Can you please introduce yourself and your role in The Almost?
My name is Jay Vilardi and I play guitar and sing back up vocals.
How did The Almost come together? What is the band history?
Aaron called me years ago telling me about this new project that he was trying to get off the ground. Since I was touring at the time, I joined a few weeks later. I think by then “Southern Weather” was essentially completely recorded. But from then on (once I joined the band) Aaron told me that it was my job to hire other guys and teach them the material as if it was my own. The funny thing is that I only really hired our bassist Alex. Everyone else came from mutual friendships or were dudes Aaron knew. I also had to teach Aaron the songs before our first tour since he was out with UO and hadn’t touched a guitar in months.
Can you tell me a little bit about your new album Monster Monster? and the Monster EP?
Monster Monster is our accidental concept piece about the “darker” side of people and human emotion. It’s about real life. How people are and what we hope to become. I feel like the lyrics could be best explained by Aaron, but musically – we wanted a no gimmicks rock and roll record. Hindsight being what it is – I think that the “no gimmicks” thing has inadvertently become a gimmick. At least thats what I hear… The monster ep is cool because it give people the chance to get some extra bonus material from the recording session. The ep is limited to under 10,000 and has 5 unique covers. It also comes with a second disk that is blank (until Nov 3rd) when the full length record is available to be burned on it.
How is the album different from Southern Weather?
This record was written with straight up rock and roll in mind. Other than having an overflow of material for this record, I think the songs are a bit more intricate and sonically pleasing. The recording/production is better. Overall tones (guitar, bass, drums) are super legit. My favorite part of the record sonically has to be the mix. Randy Staub did a great job. Other than that, these songs are a result of the most insane teamwork experience I have every been a part of. Everyone worked really hard on the material. Southern Weather was recorded by Aaron.
In what ways is The Almost different from Underoath? What do you like about The Almost in comparison to Underoath?
Underoath are a great heavy band with real intense artistic undertones. With The Almost, we shoot for a more straight up rock and roll sound that pays tribute to everything we all grew up listening to. It’s easier for us to experiment with slow or country sounding songs in this band. Underoath push the envelope for sure, but might feel limited because they’re confined to the Screamo genre. Maybe I’m nuts, but I feel like The Almost could go in virtually any musical direction if we really wanted to… Im not saying it would sound good LOL but we could try.
What are your touring plans for the rest of this year and 2010?
Im stoked to see opportunities for us to play everywhere and anywhere we can. We have such a great time, we have a hard time passing those situations up. That being said – we’re still working on our itinerary for 2010 but there is talk of heading down to Australia and maybe South Africa (if you can believe it)!! I would love to do warped tour, but we’ll see if we cant make that happen!
What goals do you have for The Almost?
This music means so much to me personally. The Almost represents so much in y life. For me, it would be great to have the chance to play anywhere we’re welcome. More touring! We just finished the record, but I look forward to getting started on another.
Any last words?
Monster, Monster Novemeber 3rd!!!! Monster Limited edition EP on sale NOW!!!!!! Get it before its gone!