Band names, sophistipop, and performing in a straight jacket: Summer League on their forming and the future of their band
Sitting in a large leather armchair in the midst of The Music Room’s Barnyard Session, Fletcher Sapp exudes confidence. Fletcher is the lead singer of the band Summer League out of Belmont University. His bandmates, Eli, Jackson, and Reed sit on either side of him, looking both youthful and professional.
Summer League was formed in September of 2020 and has released 4 songs. Originally, the band was Fletcher's solo project, but after jamming with the rest of the band, Summer League was formed. “Yeah we had a little jam band and I just thought, yeah, these are the guys I want to have in my band,” Fletcher told us.
Summer League, although new to the Nashville scene, has already lined up a few gigs. They played Drkmttr this past weekend and in the coming weeks they’ll be performing at The End as well as The Belmont Pop Rock Showcase. They also have a new single, Limousine, out on the 11th of February and hope to have an album out soon.
The Music Room sat down with Summer League this past weekend and picked their brains about their recording method, their inspiration, and their dream costumes.
Off the bat, Summer League, where did that come from?
Fletcher: Well, Eli was wearing a shirt, what was the shirt? Can you describe the shirt?
Eli: It was a shirt that my brother thrifted and I took from my brother, so, like, re-thrifted. It has a big Lincoln head on it and it says Lincoln Park Summer League.
Fletcher: And we looked and we were like that's it! That's it right there!
Eli: We’d been slaving away for a long time trying to come up with a band name. It took a while.
Do you guys record in someone's room or a studio? What's the method?
Eli: It’s been hectic, it’s a little bit of everything. It’s really just what we can do right now, when we need to do it. A lot of it has been recorded in my room.
Fletcher: We’ve done the whole guitar direct into the laptop thing and we’ve also done drums in the studio, it's just a matter of how much time we have and what we can do. I think down the road we’re thinking about getting studio time and doing things more uniform. So far it's just been a pretty hectic journey.
How would you guys define the genre of the music you put out?
Fletcher: We’ve recently started using the term sophistapop.
Reed: It’s a bit of a stretch, maybe.
Fletcher: Well I don't think it's a stretch, I think it's band-oriented pop music. If you listen to our stuff we have elements of jazz, we have elements of R&B; Why Do I is a little punk. This next song coming out is leaning into our more instrumental side, with a whole soul section and stuff. The direction we’re taking it is a sophisticated form of pop music.
Is there a collective inspiration behind the songs you write?
Fletcher: I try my best to write about different things, but, if you look at the material as a whole, it’s all about relationships. I think every song we have out is about relationships. Like Why Do I? is about hating relationships, Limousine is about being dumped, Sidewalk is about dating, so yeah, that's what we have and we’re going to try to branch out from that.
It is college, though, there’s not a ton more to write about. What are you going to sing about, your mortgage?
Fletcher: I actually think that's a great topic. I’ll sing about filing my taxes.
Jackson: Catch our next song about filing a 401k.
Fletcher: Coming out soon!
You have 5,000$ and you have a show in about 2 weeks. What are your ideal costumes?
Fletcher: That is an excellent question
Eli: Village people?
Fletcher: Haha, maybe. I think right now, it would be getting nice, tailored suits.
With summer league hats?
Fletcher: Sure, and, like, bats and balls and stuff. Maybe swing the bats at the crowd and throw baseballs at them.
Jackson: What's that one idea you had? Where we all come out in astronaut costumes?
Fletcher: Yeah! With giant fishbowls on our heads. Or a straight jacket, they roll me out in a straight jacket and I reach at the crowd and the chains hold me back. Performance art, ya know, not just music.