No demo review yet
No live review yet
This is My Honesty
Lucy Dixon meets the increasingly popular Cambridge pop-punk band who comprise Will on drums, James on vocals & guitar, Ben on vocals & guitar and Tim on Bass
Damn, I’m late again. My train got into Cambridge later than expected so I have just run all the way from the station to The Man On The Moon and now just want to collapse on the floor. ‘God I need to do more exercise’ I think to myself while I’m struggling to get my breath back but suddenly a blast of noise fills the room and I can no longer hear the sound of my panting, only the amazing sound of This Is My Honesty. I didn’t know what to expect of the four piece band from Cambridge, but they definitely were a pleasant surprise. I felt like I had just been given a shot of Lucozade as I just wanted to get up and dance to these catchy pop-punk melodies and amazing vocals. Sounding like a cross between Fall Out Boy and McFly, I felt like a school girl again, drooling over the latest boy band. These guys captured the attention of everyone in the venue. Even the emos were bopping their heads along to it! I felt privileged to be the one who got to go out to the cold, damp car park to have a chat with them after the gig.
MZ: How long have you been together?
Will: January last year.
MZ: Ooh not too long ago then. So how did you all meet?
James: Well to cut a very long story short, we were in a band together for a few years and our drummer moved up to Leeds, which obviously makes it a bit difficult, so that fizzled out and we wanted to get together and sort a new band out. Tim was a good friend of ours and we always unofficially agreed that if we ever sorted a new band out then Tim would be in it. It’s always hard to find drummers, especially ones that are any good so we looked all over the place but had no luck. We decided to subscribe to a band directory website where we could put an advert up of what we were looking for and ended up finding Will on there.
Will: Yeah it started two months before the band ended up forming as Ben and I were working in a London HMV at the same.
MZ: Did you know each other?
Will: Well not really but I heard that Ben was looking for a drummer to start a band and looked at the advert on the internet and went from there really.
MZ: So where does your name come from?
James: Well, we were upstairs in The Loft at an acoustic night getting slightly drunk and spent hours getting all these different words and names which we thought sounded good. We almost called ourselves… shall I say it?
MZ: Go on, you can’t do this to us now!
James: We nearly called ourselves ‘Paper Back Heart Attack’ because it sounded really scene and cool, but then we realized that it is a stupid and meaningless name.
Tim: Yeah we thought of This is My… and each contributed thousands of words to see which one sounded best, but Ben liked the word ’honesty’ anyway because of the way it sounds so we just ended up with This Is My Honesty.
James: And we were like, “yeah that sounds pretty good!” Also because we were hammered at this point it sounded brilliant. We tried to think of so many different names but they all sounded too indie or too metal, which isn’t us.
Tim: We almost went metal at the beginning didn’t we?
James: Yeah, but our old band was pure pop punk even more so than now actually if that’s possible.
MZ: Like Busted?
Ben: Actually we were referred to as Busted once, but the vocals weren’t as good then.
MZ: So do you have an image for yourselves, like some of the other bands playing tonight?
James: Not as much, no. We don’t straighten our hair or put on make-up right before we go on stage.
MZ: Although Ben your hair does look quite straight, don’t deny it…!
Ben: Oh it’s straight alright, but we don’t do it at a gig.
MZ: What about a summer look? You’ll have to come out in hot-pants or something.
James: (Points to Tim) well look at those, they’re either shorts or trousers and they’re not trousers.
MZ: They’re more like pedal pushers…
Tim: I’ll never wear them again!
MZ: So have you toured the UK yet?
Ben: We play a lot of places, Lincoln, London, Kent, Dover.
James: Mainly the South-East, East Anglia areas.
Will: We’ve played Cambridge to death though.
MZ: So you have quite a big fan base around this area now then?
James: Yeah well people just see us and know us well now.
Ben: Well actually we have lots of plans for the summer which is exclusive news and no-one knows apart from us really. Basically, we have had someone helping us out financially to do our first album hopefully in late August, early September.
James: A couple of them will be from our EP’s but most of them will be brand new.
MZ: You heard it here first, kids! So are you entering any rock competitions this summer?
Ben: We’re too old!
James: We’ve had bad experiences with them from our old band because we felt that they generally marked the bands for originality and being bizarre and off-the-wall which is not what we do. Our stuff is more straight forward poppy/punk and good song writing.
Will: Yeah and talking of song writing - we will be touring the UK with our new songs from our new album.
Ben: Yeah getting the album done is our main aim, we’re going to try to keep it quite varied rather than keeping it all the same with some slow stuff and then more heavy stuff so that people can have a bigger choice of what they like.
MZ: You know you said earlier that a lot of other bands have something original and different about them? What do you think makes people remember you?
James: What we think we would like to fall back on more than anything else is our good songs.
Will: It’s the chemistry that we have going on in the band as well, as we all do get on really well and joke around on stage.
Ben: Yeah, it does help being in a band with your best friends because some bands just get together with anyone they can find. I’ve known James for 18 years now.
James: If you look at mine and James’ Ipod’s then you will find that we have identical music taste.
MZ: Who are your key influences then?
Ben: New Found Glory and The Atari’s are a couple of the newer bands with a big influence.
James: Not any new bands, someone with a bit of cred’.
Will: Someone once said that we sound like 90s emo like The Get Up Kids.
James: Yeah because they have good song writing.
Ben: We try to add something a bit cheesy like Bon Jovi and Metallica.
James: If you can write a good song that’s catchy and memorable then that’s your starting point.
MZ: So who comes up with these catchy songs?
James: Me and Ben.
Ben: The good thing about our band is we have both of us who can write. We can come up with a structure and then everyone adds their bits.
Tim: I try to come up with the obscure song writing.
MZ: Talking of obscure, what’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you?
Tim: A guy got naked on our myspace.
MZ: Woah! Explain!
James: We had a competition.
Tim: The competition was to come up with the weirdest, wackiest thing possible and then they would win a copy of our first EP. We had a song called ‘I Eat Green Berets For Breakfast’, and he sent a picture of himself naked with a green beret covering his penis which read ‘you can eat my green beret for breakfast any day’.
MZ: That did it for you as a group?
James: Yeah he had a little bit for everyone. That was crazy.
MZ: So your fans do crazy things for you but do you do any crazy things for your fans on stage?
James: Me and Ben nearly kissed in Lincoln.
MZ: An act of love?
James: It was an optical illusion.
Will: It’s hard to play crazily when you’re playing on a tiny stage like the one in there.
James: Yeah, if we broke our guitar and fall over then song would just stop.
Will: But playing the Corn Exchange in January meant that we had so much more room to move around in so it was much better.
Ben: I love playing the big venues because the sound quality and organisation is really good. That’s why we’re doing the album, so we can try to strive towards that and get picked up.
MZ: Have you had any record label interest?
Ben: Only random myspace labels which don’t tend to do very much apart from a gig or so.
MZ: At least it shows that your myspace is working.
Ben: That’s why we’re doing the album because instead of just having four tracks, there will be twelve and so people can choose which ones they like.
James: Someone who finds new bands can listen to the whole album and choose which is their favourite from all the others and it could be just that one song which tells them whether ‘yeah this band has something’ so the more songs we put on the album, the more chance we have of that one person finding that one song that they really like.
Tim: So anyone who likes us and is reading this then sign us! We’ll work hard!
MZ: I know the instruments which all of you play but do any of you play any unlikely ones like the bagpipes?
Ben: I learnt the recorder when I was at primary school.
MZ: Oh, but everyone does that.
James: We did a random recording in our bedroom once.
Ben: We thought we’d do something completely obscene and new using only two words so I laid down a screamo track first, James did a binary rap.
James: Yeah, my two words were zero and one
Will: I had pasta, I just shook it in the jar.
James: Then we had household objects, so I put a banana against a fan (he then demonstrates the slightly odd sound)
Tim: And I played the salt and pepper.
James: You couldn’t even hear it.
Ben: He was there, that was the key.
Tim: It was my flat, I should have been!
MZ: Well kids, don’t try that at home! Now for my final question, where do you see yourselves in six months?
Ben: I think that the album will be a big stepping stone to learn as a band, to write new stuff and get as much out as possible. Hopefully from gigging someone will pick us up and we can do what we love more often.
James: We don’t expect we’re going to be the biggest band in the world.
Will: We have our feet on the ground, we’re taking it in stages, for example, right now we just want to get signed and then take it from there.
Ben: And we’re doing it with the people we love. I don’t want to get to my late 30s and think ‘I did it but I could have done a bit more’, I want to look back and say ‘ I did everything I could, had a great time doing it and even if nothing major happened, at least I tried.’
MZ: And that is your honesty?
Ben: And that is our honesty.
Check out the band on myspace.com/thisismyhonesty and www.thisismyhonesty.com