Avid Dancer - Interview

Jacob Dillan Summers a.k.a. Avid Dancer is one groovy musician that we highly recommend you become familiar with. The Los Angeles based songwriter most recently released a new single titled “All Your Words Are Gone”, and last week he released a music video to go with it. Summers’ music definitely encompasses a California vibe; really laid back, carefree, and dancey. Avid Dancer was recently at SXSW and will be supporting Delta Spirit on their tour in the upcoming weeks. We had the opportunity to chat with Summers recently, check out what he had to say about his biggest influences, whom he wishes to collaborate with, and more! Catch Avid Dancer live at St. Andrew’s Hall on March 27th. You can buy tickets here!


MTTM: Have you toured in Michigan before? If so, what has been your favorite performance in the State to date?

I've never even been to Michigan!

You grew up in a very religious Christian family, went to school for music education, and then joined the Marines. Sounds like a conservative past, how is it that your sound embraces this trippy and psychedelic vibe?  

When I moved to Los Angeles I started writing and recording my own music.  I really only had a few non Christian band references at the time, but when I listen back to my old recordings I can hear the psychedelic references.   I'm not exactly sure where that side of my music came from- but as I started listening to more and more non Christian music I definitely gravitated towards that sound.

What’s your songwriting process like?

Writing can be a bit of a blur.  It's something I've done for a long time but every time I actually sit down and finish a song- it's a crazy experience.  Like, I pick up a guitar- then hours later I snap out of it and am fully in the middle of a song.  

When did you start writing music under the pen name Avid Dancer?  What does Avid Dancer mean to you? What do you want it to mean to others?

I started writing music for Avid Dancer as The Rhone Occupation, then as Laura Laura.  I finally decided on Avid Dancer a couple years ago when I got more serious about releasing my songs.  Avid Dancer at first wasn't a name that really had a special meaning, but since then I've obviously spent a lot of time wondering why I picked that name.  I am admittedly most likely the worst dancer in the country- but I do love to dance at home when I'm alone and no one is watching!

Reflective of your sound, who are your biggest influences? Musicians? Poets?

I really love the Doors, the Beatles, Interpol, Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys- you know- the greats!  

If you could cover one song right now, what would it be? And why?

I've been wanting to cover Family of the Year: Hero.  For some reason that song really hits a good spot for me-  I think I could sing it and still sound like myself.

I dig your new single “All Your Words Are Gone” that was released a couple months ago, is there a full-length in the making? What can we expect from you in the future?

Thank you!  I really like that song too.  I have a full length coming out in April and I couldn't be more excited!  A music video for that song is coming out I think tomorrow- by the time you read this it might actually be out so check it out if you can!

On an ending note, what makes your show special? Why should someone come to your show?

Honestly, that is the hardest question to answer. I hate trying to sell myself, but what I like about our shows is how we translate my recordings to fit a live show.  There are a lot of sounds on the album that we don't use live- therefore we have to get creative on how to fill out the sound in other ways.  I guess the folks watching don't know that yet because my album isn't out yet.  Something an audience might pick up on though, is that I am truly just being myself when I perform.  Every night is different- depending on my mood, or where we are.   

By Ben Schechter