It’s criminal that a lot more people don’t know of them however there is a certain part of the U.S that does. And that seems to be growing a little bit at a time. The original three from 2006 are Kyle Winterstein on vocals, Ian Winterstein on guitar and Anthony Hernandez on bass.
It actually all starts with Kyle Winterstein. One of his bands “Shaded Grey” fell apart due to pregnancies, coke addictions and alcoholism which led to Kyle getting a real job with the fire department as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). But, he never stopped writing. And then fate would have it that his brother’s band “ADL” would also fall apart, which offered Kyle a guitarist and a bassist and with the addition of Kyle’s old guitar player, Digital Summer was born.
Start here. It’s the opening track from the fan funded “Breaking Point” album released in 2012. The “Kickstarter” goal was $25,000 and the band ended up raising over $50,000.
The track features Clint Lowery from Sevendust. From a rock perspective, the song is heavy, angry, to the point and very catchy. The intro is like a car crash and it is the perfect energy for the live arena.
“Shut your mouth
I’m done listening to you”
It’s over, it’s over
I’ve had enough were through
I’m taking back
The person that I used to be
Before these scars
Before your lies
“So fuck you, forget you, goodbye”
The last line seals the deal. It is simple and it makes the point pretty clear. The end result is that “Forget You” is burned into my DNA. I have played it over and over and over again.
Counting The Hours
It is the title track from their 2010, album. This song is more rooted in the alternative metal sound. While “Forget You” is more frantic, “Counting The Hours” is slower and groovier. You can hear the Sevendust influence.
“There’s nothing like an apocalypse to open your eyes”
What a great protest lyric!
Another up-tempo, frantic and angry track. Even though it is from the “Counting The Hours” album released in 2010, it’s lyrical theme is very similar to “Forget You” from the 2012 “Breaking Point” album.
Keep on talking we’ll find out
What you’re made of
Did you know that angry music can actually make you feel better? It brings out the emotions necessary to cope with a negative situation. And when you hear someone else tearing into a person that wronged them, you know that you are not alone in the world. You know that others feel the same pain that you feel.
Wanted To Love You
The foot is off the accelerator. It is a ballad from the 2012, “Breaking Point” album and in my opinion it is one of their best ballads. It’s about the feel, the plaintive vocal that showcases Kyle’s voice, the sampled music echoes and the digital delayed guitar lines in the chorus.
These city streets reflect my thoughts and moments that should have been with you
You feel consoled when you hear it. It’s a haunting song that made an undeniable impression upon me.
I’ve wanted to love you for so long
I just need to
It’s the only thing left
That this empty heart can do
It is from their 2007 debut album, “Cause And Effect”.
Another day, another sunrise
Calls to me
Saying get out of this place
The place can be a relationship, the town, your occupation or just a real shitty situation. With each new day, there is a new hope. Carpe Diem, I say.
The opening track from “Cause And Effect”. Everyone can relate. We’d experienced love and the disconnection therefrom
From this awful dream
This world is not designed for me
I reject this reality
We are constantly connected today in our lives. That is where the world is at right now. That is why this song connects. We have all wanted to disconnect for a while when things go to shit.
The title track from their 2012 album because the breaking point is where everyone was at. They either had to band together or it was just going to fall apart.
I’m on a downward spiral
Past the breaking point
We’ve all been there at some point in life. I feel the lyric, the message. In my case, the breaking point led to the band falling apart. The drummer had two kids from a previous relationship. His current partner had one kid from a previous relationship. Then his ex had two kids with her current partner and the drummers current partner wanted to have a kid with him. He was bringing his shit into my life and I didn’t like it.
To top it off, the bass player just had a baby with his current girlfriend. He also has a kid from a previous relationship. The bass players current girlfriend also has three kids with two different dudes and due to her drug addiction, had those kids taken by the Department Of Community Services.
To top it off even more the vocalist was torn by what his parents wanted, which was a degree and a well-paying job versus his desire to be a musician. So his focus shifted from the music to “why aren’t we making millions”. I was at the breaking point alright.
So Beautiful, So Evil
Another track from the “Counting The Hours” album.
She’s so beautiful, so evil
It is lost deep within the 16 song album however it is a great track with excellent dynamics. Love that guitar melody line in the Chorus.
Another track from the “Counting The Hours” album. Morgan Rose from Sevendust makes an appearance on drums.
Put our problems behind us and just for this moment pretend everything is alright
Let me use you…. And I’ll let you use me
Let me use you…. To forget these memories
We all have this incredible urge to connect with a soul mate because no one wants to be lonely. Life is about the yin and the yang. You can’t be happy without being sad.
It is from their 2007 debut album, “Cause And Effect”.
I can see right through,
Your distorted views
I know whats underneath
Its nothing real
Relationships that go bad are like a locust swarm on green fields. The person that leaves the relationship, leaves you stripped of resources both financially and mentally. We always take a while to see through the masquerade because we don’t want to be lonely.
Love And Tragedy
It is also from their 2007 debut album, “Cause And Effect”. It’s got movements and breaks. It’s atmospheric and it’s progressive. It’s catchy and groovy and listen to that guitar sound!
The waves crash down all around me
And consume all the air I breathe
The sirens sing to me in my sleep
A familiar song of love and tragedy
But the sun wont shine were the shadow grows
Yet my heart beats still, so tell me is this real
Tell me is it real
It’s all about the flood, washing away our sins. As I mentioned before, the yin and the yang. How can you know what love is if you haven’t experienced loss and tragedy.
While The City Sleeps
Another track from the “Counting The Hours” album. The song is a modern-day take on a clichéd theme from the Eighties. Bruce Springsteen said it in “Born To Run”, The Animals said it first with “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” while Journey told everyone to “Don’t Stop Believin”. The song is honest, sincere and inspiring.
While the city sleeps
We’ll make our way thru the night
Taking nothing to remind us
While the city sleeps
We’ll leave this world behind
Hoping they never find us.
No one has to know
We’ll just get up and go
Only guided by the night the stars and the road
With the destination nowhere
We don’t care
As long as it’s
Anywhere but here
They went out and set up their own label in Victim Entertainment which gives them a power to control their destiny. It’s a more difficult road. From a business perspective they would make more money as independent artists than they would on a major for a band of their size and stature. They turned down every record deal because they didn’t like the terms offered. They didn’t have the luxury to buy themselves onto a tour, which is known as a “buy on”.
But they had a work ethic and a business plan.
For Digital Summer another breakthrough came via Sevendust when Kyle became friends with Morgan Rose. The tour they did with Sevendust after that was a turning point. A management deal with “In De Goot” followed. SiriusXM Octane was willing to take a chance on an unsigned band.
The music industry is a brutal industry and the odds are stacked against the artist. Even if you’re the greatest musician, it doesn’t mean that people will hear you or care. And at the moment there is no shortage of bands trying to make it, with zero business minds.
This is not the ’80s. The industry has changed so much, it’s a different game right now.