Interview with The Summer State

Formed in 2011 with a goal to write songs that encourages having a positive mindset, local band The Summer State has definitely come a long way since then. Starting out as a band made out of friends, who would have thought they would get hand picked by the front man of Electrico, Dave Tan and even opening for international acts such as Yellowcard and The Wonder Years.

POPCulture Online catches up with the band to find out more about themselves, their musical influences and also what their highlights for 2012 were.

The Summer State Band Photo

Please introduce the members of the band and the instruments they play ?
Ryan Lopez – Vocals
Victoria Chew (Veek) – Guitar
Shaykh Enn – Guitar
Edwin Waliman – Bass
Bryan Sta Maria – Drums/Backup Vocals

How long have you guys been playing together and how did you guys eventually form the band?
Edwin: We formally started 2 years ago, in the first quarter of 2011. We wanted to form a band and make music that we love so I brought Veek and Bryan together. Bryan brought Ryan, a good friend of his, into the group. Veek and Bryan then brought Shaykh, their classmate in Lasalle.

Looking back, how do you feel about your growth and progress as a band?
Ryan: I think we’ve really grown a whole lot over the past 2 years and I think the expectations we set for ourselves at the start have also evolved along with the band.
Veek: We’ve been extremely blessed throughout our journey as a band, so I’m excited for what’ll happen next for us. I’m hoping it’ll be good!

What’s the meaning of your band’s name, The Summer State ?
Edwin: The name’s derived from the term ‘the summer state of mind’ which is all about having a positive mindset and being happy. We want that same energy in our songs to translate to our listeners that even through the worst times, good things will come out of it.

Who are your individual musical influences?
Ryan: Main musical influences are bands like Go Radio, Mayday Parade and A Rocket To The Moon.
Shaykh: I draw a lot of influence from bands like Paramore, Explosions in the Sky and Muse. Some of my influences are very different from the kind of music we make as a band and it gives me ideas on how to approach my music differently.
Veek: Blink 182.
Edwin: Besides those already mentioned, The Dangerous Summer, The Killers and Between the Trees.
Bryan: Yellowcard, The Wonder Years and Go Radio

What are each of your highlights of 2012?
Ryan: My highlight of 2012 was definitely playing with Yellowcard. I’ll never forget that for as long as I live!
Shaykh: The biggest highlight for 2012 had to be us finally heading in to the studios to record our debut EP. It initiated the much needed forward push to achieve greater things as a band!
Veek: Mine was opening for Yellowcard and The Wonder Years. Both bands were extremely influential to me during my teenage years, and it was an honour to have opened for them in Singapore.
Edwin: I would say Yellowcard and being crowned champion of the Sync Studios Fifa tournament!
Bryan: Opening for my childhood heroes Yellowcard in front of a 2000+ crowd was definitely my highlight of 2012.

How do you balance your other commitments i.e. work, school with the band?
Bryan: Responsibilities switch priority depending on circumstance. Say we have a big gig coming up so jamming will take precedence over other stuff. If we have a major test coming up jamming will be put on hold. We get by.

Lastly, what are your plans for 2013?
Shaykh: We’re definitely planning to push ourselves further musically, play more shows in Singapore and around the region and possibly write more music for another release if all goes well!

For more information on the band’s latest EP, do head on over to their website.

Photo credits: Herman Rahman

By Chen KangYi
© POPCulture Online 2013, All Rights Reserved

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