Avary became musically active in his early teens, teaching himself to play a variety of instruments and joining his first band at the age of 14, before breaking away to play acoustic solo sets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At 16, he issued his first EP as a limited-edition indie release, adopting the identity of the Rocket Summer; the name was borrowed from Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi classic The Martian Chronicles.
“I always liked the idea of releasing it under a moniker other than my own name,” Avary explains. “Even though it was just me on the record, it created an atmosphere of something bigger than one person, something that people could feel more a part of and I’ve stuck with that ever since.”
The Rocket Summer’s first full-length album, Calendar Days, won considerable national attention in 2003. It was followed by 2005’s Hello, Good Friend, which peaked at No. 26 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. The latter disc generated sufficient fan interest to allow Avary to assemble a live band and tour in the U.S. and Japan.
The Rocket Summer’s indie success helped to win Avary a deal with Island/Def Jam, which released Do You Feel in 2007. That album reached the Top 50 on the Billboard album charts and #16 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums charts, while spawning a pair of popular singles in “So Much Love” and “Do You Feel.” Of Men and Angels followed in 2010, debuting at #1 on iTunes and producing a pair of hits in “Walls” and “You Gotta Believe.” The same year, Avary branched out to write “Stomping The Roses” for American Idol alumnus David Archuleta. In 2011, Avary released the live acoustic album Bryce Avary, His Instruments and Your Voices for free via the Rocket Summer’s website which had over 50,000 downloads on the day of its release.
Avary moved from Island/Def Jam to his own label, Aviate, for the Rocket Summer’s 2012 album Life Will Write the Words. Despite being an independent release, the album debuted at #58 on the Billboard Top 200 and #12 on Billboard’s Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums chart, and was supported by the Rocket Summer’s most successful tour to date.
Although Avary built his reputation as a studio-based visionary, the Rocket Summer has also earned an impressive reputation as a live act, expanding into a full-band lineup to sell out venues in the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and Japan, while performing at such prestigious festivals as Glastonbury, Soundwave, Austin City Limits, Bamboozle, the Vans Warped Tour and SXSW.
Now, with Zoetic raising the musical stakes, Avary is looking forward to the challenge of translating his new material to live performance after a break from touring to focus on this album.