INTERVIEW: Honestly

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Q: Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

A: Thank you! We’ve been doing well. Trying to enjoy our summer as best we can. 

Q: Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Beside Myself”?

So, “Beside Myself” is not actually a single, but rather the song that marks the turning point of the album in terms of sonics and subject matter. It’s the transition into side B of the record, and thematically explores realizing a relationship is about to fall apart. It’s about being painfully concerned and almost positive you’re about to lose this person, but you hope that somehow your suspicion isn’t true. Lyrically, it references the quote the album title comes from, “heaven is a place inside your eyes, hell is where I wake up without you beside me”. 

Q: Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The “event” that inspired the song was basically the relationship that inspired the whole album. We had a 10-song outline of the entire album as we were writing it. Thematically, each song was a chapter in a story, and they each served a purpose. The “event” that this song tackles is the first moments of concern and uncertainty in a dissolving relationship. This is the moment you sense your ship is sinking but you’re constantly checking yourself hoping you’re wrong. 

Q: Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

🤔😏🤫

Q: The single comes off your new album Inside Your Eyes, Without You Beside Me – what’s the story behind the title?

Dalton used to write letters to his girlfriend at the time, and sign them with the aforementioned “heaven is a place…” quote. This was also the way he first told his significant other that he loved her, as a way of saying “I love you” when it was still too early and new to fully get the words out. 

Q: How was the recording and writing process?

This song sonically was written with no clear direction during the end of a writing session. We were demoing ideas in Logic and Eric laid down the initial guitar riff, which was inspired by Tep No and other tropical chill house. Dalton began playing some angular, moody synth parts over it and we just kept layering ideas on the top of each other. We ended up with a rather disorganized demo called “white claw mango”. The day after, we had organized the ideas into a properly structured song and put vocals on it shortly after. Eric didn’t want to do a structured

Q: How did you go on balancing your 80s influences with your music modern sensibilities on this album in particular?

We had a very solid grasp on what was appealing to us about either genre. The formulaic structure and infectious melodies of modern pop music, but with the nostalgia and lush tones of synths and drum sounds popular in the 80’s. Balancing both was quite easy because those are our respective influences. Eric comes from a place of electronic pop, house, R&B, and Dalton is really inspired by authentic new wave, and we both love modern indie pop. When we come together in a session, we don’t consciously think about what we’re performing— it just comes through naturally because we play what inspires us. 

Q: What aspect of human vulnerability and love did you get to explore on this record?

All of them. We wanted this album to be a brief, but detailed journey of the rise and fall of a tumultuous new relationship. Part of what makes this album special are references to very specific moments in time to capture certain feelings. The dichotomy of the album is notably documented. Every moment is there; from obtaining her address on your phone on 7/13, to getting no sleep because you’re crying into their shoulder blades on the song “Hell”. Every moment is vulnerable because every moment is an actual memory that Dalton had to resurface and reconcile. It made the writing process equally as rewarding as it was emotionally taxing. We could never write this album again if we tried because it was an honest snapshot of who we were a year ago musically, and what Dalton was going through then.

Q: What made you want to tackle on these particular themes?

A: Eric: “The fall of Dalton’s relationship was very difficult to watch for everyone involved, and I attempted to channel his visceral emotions into an art form that Dalton hadn’t tapped into in a while. What Dalton was feeling and saying on a daily basis to describe his despair was almost inspiring in a way. It was so inspiring I was convinced it had to take the shape of a full length record.”

Dalton: “I Just needed something to grab onto to help me get through a very tough time in my life. Heartbreak and emotional turmoil affect everyone differently in every relationship but this experience at times felt like it was literally destroying me. Eric helped me take those emotions and channel them productively into something that inspired me and gave me purpose, and helped me clarify my thoughts and get them off my chest. It was just a necessity in our friendship, he wanted to see me not sad and destroyed anymore and I wanted anything to pull me out of my head. It was therapy.”

Q: Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Lyrically, we set out to be as specific and honest as we could to tell this story, so the entire record is made up of real quotes and moments. While attempting to convey these ideas through music, we were inspired by each other — because every writing session felt like a therapy session. It looked like one too. Sometimes Dalton would lay on a couch and recount the darkest, rawest memories from his experience. When penning lyrics Eric also was inspired by Lang Leav’s poetry, mostly from her book “Love & Misadventure”. 

Sonically we were both really inspired by our contemporaries in bands like The Ivy, The Millenial Club, joan, and Hotel Apache, as well as our more core influences like New Wave bands on Dalton’s side and 90s/early 00s R&B for Eric. 

Q: What else is happening next in Honestly’s world?

We’ve been lucky enough to meet and work with a lot of creative people that we can now call our friends, so there are surely going to be some collaborations surfacing soon. Basically everything we’re doing now but better, and more of it. More photography, film, music, performances, and when socially responsible, actual live shows. We can’t spill all the beans but there’s a good chance we do some more video stuff as well. Maybe another album is in the works… who knows!

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