In its young career Honor By August has already played arena stages, had its music broadcast to millions and won the Grand Prize in Billboard's World Song Contest.
A fast-growing reputation has helped create opportunities for the band to share stages as big as arenas with artists including Bon Jovi, Third Eye Blind, Vertical Horizon, Peter Frampton, Hootie & the Blowfish, Edwin McCain, Hanson, Pat McGee Band, Virginia Coalition and many, many others.
Their music has been broadcast to millions many times over on ESPN and they have worked with Grammy-winning producers, mixers, and engineers including Jack Joseph Puig (U2, Snow Patrol, Rolling Stones), Paul David Hager (Goo Goo Dolls), Jeff Juliano (John Mayer, O.A.R, Lifehouse), Toby Wright (Third Eye Blind) and Ted Comerford (Virginia Coalition).
Their sophomore release Found continues to fuel the buzz as it builds on the foundation of the first album, further honing the band's songwriting and development.
Lead singer Michael Pearsall submitted an interview to tell us a little more about this up and coming band.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Michael.
My oldest brother Paul played the guitar and I was a huge music fan. I always sang along to songs that I heard and so I decided I wanted to write my own songs. I learned how to play the guitar: a little from my brother, a little from lessons I took briefly, but mostly by just teaching myself based on what I thought sounded good. I started seriously writing songs in high school but in 8th grade I had played a battle of the bands competition, which was the first time I'd performed, singing and playing in front of a pretty big crowd. The rush was unlike anything I'd done before and I knew from that moment that I wanted to be in a band and perform my songs for people.
How do you describe your music to people?
Somewhere between U2, Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon and Bruce Springsteen. But we always say they should listen and decide for themselves. The same music can sound very different to different people, so we'd rather them come see us play or listen to our music and draw their own conclusions.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
There are 5 things in life I have discovered so far that make me as happy as I can be. In no particular order: Performing with my band on stage, surfing, snowboarding, hanging out laughing with family or friends, and a good kiss. If I'm doing anyone of those things, I could easily say, "It doesn't get any better than this." But I'm sure that everyone in the band would agree, when the 4 of us are playing together on stage or writing a song, we couldn't be happier.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
I think it's very challenging to be as focused and dedicated as we want to be to the artistic and creative side of being in a band, while also being concerned with the business side of things. We spend a lot of time in meetings, discussing finances and business decisions that need to be made, which is all certainly very important but we'd much rather just focus on the music. There's a fine line though, between wanting to have other people take care of the business side of things and wanting to maintain control over everything in our lives. It'd be great to find the right manager, lawyer and A&R guys that we believe are completely behind us and we trust to do what's best for the band. That, of course, is easier said than done.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I guess when I was very young I thought I wanted to be a doctor or president or a basketball player. But from the time I started thinking more seriously about it, around 13, I knew I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to make a good living writing and performing songs with a band.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Well for one, the people around us, friends and family specifically, have been very supportive of us individually and collectively from very early on. Without that kind of support we would never have made it this far. As for our community at large, the greater DC area, we have been very fortunate to start our band here for many reasons. We've been able to build up a pretty solid fanbase over the years but it's a unique fanbase. DC is a very transient city with people coming and going for school or work which enables us to consistently reach new people in the same area. But there are also a good number of people who stick around and the surrounding suburbs have a population that seems interested in original music. Also, the fact that DC is centrally located on the east coast, we're able to travel to many different cities north, south or west of us that we can return to every so often in order to build bases there.
What other artists out there do you love?
We really think some of the best bands out there are the ones we love to play with. They have become friends of ours because they aren't just great musicians but great people too. I'd say our favorites are: Red Wanting Blue, The Ruse, Kill the Alarm, The Influence and Sun Domingo.
What does your future hold?
Hopefully for the band- bigger and better venues, more fans and maybe some dollar signs.
Visit Honor By August at honorbyaugust.com, CDBaby, MySpace, and Facebook.