I found out about An Honest Year a little over a year ago. They submitted a track (You and All Your Friends) for my radio show at the time, Introduce Yourself On Air. Immediately I fell in love with this band. AHY brings such a unique style of pop punk to the table and I feel they will be the next biggest pop punk based act coming out of FL.
Recently I talked to Stephen (Guitar) about their music video, warped tour and their new EP , “Moments”.
Please introduce yourself and what you do in An Honest Year?
I’m Stephen Morrell and I play lead guitar in the band.
How did AHY get formed?
It’s a pretty long story, but it all goes back to meeting Jon Pfingsten (guitar) and “Pastry” (bass) back in high school and playing in bands with them. Jon’s cousin Matt McKay (singer) was visiting from PA about 2 years ago and I met him for the first time. We jammed a little bit just for fun but nothing really happened until about a year ago. Matt and I skyped each other just to see what was up and accidentally ended up writing our first song together, which is called Starting Over and it’s on our first EP. We had so much fun writing that we decided to form the band. We recruited Jon, Pastry, and Greg (drums). It took a couple months for us all to be in the same state together with half the band in FL and the other in PA, but we’ve been going strong since January when they moved to FL.
How do you feel AHY differs from previous bands (I’m sure it was quite of a big genre change)?
The differences are incredible, really, considering most of my previous bands played much heavier music. But with a different genre brings different opportunities, different fans and demographic, and the song writing process is entirely different. It’s all really awesome though. I’m really happy with the differences; I feel like it reflects the person I am better.
You have released one EP (that I know of) and one coming up soon. Can you tell us about both and how you feel you have progressed on the new EP with all the members being in the same state?
Yeah, just one but we’re releasing our 2nd EP ‘Moments’ in the next couple of weeks. There were only 3 songs on the first one and they were all very high-energy. ‘Moments’ was definitely more of a collaborative effort for everyone in the band and it shows a softer and more mature side of the band. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of fun and up-beat songs on the 7 song EP. We’re really excited for everyone to hear it!
You guys released a pretty awesome music video for “Liar & A Thief” (single off of moments) recently. How did the concept come together and can you tell the readers more about it?
Thanks man! We had a blast with that video. The song and video are all about a relationship not working out and the aftermath. There are some pretty crazy scenes with our “ex’s” trying to beat us up. Well, not just trying..they did a pretty good job of it.
In your live set are you still going to play any of the three songs from the first EP? (IE: “You And All Your Friends”)
Yeah, definitely! A lot of people know us from those songs. Gotta keep your crowd pleasers! And honestly we love playing those songs; they’re nostalgic in a way.
Any chance you would rerecord any of them when you release a full length?
We definitely wouldn’t be opposed to it. I think it’d be up to the producers.
You guys just played Vans Warped Tour 2013 in Orlando, Fl on the Ernie Ball stage. I saw a few pictures of the crowd and holy crap! How was that experience and can you tell us more about that day?
Yeah, what an amazing experience man! It was pretty much the best day ever for all of us in the band. We got to meet a lot of people and talk to a bunch of fans, and that’s what Warped is all about. Definitely one of the coolest things we’ve had the opportunity to do.
How many people would you guess was in your crowd?
Hard to say man, I wish I could go back and count them all and just relive that moment! But I don’t know, there were hundreds man.
If you could sign with any label, who and why?
Good question, I’d probably say Columbia because some of my favorite artists are on that label (Boys Like Girls, John Mayer, etc.) They seem to do well with their label.
Speaking of favorite artists, what are the top three artists that inspire you personally and why?
Top three is so difficult! I have so many favorites. I think blink-182 will always be in my top three because they’re the reason I really got into playing music and really obsessing over it. John Mayer has been one of my idols for awhile now. I feel like he’s just a complete musical genius and an incredibly talented and unique songwriter. I’m always really inspired after listening to him. Third would have to be Boys Like Girls. Their music just hits me in the feels, man. I really look up to them.
What does the rest of 2013 have in store for AHY?
Our new EP and hopefully some touring!
What would be your dream tour?
I think I could name like 20! But if I had to choose it’d probably be Blink-182, Panic! at the Disco, and Taking Back Sunday. I feel like that’d be so epic.
In closing is there anything you would like to add?
For any fans reading this: A huge thank you for always being so loving and supportive! You’ve all really helped us get to where we are so far and we’re very grateful. Stick with us because this is only the beginning!
Interview By: Tim Morris