I met Chris Beloud, Brandon Mion, Andrew Rogers and Daniel Aguirre, also known as Almost Hero, when they joined Hollywood Ending and The After Party for the “Boys of Summer” Tour, and I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing them play three times (tour dates in Nutley NJ, Poughkeepsie NY and Las Vegas NV). Not only are they tight as a band, they are four genuinely nice guys. I brought my niece Renee to the Poughkeepsie show, her first concert, and Brandon (who had no clue who I was at that point) immediately introduced himself to Renee, gave her an Almost Hero bracelet and a postcard, had the rest of the band sign it, and even gave her a drumstick after the show. The band didn’t have to be nice, they just were. So of course, I had to arrange an interview, which the guys completed after the second leg of the BOTS Tour.
ANTHONY: Hi guys! Thanks for taking the time to chat. How’s everyone doing?
ALMOST HERO: Everything is going better than planned! We are all very pleased by the outcome of touring.
ANTHONY: I only recently started listening to your music, thanks to meeting you on the Boys of Summer Tour. So tell me a little about the band’s history — how long have you been together and how did the group get started?
ALMOST HERO: We have been a 4 piece band for 3 years, but the name Almost Hero has been around for 4 years, Chris started Almost Hero as a solo project when he was 15, but decided he wanted a full band to play his originally written songs. Andrew and him have been friends since the ages of (Chris) 7 and (Andrew) 4, and started producing demos together. Chris transferred high schools for his junior and senior year where he met Brandon and Daniel on the soccer team. Brandon was a talented drummer with 12 years of experience, and Danny became the Merch guy due lack of instrumental ability. A few months pass by and the band is still without a bassist and Danny mentions he wants to learn bass. Chris jumped on the opportunity and sat down and started teaching him the roots. He learned super quick and was practicing with the band within 2 weeks. Danny was the final member completing the four piece band.
ANTHONY: What was the inspiration for the band’s name?
ALMOST HERO: The idea that anyone average person can be a hero without having your name in lights. Ambition and courage comes natural to human beings it is just up to the individual to find it within them.
ANTHONY: What’s your songwriting process like? Who brings what to the table creatively?
ALMOST HERO: Chris writes the Base of the lyrics and musical melodies, then sits down with Andrew to come up with hooks and structure. Brandon and Daniel edit the song, whether lyrics should be changed or parts should be changed. In the end it is a very efficient system.
ANTHONY: “Still Young” is out now, available on itunes, and the lyric video is on Youtube. How much fun was it filming the video?
ALMOST HERO: Filming the Video was 100% fun and easy, it was done in Andrew’s living room and we had a lot of time to finish it so we we’re enjoying the non-stressful environment.
ANTHONY: You’ve written more than one song. How soon until you release an album?
ALMOST HERO: You can expect at least 2-3 more singles before we decide to do an Album or EP, It is really up to where we are at when it comes that time.
ANTHONY: Are you working with any other songwriters or producers?
ALMOST HERO: We have worked with one “Songwriter/Producer” by the name of Linus Dotson. He recorded and co-wrote Still Young with Almost Hero.
ANTHONY: How did you get involved with the Boys of Summer tour, and what’s been everyone’s favorite part of touring?
ALMOST HERO: We became friends with Hollywood Ending’s manager, Richard Reines, and he invited us to the Allstar Weekend “Life as We Know It” Music video shoot where we met Hollywood Ending and immediately hit it off as friends. Within 2 days Richard emailed us regarding interest in bringing us on tour with them. We jumped on the opportunity and within 3 months we were playing in Pittsburgh with Hollywood ending and The After Party.
ANTHONY: The keytar is not an instrument usually associated with performers your age. Andrew, how long have you been playing it and what does it give you (either in the studio or live) that a regular keyboard doesn’t?
ALMOST HERO: Andrew has been playing the keytar for almost 2 years and it gives a keyboardist the physical freedom to walk around on stage. It looks really cool and gets a lot of compliments. Studio wise it’s just an ordinary midi controller, there are no actual sounds built into the key tar, but with the right Midi Transmitter you can make the keytar trigger the sounds of any instrument!
ANTHONY: Now that the second leg of the Boys of Summer Tour is over, what’s next for Almost Hero?
ALMOST HERO: Expect more California shows and touring, more photo shoots and cover videos, and new singles to be released in the future!
ANTHONY: And my usual closing question, for each of you: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?
ALMOST HERO: We all would have to agree with any of the Dr. Seuss books, because they are very entertaining and educational. We would tell someone who hasn’t read it, that wait.. who hasn’t read Dr. Seuss?? haha
ANTHONY: That’s funny – when I interviewed Hollywood Ending, Dan’s answer to this question was “Hop On Pop.” Clearly, you all were destined to be tour mates! Thanks again, guys!
ALMOST HERO will be guests on the Beyond The Spotlight radio show on Global Voice Radio on Saturday November 3rd, at 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern. BTS is hosted by frequent Rambling On guest Sam Lant and singer/actress Lauren Dair Owens. Tune in on the 3rd, watch the Twitcam Livestream from the studio, and call in with your questions for Almost Hero! Or you can tweet your questions in advance to @BeyondSpotlight on Twitter with the hashtag #askbts
You can check out Almost Hero on Facebook; on their Youtube channels; and you can follow the band collectively or individually on Twitter: @AlmostHero @ChrisBeloudAH @BrandonMionAH @AndrewRogersAH and @DanielAguirreAH
Here’s their newest video, a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Red.” You can tell I wasn’t at this video shoot — Brandon’s singing. Every time I’m at a show, Brandon’s mic has problems.