One of the worst recurring feelings as a music fan comes from a very niche situation. A band you used to love goes on hiatus or breaks up. You pray for their return. They finally come back. You rejoice. They put out an album. It’s trash! Hot flaming trash! And now you wish they’d just stayed inactive. I can confidently say that no fan of The Dangerous Summer has lived this experience. In fact, the band may have actually surpassed their previous high.
Mother Nature was released two weeks ago today and honestly… what an album. Makes me wish I lived on the coast, somewhere I could drive along the beach and listen. I’ll have to make do with Lake Ontario, but I’ll make it work. Current favourites? Probably “Where Were You When The Sky Opened Up” and “Violent Red” but it’ll keep changing. Listening to this album makes me feel like I’m getting a fresh start. At what? I’m unsure. But it feels good.
I had a chance to chat with the lovely Ben Cato on the album’s release day. Check it out below for more on this album, music discovery, MySpace, and our obsession with Spotify Discover Weekly.
Plus if you make it all the way to the end, there’s a VINYL GIVEAWAY!
Congratulations on release day! How is the reaction so far to the album?
Oh, it’s crazy. We’ve been selling it early on this tour, so there’s already this massive thread on chorus.fm that we lurk every now and then. A lot of people are comparing it to like a mature Reach For The Sun. I didn’t really hear that at all but I was extremely humbled by it, because that obviously seems to be everyone’s staple go-to as far as the catalogue that the band has. I was like “holy shit, that’s a pretty big compliment.” So yeah, it’s been overwhelmingly positive. It’s hard when you go smash out a record like that, and then you gotta sit on it for months and months before it comes out. It’s so sick to finally connect with the fans and talk about the deeper cuts. It’s been crazy, you gotta go read that thread. It’s almost 60 pages long.
I’ll definitely go find it! That’s cool that the albums been released gradually. It must be nice to get feedback ahead of the full release, just to take some of the stress off of release day.
Yeah, release day can definitely be a little wild. Some might go into meltdown mode, but like… I think it was cool how we were just able to ease it out there on this tour, like lets just sell it a little early and make it special.
Another thing I’ve noticed with your fan base — I’ve been talking to a lot of newer or younger fans, and some of them didn’t realize there were albums from before the self-titled record, from before the break. But Mother Nature is the band’s sixth full-length release. Does that give you more freedom to experiment with your sound without worrying about people demanding it sound like past albums?
I feel like with Mother Nature, we’ve really hit our stride. I don’t think there was ever a moment where we were like “oh let’s experiment more” it’s just like… we never really had an opportunity to do so. We had, I don’t know, maybe twelve days or something like that to do the self-titled record, and we had eight weeks with Sam Pura to do Mother Nature. I think it was just kind of a naturally occurring process, simply because we had enough time to really get wild with it, y’know?
Absolutely, and it turned out fantastic. I’ve been listening to it since midnight, definitely going to take more time to dive in, but so far I’m loving it. One of the lyrics that really caught me on this album was “will you throw me away and have all the interns write my songs?” and later “integrity’s dead, there’s no sign of improving.” I feel like this really reflects my views as well on the industry at times. What are your thoughts on the current state of the music scene that we’re in?
You know, I think it’s interesting because I grew up in a world where there weren’t any streaming platforms. I mean, most of us remember those days. I was buying tapes and shit. Then that whole Napster thing happened, and that leads us to now. What I think’s cool though is like… if an album leaks now, services like Spotify and Apple Music are so popular, it doesn’t really matter. I remember first starting out doing DIY tours with my old band in the MySpace days. If an album leaked, it was game over. Now it doesn’t seem to matter. I think it’s interesting how easily accessible music is in today’s world. I think it’s awesome how it’s coalescing into… it’s okay to just really want to have your music out there again.
As far as like the current state of things, I would say… man, how do I put this into words? Not even two years ago would I sit down with a cup of coffee and some cereal and be like “okay, now I’m going to pull up my Spotify Discover”. Now that’s part of my morning routine. I feel like there’s so many bands surfacing and maybe once a week to once a month, I discover some new band where I’m like “oh my god, who the fuck is this??” That’s never happened before in my lifetime. So I think that’s the coolest thing about what’s going on now is just… it’s so easy to find music. Sorry if I’m rambling.
That’s fine with me, I do it all the time.
To tie back into the song lyric, that was just kind of like a statement piece for us where it’s just like… yo, we really really really give a shit about this. This is everything. We don’t want to just be in a routine where it’s like “alright, you write a record, then you tour and you’re just doing it,” you know? Like we’re fucking inspired and we want to work ourselves to the bone when it’s time to get in the studio and do our thing. Not trying to say that we’re better than the rest or anything, that song just embodies that fire in our bellies. You feel me?
That was one hell of a tangent.
Listen, that’s how I talk to people on a daily basis. I’m sure they get sick of it, but this is what interviews are all about. And I was gonna say, The Dangerous Summer came up during the MySpace days and now literally everything is online. It’s not just one site where some people are connecting. That’s the whole game.
It’s beautiful, though. Like I said, I have this never-ending music library that just keeps growing. There’s so many fucking bands and people innovating and making new and interesting sounds. Or I’ve discovered bands who were around 15 years ago that I didn’t even know about. That’s the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s all on our phones now, it’s so easily accessible. I think it’s awesome. Get the music out there. People need art, people need to be inspired. They need that shit.
Plus, Spotify is really good at actually picking out artists for your Discover Weekly that you’ll actually like. I’ve found so many bands, but they’re so niche, so specifically what I would like. It’s like, how do they know?? But they know.
Yeah! Have you heard of La Bouquet?
I LOVE them. Their album is amazing.
I just found out about them inadvertently through a friend but regardless, like… so fucking good, that’s my shit right now.
I think “Scream My Name” is on all of my playlists right now. And then the lead singer has his own solo stuff. He just put out two singles.
Oh! What is that called?
He’s called Olivver The Kid.
Aw sick, I need to hear that.
There’s so much art out there, it’s so hard to keep up with all of it. So to have a service that’s actually like specifically going “hey, you’ll probably like this” is beautiful.
It’s genius. I love it. I’m absolutely addicted to it.
Well I’m assuming it’s also probably easier for you guys when you’re on the road so much — you don’t really have a lot of downtime to go searching. The fact that it takes away some of that work for you probably makes it easier.
It’s nice on a day like today. We have an eight hour drive so it’s perfect. We’ll watch a movie, and then I wanna slam some tunes. And then the podcasting world is becoming really popularized, we listen to Joe Rogan and Coast To Coast AM. We like all that weird shit.
You guys have been on tour for a few weeks now, you’re nearly at the end. How do you guys keep yourself from burning out on the road?
Oh, tour is better than Christmas. That’s easy. You might never sleep, but you’re gonna have the best time of your life. This is everything, it’s just all that we know. Ever since we re-emerged it’s like we’re so stoked to be a band again. It’s hard work but we’re so stoked. It’s easy.
That’s so nice to hear. I feel like sometimes tensions get high, especially after you’ve been on the road together for a few weeks. It’s good to hear that you guys are actually enjoying it more.
Oh, 100%. We’ve had the same crew for a good while now and it’s a family. I would do anything for these boys. They take such good care of us. We’re just happy to be able to be doing it. So as a result, I know it sounds crazy but we literally never argue. Ever.
That’s… incredible. Well, the album’s out now. You’ve got this tour. I’m sure you’re probably doing more touring. What else is in store for you guys for the rest of this year?
We’ve got a UK leg of this tour coming up. We’ll be home for maybe like a week, then we go to Scotland to smash out 2000trees. We’ve got a couple other UK shows around that. We’ve got something special planned for this fall. But I can’t talk about it. Little surprise.
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