Summers brother shares how music has helped with healing process since Gatlinburg

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On Friday, WREG spoke with one of the Summers brothers for the first time since their parents were killed in the Gatlinburg fire.

Jon and Janet Summers lived in Memphis and now their sons, Branson, Jared and Wesley Summers, live in Nashville as musicians.

“Music is just like, it puts me in my happy place and it’s a great way to vent," said Branson.

It's an outlet that’s been much needed with all they’ve been through these past five months.

Branson, Jared and Wesley lost their parents in the Gatlinburg fires, and music has been there for them as they try to heal, both mentally and physically.

“It’s so therapeutic," said Branson. "You know, from everything my brothers have been through, my hand: it wasn’t super flexible when I came out of the hospital.”

He says drumming has helped his hand that was badly burned regain strength.

“My hands are great and we’ve all healed up really well," he said.

Although the emotional side may be a longer journey, Branson says playing music puts him on the right track.

“It also keeps me level-headed because that’s my way of getting emotions out in a sense, so it’s a really good therapy tool.”

He said he's also going back to playing punk music, like he used to play with his brothers when they were teenagers in Memphis.

“I feel like a kid again. You know, I’m back to high-paced, high-energy music.”

But the music isn’t the only healing mechanism.

“It’s like we’ve built this big family of friends and close relatives who live all around us and everybody keeps in touch more.”

That support has also come from complete strangers.

“I just have to a million times thank you to those people.”

He says he couldn’t believe how much love the community showed them.

“We just, our hearts are so filled with love and warmth and it’s helped us move forward. It’s helped us stay positive through this whole thing and know that things are going to be okay.”

They don’t think they’ll be playing again together anytime soon because they all have different schedules and goals right now, but they’re all still playing music and have plans of traveling this year.

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