My Q&A With: Haunted Summer

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After only a few seconds on Haunted Summer’s Facebook page, many things begin to jump out. The bands interest’s- ‘Spreading darkness through light: To accept the light, you must acknowledge the darkness. Only then will you reach clarity.’ The band’s location- ‘The Woods.’ The band’s influences- ‘The Mystic Forest, Light & Darkness, FOG, Death, Life, Love.’

At first, the sayings and phrases that are uncharacteristic for a music page seem out of place. However, in listening to the music that inspired these sayings, everything seems to fall into place.  Bridgette and John, the founding members and married couple behind Haunted Summer have put their creatively brilliant minds together to produce a collection of fantastical and mysteriously eerie pop music. Their music has taken them all over the world as a supporting band to acts like Meiko and Laura Stevenson. Now veterans of iconic venues including The El Rey Theater, Amoeba Hollywood, The Troubadour, and The Casbah, Haunted Summer is setting out on a national headlining tour, continuing to ‘haunt’ and enchant the world with their music.

It is unique to hear a band describe their music as ‘eerie and spooky.’ How did this sound come about?

John: We take a different approach in our band.. we accept all inspiration of this world and beyond. We take a lot of visual aspects of the band from our dreams and nightmares that led us to each other throughout many life spans. We feel the listener receives this eerie, spooky aspect and realizes the beauty in the darkness as well.

What is it like create music together as a married couple?

Bridgette: We’re very lucky to be in this situation. Often times, touring can make or break a band and we never have to leave each other’s side for any of that. We support and inspire each other by working on something so wholeheartedly together. With the music it is very special, the sound we create together becomes one and lyrics can be like a secret language for us. Broad enough for others to relate, but personal references and secret messages of hope, humor, and understanding for each other is sprinkled throughout our music.  

The band has toured with several big name acts including Taken By Trees and Islands. What has been the most memorable moment thus far?

John: Taken by Trees was a amazing show at The Levitt Pavilion, and the Islands tour was more extensive and a lot of fun..but our favorite so far has been the dates we did with The Polyphonic Spree. We sound like broken records but Tim Delaughter and the whole band are seriously the nicest, most grounded musicians. It was like traveling with a big family who had nothing but love to share. Their live show is also very inspiring, I would put it next to how epic Flaming Lips, or Arcade Fire shows have been at times.

You’re heading out on a national headlining tour in a few days. What are you most looking forward to?

Bridgette: We’re all really looking forward to visiting places we’ve never been like Philly, Denver and NYC. I think we’re all still reeling on the fact that we will be recording a live album to be pressed to clear vinyl by the amazingly ambitious folks at Mace Mead Works in Walla Walla, WA. Haunted Summer comes alive!

Both Bridgette and John were in different bands prior to forming Haunted Summer. How did Haunted Summer originate?

John: In a nutshell, we got tired of playing meaningless music with former projects and found each other in the process. Bridgette and I were friends for 10 years prior to Haunted Summer. I got offered a slot for a covers show at The Echo and we did an all Animal Collective cover set on Halloween 2012 with a full band of friends, at the end Bridgette and I took the stage alone for 1 song and that is when the band was born. Hearing and seeing the crowds reaction to us was amazing, we immediately started recording, quit our old projects, and have been touring and making the music we have always wanted to make ever since. We know what mistakes not to make in this band, and I gotta say having a clear path has been very helpful. 

The band recently made their television debut on AXS Live. That must have been very exciting.  Describe that experience.

Bridgette: That really was a lot of fun, the whole crew was so sweet. We really loved challenging the cameramen to make us look a little weirder than the usual appearance. TV wants clean cut, but these guys were on their knees shooting us through lava lamps and plasma globes and loving it! We’ve been featured on TWC Socal Beat since then, and will be performing on Good Morning Northwest to promote our live album but something tells me there will be a sad shortage of plasma globes.

Psychosocial- Brooke Fraser

1. This is amazing.

2. I’m super annoyed because I intended to post this about five hours ago but got distracted packing for school. Womp. 

3. A lot of people are criticizing this song and supposed ‘new Brooke’ and I find that very upsetting and narrow-minded. Sonically, this song is certainly a far cry from What to Do With Daylight and Albertine, but what would music, creativity, and expression be without the ability to grow and transform? Thoughts?