One night we were all hanging out in the kitchen at a friends house talking about band names, and arguing over what our band name should be. Out of frustration Rob slapped the fridge, which was covered in those letter and word magnets and slid his hand down and "Almost, Class, and a Y" stuck together in the middle. After talking about it we agreed that nothing could suit us any better than "Almost Classy," so we went with it.
2. How did this band get started?
Aaron and I (Rob) we're friends from back on the East coast and when I moved out here to Los Angeles we started hanging out and writing just for fun. As we got more used to each others writing styles, and became more and more comfortable collaborating to create a song, we wanted to start sharing what we were doing and playing out so we started looking for other band members. Fortunately we didn't have to look far, as two of our best friends were a drummer and a bass player. We have shifted some members since then, but all in all It fell together very naturally.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Our influences are of a wide range. We would describe our music as a Rock-Pop sound with traces of a rootsier, folkier side. That being said we love, listen to, and are influenced by...
Mumford and Sons
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Young The Giant
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I think we could all agree that The Beatles are at the top of any list because come on, it's The Beatles.
For me (Rob) I would tour with the Foo Fighters because they are in my opinion the apex rock band of our generation, and I LOVE them. Or with Michael Buble because he puts on one of the classiest shows I've ever seen.
Aaron would tour with Dispatch or Ben Folds/Ben Folds Five, because they both get to know and have a great time with their audiences.
Devin would tour with Led Zeppelin. Apart from the fact that they revolutionized rock, to be touring with a band like that in an era of both social and musical change would be life changing. J.P.J is a legend. Also because he wants to be Robert Plant, and that's the closest he could get.
And Ian would tour with The Killers, mainly because Brandon Flowers is his hero.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
For Rob, Organic Fruits & Vegetables, Gluten free crackers and Hummus, and Cheese of almost any variety. Buy Devin an Avocado and he'll love you forever. For the rest of the band, Korean/Mexican Fusion taco truck and fat juicy burgers.
Also, when we record we always have Honey-Dijon Chips, Goldfish and Peanut M&M's as snacks, so those will be around for sure!
6. Why should people listen to your band?
Well, we like to think that we play the type of music that can put a smile on your face, make you want to dance, or make you want to sing along. When we are really on our game, we achieve all three. We have so much fun, and such a passion for what we are doing that we think that the energy we put in can be felt when you listen. We just like the idea that we can influence someones day for the positive and encourage people to listen because we truly think that they will enjoy what they hear.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
I (Aaron) would be Shaq. Need I explain? He's won NBA titles, had an amazing rap career, and starred in Kazaam! What more could you ask for in a star athlete/star/human?!
Rob would be Rob Cunliffe, the famous British cricket player, because they share the same name and Rob knows very little about sports.
Devin would be Pele, greatest player of the most loved sport around the world. 3-time world champion and advocate for improving the quality of life for the poor. Plus being from Brazil... you can't forget those beautiful Brazilian women.
Ian would be Muggsy Bogues, because he is short.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Wow, this is such a surprise! We truly did not think that this was possible! Umm... wow where to begin. First of all thank you to all of the other artists in this category who put out such amazing albums this year, we are so inspired by your work. We would like to thank our families, friends and loved ones who believed in us even when we maybe didn't believe in ourselves. Without them none of this would have been possible. To Universal Records, our whole team, our producer, tour manager, crew, and all the fans that came to those hot, muggy summer shows, all the late nights they waited in line for tickets and seats, all the love they have shown us. We would be nowhere without you all! Thank God and Thank you! Have a great night and good luck to all the amazing talent here tonight!
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
This is a really hard question. I guess that being as new as we are to this scene, and at the risk of sounding ignorant, we are just excited to be a part of the music industry at this point. The hopes we have are high, we have a very small frame of reference, and are stoked just to be interviewed. At this point there is nothing that we would change. We are just happy to participate.
10. Memorable tour experience?
We haven't really toured yet, but we look forward to a tour later this year of the West Coast. We can only imagine the types of stories that will come with the adventure that is touring, and we are excited to experience it for ourselves. The most exciting travel story we have is leaving a show in San Diego and finding out that there is a Dunkin' Donuts at the Camp Pendelton Marine Base. Coffee never tasted so good! We run on Dunkin.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
To us AP.net means an opportunity. The opportunity to be a part of a community devoted to what we love. AP is just such an amazing site for any musical artist or fan, either new or seasoned. The ability to bring the music masses together united in news, audio, blogs, reviews, and on top of that offering the ability to network is just so great. It's such a revolutionary place for people to share their thoughts and passion about music. We are huge supporters of AP.net!
12. What is your favorite song to play?
We all groove really tightly on "City In The Sun." Jamming on that song is just so natural and in the pocket. We all really connect and feel it on a level that brings us together with each other and with the crowd, which is a great feeling. We love that bass line!
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Depends on the season. Summer? Hawaii. Winter? Mountains. Fall? New England. And of course, since all of us are from different parts of the country, we have favorite times of year to be back home with our families and in the climates that we grew up in.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
For me (Rob), Beatles, Billy Joel, or Aerosmith reminds me of growing up. Time to do chores? Turn on the Beatles!
For Aaron it is some Jimmy Buffet and Bruce Springstein, his parents favorite bands. Fins up!
Devin's dad's vinyl collection is incredible. First thought that comes to mind though is rocking out to The Who and "California Man" by Cheap Trick and singing harmonies with the Beach Boys. Then he turned 12 and couldn't get enough Rage Against the Machine and Eminem.
Ian used to jam a lot with his dad. playing anything that came up. Including lots of Jazz.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
For Rob and Aaron, Flying! That'd be so sick! Especially if it didn't tire you out. Like if it was just as easy as twiddling your thumbs, and you could fly across town without even feeling winded. Awesome!
Devin wants to be able to animorph back and forth, to become any animal at any time.
And Ian wants to shoot refried beans from his fingers.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
Superstitions, no. As for rituals... M&M's are a must. especial if they are of the peanutty persuasion. We also like to have the day before a show free to go hiking and get outdoors. Fresh air, freedom from the city, and some peace and quiet to bring ourselves into a relaxed and peaceful place that allows us to replace any extraneous thoughts or stresses with excitement and focus when showtime comes around.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
We practice in Devin's bedroom/shed (he lives in a shed). And we all work for the same restaurant, which gets silly.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
The Big Radio scene seems a bit impenetrable to us right now. It is such a hard nut to crack on the mainstream level when you are a new and relatively unknown artist/band. There are always independent radio shows, some of which we have been lucky enough to get some airtime with, and Locals only features on some of the bigger stations. But from what we know about it, it can really tend to be a pay to play type of situation, so in itself is a bit of an enigma in terms of the benefits. But we relish the opportunity for exposure on the shows that we have been on, and are always looking for similar opportunities.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
We love the outdoors. In L.A. the beach is a must. Camping, hiking, surfing, volleyball, basketball. We also love seeing movies, eating food, drinking drinks, and hanging out with friends.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Rob has a mean whistle. He and Devin are both really talented actors also. Aaron kills it on the basketball court, and Ian eats a carnitas burrito like nothing you have ever seen!