The Valley’s own The Summer Set are back with a new album and a full supporting tour after last year’s reported breakup.
“We’re running through old songs, learning new songs, and kind of playing the longest set we’ve ever really played,” says frontman Brian Dales. “I’m excited about everything.”
The group’s latest full length, Stories for Monday, is their first in three years. But during their time apart, they grew up, and it’s evident in the album’s transparent lyrics.
“You see the signs that a band has gotten a lot older on the record. I think it’s a very serious record thematically, and I think I was very in tune with myself on an honest level as a songwriter, figuring myself out,” Dales says.
Also on the band’s agenda was the commitment to being completely themselves.
“I was afraid of becoming something that I wasn’t,” said Dales.
The Summer Set released Stories with no expectations besides the supporting tour, but it has received the most attention of any album in their discography, which the group never saw coming.
“It’s been getting the greatest response we’ve ever had,” said Dales, still surprised after a week’s worth of positive feedback.
The Scottsdale quintet formed in 2007 and quickly rose through the ranks of the pop punk scene, following in the footsteps of local inspirations Jimmy Eat World and The Format.
Fresh out of high school, the group toured with genre giants Every Avenue and Never Shout Never, and by 2010, The Summer Set were a seasoned Vans Warped Tour band with two years’ worth of performances under their belts.
Though they can hang with the best of the Warped bands, The Summer Set showcase classic rock and sunshine '80s pop influences, setting them apart from fellow punk rockers but not so far that they could be construed as pop stars. (They mention this on Stories’ opener, “Figure Me Out.”)
Playing to packed stadiums on a regular basis is just one of The Summer Set’s aspirations. Multiple cities have sold out so far, so it’s a full possibility for the future. For now, though Dales and his band mates are enjoying the freedom of playing a record that’s all their own.
“I think the possibilities are endless, and that’s what’s exciting."