Exclusive Q&A with The Rocket Summer

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The Rocket Summer's Bryce Avary hails from one musical part of Texas -- the same area as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Kelly Clarkson, and Forever The Sickest Kids' -- but this pop rocker is truly ready to stand on his own with his latest album, Of Men and Angels. J-14 sat down with Bryce to chat about the new album, Nick Jonas, and going to concerts with his dad!

J-14: Where does the album name, Of Men & Angels, come from? The Rocket Summer's Bryce Avary: It actually comes from a bible verse - "If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, then I lack love and nothing more then a clanging cymbal." For the album cover, I thought it'd be kind of cool to have this person on one side of the wall just causing problems. On the other side of the wall, I loved the idea of someone's angel walking [away] so much. I'm a really big fan of Banksy, so we're trying to take inspiration from what he does without totally ripping him off.

J-14: What was the biggest inspiration for the album? Bryce: I think it's been over-all life in general. It's definitely a very hopeful, positive album. It has a little bit of a more serious tone then the other ones just because a lot of the lyrics are dealing with struggles and faith that you'll get through things.

J-14: Which song is the most personal to you? Bryce: There's a lot, to be honest. "Of Men and Angels" is really important to me -- I named the album after this song because it's about putting work and everything else before loving the people in your life. "Nothing Matters" I thought was very cool because I had a really rough day, and I walked outside from the studio and there was this homeless man. I was totally hung up on the obstacles that we were facing that day with the record, and this guy and I just spoke. [After that I saw things] from a different perspective, and I wrote the song that day and recorded it the next day, all within 24 hours.

J-14: There's so much music coming out of Dallas - would you want to collaborate with any other Texan artists? Bryce: It's wild to see all that has happened. I went to Colleyville Middle School in this random little suburb -- nothing special -- and Norah Jones went there, and then I went there, and then Demi Lovato went there. It's really weird -- there is something in the water! There's so many people that have come from that immediate area - Kelly Clarkson, a lot of bands -- so it's really hard to say I'd like to work with one. I think the Jonas Brothers are from there too. I actually ran in to Nick at the movies a couple weeks ago. It was totally crazy. I went really late one night at 11, and I was at the concession stand, and he was standing next to me. He was all by himself. I told him who I was, and he was like, "Oh my gosh, I'd love to work with you." So maybe that will be something.

J-14: What's an all-time favorite song of yours? Bryce: I like one called "Where Boys Fear to Tread" by the Smashing Pumpkins because my dad took me to see them when I was 14. The lights were flashing, and it was this crazy rock moment. My parents aren't really into music. My dad is one of the sweetest things in the world -- he's a very Texan guy, super Southern. His favorite thing to do is hunt. We're very different people, but we're very close because he always really supported what I was doing. My dad is rad -- he took me to see the Smashing Pumpkins, and he took me to see Sunny Day Real Estate. I just begged him. All these venues were 17 or 18 and up, and I was too young for that then.

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