At some point a few years ago, I fell out of love with music. On tour, I’d stay in the darkness of my bunk all day until soundcheck, struggle to hold a conversation during meet & greets, then barely make it through the shows without counting down the minutes until they were over. At home, it wasn’t much different. I was apathetic toward the album we were making and toward my abilities as a songwriter, so I slept all day, drank all night, and distracted myself with new people who weren’t really even my friends. I lost the ability to care, and I lost the ability to feel anything. I didn’t love me, so why should you? It was the darkest period of my life. I planned a solo trip to Alaska with the intention of never making music again when I returned.
Thanks to fate intervening, the day before I left for Alaska I had a chance encounter with my longtime friend Matt Beckley. As the story goes, I ran into Matt at a cafe in Los Angeles, and he asked me to join him back at his new house to check out his studio and maybe write some music. (I’d like to think Matt’s extraordinary intuition knew I was in the darkest before the dawn phase). We went back to the house, opened a bottle of Stranahan’s, and didn’t write a single fucking note. Instead, we just sat around and talked about what we loved about music in the first place. Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, The Gin Blossoms, Tom Petty, you know the rest. We talked about where we’d love to see music GO. We both wanted to move the needle and we both wanted to chase great in a world full of just good. As I was leaving that night, Matt said to me, “Go to Alaska and stop thinking about what you’re gonna do when you fail. Think about all the things you’re going to do when you win.’
That was the moment that DALES was born.
Over the next 2 years, Matt and I began writings songs together. A lot of songs. The best songs I’d ever written in my life. I was alive again. Writing with no destination, no business plan, and absolutely no fear. For the first time in a long time, I was making music simply because I loved it.
After a while, I decided that these songs were a different chapter of my life, a new story, and I put them away while The Summer Set finished Stories For Monday. Then that record came out and we went on tour. Then, unfortunately the darkness came back. I lost that fire in my soul I had finally just found again. So, I spent every minute I had when we weren’t on tour, locked in the studio at Matt’s house trying to feed the flame that gave me my love for music back.
Here we are now.
At this time, I have carefully decided that I don’t want to lose that spark anymore. It is in my best interest to follow my heart and dive head first into this new adventure. I want to finish these songs, play them live, and give the world the DALES record I think it needs to hear. The record I NEED to hear. I’m an all or nothing kinda guy and a terrible multi-tasker, so if I’m finally gonna do something…I want to give it everything I’ve got.
With that being said, unfortunately that means The Summer Set will not be making any records or touring plans indefinitely.
To John, Stephen, Jess, And Josh:
I have loved this journey every single step of the way. On my best days and on my worst days. From The Modified Arts to The Macy’s Day Parade. We put more miles on that old van than dollars we may ever have in our bank accounts. (I still can’t believe we sold that van to a church.) This has been, and may always be my greatest ride.
John and Stephen- It is no secret you guys are well on your way to becoming two of the best music producers I know. If you blink, you’ll realize you’re already there. I can’t wait to see what you guys do next, and I can only hope one day we find our way into the studio (or at least the makeshift one we made in your shared bedroom in North Hollywood) someday again.
Jess- Your drumming and your friendship are among the most sturdy and reliable things I may ever find in this lifetime. You’re my sister. We fight a lot (Literally, you once beat the hell out of me in a Taco Bell parking lot in the middle of Texas), but I love you. You already have more drum gigs lined up than you know what to do with, and I will be your biggest fan along side everything you do.
Josh- There are no words to describe how valuable you are to this band, and to me personally. That became abundantly clear when you actually left the band. We tried to make Stories For Monday without you, failed, threw in the towel, asked for your opinion on the new songs, you told us it was our best work yet, told us we HAD to put the album out, and we told you we couldn’t do it WITHOUT YOU. So you jumped back in, without hesitation. You are our rock. You are there when we need you. You are there when I need you. You’re there when ANYONE needs you. There’s a reason you’re the first person anyone calls when they need advice or they’re in trouble. I hope life in Nashville is everything you want it to be, where I am sure you will figure out how to balance being a hit songwriter AND a future mayor at the same time.
To The Fans: All I can say is thank you. I never in my wildest dreams thought this would last 10 years. You were there for me on my worst of days, and I’m sorry I wasn’t always there for you in return. You guys stood by our side during the awkward teenage years, through the terrible haircuts (which thankfully, you can still google!) through growing up, and most importantly…through the blood, sweat, and tears of four albums and more tours than I can count. I’ve seen places around the world I never thought I’d see, all because of you. There is no home quite like a room full of you guys screaming back the songs we made together. Make no mistake, that will live forever and never die.
As for me, I’m on a lifelong journey searching for the right and the real. To learn how to feel everything again. To learn how to love and be loved in return.
To fall back in love with music. I was born to write songs and be on stage and I can’t believe I almost gave that up. It’s my greatest magic trick.
Bruce Springsteen once said, “Everything dies baby, that’s a fact, but maybe everything that dies…someday comes back.“
See you soon,