What do the groups Honor Society and the Jonas Brothers have in common? Both are from New Jersey, share the same record label (the Jonas Records label, part of Hollywood Records) and are going to rock the Jobing.com Arena Tuesday. The four guys – Andrew Lee, Michael Bruno, Jason Rosen and Alexander Noyes – have the talent and now, thanks to an opening spot on the Jonas Brothers World Tour, seem to have the fan base. They refer to themselves as the Justin Timberlake rock project and their album “Fashionably Late” comes out Sept. 15. They also have a song, “Where Are You Now” in the movie “Bandslam,” in theaters next week. Along with the Jonas Brothers tour, they are playing smaller venues throughout the country on their Full Moon Crazy Tour. Lee and Rosen answered some questions in a phone interview about the group, touring and their fans:
Q: Where did you come up with the name of your band?
Andrew Lee: The name Honor Society came about, we were looking for a band name, and sometimes it’s very challenging to come up with band names, so we had a big list, but Honor Society just jumped out off that list as being a name that, it really fit our personalities, we thought that it kinda told the story. Like you can be a good guy, you can be smart, but you can still be cool and fun, and it was also cool because you know the Honor Society, it felt like it included of fans in what we were doing like were all part of the Honor “Society.”
Q: Did you like school growing up?
AL: We all liked school actually, we all did great in school, and we really enjoyed it. And again I think with the name it was sorta like you can still do good in school and like what you’re doing, like reading and writing whatever, but also you can be cool and hang out too, and be in a band.
Jason Rosen: Rock ‘n’ roll
AL: And rock ‘n’ roll as well.
Q: If you were not musicians, what would you want to be?
JR: I think I might be like a writer or an artist, like a painter.
AL: I would be a professional skydiver. I don’t know if you can be a professional skydiver, but that’s what I would want to do.
Q: Have you ever been star-struck?
AL: It depends. I think each one of us gets a little star-struck by different people. Bam Margera was backstage at one of the shows recently, and I wasn’t really star-struck, but at the same time, it was like, WHOA! It’s Bam! And I was surprised, not shy and not quiet, but just a little like, impressed. It was cool. But I’m sure there are people out there where we would feel a little star-struck. Maybe the president.
JR: Yeah, if we met the president, I would be star-struck.
Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
AL: It just comes from like everyday life, and different experiences we’ve had throughout our lives, and we just draw on also things we read or things we see on TV. It’s all a combination of life experiences and I think with writing, which is fun, you can take a concept, we usually start with like a title, and then you can sort of expand from there and draw from different aspects of your life. And since it is a song you can sorta bend the truth a little bit and it doesn’t necessarily have to be about one person or another but it can kinda be a theme or it’s something universal that people can draw from and get something out of.
Q: Do you write all your own songs?
AL: Yes. We write and produce our own music, but also co-write and co-produce with other writers including the Jonas Brothers and our producer John Fields.
Q: What can we expect on your first album?
HS: If you know Honor Society, if you’re an Honor Society fan, its kinda more of Honor Society, it’s just the next level of Honor Society. It’s all the elements of rock ‘n’ roll and pop that you know have been in our music for a long time and it’s just very fun, energetic, danceable music and we’re really, really excited for the record.
Q: What was your first reaction when you heard you were signed by the Jonas Brothers?
AL: We were just totally, totally excited. It really was just the perfect situation for us, and it’s been awesome working with them and just becoming great friends with the boys, and also working with them, you know, musically as well, and yeah, it just seems like the right situation at the right time.
JR: We were so excited! And Nick and Joe and Kevin were there when we found out, we were all in the same room together, so it was just a really cool moment.
Q: If you could sing with an artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
AL and JR: John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Q: Have you ever toured before?
AL: We have, but certainly not on this level. Last summer we actually put together our own little tour. It was called the ‘Under the Sun, Under the Stars’ tour, and we were touring in Alex’s mom’s minivan, so we all squeezed into a little minivan with all of our gear and we were playing house parties. We basically set it up where our fans booked us at their house parties, so we would go to their houses and play their summer BBQ’s or play their pool parties or any kind of house party, and it was an incredible summer. To do those kinds of really small, intimate shows, it was just really fantastic and we were on one of those shows when we were actually in Boston playing a house party last July when we first got the call from the Jonas Brothers, they asked us out to a show, one of their shows, and we developed an instant relationship from there, so it was a special tour for us.
Q: It seems like your albums and tours have interesting names, is that part of who you are as a band?
AL: We think the name says a lot about whatever it’s naming, and so we always try and come up with a concept, for whatever we’re doing. From that concept, the name will kind of develop out of it. The Under the Sun, Under the Stars tour, it was our idea to play these parties and some of them may have been in the afternoon, like an afternoon pool party, and then we’d play a nighttime party, and so it was Under the Sun, or Under the Stars. Similarly, we put out our EP, our demo CD last year, and called it ‘A Tale of Risky Business’. And it just kind of had that kind of Hardy Boys mystery vibe to it and then we continue that theme in the music itself on that CD. So the same thing, the Full Moon Crazy Tour, “Full Moon Crazy” is one of our songs, and we just thought it fit the vibe of the tour that were doing because most of the shows are late night shows, and full moon kinda has that late night vibe. So everything that we do ends up with that kind of conceptual feel. We like to develop a story around the concept.
Q: Will there be any Full Moon Crazy shows in Arizona?
AL: We don’t have an FMC tour date yet in Arizona, but we are looking to the fall for even more tour dates, and we definitely want to come to Arizona.
Q: What can fans expect when seeing you at the Jonas show?
AL: Our show is like a high-energy rock show, we always say we don’t play shows we throw parties, and I think that’s very true. We like to party with our fans, and we definitely like to have a great time on stage. We’re just having the time of our lives, and I think it rubs off on the fans and basically just being inclusive with the fans, we feed of their energy, and it’s just a party. Its really a lot of fun. I love to run around the stage like crazy, uh, so I try to really make as much contact as possible with the fans. And then after we do our show you know usually later on after the Jonas Brothers perform, we’re usually in the lobby meeting some of the fans, signing autographs, taking pictures and stuff like that. So from the beginning of the night through the end of the night, we’re trying again just to have that kind of party atmosphere.
Q: Will there be a chance for fans to meet you at the show?
AL: Yes. Fans can meet us at both the Jonas tour dates and the FMC tour dates.
Q: What has been your favorite tour stop so far?
AL: Honestly, like every city we’ve gone to its just been amazing seeing the fan reactions and hanging out with fans that we’ve met through MySpace, because you know we’re basically a MySpace band and that’s how we got our start, you know, having music up on there and contacting people, getting messages, people all over the country, and all over the world, and to be able to go into each city and meet these people who have been fans for a year or more, and just sort of meet face to face, we appreciate it. Honestly, every city is just so awesome to get that reaction, and you know we’re also concurrently doing our own headlining tour at the same time. It’s the Full Moon Crazy Tour and that’s just also been amazing, it’s the official preshow or after-show of the Jonas Brothers World Tour and that has been awesome. It’s just incredible to do two tours at once. We just love like going into a city, being able to meet everybody, and play these huge arena shows but also in some cities play these after-hour shows and meet these fans, and some that are really diehard fans. That have never seen us play before, which has been just very incredible for us.