My Summer hails from Long Island, NY with two studio albums under their belt, the band just released a live album this March. I got a chance to speak with Mike Longo the singer and guitarist:
NB: Your sound is described as “up-beat guitar rock”, but I would say it's more of a ska sound. How would you describe it?
ML: Hmm, I don't know no ones ever called it a ska sound before. I would describe it as rock music, I'm not sure if it's always upbeat, lets hope it isn't, I hope our band is capable of portraying many moods.
NB: You're still relatively a new band having been formed in 2005, it's very impressive to have 2 albums under your belt already. Tell me a little about how you formed, and your creative process.
ML: We started as a two piece band actually, Joey and I. It was mostly loop based rock songs, as you can hear in some of our older recordings as we needed something to fill out what we were doing, then some other friends of ours, magic and (others) Joe joined the band. The creative process of songwriting has changed a lot since the band has gone through so many different lineups, which I think helps make our stuff sound different from song to song. I wouldn't have it any other way.
NB: Where did the name “My Summer” come from?
ML: We are fun loving middle class white boys, summer is our breeding grounds.
NB: Is music cathartic for you? An art form? A passion? Why do you want to be musicians?
ML: I am a musician because I love music, and it is my form of enjoyment, release, and my preferred form of communication with the world. It is art, but I don't think of it that way, it just is what I've loved my entire life. The way so many different songs are felt in the heart by so many different people shows its true power to move and inspire.
NB: What is success to you?
ML: Getting interviewed by the Examiner. (Smiles)
NB: Who inspires you?
ML: Radiohead, The Strokes, old Weezer, No Knife, there's so many bands we all enjoy together which is what makes new songs come together easily I think for us. Lately Frightened Rabbit as well.
NB: Have you gone on tour yet? Tell me what your first tour experience was like...
ML: Yes this band has toured about 6 times or so. Our first tour experience was fun, it was actually as a two piece, we had a blast, and got in lots of trouble. Our first tour as a full band was an interesting experience too, a lot of great shows, a lot of terrible shows, and a lot of lunatics along the way. We met some really crazy people in Pittsburgh, but they were great. One band was called "The Naked Orchestra", and it was just two guys dancing around naked with a trumpet and a tuba and neither one knew how to play a single note, it was really absurd and hilarious.
NB: Tell me about where you see yourselves in 5 years?
ML: Hopefully more albums, touring and bigger shows!
NB: You released a “live-album” what was the thinking behind that?
ML: Well its more of an online thing. We play a lot and a good amount of our shows get recorded so its something we just will continuously add downloadable songs to. Its available on our bandcamp site for free.
NB: How do you spend your time when you're not making music?
ML: I am currently building an arcade machine in my garage.
NB: What would you like people to know about you?
ML: That's a tough question. I think our songs speak for us, if you like our music chances are you'd like us as people.
NB: Final thoughts?
ML: Thank you! This was fun. www.facebook.com/mysummermusic.