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Fall 2020 Special: The Rise and Success of Vicious Summer

By Cooper Drummond

Vicious Summer. From Left: Jack Zuckerberg, Sam Aronoff, Alex Isaacson. Photo by Ryan Rivera.

Vicious Summer is a Purchase-based rock band intent on success. Consisting of Sam Aronoff, (vocals and guitar), Alex Isaacson (guitarist) and Jack Zuckerberg (drums), they’ve worked hard to get where they are now, all thanks to fate.

“It started out with me and Jack,” says Aronoff. “We were in two bands before, and we never really progressed to the point we wanted. We were trying to find a band that would fit us well, and the right people to work with. When we found Alex, we started to slowly work together and make new songs. Eventually, we realized that we were all trying to do the same thing together. We were all trying to make the same kind of music: We were all trying to do something different and mess around with different genres.”

As a habitual theme of the group, Vicious Summer is no stranger with diving into new styles of music. The track Hate’s A Strong Word (But I’m Getting There) has a rock-like tone to it, which is different than the track Your Highness, which has a pop-like tone to it, while both of the above are different than the track Scum Can’t Run, which is metal.

“It started out at Purchase, we met each other through friends of friends in classes and stuff like that, just in a very college way,” says Aronoff. “We moved from there.”

Isaacson, upon first meeting Zuckerberg and Aronoff, said, “We got bored one night and started playing some music together in my freshman dorm in Crossroads. I think there was a realization that we all vibe with each other and can put a song together so it’s kind of started from there.”

A band is nothing without those who play the instruments, as well as those who perform them. Alex Isaacson, Jack Zuckerberg, and Sam Aronoff not only play their instruments to satisfy the music they produce, but they are discovering what they are capable of, both as a group and as individuals.

“I always enjoy playing guitar. It’s just simply a lot of fun to me. The best moments are when I’m completely in the zone and pull off some solo that makes me go ‘whoa hold up, I don’t know what I even did there,’” says Isaacson. “With the band I usually bring small rhythm changes to guitar parts and act as the recording engineer for the band. I’m always trying to look for new ways to make each sound better in the studio with whatever recording technique I can find.”

“So far, I would say it has been really fun and I gotten to meet a lot of cool people and made a lot of great connections, especially through Purchase,” says Aronoff. “It is a great creative outlet for me and my friends that I get to make music with. It’s great to be a part of something with more than just myself and to have a team of friends that I can make music with and progress.”

Zuckerberg spoke positively about playing drums for Vicious Summer. “It’s been really good; we play a variety of music which keeps things fun and interesting on a musical standpoint,” he says. “We are also really good friends which keeps things fun for us on a personal level.”

The artwork for their song Your Highness. Artwork by Sami Jane.

Along with their music genres, Vicious Summer is also capable of being flexible to each other in times of hardship. At one point, Zuckerberg suffered a hand injury, making it impossible to play drums. But with the help of his bandmates, he made the best of it. They even released a song, Your Highness on which he played piano and handheld percussion.

Zuckerberg’s hand injury took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when shows are rare. It allowed him to focus solely on producing new songs with the rest of the band. Of course, they’re still one of the countless bands across the world forced to cancel their upcoming events. And with the pandemic dragging on, in-person events are not looking likely for a while.

“The entire concert industry is on hold, which is disappointing for fans who have already purchased tickets or had made plans to see their favorite musicians live,” according to the article “COVID-19 offers the chance to reshape the music industry” by “Now musicians are either performing at virtual concerts or re-shifting their focus to creating quality albums. Music fans are being presented with the opportunity to lower the cost of concerts by supporting record sales.”

To cope, many concerts have moved online, taking shape as livestreams or prerecorded sets. On October 10th, 2020, the band played a virtual concert. When they performed, the difference was noticeable.

“It was certainly strange to play to only a camera,” said Issacson. “You can’t completely get in the same headspace as compared to a live show. It’s not ideal but at least it’s something to do and it’s a way for me to improve my live session recording skills.”

“We had a decent turnout,” said Zuckerberg, who agrees with Issacson. “Everyone is still working out the kinks of social distance events. We played to an empty bar that was live streamed outside for the audience.”

The flyer for the livestream show. Courtesy of Vicious Summer.

According to Zuckerberg, Vicious Summer has future plans which involve releasing new singles and doing covers of pop songs for YouTube.

Vicious Summer is streaming on the following platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, Google Play, and YouTube.



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