When Summer's Gone

When Summer's Gone is a hard rock band hailing from the failed steel town of New Castle, Pennsylvania, Dave Graziani handles vocals and guitar while drummer/bassist Chris Lepri provides the rhythmic background that keeps the duo on track.  Graziani and Lepri have been friends since high school and have played in numerous bands together and apart over the years.  After a decade of dealing with pretentious egos and the writing whims of others, Graziani and Lepri decided to go it alone together, using their close musical ties and shared influences as a springboard to writing no bullshit rock and roll.

When Summer’s Gone was formed in 2007 as a studio project, and debuted to the world on MySpace in 2008.  In spite of the lack of live shows, When Summer’s Gone has developed a strong following.    The band’s 2009 debut album, December, earned rave reviews, and was referred to as a solid, powerful blend of Alice In Chains, Incubus and Sevendust.    Much of When Summer’s Gone’s reputation is based on the juxtaposition of style and intellect; the band blends a working class hard rock sensibility with a story-telling style handed down from Dylan to Springsteen to When Summer’s Gone.  In the process, Graziani and Lepri manage to create music that speaks to the first generation who can’t rightfully expect to live better than their parents did.  It is this no-nonsense, working-class approach to songwriting that sets When Summer’s Gone apart from the pack.  This sound continues and with a bit more finesse on When Summer’s Gone’s newest EP, Matinee.

The pair has yet to manage a live show as When Summer’s Gone, but the internet reaction has been distinct and powerful.  When Summer’s Gone has struck a chord with a generation of music fans who believe that rock n roll is still very much alive.  Grunge, classic rock and heavy metal all dance around the edges of their music, while soaring rock n roll choruses dot the landscape.  The music is catchy without sounding pre-fabricated or cynically designed for success.  It is this sort of musical and cognitive honesty that can turn an average band into a great one and a great band into an icon.

When Summer’s Gone isn’t chasing fame.  Fans, money and success are all nice, and certainly wouldn’t be turned down, but Graziani and Lepri are making music they love because they love to do it.  It’s why they broke out on their own three years ago and why they continue to make powerful, earth-shaking, kick-ass rock-n-roll for those who have fallen through the cracks of a world that doesn’t have a moment for those who have been left in its wake.  When Summer's Gone don’t just paint allusions to the emptiness of a generation left behind; they tell stories drawn from the bedrock of a post-industrial america. This is for the lost, the forgotten. This is whats left… When Summer's Gone.

How do you describe your music to people, Chris?
We're somewhere between Alice in Chains and Stone Sour. We mix our influences, Grunge, Metal, Rock. We like to call it Rust.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I had an interest in music early on.  I even started a "band" in second grade.  We sang "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys in front of the class.  I started playing Saxophone in school and eventually realized that drums were more my thing.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Write, record, and perform music.  I like the creative process the best, though.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
The biggest challenge for me is thinking of it as a business.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pro Baseball player.  Andy Van Slyke was my hero.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
In my opinion it's probably hindered my (our) development.  Western PA is not a choice place to be an artist of any kind.  If you're not the Steelers, no one cares about you.  I've heard: "Making any money playing that "music"?  No.  Then why do it?" a thousand times.

What other artists out there do you love?
As far as current bands go: Deftones, Mastodon, Silversun Pickups, Gaslight Anthem, Lamb of God.  I used to like Paramore, until it came out that the whole band was a sham.  Love Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, the Beatles, Pink Floyd.

What does your future hold?
Hopefully a career in music.