Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Honor By August

augustSince starting Press Pass nearly six years ago, there has always been one local band that has demonstrated a polish rarely seen for acts their age. Honor By August wowed with their debut album, Drowning Out The Television, but, on the stage, that awe escalated to chin-to-floor proportions. Now the foursome is set to capture that live energy with the help of Cue Studios in Falls Church and a few faithful fans. But first, we threw a few questions to frontman Michael Pearsall prior to a pair of weekend shows at IOTA Club and Café, Feb. 11 and 12.

augustSince starting Press Pass nearly six years ago, there has always been one local band that has demonstrated a polish rarely seen for acts their age. Honor By August wowed with their debut album, Drowning Out The Television, but, on the stage, that awe escalated to chin-to-floor proportions. Now the foursome is set to capture that live energy with the help of Cue Studios in Falls Church and a few faithful fans. But first, we threw a few questions to frontman Michael Pearsall prior to a pair of weekend shows at IOTA Club and Café, Feb. 11 and 12.

Mike Hume: What brought on the idea for a live recording?

Michael Pearsall: It was something that was suggested by our producer Jim Ebert, who we worked with on our EP On Our Own. It’s going to be an acoustic/electric recording so the songs will have a slightly different feel then they do on our previous albums. We also wanted to create a unique environment where a few of our fans could come in and be a part of the recording process. So, doing this live, in-studio album provided us with that opportunity.

MH: Will the “flaws” from the recording process make their way onto the album or will there be a measure of polishing?

MP: Honestly, I can’t say because I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out. If there are any major issues obviously we will edit or polish them to the point that it’s enjoyable to listen to, but I think for the most part it will be pretty raw.

MH: Why do you think this recording style will work well for you?

MP: I’m not sure it will but you can’t knock it ’til you try it, right? I think we are certainly capable of performing our songs well live, so I have faith that it will turn out to be a pretty cool product.

MH: Will it be a “Storytellers”-type format or just a collection of songs played in front of a live audience?

MP: I think for the most part it will be a collection of songs played in front of a live audience, but I might be inspired to say a few things here and there. What actually winds up on the album will be determined later.

MH: Any new material that will be on the album?

MP: I’m pretty sure we will play a few new tunes. We haven’t decided the entire set list yet, but there will definitely be at least a song or two that hasn’t been recorded on an album before and even some that have will be slightly different arrangements.

MH: What’s the next step for you guys in terms of development as a band?

MP: We are really focused at the moment on writing new tunes. We’ve got a bunch already written and have plenty more ideas that we are still working out. We want to have the best material possible for our next full on record. Also we recently started working with manager Mike Marucci and Marucci Artist Management Inc. We’re very excited about this new working relationship and the prospects the future holds in terms of shows, licensing and other band-related business.

MH: As you mentioned in your press release you’ll be back at Cue Studios for this album. What is it you like about Cue?

MP: Cue has a great vibe, which is so important when making a record. You really have to feel comfortable in the studio and not only do they have great gear but the people there are top notch. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Jim Ebert (producer) and Sean Russell (engineer) before and they are just so much fun to be around. They also know how to make a killer record.

MH: If your fans can’t all squeeze into the studio, when will they be able to hear the sessions in album form?

MP: It’s too early to say when exactly we will release the sessions but definitely sometime this year, hopefully by summer. But I don’t want to make any promises. It could be a month it could be a year. That’s part of what makes it so special for the fans that can actually be there.

MH: And finally the eternal question: After this recording session and the IOTA shows what’s next?

MP: World domination. A peaceful sonic takeover. At the very least more shows and more records. As I mentioned before we are writing a lot now and gearing up for a recording of entirely new material and a tour to follow. So keep your eyes open and look out for Honor By August.