Summer Wars is a four-piece pop-punk band that hails from Raleigh, North Carolina. Their music is wistful, nostalgic, and energetic—it speaks to listeners about different topics like relationships and the ups and downs of life. Their recent release, “Borrowed Time,” is an electrifying rollercoaster of so many different emotions. The band is comprised of Tripp Rowe (vocals/guitar), Noah Whiteman (guitar), Brett Caldwell (bass/vocals), and Will Davis (drums). Signed to Adventure Cat Records, Summer Wars will be taking the world by storm with their thoughtful lyrics and insightful tracks. We spoke with Tripp Rowe about what’s in store for the band in 2020 and beyond!
Please introduce yourself and tell us a fun fact about you!
I’m Tripp Rowe, I play guitar and sing in Summer Wars. I play a lot of video games in my free time—my favorite right now is Uncharted 4 for PS4 or Resident Evil.
What are you currently listening to?
The Band CAMINO. I like the pop-rock vibe. It’s different from what I normally listen to. The EP is produced so well, it’s an 8 song EP and every song deserves to be there. They could all be released as singles. I normally listen to pop-punk, I really enjoyed the latest stuff from Story So Far and the Dangerous Summer full length.
Top 3 Songs for a Road trip?
This is where we normally live vicariously though everyone else, what’s the local scene like in North Carolina?
The Raleigh pop-punk scene is interesting. It was thriving for a bit then it died off. That’s why I wanted to start a band, I wanted to help the music scene. It’s about bringing people back to thinking of Raleigh and North Carolina as a music scene for pop-punk or punk. Tons of great bands have popped up in recent years.
Favorite venue you’ve played in?
The Canal Club in Richmond. There are multiple levels and rooms. The staff there are super nice and accommodating, the definitely want to make sure the show goes smoothly. The sound quality there is also really good, the guy knows what he’s doing.
Favorite state that you’ve been to?
Washington, specifically Seattle. We had a day off before our show and we were able to walk around and hangout. The Pacific Northwest is so different [from the East Coast].
What is your opinion of streaming services like Spotify?
I think about this a lot. Streaming was the answer to people pirating music it stopped people from illegally streaming music. The solution was streaming. They playlists are also great for discoverability. It’s hard to complain since it has helped us so much.
How did you pick your respective instrument?
Every band before Summer Wars I played the drums. My dad played the drums and I took lessons for years. I write songs on an acoustic guitar. I picked up the guitar in high school. It took a lot to get into that mindset. I wanted to start a band and mold a vision more so than when I was strictly a drummer. Songwriting was a more complete vision and it brought together that vision. I use guitar as a tool for songwriting and getting my thoughts out.
What is your favorite lyric that you’ve written?
It’s from the song “Something to Call My Own.” It’s about pushing out your happiness as far as you think you can and putting yourself in the right mindset at the time.
“I'll blame it on the skies not being clear
What’s your writing process like?
It’s mostly about impactful lyric writing and emotionally coming across when a song and lyric is on the acoustic guitar. When I think it’s good, we demo it and pre-pro. Then we morph it into a full band song and add as many layers as we can. We always record at Always Be Genius Studio in Chicago where we record the polished song.
What message do you hope comes across in your music?
I want people to realize they’re not the only one that is feeling the way they do. I’ve felt that way [too]. I want people to hear what we make immediately to help but the cycle takes so long.
What is your favorite song to play live?
“Better Days” it’s more of a mid-tempo song for pop-punk. It’s groovier and has some off-beat funky parts. It probably won’t be on the setlist much longer because of the new stuff we have planned—it was fun while it lasted.
What are your plans for 2020?
To get another release out there, either an EP or a full-length—it’ll probably be out by summertime. We want to nail down where we want to take it.
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Check out their music here