The Honorary Title
Scream And Light Up The Sky
When the Honorary Title released Anything Else But The Truth in 2004, singer/guitarist Jarrod Gorbel and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Kamstra were an acoustic duo. After several years of playing live, their sound naturally grew to require a full band, with Jonathan Wiley contributing electric guitars and Adam Boyd (ex-the Format) providing the backbeat. If fans of the singer/songwriter formula that graced Truth are worried Gorbel’s personal and poignant stories will be lost among the noise, they can put their fears to rest. Playing with a full band, Gorbel’s distinct, powerfully emotional vocals have never sounded fuller on Scream And Light Up The Sky. Ranging from vibrant pop-punk (“Untouched”) to acoustic balladry (“Even If”) to indie-flecked rockers (“Apologize”), each song contains a hook as prominent as the hipster scene in the band’s native Brooklyn. While incredibly catchy, a closer listen reveals the dark themes of failed relationships, meaningless sex, inevitable change and mental anguish. “Stay Away” finds Gorbel wailing, “If you’re using me/Do it slowly/Make it last until I have to go,” and the haunting “Don’t you think I’m lonely/Eager to complete the story/Confused and still haunted with why you’d start over” on “Even If” are just two examples of the longing, confusion and heartbreak that pepper the disc. In the end, the Honorary Title prove singing your sorrow really is cathartic. (DOGHOUSE/REPRISE) Rachel Lux
New Found Glory’s Coming Home
The Starting Line’s Direction
Pete Yorn’s Musicforthemorningafter
IN-STORE SESSION WITH VOCALIST/GUITARIST JARROD GORBEL
What was the catalyst for changing from a more acoustic two-piece to a full band with electric guitars?
It’s kind of a natural progression. The writing process for me has always started with an acoustic guitar and myself in a room. When we started adding more members for the touring process, the band just evolved live and then that live sound kind of got taken home.
Lyrically, you are known for writing about personal experiences, and this album seems to take that idea to a darker, more pessimistic place.
I wrote this record during a pretty big breakup in my life, a relationship that was a couple of years long. “Far More” is a track that was about what I was going through at the time and so was “Wait Until I’m Gone” and “Only One Week.” But “Stay Away” I wrote from a friend’s perspective, and same with the last song, “Even If,” which was somebody else’s perspective. I wanted to try and be able to do that on this record-just see what other people were seeing and not be so self-centered.
Is it ever a problem to sing about your past onstage, or can you detach yourself from the content of the songs?
It’s more the opposite. It’s not like the songs because they have sad themes bring you down. When you play them so much, it would be really draining to feel that every single night; or the opposite, like, when I’m on stage playing a song for the 8,000th time for the 8,000th night in a row, I kind of have to channel something sad myself so I can communicate it the way it was intended.
Yet the album is very catchy.
Yeah, I think the first record is more of a “put on when you want to go to sleep and feel depressed” record. This one, you have to feel a little more upbeat. [Laughs.]
“Stuck At Sea” is the first single, right?
Yeah, people noticed it right off the bat. It’s bigger sounding than what we’re used to having-kind of more of a rock deal. Everyone likes it, so fuck it. I think it sucks, but you know, it’s all about what they think. [Laughs.]
“Far More” was the first one that really stuck with me.
That one and “Stay Away” are my two favorites, but I like the sad songs better. I live in the melancholy world of the bedroom and that’s mainly what I listen to: sad, slow records. –Rachel Lux