Wednesday 5 May 2021

An Interview With ALMOST HONEST

I've been a fan of self proclaimed "Groovy Sexy Viking Funk Doom Rockers" - Almost Honest for some time now and I feel bad for not reviewing their 2019 excellent album Seiches And Sirens. It's a quality sounding and highly energetic blend of Doom, Punk and Stoner Rock but played in an "HONEST" style.

The band were asking for folks from the Doom/Stoner Metal community to interview the band and I thought "WHY THE HELL NOT".

So here's an introduction to a great band you need to discover for yourselves.

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. For people not in the know. Can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

The band formed in 2013 while we were all in high school. Seth Jackson and I (Shayne Reed) have been in it since its inception. We did not get our final line up until we met Quinten Spangler through a mutual friend in high school. We went through multiple lead guitar players before finally settling on being a three piece. When we first started playing it was a mixture of thrash and radio metal before finally settling on the groovy doom rock that we are today. The transformation came as we matured and broadened our musical tastes. Today we have found a home in the doom scene and we would not want it any other way.

How would you describe your overall sound to someone who hasn’t listened to your music.

To make it brief we would say “groovy sexy viking funk doom rock.” A more elaborate description though would be fun, energetic doom rock with catchy hooks, vocal melodies and quirky lyricisms. 

Where would be the best place to start for new listeners to listen to your music. 

We would tell people to start with our most recent record “Seiches and Sirens.” If you would not be able to listen through the whole record we would recommend Fools Gold Flesh, Keystone and Dancing Shaman and the Psychedelic Cactus to get a feel for what we are about. Other songs to note off of our previous record would include Thunder Mouth, Cannibal Cowboy and Appalachian Sasquatch. 

Your most recent album Seiches And Sirens was released back in March 2019. How was that album received by the Stoner Rock/Metal community in general.

It was received extremely well. Better than anything else we have released up to this point. We did the release all ourselves and were very humbled being featured in magazines such as Classic Rock Mag and others. The fact that people have taken time out of their lives to listen to our art is beyond gratifying. We got to ship this record all over the world from Europe to Australia. This is something new for us and it still brings us extreme happiness just thinking about our physical album being in different parts around the globe. 

What influenced or inspired you when making that album.

We took influences from multiple places. One of the bigger ones was Pennsylvania folklore, myths and imagery. We wanted to share songs and ideas that have not been done before. We want to have people travel to our little part of the globe without having to leave their home. Another inspiration would actually be the band Clutch. I am very fond of Neil Fallon's lyrics and vocal delivery. 

I’ve heard you’re in the process of making your new album. When will that be released and what can we expect to hear from it.

We do not yet have a release date but if I had to take a guess I would say 2022. You can expect the same groovy doom rock but with added elements of banjo, organ, bells, trumpet and other sounds. We never want to do the same thing twice so we wanted to take what Almost Honest is at the core and push it as hard as we could. 

Is the new record going to be different to what’s came before it. 

It will be different in some aspects and the same in others. We always want to have that sound that has people knowing that it's an Almost Honest song but we also want to explore and try new things. I think people will be surprised with what we have been able to come up with. 

What comes first for you when recording new music. Lyrics or Music.

It varies. Sometimes I will be on a hike and I'll just get a vocal melody with lyrics and I will have to record it into my phone right then and there. Other times I will be at work and a riff will just hit me. Since I do not have my guitar I will have to sing my riff into my phone recorder no matter how weird my co-workers may think I am. 

COVID-19 has pretty much put a stop to all life as we know it for the time being. How big of an impact has it affected Almost Honest And how are you surviving in this stressful time.

We are grateful that we have all had steady jobs through this time and our families are relatively healthy. We are very grateful for what we do have. We have of course had the new album delayed and tours cancelled but in the grand scheme of things our loved ones are healthy and we are glad for that. 

After everything is back to some sort of normality. What does the future hold Almost Honest

Getting back on the road is a top priority. We are a live band through and through and we need to rock out with our fans. We greatly miss just talking with our fans and seeing what interests them. The second thing is being able to finally put some new music out as well. 

Before COVID-19 hit. Did you guys perform gigs on a regular basis. Did you have a local scene in your home-town to perform regularly. Or do you have to travel further afield.

We tried to do weekenders twice a month so about 5-6 shows a month. Over the summer we would start doing our longer tours. We really do not have a doom scene in our hometown. We travel to Frederick, Maryland a lot and consider that our second home away from home. 

How would you describe the overall Almost Honest “LIVE” Experience.

Fun and energetic. If people are paying to see a show I want to make sure they leave with an experience or story. We always try to go out into the crowd, climb amps, lay on the floor and just do whatever we can do to make the show memorable for people. 

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans.

Our words of wisdom would just be a simple love one another. When you come to our shows we are all family. Do not be afraid to reach out to us ever. We would love to talk to every single one of you. We will see you on the road. 

Words by Steve Howe and Almost Honest