Interview: On My Honor

Members:
Lucas Sams – Guitar
Jordan Garner -Guitar
Drew Justice- Vocals
Tobias Campbell – Drums

On My Honor is a pop-punk band from Knoxville, TN. Since their formation in 2007, On My Honor has performed over 600 shows in 15 countries and has gained a very loyal fan base. On top of that, the band has been named one of this year’s “100 Bands You Need To Know” by Alternative Press Magazine, showing that their hard work and dedication is paying off.

On My Honor has had a busy year so far and recently recorded their new full-length album, I Never Deserve The Things I Need, which was produced by The Swellers’ Nick Diener. You can listen to the album in its entirety here, and buy the album on June 11. You can also find them on their album release tour next month with Far From Proper and Good Lucky Varsity. Click here for dates.

We had the opportunity to catch up with On My Honor’s guitarist, Lucas, and talk about the band’s success, their busy touring schedule, and the upcoming release of their new album. Read what he had to say below and be sure to “Like” On My Honor on Facebook.

First off, congratulations on being named one of the “100 bands you need to know for 2013” by Alternative Press Magazine! Knowing that several bands from past lists have gone on to mainstream success, what does this title mean to the band?

It was a huge deal for us. We’ve been a band for a long time and have put pretty much everything into this for going on 7 years now. Sometimes it feels like you’re just treading water out in the middle of ocean, in the middle of the night or something. Like you’re putting all you have into staying afloat but you’re not getting anywhere. It’s hard to see things progressing when you’ve got your head down and you’re just pushing forward, but things like that have a way of coming along at the right time. We don’t define ourselves by stuff like that or anything, but it is definitely something we appreciate.

When you first started in 2007, was it difficult getting your name out there or was your music quickly accepted? With pop-punk being such a popular and ever-growing genre, how does On My Honor set themselves apart from other bands?

It’s always been kind of hard for us to get our music out there being from Tennessee. A lot of our peers grew up in the Northeast or out West where bands of our genre are more common and they can network early on. We’ve overcome a lot of that for the most part since the release of Nature & Nurture. As far as setting ourselves apart we just write the best songs we can and hope for the best. We’re all pretty weird too so we feel like that helps.

Your new album, I Never Deserve The Things I Need, is set to debut this June via Little Heart Records, who you signed with in 2011. What has it been like on Little Heart Records and how did you become involved with the label?

It’s been a great experience. It’s nice to work with a label that really wants to see their artists grow. We became involved with the label when we were shopping our last EP, Nature &  Nurture. Our friend in a band called Caleblionheart from Albany suggested the label to us. We checked it out, sent Puckett some demos and not too long after that we were in Louisville signing a contract. It all happened really fast.

What was the writing and recording process like for this album and how did it differ from your past releases?  Can you explain the title and the overall themes of the album?

Our past releases took us at least a year to write. This record came together in about 3 months. We got back from a two-month fall tour, started writing, and 2 months later we were already in pre-production. It was kind of scary moving that fast, but we wanted everything to be as organic as possible. More dudes in a room writing songs and less sitting in front of a computer trying to make everything perfect.
As far as the theme of the record, our previous records have a pretty positive spin on them. To be honest, we weren’t in a great place mentally when we wrote this record and that positive spin was harder to find. This record is a lot sadder. It still has a few moments where it comes around, but we definitely let ourselves just be bummed and we didn’t try to get away from what we were feeling.

You also worked with Nick Diener of The Swellers, who produced the album. What was it like working with him and how did that collaboration come about?

It was completely awesome. We met the dudes from The Swellers playing a random show together in Utah in like 2009. They were just passing through on their way to do a tour that actually mattered and we were just kind of lost out west trying to figure out how to tour and make things work. They were super cool to us even though I’m sure we asked a bunch of really stupid questions. We had never really had a true producer and we’re big fans of theirs. He [Diener] was the first person we thought of, we hit him up, and the timing worked out where he could do it. We spent a week at his house going over the songs, going to the gym, and making fun of each other. We had a blast and it made the songs a lot more well-rounded.

What can your current fans and new listeners expect to hear from I Never Deserve The Things I Need? Is the sound similar to your previous releases or did you incorporate some new influences?

I hate to have such a typical answer to this question but it’s the truth; this record is a lot more dynamic. The faster songs are faster. The slower/softer songs are way slower and softer than we’ve ever been. We definitely took some risks. We’ve always been of the opinion that if you’re new stuff doesn’t scare you a bit you’re most likely not making any good music. Our main influences are the same as they’ve always been, but we try to listen to as much new stuff as possible and grow as musicians.

This June, you are going on a CD release tour with Far From Proper and Good Luck Varsity. What can the fans expect on this tour? Will there be any surprises, or guest performances of any sort?

We’re always pretty cautious when telling people what they should expect. All we can control is going out there and trying to put on the best show we can, and I definitely think we’re going to be doing that on a whole new level on this tour. We’ve had way more time to get these songs show ready than we usually have, and the bands we’re bringing are great so we’re excited. I guess people can expect us to try and sleep on their floor, we’re a little tired of the Walmart parking lot at this point but other than that who knows.

Speaking of tour, On My Honor has played over 600 shows in 15 different countries. That must be a huge accomplishment for the band! How do you feel about touring so much?  Is it something that you feel is especially important for your band?  What has been your favorite show or venue and why?

Being gone so much kind of eats away at you sometimes. Five grown men living in a van together 6-7 months a year eats at you sometimes. Being sick all the time and achy from sleeping on floors and in vans eats at you sometimes, but what it all comes down to is we love playing music every night, we love writing music and we love hanging out with people that enjoy what we do. To us it’s super important, it’s almost entirely the point.
Our favorite shows are definitely our hometown shows. It blows our minds that our friends where we live still support us after all this time. We’re very grateful.

It looks like it’s going to be another busy year for On My Honor. What are you looking forward to the most and what are your plans for after the tour?

It looks like we’re going back to Europe again this fall. Going to be visiting a couple of new countries. Always stoked for that. Hopefully we’ll get to see our friend Mario and eat pasta and get tattoos again.

Anything else you would like to add?

A couple of things- First of all thanks for talking with us. Also, you can pre-order our new full-length at www.onmyhonor.bandcamp.com for just $5 until the record drops!

Related: Album Review: “I Never Deserve the Things I Need”

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