summer keep doing what you're doing. You're amazing and it shows!!

James
James

Digital Summer are a bunch of poseurs. Their music is totally souless and their fans are all idiots. Fuck 'em.

God
God

Just goes to show..you don't need talent to be on the cover of the new times..Great job new times..another shitty band with a "gimmick"

you disappoint me more and more..

God

Mac
Mac

These guys rock! Great article!!! I must admit I never read the Newtimes, but when I saw digital summer on the cover i was like " oh f*@k yeah!!!"

Becky Patton
Becky Patton

Digital Summer is an amazing band that has so much talent and deserves this type of recognition and much more. They work really well together and have what it takes to make it. I play their CD in my car all the time and all my friends ask who they are... Cant wait for your show tomorrow night! you guys rock!

Dan
Dan

Ridiculous.

Jae
Jae

Bunch of cool guyz! It's good that we keep getting put on the map for bring out good rock bands!

Brandi
Brandi

Great story! Digital Summer is such an amazing band and they are all amazing people! My daughter is one of the 7 year olds they talked about taking pictures with and quit honestly, i don't know many band that would take the time to do that! That is why we love them!

Tiffany
Tiffany

I am so happy to see these guys finally get some well deserved recognition! They are an amazing band that works so hard and is really just a cool bunch of guys. GREAT STORY!

 
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