Originally Posted on: January 5th, 2015
Charlie J.J. Kruger sits down with Tommy Mott, lead vocalist of the band SUMMER'S END.
H-P: Thanks for taking the time to sit with us, Tommy. As excited as we are to be talking to you, you must be more excited to be back in Summer's End. Did you ever expect to be back?
TOMMY: I am excited to be back. Very excited actually. And no, I never expected to be back. It’s a bit surreal, you know? I’m still not fully convinced that what is happening here, is actually real life. But I’m really fired up about being back in the band. I have always had a special place in my heart for this band. It’s that one band where you sit back and reflect and think “Aagghh, damn it! We really had something, if we could only have changed this or that…” And now out of the blue, here we are playing music again. Its nuts.
H-P: So, how did this reunion fall into place?
TOMMY: Well, John, the guitarist, is in another band called Dead N Wasted. It’s a pretty killer band. They are signed to a label called Devil’s Music. So Devil’s music decided that they want to put out a compilation album. Somewhere along the way, somebody asked John, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to throw an unreleased Summer’s End song on this compilation?” Now, mind you, people have been asking for this reunion for years now. Every time a former Summer’s End band member goes to a show, or plays a show, or whatever… they are asked about Summer’s End. So there has always been this “what if…” or this “wouldn’t that be cool…” type of thought in the back of all our heads, and in the heads of the hardcore fan base. It has sort of haunted us like this ghost who just isn’t quite done here yet… if that makes sense.
So anyway you’ve got all that, plus now a label showing interest out of nowhere. So John and I were talking one day and the topic of his new band came up. That’s when he told me about Devil’s Music being interested in a Summer’s End song. We kind of laughed it off, but in the dark far off corners of our minds, you could tell that we were actually feeling each other out to see if the other was going to be willing to do it. Now the Summer’s End seed has been planted in my head, right. Naturally, that makes me start to listen to some of our old shit as I’m driving. Then like a ton of bricks, that breakdown kicked in from “Long Time Dead”. I called john from the car in that moment and said, “Dude, You would be stupid not to do some Summer’s End shit, man. This shit is pretty brutal”. Little did I know, this fucker was already a few steps ahead of me…
He says “Yea, I know. I have a song I wanna send you. See what you think. It would be a killer Summer’s End song. I want you to throw vocals on it. We can put it on the Devil’s Music comp and see what happens. I threw down some vocals and when we sat back and listened to it, we said “Why stop at just one song? Fuck it let’s do this”. And now, here we are.
H-P: What are your plans/dreams for the band in the near future?
TOMMY: Well you know, nothing much. Some Grammy’s here and there. A private jet for each of us. Maybe our own little island or something. The basics. Just kidding. Right now we are gonna play some shows, write some music, record some shit, and just have fun doing it. We are all pretty good friends and we all love to play these songs. So fuck it, that’s what we are gonna do. We are going to re-release some old material. A lot of Summer’s End fans are familiar with Josh as the vocalist.
The album that was on Hand of Hope. They toured the shit out of that album. So there is a whole world of Summer’s End fans that don’t even know I was in the band. Or that there is even some material that came out before that album. So we are going to re-release that stuff, and we are going to start working on new stuff. I’m really excited for people to be able to hear both the older stuff and the newer stuff.
H-P: Since the announcement That the band is coming back, its been all over the place. Were you surprised by this?
TOMMY: Dude, I was floored. Within hours of announcing the reunion show, the promoter called concerned about capacity issues, saying we may need a bigger venue. That was crazy to me! It was amazing to know that you can leave a mark on people that deep, just from just jumping around and playing some fucking music. I mean, within 24 hours we got contacted by people all over the US and a few people from other countries that are flying in for the show! Flying to shit hole ass Baltimore for a Summer’s End show! No one actually travels TO Baltimore on purpose. This is just mind blowing, man.
H-P: Since you were last with the band, what have you been up to?
TOMMY: Well musically, I’ve done a few projects here and there. Nothing terribly serious. Mostly just jamming because I have to, otherwise I will go insane. I write a lot. I’m working on a movie script right now. And of course there is all the work and family crap that fills up the rest, but no one wants to hear about that shit haha.
H-P: Why do you think people connect with Summer's End so strongly?
TOMMY: I wish I knew. Like I said earlier, we are always haunted by this band. No one will let this band die. Everyone that truly likes the band is constantly asking for one last show, one more song that has been laying around, just one final fix…
I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me personally, it’s just fun music to listen to. The melodies are catchy and well written. They add this bright and clean side to a song that is also so brutal and dark at the same time. You have the vocals and lyrics that are really dark and aggressive. The breakdowns that are brutally heavy. The drumming that just doesn’t seem to let up. But it is somehow tastefully tied together with these catchy melodies and guitar solos. It’s like this audio schizophrenia, there are opposite forces somehow coming together in a strange way. You don’t really know if you should kick your shoes off, start snapping your fingers, and whistling along… Or should you tighten up your laces and go knock someone’s teeth down their throat?
Depending on the day, I find myself wanting to react to the songs in either way. I think that is probably why people still connect with it after all this time. It is music that you can jam the fuck out to whether you’re in a good mood, a bad mood, or just indifferent.
H-P: What fuels your creative fire for this band?
TOMMY: For me, it’s a lot of introspective torture mostly. Probably 75% of my lyrics are created from me going too far into my own mind and wrestling with creatures that most humans leave caged up for their entire lifetime. I also write songs that are kind of short stories. I like to play with the word play, and I like to create visually stimulating lyrics. I think it’s really cool to read someone’s lyrics and next thing you know… BAM! Your off on this tangent in your mind and on this journey… then the song goes into a breakdown and just solidified that everything you thought was going to go wrong with this character, just did. But more so than that, I need to get things out of my head, and writing songs does that for me.
But being able to get that stuff out, put it to a song, and then have it all click with your bandmates once that musical connection is made… there’s no feeling like that on earth. It’s something you just can’t describe once you get it right. That’s why playing in Summer’s End is the overwhelming force that it is. John and I have played together for 15 years now, on and off. We have always had this musical connection that is really hard to find. We don’t even have to speak to each other. We can trust that the other is going put together something pretty killer and we will have something that compliments it really well, before either of us knows what’s going on. Sometimes the songs just write themselves and it’s like we aren’t even involved. It’s kinda creepy.
H-P: Freddy vs Jason... who wins, and why?
TOMMY: Well, I don’t think Jason sleeps… So that would take the mental game away from Freddy. Now he’s just a burn victim with scissors. I gotta go with Jason.
H-P: Have you read/seen/heard anything that will be influencing your work and approach with the band recently?
TOMMY: There are a lot of good bands out there. I’ve been out of touch with a lot newer music just because it takes time to sift through the endless garbage to find a few gems. But I would say as far as influence goes, I am actually influenced by just about everything. It could be any talented band, really. A metal band, a country band, a polka band, anything. They all have a melody, they all have a cadence, they all have a time signature that they may or may not fluctuate and play with. I know I sound like a pretentious prick right now, but its all music and it all has it’s own little compartment that I store it away in. …Oh, and Aborted. I am really liking a lot of their recent stuff lately.
H-P: Well, thanks for taking the time, man. It was awesome to hear from you, and i can NOT wait to hear you behind the mic again! Is there anything else you want to add?
TOMMY: No, thank you for having me. It was my pleasure, man. I still can’t believe that people are interested enough in the band and the music to where they actually give a shit enough to check out an interview with us. I can’t wait to see how everyone responds to the material that we are gonna put out on Devil’s Music. I think everyone is going to like it. Thanks again.
Visit Summer's End online: summersendband.com