Out of Knoxville, TN, On My Honor will be releasing their new EP, Nature & Nurture, on Little Heart Records September 6th. The band recently signed with the label and have been touring non-stop in anticipation of the release. I hope you enjoy our interview with the band below, and make sure to check out their current tour dates.
Firstly, can you state your name and role in On My Honor?
Drew - Lead vocals/trailer backing
David - Bass guitar/hopeless Mariners fan
Trey - Drums/dragon slaying
Jordan - Rhythm guitar/vocals/takes a long time to say anything like those trees from Lord Of The Rings
Lucas - Lead guitar/business guy/stressed out all the time guy
Could you bring us up to speed and tell us how the band was formed and how the band name was chosen?
Lucas: The band started in 2007. Drew was an Eagle Scout so that's where the name came from. There's not much else behind the name. He just liked it. A few members were weeded out early but Drew originally founded the band, I joined six months in and David joined about six months after me. The three of us have been the core ever since and we all feel like we've been there since the real beginning. We all just kind of started with the goal of being really involved in our local scene and things just kind of expanded from there. Trey joined about a year and a half ago and Jordan about a year ago.
You guys were recently on the Dirt Nerds & Suburbian Gypsies tour with Latin For Truth and will also be heading out to the East Coast mid-August with Still Rings True - are you guys feeling worn out at all? For you, what're the pros and cons of being on the road?
Lucas: Yeah we're a little tired for sure but we're getting to do what we love which is always a plus. We haven't been home yet since the Latin Tour ended. We've toured with two other bands since then (Your Favorite Hero and Audiostrobelight) back to back so we haven't been home since June 17th. We'll be home for 11 days until we leave for the Still Rings True tour and then home again after that for about 3 weeks before we do a full US in support of our new record. We love being on the road but when people ask us about it we usually describe it by saying it's the highest highs and lowest lows we've experienced. One day you're playing a show for 5 kids and it's the best day ever and other days you play for 150 kids but you drove 8 hours and you can't afford to eat and you can't sleep because its 110 degrees in the van. Over a period of 5 weeks that wears on you for sure.
Drew: I agree with all of that. Luckily, the highs still outweigh the lows, and we're friends with all of the bands we've been out with lately, which is awesome.
Over the years, the band has tracked an extensive amount of touring - what have some of your favourite shows been to date?
Lucas: There's a few shows that stick out in my mind for sure. Our hometown has always been there for us. We played in Utah with The Swellers for like 7 people once. We played a few shows with Fireworks early on and those guys were really cool to us and we'll never forget that. Other than that we have a lot of homes away from home we enjoy a lot. Raleigh and Greensboro NC, Pennington Gap VA, Louisville KY, Albuquerque, New Mexico. I don't want to leave any cities out but anytime anybody comes out and gives us a shot that's a good day for us. Then again, we've played shows for nobody or just for the other bands and had a great time or produced some memory we'll never forget. I'm not going to lie, it's not so fun sometimes, but we really enjoy what we do for the most part.
Drew: Greensboro, NC is always awesome, our last time there really resonates with me. As well as New Mexico and the other shows Luke mentioned. I still love playing our hometown shows too.
David: The Masquerade in Atlanta and Six Flags.
Jordan: We played a show in Philadelphia on this tour at the UACA Hall and we played with a really awesome all-girl band and they did really awesome Bon Jovi covers.
Trey: Queen Bee's in San Diego. There was a salsa class full of MILFs walking out while we were loading in.
Nature & Nurture, the band's upcoming EP, is set to be released in early September on Little Heart Records. I've listened to the EP a few times now and I feel that the songs compliment the organic vibe conveyed by the EP title, and even artwork. Can you explain the inception and themes of the EP?
Drew: The title came about after the songs were written for the most part. The EP has a few themes, I feel. Ideas of home are there: what that can mean as a location and an idea. An encompassing theme is impact: both passive and deliberate. By that, I mean the impact people or places can have on someone, whether these influences are acknowledged or not. Once we had the title, the artwork came about. The photos are all local to a lot of places referenced in the album, so it all tied together pretty naturally in that theme.
How did the writing and recording processes differ between the EP and your previous full-length? How much do you feel that you've grown as musicians and individuals since then?
Lucas: We got a new drummer and guitar player since the last record that are pretty far ahead of where our previous members where musically so that's changed a lot. I feel like we've all grown as musicians just being together and working hard. A lot of the music on the full-length was written by me and a drum machine. I would come up with the basic ideas and bring it to the guys and we'd work out the details. Drew is constantly writing lyrically so we'd just kind of combine ideas and work from there. With this record we all wrote really organically just in a room together. We wanted that natural feel to translate to the record so we made a conscious effort to not have to many layers. With the exception of a few guitar harmonies everything you hear is what we're doing live.
On My Honor's flavour of Pop Punk defies a lot of what's typically expected, while also taking on board the essentials. What're your main influences that've helped shape what the band is about?
Drew: I love and grew up on bands like The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day, New Found Glory and a lot of the older Drive-Thru Records bands- bands that have an honesty, lyrically, and a lot of times that I feel is evident in their music, writing, and live shows. Currently, I would say I'm influenced by a lot of our peers or bands that I listen to, at least conceptually. I love Fireworks, and playing and touring with bands like Latin For Truth allows for some great conversation on the whole creative process.
Lucas: I grew up on Pop Punk, I love Blink-182 as much as the next guy, but I'm more influenced by people that play their instruments on a high level. My favorite band of all time is Rufio. I discovered them in high school and they were the first band to really get the point across to me that you can play pop-punk and do more than just strum three power chords and play a breakdown every 30 seconds. I think that's shaped our band to a decent extent. Don't get me wrong, some of the best songs in the world are simplistic but a lot of my influences seemed to steer away from it. We do our best to make sure our songs aren't overly busy to the point of being distasteful but we try to do things musically in the way you described.. deify a lot of what's typically expected, while keeping the essentials in mind that made us love pop-punk to begin with. I also love bands like Anberlin, Emery, Jimmy Eat World, Emery, Armor For Sleep, The Academy Is..., The Early November etc.
Trey: My favorite bands are Every Time I Die, Glassjaw, The Swellers, Lamb of God, and Fireworks.
Jordan: Jimmy Eat World, Explosions in the Sky, old Anberlin, Relient K, Emery.
David: Relient K.
In early June the band signed with Kentucky-based label, Little Heart Records. Being from neighbouring state, Tennessee, yourselves, how did you get involved with the label?
Lucas: We heard about the label from our friends in Caleb Lionheart. We've always tried to do as much as we can on our own but it definitely got to the point where we couldn't do everything effectively alone. We felt like it was time to find a label and we started actively looking. We sent Bryan (Little Heart Founder) some demos from the new record along with the things we've been doing over the past few years and he really seemed to get we we're about and he was into it. From the moment we contacted Little Heart everything felt right. Putting out music and helping their bands is the main priority there and we still get to do what we want musically so it was a perfect fit.
A few months ago the band was looking for a new drummer, stating that Trey would be with you until Fall, is this still the case?
Trey: No. It's all good now.
Once the EP is out and the East Coast tour is over, what other plans do you guys have for the rest of the year?
Lucas: A lot more touring firstly. By September we'll have had about 11 days at home since June 17th. After the East Coast tour with Still Rings True, we'll be going home for about three weeks and we're going to do a full US CD release tour in support of the record. We'll be going out west again which we're excited for. That should take us up until November and then we may do a small run in December. We'll be filming a video for the single off the new record sometime this year too.
Drew: We're also thinking about hitting the studio again this Winter and possibly putting out a split 7 inch as well.
If a fan were to take one thing from listening to On My Honor, what would you hope for it to be?
Drew: I guess just a sense of sincerity... I don't know, that's a big question. Haha. Hopefully each of the songs convey their respective ideas, and listeners can take something personal from each, based on their own experiences.
Thanks for your time and we wish you the best of luck. Would you like to add anything else?
Lucas: We'd definitely like to say thanks to you guys and everyone go check out Little Heart Records (Facebook.com/LittleHeartRecords).
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