“The Almost almost never was.”

By Bob Zerull

The Almost, a rock band from Clearwater, Florida, is currently on tour with The Used. Their new album entitled “Monster, Monster” comes out November 3rd. Zoiks! Online recently talked with the band’s guitarist, Jay Vilardi, about the band, the new album and the state of the music industry.

Q – How did the band come together?

A - We kind of knew each other from the Florida scene. We had a mutual friend Nate Warshowsky, Paramore’s drum tech (among others)… real known drum tech. Aaron (Gillespie) asked Nate and Nate said call Jay. Aaron called and said, ‘Yeah, I’m starting this band; don’t really have any songs yet.’ I told him I’d think about it, didn’t really give him a definitive yes. A few weeks later he called back up and had a lot better songs and I said, ‘Yes.’ I hired Alex (Aponte), but it broke his band up which really bummed me out. I liked them a lot. A year later, Dusty (Redmon) joined. Kenny (Bozich) was on drums, but Kenny left and got married. Now, we have Joe Musten and we really enjoy playing with him; it’s a lot of fun.

Q - “Monster, Monster” is the band’s follow up to “Southern Weather.” How does the new album differ from the first?

A - The most notable difference is that this was written by the entire band. By the time I came aboard, “Southern Weather” was pretty much done. This album was completely written and recorded by all the dudes in the band. The band’s writing process was different since the guys in the band live in different states. We used the Internet. We have a line six guitar program and we’d send riffs back and forth. When we finally got in the same room we’d weed through piles and piles of files. When we got to the studio we were literally playing the songs as a band for the first time. It was kind of weird.

Q – In regard to your personal writing style, do you need to feel the inspiration or do you like to just hammer out a riff until it works?

A - A little bit of both. Sometimes I’m just not feeling it. Mostly I need to be in the mood. I only play guitar, pretty much, so I kind of feel each guitar has a certain song in it. Sometimes I’ll switch guitars and try to come up with something. I also think certain rooms will help jam out more. Or I’ll hear a certain song and I’ll be angry that I didn’t come up with that song. Not angry in a bad way, but just because the song is so awesome.

Q - As an up and coming band, what is your take on the state of the music industry? Is it harder to establish a band than it was 10 to 15 years ago?

A - No, I think it’s easier because of the Internet. Establishing isn’t the problem. Getting a band signed and supported is tougher. Really getting people to invest and believe in you and not just from the industry side but from a fan’s perspective too. I remember hearing Blink 182 for the first time, they were just called Blink back then. We were skating in a parking lot, we found the cassette in the parking lot that fell out of a friend’s car. That’s how we found out about bands back then. Now you can sit at home, in your office, or in your underwear and listen to the greatest music in the world. Another thing I think has changed is that geographical locations use to have their own unique sounds like the grunge bands that came out of Seattle, or New York punk. Now those sounds are coming from all over. It’s a good example on how the world is shrinking.

Q – You started playing guitar at the age of 12. Who were your influences?

A - I was really into anybody who was good on guitar. I also liked heavy stuff like Suicidal Tendencies, Metallica, Pantera, and, do you know Pennywise? I didn’t even realize they were considered punk. To me it was just heavy. I don’t like to play that stuff so much anymore. I also really like music that’s catchy. Like Metallica, even though they’re heavy those songs stick in your head.

Q – The new album “Monster, Monster” comes out on November 3rd. You guys are on tour now?

A - Right now we’re on tour with The Used until mid-November. After that we’re going to maybe Australia and maybe South Africa. I think Australia definitely. We just want to get as many dates in between now and the end of the year.

For more information on the band, visit their website at: http://www.thealmost.com.


Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Visit: www.cadaverchristmas.com. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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