New York Summer
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New York Summer

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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www.unratedmusic.com/interviews/newyorksummer/ - Dallas Collin via www.unratedmusic.com


“Ticking Clocks and Masquerades” must have occupied a lot of New York Summer’s time.

Sonically, the dozen tracks assembled by the four Oklahoma City musicians are crystal-clear and as near-perfect as locally produced albums go. In fact, the recording itself is as good as anything I’ve heard emanating from any corner, anywhere, so kudos to engineers at Agoraphobia Studios and Jaron Nix, who mixed “Masquerades.”

NYS’ arrangements are equally pristine. There’s a lot more here than guitars, bass and drums, but it’s hard to determine exactly what. Guitarist/keyboardist Michael Blakemore and drummer Adam Chamberlain are responsible for programming the electronic embellishments featured most prominently on songs like “So Messed Up,” and “It’s All I Know.” The effect is subtle, and doesn’t turn into a crutch leaned on by the musicians, who sound fine when stripped to rock ’n’ roll basics.

Marking the midpoint, “Passengers” is the most discordant and interesting song on the album. Bells, pianos and acoustic guitars reign over a simpler, lo-fi drum track. Here, singer Jared Taber effortlessly dips in and out of falsetto before ringing in on the chorus, “We are all just passengers looking for a better life / Buried in the dark corners of our frail minds / Ticking clocks and masquerades are what we hide behind.”

The most troublesome thing about “Masquerades” is its total lack of trouble. The album is so slick, it’s hard to grip, and the tracks prove too smooth to hang onto. Like-minded bands like Vertical Horizon and Sugarcult proved similarly slippery.

Hooks have sharp barbs for a reason, but “Masquerades” should be bait enough for the guys to reel it in with their live show.

The album is available as a $5 digital download or a $10 CD. For more information, visit www.nysummermusic.com. —Joe Wertz - Oklahoma Gazette


New York Summer Has a Sound Big Enough to Match Its Name

By Shawna Windom

The Statue of Liberty stands as a symbol of freedom, beckoning those weary spirits longing for renewed life to come within the comfort of its safe harbor. It assures them of their journey’s plight through the unspoken promise of triumph over trials. Standing amongst the tides of the Atlantic, this symbol of refuge was welcomed by many early adventurers who yearned for a chance in the land of opportunity. Setting foot in the great unknown, each dared to dream an extraordinary dream and seek the path in which they could attain it.

Such is the inspiration behind New York Summer, an up-and-coming band whose four members have relinquished their own musical beginnings in a quest to fulfill a greater dream.

The unique name for the band came through the lyrics of U2’s song “New York.” Bass-player Eddie Jones, 32, was listening to the song when he came across the phrase “New York summer.” He recalls the phrase having stood out to him, and so he quickly jotted it down to present it to the other band members. The idea behind the phrase seemed to match the pop/rock band’s vision of freedom and new beginning, so it stuck.

Jared Taber, New York Summer’s vocalist and guitarist, started pursuing his love of music in junior high. Jared, 27, grew up with a father who instilled in him a love of performing.

“I’ve grown up around music all my life,” Jared says. “My dad has played drums since he was thirteen, so I grew up going to his gigs and just going to his band practices. I’ve just always wanted to play.”

Jared says having a father who has already been involved in the music industry made his journey a lot easier. He says his father has never tried to dissuade him in any of his goals.

“He’s just been encouraging and supportive and believes in my music,” Jared says. “It’s always easier when your parents support your life choices, like pursuing music instead of going to college to get a real job.”

Jared’s pursuit of music, though, did not come without sacrifice. Initially, Jared was given the choice by his father to either get into music or hockey. His father offered to buy him hockey gear or a guitar and amp. Although he still holds a special place in his heart for hockey, Jared says he feels he made the correct decision in chasing after his dream of music.

Experimenting with different aspects of music, Jared sang in the choir at school, played the saxophone in the school band, and taught himself how to play the guitar. In high school, Jared conceived the idea of creating a band called Radial Angel. Through the creation of this band, Jared ran across the talents of Eddie Jones. Eddie, like Jared, shared a long-held love of performing music and had picked up his ability to play bass guitar at the request of a friend.

“It seems like music is something I have always done,” says Eddie, known to band members as Yeddie. “I have been doing it for a long time. I fell into music because a friend of mine wanted to start a band and didn’t have a bass player. I bought a cheap thrift store bass with my college student loan money and never looked back. I have been playing ever since and am probably still paying off that bass as well.”

The success of Radial Angel opened up opportunities for Jared and Eddie to tour around the country fulltime for about six years. With the coming and going of members, Jared and Eddie soon realized they were the only original members who held onto the dream of a band that was quickly disappearing.

But the band’s loss of members did not prove to be completely fruitless. It was through the need for another musician in one of the band’s last runs out east that Radial Angel crossed paths with Michael Blakemore, 22. Through the suggestions of friends, Michael was introduced to the band. Having played since he was in seventh grade, Michael’s skills on the guitar and keyboard seemed to fit with what the band was looking for.

Michael debuted with the band in Keene, New Hampshire. He says that performance with the band was one of his most memorable performances ever.

“It was a blast,” Michael says. “I didn’t quite know what to expect, but just being able to see everyone’s live energy for the first time, it just sent chills up my spine. I knew I was where I needed to be.”

Michael’s own start in music began with him playing guitar at church. Soon after, he started a garage band, but Michel began breaking away to play for different groups that needed a guitar player, drummer, keyboard player, or whatever else he could provide them.

While it was through Radial Angel that Eddie and Jared formed a nine-year kinship of music and Michael was found, the three musicians decided it was finally time let go of the band and start anew with a fresh face and name.

“It was a hard decision to leave the comfort of a band that I started in high school that had been such a big part of my life for ten years,” Jared states on New York Summer’s social profile, “but making that leap has led us down some exciting new paths and toward an exciting new future. The best is yet to come and that is an exciting new thing.”

Jared says going from a successful touring band that could continue touring 150 or more shows a year to a new band that was starting from scratch was a true test of his passion for music. Finding the right mix of musicians was not an easy endeavor either. He says the band has been on both sides of the road, having done really well and not so well at all. Having to do it all over again was a huge challenge, but it afforded the group the opportunity for a new start, a blank canvas on which they could paint a new world for their music.

Recently, New York Summer has completed its ensemble of musicians with the addition of drummer Adam Chamberlain, 21. Having played a few gigs with Michael in the past, Adam was asked to share his talent on the drums so that the group could fulfill their need for a drummer in their latest recording. Adam says he really loved playing the band’s songs and enjoyed working with the guys. Knowing they were in need of a fulltime drummer, Adam took the initiative to jump in and ask if the band would be interested in keeping him fulltime.

Adam says the completion of their recent CD was quite a stepping stone in the success of their careers as musicians. Though he admits that the production process was quite a hill to climb, he believes that’s when reality set in for him that New York Summer was going to work out.

During the production process of that CD, Michael says the elimination of songs they would not include on the album was quite the challenge. Sitting down with a list of 25 songs, the guys had the task of filtering down to only 12 tracks. He says the hardest part was when they were down to 15 and had to cut three more songs out of their list. Michael says just knowing they had that many great songs to choose from really boosted the band’s confidence.

New York Summer’s songs have primarily been written by both Jared and Michael, but future efforts will most likely prove to be a collaborative effort as they explore different avenues of song writing. Michael describes their music as a fizzy pop rock. He says the music just makes you feel good.

“We want people to feel the emotion and dynamics in our music,” Michael says. “We all have struggles in life, and there is a constant push-pull between things in our lives. Our music is dynamic enough to convey that push-pull, but it also just calms emotions and helps the listener to realize at the end of the day that things will be just fine.”

Michael adds that his favorite New York Summer song is “Be Just Fine.” He says that while it is musically relaxing, the song presents a struggle lyrically that pays off in the end.

“It just warms my tummy when I hear ‘it’s over…things will be just fine,’” he says.

Adam says he believes the effort they put into each song pays off in the experience of the listener. He hopes the band is able to capture a wide range of emotions that allows the listener to not only hear but feel each song.

“Our music has a lot of heart and emotion; and I hope people will really be able to connect with that when they listen to it,” Adam says. “I think we all work hard so that everyone that listens to our music will have a great experience, either emotionally, spiritually, or even simply musically…that goes for live shows just as much as on the record.”

Those who attend a repeat performance of New York Summer’s shows are promised not to be disappointed, as the group is known to make unpredictable changes throughout their performances. No two performances are ever the same. Jared says he tends to just get in the mood and moment of the night and switch things up a bit. He believes music is alive and that in order to perform it with passion, one cannot be boxed in to performing the same songs the same way day in and day out. He says he likes to make the audience feel like they are a part of the music-creating experience. He has been known to switch up lyrics and melodies under the influence of daily life.

Jared says there is nothing more that he loves than just being on the road with the band and playing in a new city each night. He also loves the opportunity he has in meeting new people during and after each show. He describes the experience of performing his songs as freeing, having helped him to express himself through getting him out of his comfort zone and enabling him to interact with people and bands he loves. He believes these experiences have truly helped him through some of his life’s toughest challenges.

Realizing their own humble beginnings, New York Summer encourages others who also seek careers in the music industry. They know the journey is hard, but they also know it is worth it when you have a passion for what you do.

“Don’t give up on your dreams,” Jared says. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. You just practice, practice, practice and get out there and play as many shows as possible. I will say that if you aren’t passionate about it, being on tour will show you if you are made to do this. It is not the fairy tale you might be led to believe. It’s definitely work, but it’s my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Eddie seconds Jared’s opinion of the phenomenal amount of effort required to maintain a band.

“Being in a band is a lot like being on a roller coaster,” Eddie says. “Every up has its down, and it is just a crazy ride. I think the struggle was worth it, though. In the music business you experience a lot of great people and others that just want to ride you for what you’re worth and leave you to clean up the mess. We definitely have experienced both sides of that. The music business is not for the weak willed.”

Although it takes a lot of hard work, Eddie says the time you spend together as a band can be a real blast. He recalls one memorable experience when the band decided to prank another band they were touring with. After the final show, they zip-tied the other band’s trailer shut. Ready to get home, the band decided to just leave the trailer tied up and remove the ties when they got home. As luck would have it, while the band was driving home they got a flat. The spare and the pump were both in the back of the trailer. Eddie recalls they said it took hours to pry open the trailer with a crowbar just so they could fix their flat.

These four Oklahoma-raised boys have big dreams that surpass their modest surroundings.

Eddie is from Choctaw and has been married to his wife, Christie, for almost thirteen years. He attended Rose State College for a while until he realized he could not ignore his desire to seek a career in music. Luckily, he says he has been blessed with a wife who is supporting of his dream of music.

Michael is from Oklahoma city and recently got married this past December to Julia, who is also encouraging of his career choice. He runs a recording studio, which, fortunately for the band, is where New York Summer records. He plays guitar at LifeChurch for a living. Previous to joining up with New York Summer, he was working as an independent singer/songwriter.

Adam, the band’s newest member, is from Edmond, Oklahoma, and played in a band called Luma before joining up with NYS. He says he enjoys playing poker and eating at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Jared, from Moore, Oklahoma, says he always knew he would be doing music for the rest of his life and is happy doing what he is doing right now with the guys.

Although they appreciate their small-town beginnings, they are aspiring to find greater opportunities to share their music with others, and their inspiration comes in a wide array of sources: Our Lady Peace, U2, Snow Patrol, Tonic, Goo Goo Dolls, Incubus, Keane, Ryan Adams, Foo Fighters, Aaron Sprinkle, Starflyer 59 and Sunny Day Real Estate.

The band also finds time to give back to the community through an annual Christmas show where spectators are asked to bring toys to donate to the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club or Toys for Tots. The money brought in is donated to a charity of the band’s choice. Jared says they have really enjoyed doing these charitable events for the community. He says when one is in a position to use a platform for good, he should always take advantage of it. The band has also found the opportunity to sponsor a child through World Vision.

New York Summer is looking to release its first full-length CD in the near future. Immediate plans for the group are to just explore the local Oklahoma and Texas music scenes. - Culturewest/tatepublishing


Discography

Ticking Clocks and Masquerades - Aug 2010

Photos

Bio

“Summer days are all for losing hearts…”

Having a dream birth from the end of a long summer is not the usual path that a band follows. Bring four guys together with this same dream and you might just have something special. Put them in one of their living rooms to write, create and record their story and you see whom New York Summer is. Their dream was to create something that lasts, something new, something to move you and lastly, something honest.

Without the help of a producer or songwriters and setting up camp in the guitarists’ living room, “Ticking Clocks and Masquerades” – a collection of thoughts, desires, heartache, hope and honesty - was birthed into life. The story lines within the album describe the times we have all had in any relationship, whether it a friend, lover or family, we are all looking for a better life. New York Summer are ready, willing and wanting to show you that rock music is here to stay.

Ticking Clocks and Masquerades will be the breath of fresh air we all have been seeking within these confined spaces of meaningless words and expressions we’ve been sold.