The Honors, a fun-loving foursome currently stationed in Boston, will be performing on Thursday, December 16th at The Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge. In a light-hearted interview last week, WTBU intern Elizabeth Castillo spoke with drummer Jason Trikakis about The Honors’ latest album xoxo, record labels and performing in Boston.
WTBU: Your music is described as Melodramatic Popular Song. What does that entail?
JT: I see you looked at our Myspace. That was actually a joke; we went through the different genres and chose the most outlandish one. Seriously, we can be described as easy listening or the generic term of indie rock. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we have fun making music and we like making music that’s enjoyable and high energy.
What is your favorite track on xoxo?
Would it be lame if I said I liked them all? My favorite song to play live is “Give It Up to Me”. Our other songs are very musically structured so it’s harder to add in extra notes but “Give it Up to Me” provides for the most improvising live. There might be an extra-long guitar solo added in and you can really just have more fun with it. But as far as the album goes, each song has a different sound and they all bring something to xoxo.
Love seems to be a pretty big theme throughout xoxo, does the band feel relationships provide the best lyrical inspiration? Are there other life experiences the band hopes to pull from?
This album does largely deal with relationships. Especially in “New Girls”, it really shows the tender side of a genuine relationship whereas “Give It Up to Me” is definitely more aggressive. Overall, different types of relationships were pulled from to create this album not just love. We pulled from our relationships we have between each other and from life in lower Allston and spending time at Great Scott.
How do you like being a part of Boston’s local music scene?
I’d say that we’re not. Really. We don’t have any of those big ties to Boston. We didn’t all go to school together, we don’t really identify with a local Boston social group and we don’t really have that local fan base like other bands. We’re more of Boston transplants. But we are dating—if you could use that term—The Wandas. A shout out to them. They’ve definitely helped us out as a band in Boston. They also helped us get the show at The Middle East. They’re really cool guys.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
We really love Motown. We always have some golden oldies blaring on the radio. We really like Raphael Saadiq. We definitely used him as inspiration for this album; xoxo may not sound very similar, but we paid homage to him and Motown and in this album.
How is it like working independently without a label attachment?
Great! No one tells us what to do, how to make our music or which demographic we should stick with. There’s lots of creative freedom but also a lot of extra work. We have to work harder at maintaining the band and getting a fan base but ultimately it’s fine because we’re allowed to just be ourselves as a band.
You recently were the opening act for Ok Go, how was that experience?
It was awesome! It was really fun but we weren’t really starstruck. We’ve played huge festivals before and we’re more of veterans at this. We can play huge venues but at the same time still have fun just playing in front of six people. But there definitely is a better vibe when the audience is bigger. It was cool to have an all ages audience and have 92.9 help spread the word. Ok Go were really sweet dudes but we couldn’t stay and watch them perform because we had another show right after. Overall it was a fun experience.
Are you guys planning a nationwide tour anytime soon?
We’d love too but they are very costly! Without a record label to help pay for expenses they are very difficult to do. We used to have a tour van but we ultimately had to sell it because of the expenses. Hopefully we can soon but as of now, very difficult to do.
Check out The Honors’ music at Facebook or Myspace. And don’t forget to check them out live on Thursday at The Middle East Downstairs!