Local Limelight Interview: The Summer Switch

Tony Pitkin (Vocals)
Ian Dorset (Guitar/Vocals)
Ethan Rose (Guitar/Vocals)
Eric Rosen (Bass)
Ryan Wager (Drums)

The Summer Switch is a local five piece band that is breaking down barriers on the pop punk scene. These guys can always be spotted a mile away, not only from their unique ability to create a blending of harmonic vocals with the intensity of their instrumentals, but also by the amount of energy that is always brought when they set foot on the stage. This band is accustomed to playing in small venues but their talent is truly put on display when they are able to play off of the energy of a larger, more aggressive crowd. If you are questioning the talent of this band, consider taking a look at their fan base. Three towns are proud enough to call them local artist and it’s well deserved. They have catchy lyrics that get stuck in your head for days and a passion for music that comes across every time they perform, showcasing their dedication and love for their art, thus turning anyone with a respect for music into a fan instantly.

You can check these guys out on Facebook for more of their music, including their EP and follow them on Twitter for events and happenings from the band.

For the interview…
How long have you been together as a band?

With the current lineup we’ve been together since August but we were a band for a little over two years now just with different members. We really didn’t do a whole lot in the beginning though, it was more of just a for fun, high school garage band, it wasn’t until probably last summer that we actually started playing some bigger shows and building our audience.

How did you guys all meet each other?

Well Ian and I (Tony) had been in a band before this one for about a year or two until we quit and decided we wanted to start something different. When we parted ways we started looking for a second guitarist and I remembered seeing Ethan at a friend’s party playing guitar by the bonfire, so I contacted him on Facebook and he was down. I reached out to Ryan, who I had known since I was in 7th grade. He and Eric had both been in and out of different hardcore bands over the years, but a genre change was something they were both eager to try and it seems to have worked out great!

Who are your most influential artists on an individual level?

Tony: Valencia and Go Radio. These bands mean a lot to me and have definitely influenced the way that I make music

Ryan: Oh, Sleeper defiantly. 

Eric: Sleeping With Sirens.

Ian: Brand New, that band is amazing and is one of my favorites.

Ethan: Transit is one of my favorite bands; they really helped shape me as a musician.

Who are some of your greatest influences for the band collectively?

When we initially started, we drew a lot from artists like Four Year Strong and Taking Back Sunday, and while we are still influenced by them, we’ve started drawing from other artists that are big on the scene right now like Transit, Man Overboard, and The Story So Far. These are bands that have really changed what it means to play Pop-Punk.

How long have you been playing your respected instrument?

Tony: I have been singing technically since 3rd grade when I was in my elementary school chorus, but I’ve been singing in bands for around 5 years.

Ryan: Probably around 8 years.

Eric: I’ve been playing for about 7 years.

Ian: 5 years, I think? I don’t remember exactly, maybe 6 years. 

Ethan: I’ve been playing guitar for about 7 years now, damn

How would you describe your music?

We like to think we’re pop-punk, but not the new style of pop-punk where everyone feels it’s under attack and that we need to “defend it” from something. We take elements of that genre, it’s one that we love and support not only as makers but as fans, and combine it with an aggressive style of pop music.

What are some of the challenges you guys have had to overcome as a band?

Having members in college, in two different towns this year has been a huge challenge. Also, Eric is working for the state and Ryan is recording full time from home creating a whole slew of conflicts. That being said, it’s also opened doors we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. We’ve been lucky enough to play in Albany, Syracuse and Poughkeepsie frequently because we have band members in all of these areas, so we are able sell tickets and draw a crowd. It does hurt us sometimes because we have to say no to shows because we can’t everyone there because of scheduling conflicts, but it’s helped us gain a more diverse fan base throughout the state.

Do you guys plan on releasing another CD soon?

Hopefully this fall we’ll be releasing some new material. While we’ve all been at school and haven’t had much time to practice and write together, we’ve all been spending time working on our craft and playing with ideas, hopefully some of which will become full songs this summer!

Where is your favorite venue to play?

We really like playing for people. I think we love playing Northern Lights because we have so much room to roam around and have fun with the crowd. I also think there’s a different energy in the room when you have a packed show there. However, we also had a lot of fun playing at J. Watt’s in Scotia because it’s a small locally owned coffeehouse and our shows get  so  crowded that you can’t  move, similar to how a house show would be. That is a hell of a lot of fun for us!

What makes you guys different from any other local band?

We think what might make us different from any other local band is that we get to call ourselves a local band in three different towns, each show us just as much love as our true hometown in the capital region. It’s great to drive more than an hour away and still have kids care about what you do and who you are.

What are some of your favorite local bands?

State Champs, Restless Streets, The Nightlife, Bring Home Ohio (awesome dudes with a huge amount of potential for their age). There’s so many, and those are honestly just a few.

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