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Interview:
Honor Society Hopes Jonas Connection Leads To Success
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

They’re not the Jonas Brothers. Yet. But the members of Honor Society are hoping that a close association with the sibling trio will lead to the same platinum sales, sold-out concerts and multi-media megastardom Nick, Joe and Kevin are enjoying.

“I feel like it’s an awesome platform for us to have,” says drummer Alexander Noyes, who was part of the Jonas’ band in 2005-06 before hooking up with Honor Society in 2007. “Since I joined the band, we’ve just made incredible strides in the right direction. Now we’re just trying to keep the momentum going.”

Noyes and his bandmates — Michael Bruno, Jason Rosen and Andrew Lee, who founded Honor Society in 2004 — have certainly had a taste of living la vida Jonas.

The Los Angeles-based quartet is the first band signed to the Jonas label and opened for the trio on its “World Tour 2009.” Honor Society released its JoBrosproduced debut album, “Fashionably Late,” in September, with a No. 18 debut on the Billboard 200 chart, while the single “Where Are You Now” was included in the film “Bandslam.”

The group also covered the Cars hit “Magic” on the “Wizards of Waverly Place” soundtrack and has been running the media gamut from the Miss Teen USA pageant to the Teen Choice Awards.

But more than just the teenybop crowd is paying attention; RollingStone.com tipped Honor Society as one of the six breakout bands from this year’s decidedly hip Bamboozle festival in New Jersey.

“We try to be pretty universal,” notes Noyes, 23. “We don’t write music for a specific demographic. We don’t go out of our way to attract one particular kind of crowd. We’re trying to put out the music we want to put out; wherever it lands or finds a home, we’ll play for those people.”

Being in the Jonas orbit, of course, means an association with a certain kind of following, but Noyes says that’s given short shrift to both his band and to the Jonas Brothers.

“I feel like the Jonas Brothers sort of get pigeonholed in mainstream press as something that’s sort of childish or for kids,” Noyes explains. “But being at the shows night in and night out, it’s not just 10-year-olds and their parents. Yes, they have a lot of 10-yearolds who watch their television shows, but they also have a lot of 24-year-olds, which is a testament to the fact they’re good songwriters and great performers and just really talented, prolific artists.”

Noyes and his bandmates think they have the goods to get beyond any stereotyping. He considers “Fashionably Late” to be “a pop record through a rock band,” influenced by “the pop-rock music of the ’80s we all grew up listening to, whether it was on our dads’ stereos or our older brothers’ CD collections.

“I think if you listen to the album, you’ll get the pop side of it, and if you come to a live show, you’ll see more of the rock interpretation of it. We’re really trying to stretch out musically and just building in extra parts of the set to showcase the musicianship of all the members of the band.”

Honor Society is certainly trying to give potential fans plenty of opportunity to have that experience. During the Jonas tour, they played a series of Full Moon Crazy shows — including one at Clutch Cargo’s in Pontiac — usually as a matinee before the regular evening concerts. The “Fashionably Late Tour,” meanwhile, is scheduled into mid-November, and the rest of the year will likely be spent playing radio station holiday concerts and making TV appearances before hitting the road again after the holidays.

“I feel like we’re coming into the next season of our career,” Noyes says. “I feel like we’re starting to break, and it’s the fans that are breaking the band by wordof-mouth, online, which is cool.

“We’re at the point where it can still be a personal thing, with 350 people who can stay after a show and we can shake every hand and meet every person there. It’s still possible to do that, and we love doing that. And hopefully after this tour and maybe having singles catch on the radio, we’ll be at the arena level and ... just shake a lot more hands.”



Honor Society and Esmee Denters perform Sunday (Nov. 1) at the iLounge, 65 E. Huron St. inside Clutch Cargo’s, Pontiac. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www. ilounge1.com.





Web Site: www.ilounge1.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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