By Zoe Adams
“I’d say we’re best described as Norwegian ‘doom-shoe’,” Jameson Barr of Honest Living laughed. “Okay, well we can’t really pinpoint a genre.”
Barr looked to Jason Keizer, “We had talks of being a doom band. It’s still a consideration, I guess,” Keizer added. “You could say we are kind of a post-gaze doom… math-gaze/doom-gaze. I’d describe us as doom-gaze.”
“Part of the thing is, we all listen to bands that the others hate,” Ryan Scott commented. “We’re basically all searching for the perfect tone. It’s not like we’re vocally driven.”
When vocals are heard on Honest Living’s debut EP Shooting Gallery, they belong to vocalist and bassist Jason Keizer.
“As far as the vocal thing […] I wish I could actually sing. So it’s been kind of weird that way,” Keizer laughed. “Everything new we hear, we get super excited for and we try to put our own spin on it.”
Honest Living has been ripping since they began a little over a year ago. After the release of Shooting Gallery, the band has gathered substantial numbers of local followers.
“Last year Jameson and Ryan played guitar together and decided to jam,” explained Jason Keizer about the band’s origins. “It was my first time ever playing bass when we started jamming.” He added, “We all jam in the brothers’ basement.”
The brothers are Everett Barr on drums and Jameson Barr on lead guitar. “The first couple of things we wrote were very math rock. We tried that for a while,” said Keizer.
“We were listening to a band called Totorro a lot, which is a really cool math rock band,” Jameson Barr continued. “The first two songs we did were kind of like that. Eventually, we just stemmed from our song “Lando” […] we jammed that one for a while.”
Honest Living, a Fonthill band made up of a talented group of guys straight out of high school, discussed being such a young band. “We’re playing this Thursday at Club Absinthe. We’re not too excited for the drive. We don’t have a van. But that being said all these bands playing are completely different than what we’ve played with so far.” Jameson Barr continued, “It’ll be fun to see how it is to play for a different audience.”
“It’ll also be nice to play a 40 minute set though. We have a 10 minute song, so it’s kind of hard to get more than three songs done in a 25 minute set,” Keizer added.
“We haven’t experienced a lot of roadblocks so far,” Jameson Barr stated when asked about unexpected problems faced within the band.
“There’s always Everett forgetting his drum stuff. And when we had our EP mixed, we sent it to Jack Shirley, but he said he was really busy. So we were in this weird two week limbo period where we were going to send it off to Brad who did bands like Full of Hell & Merwzbow. Anyways, the day before we decided we were going to send it to him, Shirley sent us the masters. Crazy. We didn’t even know he was doing them.”
“It’s great jamming because we’ve all gotten a lot better at our instrument,” said Everett Barr.
“It has introduced me to a bunch of new bands for sure,” Jameson Barr added.
“Fuck the writing process though,” laughed Everett Barr. “We’re always writing.”
Barr looked to Keizer. “We try to have a new song down every month,” Keizer agreed.
“The writing process is not set in stone. It’s very collective,” Scott added, “and we don’t come in with a specific song in mind.”
“Ryan is really good at chords.” Jameson Barr looked to his brother. “We don’t really all jam at the same time though, until we’re all ready. We don’t just go play a song that’s not completely down. If it’s not ready to play we just don’t play it.”
“That’s why we had only two songs written for our first show,” laughed Keizer.
As far as future plans for Honest Living, the band plans to record as well as tour sometime again in the upcoming summer.
You can catch Honest Living with Monologues, Standards, and Redcoat Thursday, August 6 at 7pm at The Hub in Welland.