THE DANGEROUS SUMMER vocalist/bassist A.J. PERDOMO seems like your average 20-year-old kid. And well, he pretty much is-except for the fact that his band recently released their Hopeless Records debut, Reach For The Sun, and are spending a chunk of the fall on tour with Straylight Run. Just like so many others, Perdomo grew up glued to MTV, watched Green Day own the airwaves and attended shows when they passed through his hometown in the same part of Maryland that spawned All Time Low. Perdomo gave MICHELLE ABBASCIANO a glimpse into his early days before Blink-182 inspired him to pick up a bass of his own.
Which CDs did you wear out when you were a kid?
I remember my first album was Green Day’s Dookie. I got it when I was in elementary school. I liked it for the longest time and then I kind of grew out of that. Then, when I was in middle school, I was really into ska, so I listened to stuff like Streetlight Manifesto and Catch 22. Getting into high school, I really got into Jimmy Eat World and more ‘90s alternative stuff like Third Eye Blind.
Did you get to see those bands live?
I never saw Third Eye Blind or Jimmy Eat World. I used to see all the ska bands, though. One of my first shows was Rx Bandits and Reel Big Fish. That was an awesome show. But I didn’t go to too many shows in high school. I just worked on playing shows of my own.
How did you get into playing?
I just kind of taught myself using the internet, looking at bass tabs every day. I pretty much learned everything from Blink-182, just like a lot of other people, because it was easier to play than other stuff. I started playing their songs, and then writing my own songs. I was in a local band, and then the Dangerous Summer started toward the end of high school.
What was the music scene like where you lived?
It’s actually really varied. In Ellicott City and around Baltimore, there’s a pretty strong music scene. I mean, All Time Low came out of there. Adelphi came out of there. It got pretty strong at one point, but then it just kind of left. Once All Time Low signed to Hopeless Records, it kind of drained out the music scene and went downhill. A few years back, though, it was really strong; there were tons of good bands.
When you listen to a record from you childhood today, what memories come up for you?
When I listen to Blink-182’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, I remember being in middle school watching MTV, and learning how to play all the songs off of that album. I just I thought it was such a cool album back then; when it came out, it was very innovative. That’s what really got me into Blink, and then I really started playing an instrument, so that was a big album for me. There was no particular song that stands out to me-it’s the whole record from beginning to end.
If you had an iPod when you were in grade school, what would your playlists look like?
In elementary school, there would be tons of 311 and No Doubt and Green Day on there; like the popular MTV bands, because that’s all I really watched back then. In middle school, I would have like Streetlight Manifesto. And I was a huge AFI fan then too, so they would be on there.
Are there any bands that you listen to now, that you wished you had listened to more when you were a kid?
Jimmy Eat World. In the early days, I didn’t really give them a chance. Like when Bleed American came out, I heard it and everything, but I just wasn’t at that musical level in my life yet. I wish I had started out in the beginning with them though.
I read somewhere that you and guitarist Cody Payne really like Millencolin. Is that true?
We love Millencolin. We always have. They’re awesome. They’re an old ‘90s punk band who played pretty much all the early Warped Tours and they’re still going strong. When I was in high school, I heard them off of a Warped Tour compilation and I’ve loved them ever since. They’ve really developed as a band; they’ve been playing more of the alternative music that I like, with less punk, so they’re just awesome.
Are there any bands that every member of the Dangerous Summer can agree to listen to?
Lately, we’ve been listening to a ton of Manchester Orchestra. We all love Taking Back Sunday and Taylor Swift’s Fearless, and most Brand New. But there’s a wide array of music that we all really love.
THE DANGEROUS SUMMER WOULDN’T EXIST WITHOUT… (according to A.J. Perdomo)
JIMMY EAT WORLD
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Catch the Dangerous Summer:
Sep 18 Highline Ballroom w/NightmareOfYou New York, NY
Sep 19 Hangar 84 Vineland, NJ w/ I Am The Avalanche
Sep 20 Lee Hall @ SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY w/ Straylight Run, Brian Bonz, Dave Melillo
Oct 26 The Door Dallas, TX
Oct 27 Emo’s Austin, TX
Oct 28 Conservatory Oklahoma City, OK
Oct 29 Revolution Music Room Little Rock, AR
Nov 01 The Mixtape Grand Rapids, MI
Nov 03 Diesel Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 05 High Ground Metairie, LA
Nov 06 Club Hell Providence, RI
Nov 07 The Loft Poughkeepsie, NY
Nov 08 The Studio @ Webster Hall New York, NY