Honor By August will be performing at the Pour House on Friday, March 9, 2012. The DC-based band has released two albums, Drowning Out the Television and Found. They are currently recording their third album, from which have already released one song, Just a Little.
Honor By August lead singer Michael Pearsall was kind enough to take some time for an interview.
Tell us about how Honor By August got started.
Honor By August formed in 2005 when Evan and I, along with our original bass player invited Brian (current drummer) to join the band after finding him on Craigslist. Chris (current bass player) had been playing in a band based out of Raleigh, NC that we shared the stage with and in 2008 we kidnapped him after a show and beat him into submission. Honor By August has been going strong ever since.
Where the name “Honor By August” come from?
The idea behind the name Honor By August is that you gain honor by doing something august (Latin word for inspiring reverence or admiration). In fact, the august has nothing to do with the month (August). We get this question a lot so we now have a tee shirt for sale at our shows with the band name defined on it.
I hear some Dave Matthews and Coldplay in your sound. Who are your biggest influences?
Everyone has their own personal influences that come through to varying degrees in our music. As a band we find inspiration in groups like Coldplay, U2, Snow Patrol, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band… along with many others. The most important thing when creating music though is that we play something that comes from within us; something that is authentic and we believe in, collectively and as individuals.
What’s the status of your current album?
We have spent 8 days in the recording studio thus far and have a lot of the material down that will be on our upcoming album. There is still a fair amount of work to be done and we are planning on a fall release, but we’ll be playing some of these newer tunes at shows such as the March 9th date at The Pour House.
Are you writing in the studio, or do you have a lot of the material already worked out?
I’d say about 95% of each song is written prior to going into the studio. There is always room for some experimentation with ideas and trying out different sounds or alternate parts for different sections of a song in the studio. However, recording is very expensive so it’s best for an independent band like us to have most of our songs worked out ahead of time.
Do you all see this album as a small step forward or a big departure from Found?
Neither and both. I’d call it an evolution. We know it’s important to maintain some consistency so you don’t alienate fans of the earlier material or stray too far from what you are as a band at your core. It’s also equally important to evolve as a band. We try to learn from our past and are constantly influenced by the changes in our lives so it’s only natural that our sound would evolve as well.
What is the band’s mindset being back out on the road?
After months or pre-production and recording, we are thrilled to get back out on the road. We’re also really happy to share the stage with other great bands. We are proud to introduce our good friends Red Wanting Blue, from Columbus, Ohio to the Raleigh area, as well as a great band from Las Vegas, Imagine Dragons. We’re looking forward to playing these new tunes for the first time and see how people react, which is very exciting. Also, over the next few months we’ll be playing in some new markets for us as we look to expand our fan base.
How would you compare your Raleigh fan base to the other cities you all frequent across the country?
Raleigh has become a great market for us over the last few years. Our fans have been great about coming out and bringing new people with them. The best thing for us is having someone see you for the first time and then they come back with friends because they’ve told them “you have to see this band.” Our home base in the DC area and New York City are our two best markets, but Raleigh is definitely a home away from home.
Where’s you favorite place in Raleigh for a bite before / after the show?
Chris’s parents live in Cary so we’re very fortunate to get a home cooked meal every time we come into town. Sometimes we get a meal before the show, but the real feast begins after the show around 2am. Chris’s folks are great at taking care of us and we are very appreciative. But as far as public places to eat, we enjoy The Remedy Diner and Raleigh Times.
Honor By August website: honorbyaugust.com