The word “zoetic” is of Greek origin and means alive, or relating to life. Zoetic is also the the name of the newest album from Bryce Avary’s dynamic music project, The Rocket Summer. “I just thought it was the coolest word” Bryce shares with LIKEYOUSAID during an interview at the Brighton Music Hall in Allston, Massachuetts. “This album is just so different from the others. Zoetic— it was just a really good fit.”
During our interview we talk about Bryce’s writing process on Zoetic, the record’s first single, “Same Air”, and how Hannah Simone who plays Cece on New Girl became the star of the video. We also talk about Bryce’s first taste of stardom as a young contestant on Nickelodeon’s popular game show Double Dare and his plans to play Slam Dunk Music Festival at the end of the month.
Hi, it’s Lia from LIKEYOUSAID. Just for our readers at home, this should be fun for you — could you state your name what you do in your band?
Bryce: My name is Bryce Avary and I’m from Texas. I’ve been doing this my whole life practically. [Laughs.] I mean that’s what it feels like. I do a lot of things. I play all of the instruments and it’s become a mad scientist project that’s turned into my life.
What was the first instrument that you picked up?
Bryce: Drums and guitar, kind of at the same time. I was in the sixth grade and I met a guy and he taught me how to play a bar chord on guitar, and you can kind of play any Nirvana song once you know bar chords. He had a drum kit and we were messing around and playing new songs together.
Is guitar your favorite instrument now?
Bryce: I know it sounds weird, I’ve never said this before, ever. My favorite now is just singing. I’m trying to just focus on my voice.
Zoetic just came out in late February. As far as your writing process for that record, did you come up with the music first or the lyrics?
Bryce: Generally the music. Sometimes the lyrics happen at the same time. It’s really rare that I write the vocal melody first, which is a good thing to do. I generally have a guitar in my hand or I’m sitting at a piano and that’s how it starts. Oftentimes a lyric pops up at the same time, I don’t even know what the song’s about yet and a phrase just pops up and I think, ‘Oh, that feels right’.
It comes from somewhere else, doesn’t it?
Bryce: It really does come from somewhere else.
You’ll probably be asked this question a lot, but Hannah Simone or Cece from the New Girl, stars in your “Same Air” video. How did that relationship form?
Bryce: She’s a good friend of mine, she’s just the sweetest girl. We met through her boyfriend. I was shooting the new video and she said “I want to be in it” and I told her, “I want you to be in it” [Laughs.] So she just did it from the goodness of her sweet soul.
Do you watch New Girl?
Bryce: Yeah, I do watch it. It’s kind of weird though because I’m pretty close with her and I don’t watch it that much. I used to watch it a lot then I got very busy, then we became friends and I already knew her from the show.
We’re in Boston so we’re wondering, what are some of your favorite things about Boston?
Bryce: I love the culture in Boston. There’s a certain spirit that people have that is very authentic and real. I love it here. I want everyone here on my side though…
You’re still based out of Texas, right?
Bryce: Sort of. I made this new record in LA and it’s kind of where my stuff is — I don’t know where I live. [Laughs.] I kind of live in an RV.
You’re always on tour and never home… [Laughs.] So, when you were little your were on Double Dare. Did you always want to be on TV or did your parents encourage you to go that route?
Bryce: Neither one of those things. I was on vacation at Universal Studios in Florida and my brother and I obsessed over that show and we saw a lady with a sign that said ‘Try out for Double Dare’, and we were both like ‘WHAT!?’ And so we went over and were like, “What do we need to do?” And she was like just make up a skit or rap or something… My family went and I made up a rap.
— Bryce Avary (@TheRocketSummer) May 4, 2016
Of course you did.
Bryce: I might have even done the splits at the end of it. [Laughs.] And then the next day, they were like “Cool. Come be on the show in the morning.” That was the nuttiest thing ever.
Did you win on Double Dare?