This year we got a chance to sit down and speak with the creator of the event, Sam Cranis, who also happens to be in Sick Transit. We are so honored to part take in this years annual fest. We would just like to say a big thank you to Sam and we are so grateful we can be apart of this amazing summer event that has the power to bring people together.
Not-So Bummer Summer is an annual summer event that showcases local bands around the greater Los Angeles area. Starting out as a house party/show in 2013, NSBS has grown over the short span of 5 years to become a popular and exciting event that bands and fans alike can look forward to every summer to experience local bands and acts ranging is all sorts of different sounds. Whether someone is a veteran of the local music scene, or someone just getting involved, NSBS will always be a perfect place to come and get a first start on who and what the local scene is all about; or just to get together with like-minded people and start every summer off in a not-so bummer way.
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IMAGES BY SAM LANE
Where did the idea for NSBS come from?
The original idea for having NSBS was to make sure that my band, Sick Transit, had at least one show during the Summer of 2014. We were just starting out as a band and didn’t have many connections (or pull, even), so we thought that by having it be a house party/show, it would make it more of a pull. And we didn’t expect that many people to come. We thought maybe 20-30 people would come; and most would leave even before we went on. But to our surprise, we had at least 60 people come and most of them did stay for us. It was after that, that we decided to try it the next year. Once that year happened, we noticed that there were more and more people coming and hearing about the show that we eventually decided to make it an annual thing. However, with this being the fifth year for the event, I think it’s finally time to consider NSBS as its own thing, apart from the band. So with the event now holding its own ground, the idea for it now is to be like a mini Vans Warped Tour. I owe the Warped Tour a lot for giving me something to look forward to every summer and to be able to create memories that I will have with me forever. But with also being in a local music scene myself, I thought it would be cool to have something, like Warped Tour, that people could look forward to in the scene I’m in.
How did you come up with the name?
The name, Not-So Bummer Summer, kinda came naturally. I’m usually the one that comes up with names for events when it comes to planning things with my band. I definitely wanted to have a name that was catchy and something unique, but I also wanted a name that would be present with the idea of Summer and have the sound of a Summer show. So obviously having the word “Summer” in the title keeps it locked in with the theme that this is a Summer show. It also just so happened to have a good acronym, which is lucky. I also want to point out that it wasn’t until, maybe the third NSBS, that people started sending me pictures of the Judy Moody film, Not Bummer Summer, haha. So I just want to put it out there that I had no idea about that movie prior to giving this event the name and it in no way is connected.
What is the goal when you put on a NSBS event?
- Honestly, the three goals that I could ever hope to achieve when doing NSBS every year is for people to have fun, give local bands a chance to play in front of people, and to just have people be excited about an event that is centered around local music. There are tons of local shows that happen throughout the year, and I’m not saying that there aren’t people that get excited about them, but rarely do I see or hear people hype up a local show or talk about it after it’s done. So with NSBS, I always want it to be an event that is inviting to everyone, safe for everyone, and something that people will remember for the days to come afterwards.
What’s your favorite part about NSBS?
My favorite part about NSBS would have to be seeing people excited about the event even happening. I never thought anything I would be involved with would get as many people excited. Months before I even have a thought about what to do for the next NSBS, people text me and ask me when’s it going to happen, or where will it be, or even what bands I have in mind to play. It’s incredibly heartwarming to see people excited about a local music show; especially day of. During the day of the event, I usually see more people dancing and cheering for the bands playing than I do at most local shows and I honestly think it has something to do with people just loving the idea of Not-So Bummer Summer (not to toot my own horn or anything, that is).
How does this year’s NSBS differ from previous ones?
Well for one, this year’s NSBS is going to be at an established venue, Union (June 23rd, 4067 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles CA, 90019, doors at 2:30pm). We had NSBS happen at a small venue the second year we did it, but it wasn’t as big as this year’s venue. Another thing that makes this year’s different from the rest, is that this year’s lineup is probably the most diverse in terms of bands from different areas. Usually, we’ve had bands from around the immediate area around my band’s local scene (Mid City, Culver City area). The only reason for that was just because it was so easy to just hit up our friends and ask them to play with us. However, with this event becoming bigger with every year we do it, I decided it would be in our best interest to reach out to other bands from different scenes and involve them with our scene and even have their audience become familiar with other bands they don’t usually play with. Other than those two things, I think the biggest difference out of any other NSBS that has happened, that more or less only affects me as the person who does most of the planning and prepping of the event, I recruited a team of people that consist of not only my friends, but people that I know I can rely on to help me stay organized. Those people being: Arianna May, Nick Imamura, and Isaac Aquino. It may just be three people, and maybe one day in the future we’ll need more people to help, but as of right now those people are just enough for me to be able to relieve some stress I get every year from planning this out, and have people to discuss and figure out everything needed to make NSBS run smooth and be a great event overall. And so far they have done so much for me and I am very thankful to have them be in the, what I am now calling, Not-So Bummer Summer Committee.
What can people expect from this year’s NSBS?
People can expect a lot of fun from the bands that, really, are incredibly talented. This year NSBS will be a little earlier in the day and I know that isn’t usual for a local show, or even for any show at that. But I’d want people to think of it as an opportunity to really take in every band that’s playing. The event is slated to end around 8PM, so I’m hoping that will give people the opportunity to come and see every band play. I think all together, if people have been to a NSBS in the past, they can expect this year to be another classic event that will be talked about for a while.
Any bands you’re hyped to see this year?
Literally all the bands playing this year. Some are friends that I have known for a long time, some I recently became friends with, and some that I have never seen live before but have wanted to for the longest time. I think each band brings something original and unique to the table while still keeping this familiar sound that encourages people to jump around and for a second, just forget about anything bad that might be going on in life. I think that’s what music is all about. And with this year’s lineup, I think it’ll be a non-stop feeling of wanting to just go crazy with your friends and get sweaty in a crowded room.
Sick Transit is a Pop Punk band hailing from Mid-City Los Angeles, California. Since their start in 2013, Sick Transit has honed in on perfecting the art of ripping off their favorite Pop Punk bands from Blink-182 , Green Day, and DESCENDENTS. Even though they take part in self-deprecating themselves, the band has been able to find a balanced mix of elements from the late 90s, Early 2000s, and Modern Pop Punk. They have an infectious energy both on and off stage; and whether they’re singing about girl problems or dogs not eating fruit, Sick Transit is sure to encourage you to jump around and forget about your personal problems (in between stale and cringy dick jokes, that is).
Sick Transit is:
Jack Kessler – Vocals/Guitar
Cesar Hernandez – Bass
Sam Cranis – Drums
Cheridomingo is an Alternative Rock band proudly representing Simi Valley, California. Having only been a band for less than 3 years, Cheridomingo has become an impressive group of musicians that have shocked and awed every audience member that is lucky to catch them live. Pulling inspiration from anything Anthony Green is involved in and throwing hints and references to loveable, “dorky”, movies such as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Spiderman 2, the band is able to create this addicting sound filled with powerful vocal deliveries and anthemic choruses. Cheridomingo is a band that one should be sure to catch now before they make it big and start selling out stadium tours.
Anthony Avina – Vocals/Guitar
Alex Gonzalez – Bass
Adam Dobrucki – Guitar
Chrystian Kaplan – Drums
Chill Trigger is a whole mix of sounds. Ranging from Emo, Screamo, Grunge, and Alternative; the band comes out of the Silver Lake/Echo Park area of Los Angeles, California and is naturally part of the movement to bring back raw emotion into heavy driven music. Having a very distinct inspiration from bands like Brand New, Thrice, and Radiohead, Chill Trigger has perfected the sound of sadness, deprecation, and anxiety; making it into an intense experience where everyone can feel vulnerable together. It is highly recommended that everyone sees this band at least once in their life to understand what it truly feels like to feel emotions with several other people in a crowded, sweaty room, yelling at the top of their lungs.
Chill Trigger is:
Emilio Zoen – Vocals/Guitar
Isaac Aquino – Guitar
Zach Skelton – Bass
Nick Imamura – Drums
Joynoise, formerly known as Bloom (OC), hails from the Huntington Beach/Costa Mesa/Anaheim area of greater Los Angeles, CA. Through their transitions of names, Joynoise has been able to grasp a sound and aesthetic that will transport their audience to the late 90s, when Tony Hawk was all the rage. Having individual influences from bands such as DESCEDENTS, Nirvana, and surprisingly enough, Grateful Dead, the band is able to take these inspirations and use parts of them to build one coherent and massive blast of energy and fun. With their live performances being filled with extreme energy, tons of crowd involvement, and a ton more messy and sloppy playing, Joynoise will leave you wondering if the band really does do cocaine before every show.
Koch – Vocals/Guitar
Mason Ventura – Bass
Jeff Bowler – Drums
Banned From Japan is a straight ahead “feel-good” Punk band standing tall in the North Hollywood area of Los Angeles, CA. Taking a huge amount of inspiration from bands such as Just Friends, AJJ, and the man, the myth, the legend himself, Jeff Rosenstock, Banned From Japan is a group of musicians that can instantaneously make a crowd go into a loving frenzy of jumping around and singing along. It’s no surprise that every audience member leaves their set with a smile, because BFJ make it their goal to make every show they play, the best show they’ve ever played. If you’re looking for a good time, a Banned From Japan show is just as accessible as the free clinic…and guaranteed more fun.
Banned From Japan is:
Matthew Earle – Vocals/Guitar
Johnny Velasco – Bass
Joe Haramut – Drums
With Out Rage is a young, “vivacious” band from the Santa Monica/Palisades area of Los Angeles, CA. Though the band is young and has just started on their huge climb to success, they have already established a well-rounded sound and have collected a fan base that bands, who’ve been around for way longer, can barely pull. The fact lies in that WOR is unlike any other band. Using inspirations from their favorite bands: Nirvana, Radiohead, and Soundgraden, With Out Rage bring a unique experience to their live shows with a collection of songs that are all different from each other and give off their own energy and vibe. This band may just be starting out, but anyone who has the opportunity to hear and see them will think they’ve been doing this since birth.
With Out Rage is:
Kalani Hildebrand – Vocals/Guitar
Malcom Prophit – Guitar
Katie Duke – Bass
Sarah Kanan – Drums
Counsil is an Emo/Hardcore/Skramz band from the Silverlake/Atwater/Hollywood/Boyle Heights areas of Los Angeles, CA. They take inspirations movements and bands such as Merchant Ships, I Hate Myself, Orchid, Fall of Troy, Hawthorne Heights, Glocca Mora, and Jeromes Dream. Creating a sound that is impassioned, aggressive, and dynamic trying to give a perspective of society and human emotions. Counsil hopes to leave you engaged and thinking about the words and emotions demonstrated
Luis Parada - Vocals/Guitar
Adrian Ayala- Vocals/Guitar
Christian Rodarte - Bass
Nick Imamura - Drums
BTS of the official NSBS V annual shoot, by Arianna May.
What’s the best part of the local music scene where you’re based?
For us, the best part would have to be that we are all such good friends with each other and that even if our style of music isn’t exactly the same as another band, we can still be put on a bill together and have fun listening to each other’s music. It also helps that there are some very loyal fans/friends that will always come out to everyone’s gigs to show love and support. It’s so important to have those kinds of people because without them, there probably wouldn’t be as big of a crowd as there is at most shows.
How did you meet each other?
Jack and I (Sam) met each other through a mutual friend. At the time, Jack had a gig lined up for what was his band back then, By Default. The drummer that they had (who happened to be someone that I went to elementary school with), was having creative differences with Jack and the other member of the band, Adam (who I also knew through being friends with on Facebook), and so they decided to find someone else to do this gig with. And after a while, they found me. The gig fell through at the end, but we all still felt a connection that we wanted to pursue. So from there, Sick Transit was born. Throughout the years though, the band mainly consisted of Jack and I. Adam eventually left to focus on school and we always went through bassists throughout our career. These days, however, we finally have a permanent bassist, Cesar. Cesar is a friend of mine that I met in my first year of high school and when we needed to find another bass player, it was obvious to me that Cesar was the perfect fit for us to have as our third member.
What keeps you inspired?
Writing music that we love and excites us is something that keeps us going. It also helps to see and know that there are people out there that like what we’re doing and also get excited when they see us play. If it weren’t for the people who always come out to see us play and sing the lyrics back at us, we probably would’ve stop writing and playing after our second EP.
What is it like working together?
For the most part, it feels really natural when writing a new song and playing live shows. The way it usually will go is, Jack will bring me a song he wrote lyrics and chords to, and then I’ll improvise with him on a first run of playing together. After that, we’ll take the time to see how we can flesh out the song and maybe add or subtract some parts and lyrics. After we solidify it, we bring it up to Cesar and he fills it up with a bass-line that he sees fit for the song. When it comes to live shows, I think we’re all proficient enough as musicians to know how to play off each other and know how to communicate on stage. I think I also will sometimes take the position as the banter machine when its needed and we just all know what works and what doesn’t work for us individually and as a whole, on and off stage.
Who are your favorite local bands?
Anyone that takes the time to get to know us and actually talk to us after and before a show are our favorites. The ones who, like us, are trying to make connections that will last for years to come. We have so many friends in bands that we love dearly. Some of those bands include: Chill Trigger, Cheridomingo, JURORS, Street Play, Soaked in Disillusion, Nightmare Enterprises, The Blank Minds, Wolf Woodcock, and more. We’re incredibly loyal to our friends and we feel so honored to be able to share a stage with all these bands and more.
If you were given the opportunity to score a movie, what would it be?
Naturally, it would be something of the early 2000s era. More than likely, it would be a Teen Comedy or Rom Com like American Pie or Dude, Where’s My Car. We already make music that sounds like it would be in movies like that and I think it’s totally okay because we love almost all those kinds of movies.
Who would your dream collab be?
We’ve talked about dreaming of working with people like Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 or Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. There’s also been times where we’ve wanted to work with newer bands like Ben Barlow of Neck Deep or even people in our local scene like Benno Levine from Soaked in Disillusion or Anthony Avina from Cheridomingo. Any chance we get to work with people we look up to, we’ll take.
What are some influences for your music? (i.e. books, art, politics, tv, etc.)
A lot of our influences come from past relationships, mainly out of heartbreak and love. We work with emotions that are, for the most part, relatable to the masses. We also have some songs that were inspired by friends and Jack’s dog not wanting to eat fruit. Our songs are meant to be light-hearted and fun (as most Pop Punk is), so we like to keep our lyrics as so. I think in the near future we may dive into some other topics that interest us. I know Jack is very knowledgeable and interested in politics, so we may one day have a politically driven song, who knows.
When was your first show/gig?
January 26, 2014. It was a Sunday night and it was at one of our favorite venues in Orange County, Chain Reaction. As most first shows go, we could barely sell any tickets; and it didn’t help that it was on a school night and nowhere near where we lived. The venue had about 10 people in there when we went on, mostly consisting of our parents, other family members, and about 4 people that had no idea who we were. The sound was horrendously filled with feedback and we were rushing through all of our songs. Needless to say it wasn’t our best show, but it was definitely one that changed us for the better and brought us to who we are now.
What are some bands that you guys have on repeat at the moment? Or what are some bands that you would recommend to people?
Jack: T3r Elemento – Underground
Sam: Movements – Feel Something
Cesar: Kali Uchis – Isolation
Can we expect new music from Sick Transit?
Definitely! I know Sick Transit has been quite for the past year or so with music and shows. But with it now being Summer, we plan on doing as many shows as we can and finally finishing the EP we started last summer. There’s no guarantee on it being done before the Summer ends, but I do hope we can get a little more progress on it. So expect new music soon…I just don’t know when.