“An Invincible Summer…”

After spending the Aussie summer in the northern hemisphere, Sydney based musician Matt James came home with an idea of forming a collective called The Invincible Summer, inspired by Albert Camus’ quote which he saw scrawled on the side of his hall upon his return home. With this in mind, we thought we’d ask him to share with us some of his favourite quotes:

I have a distinct memory from about the age of five, when I told my mother I was going to enter and win a colouring-in competition, and claim the prize of two tickets to the circus. Mum told me to be realistic and that I probably wasn’t going to win.

I entered. Won the competition. And enjoyed my trip to the circus that much more!

Throughout life, things don’t seem to have changed at all. Everywhere I go there are well-meaning advisors trying to moderate the dreams and ambitions of others – lest they get hurt or upset by any knockback or failure. The unfortunate thing about this is that it encourages mediocrity – ‘stick to the well trodden path, don’t take risks – and you’ll do well.’ To me this has never made sense. It’s like taking all of your dreams up to the attic and locking them forever in a big, dusty old chest. I could never live like this, and this is probably a big factor in my decision to list the following quotes as being hugely inspirational.

To kick off, why not start with arguably the greatest athlete of all time, a person whose determination was unwavering and desire to achieve success unparalleled:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

Pure… genius.

Another great quote is by a man whose notoriety, in his time, equalled or even exceeded that of the aforementioned basketball legend.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America
Excerpt from the speech Citizenship In A Republic. Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Our debut singles, Runaway and To the Sky, embrace this theme of daring greatly – and of leaving all that you know behind- albeit with much trepidation, and a sense of fear. I wrote on our Facebook page in August, before the release of our first songs, this little observation:

“Imagine if life was a computer game. If you were the character in the game – you’d do so much, you’d take risks, you’d make things happen, you’d play out the greatest of adventures. But in real life, there’s so many reasons not to do any of this…. it just makes for a pretty boring game.”

And….. finally – the quote from the French existentialist author, Albert Camus, that I saw scrawled on the wall of a hall in the inner-Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, that actually named our band:

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an Invincible Summer”

Words by Matt James. Check out what The Invincible Summer sound like here: