Monday, January 29, 2007

The Almost readies debut effort


After wrapping a successful January headlining trek, THE ALMOST--the brainchild of Underoath drummer/vocalist AARON GILLESPIE--have announced they’ll release their debut album SOUTHERN WEATHER April 3 through a first-ever joint venture with Tooth & Nail and Virgin Records. Meanwhile, the group recently shot a video in Southern California for their first single “Say This Sooner,” helmed by Shane Drake (Panic At The Disco, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus).

THE ALMOST scored the #1 most-played ranking on PureVolume some four-plus months in advance of SOUTHERN WEATHER’s April 3 release. The first week “Say This Sooner” was up, it received over 100,000 combined plays on PureVolume and MySpace. Currently, the combined plays for THE ALMOST have already reached over 1.5 million.

GILLESPIE--who sings and performs virtually every note and instrument on his solo debut--teamed with acclaimed producer Aaron Sprinkle for SOUTHERN WEATHER, and while the two had never met, AARON was a big fan of Sprinkle’s work with Pedro The Lion.

“Aaron is an incredibly talented producer,” says GILLESPIE. “And it turns out we have a lot in common. He wears a lot of hats and plays every instrument. He’s able to open up your eyes and make you think about things you can do on an album that maybe you didn’t think about.”

While some artists might find themselves overwhelmed by the prospect of working as a solo artist, Aaron says he was motivated by the experience. “I’m used to working in a band environment,” he admits. “So that was a shift. But when I hit my stride, I could just go for things. I didn’t have to explain what I was looking for to someone else or over-think anything.”

Gillespie plays from the heart on SOUTHERN WEATHER. Throughout the album AARON incorporates pieces of his youth. “I grew up in the Deep South,” he says. “Like anyone, I’ve had struggles along the way. But I am very much informed by Southern values and I think the songs speak to that.”

The album kicks off with the attention-grabbing, percussion-driven anthem “Say This Sooner” which is set to impact radio February 14. “It’s about dealing with misunderstood intentions,” says GILLESPIE. “And the frustration of being judged on someone else’s misconceived perceptions.” Other album highlights include the alt-country inspired “Dirty And Left Out,” which features a guest vocal collaboration with Sunny Day Real Estate singer Jeremy Enigk; the inventive Thursday-meets-Oasis vibe of “Everyone Here Smells Like A Rat;” and the breathtaking, undying roar of “I Mostly Copy Other People,” which benefits from the bass and guest vocal work of The Starting Line’s Kenny Vasoli.

THE ALMOST will head out for a West Coast tour beginning in mid-April, to be followed by an East Coast trek in early May. Expect dates and venues to be announced soon. Later this summer, the group will join the Vans Warped Tour for select dates. On the road, GILLESPIE leads THE ALMOST on vocals and guitar and is joined by: Jay Vilardi (guitar), Nick D’Amico (guitar), Alex Aponte (bass) and Kenny Bozich (drums).

Following is the complete track listing for SOUTHERN WEATHER:
1) Say This Sooner
2) Drive There Now!
3) Dirty And Left Out
4) I Mostly Copy Other People
5) Southern Weather
6) Stop It!
7) Amazing, Because It Is
8) Everyone Here Smells Like A Rat
9) Never Say, “I Told You So”
10) Call Back When I’m Honest
11) Everything That Makes Me Sick

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