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Digital Summer's Kyle Winterstein on Playing Desert Uprising

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Since 2006, local band Digital Summer has been garnering fans from all over the country, with a Facebook count of almost 50,000 fans. They have a distinguishable style of heavy, melodic guitars and raw vocals that not only comes off as radio-friendly, but also sets them apart from other local bands. Hell, the Phoenix New Times even featured the band on a cover in 2008, noting not only their locally loved tunage but also their insane work ethic.

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Case in point: This year Winterstein and one of the other members traveled on their own dime on tours all over the country not to perform, but to promote themselves to local radio stations and network with other artists and music professionals.

The band is fresh off releasing the new album Breaking Point, with the single "Forget You" listed as #6 this week on SiriusXM Octane Big Uns Countdown, just behind Three Days Grace, Stone Sour, In This Moment, Nonpoint, and Halestorm. The band is about to show visiting acts what a desert uprising is really about at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion.

Up On The Sun talked with vocalist Kyle Winterstein about why the band remains unsigned, loving the fans, and being on the Desert Uprising bill.

What band do you think puts on the best show on the bill? Or rather, what act impresses you the most?

That's a tough question. Some of these artists are radically different. Manson always has a certain captivating nature. Honestly though, what I love about this line-up overall is that every band taking the stage on both these days will simply bleed their music. Every performer will walk off stage dripping in sweat, physically and mentally exhausted. That is what rock music should be. I'm excited for all of it.

What sets you apart from other local bands on this bill?

What sets up apart is our fans. We opted to take the unbeaten path and do this completely on our own. No labels, no management, just us, our music and our fans. The irony in it all is that the fans have literally become our label in a sense. They have funded 100% of our touring and promotion for this album. They have shown us that what truly matters is the connection between and artist and the listeners who share that same love for their music. When we take the stage, we have one objective. It's our job to create that moment when a fan is lost in the music and sees that we are too. That moment when both the fans and ourselves know exactly why we do this. To create and share that moment of escape every music lover longs for. We don't have to worry about record contracts, legal obligations or management decisions... the only thing we have to worry about is our fans.

Where do you guys hope to be within the next year?

We hope to be an example. An example of exactly how much the music industry has changed. We hope to be the name that gets brought up when some wannbe rockstar bitches about having to actually work for success. Nothing worth having in this life comes easy. We want to show our fans that despite the current state of the music industry, the magic still exists somewhere between the songs, the show, the artist and the listener. We want people to look at Digital Summer and say, "Now that's how it should be. That's what rock music is all about."

With influences like Spineshank, do you think DS will ever take on a heavier approach in future albums?

Absolutely. Our scope of musicianship and influence just keeps expanding. We love heavy music and I have no doubts that the best is yet to come in that particular direction of the DS sound.

We couldn't be more excited to be back in our hometown and playing for the fans who launched our entire musical career! We are honored and humbled by the love of the AZ fans and the support of 98 KUPD, truly the greatest rock radio station we've ever known. I have a Phoenix tattooed on my arm for a reason.

Digital Summer is scheduled to perform at Desert Uprising Friday, September 28, at Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion.

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