By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Inspired by the complicated, washed-up feelings one can get while in their late 20’s, Toronto-based pop-punkers ALMOST recently premiered their anthemic new single “What Did You Learn Last?”
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with the group about the song and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Toronto to someone who has never been there before?
Olly – Toronto isn’t New York. Canadians will say it’s like New York, but it really isn’t. Toronto is way more laid back, more spread-out and our mid-tier food game is far above. In New York, you’re constantly aware that you’re in New York, which is part of its charm/what makes people need to get the hell out for a weekend in Westchester. In Toronto, you never feel like you’re suffocating. Torontonians who haven’t lived anywhere else won’t say that, but being somebody that has lived in both New York and Toronto, this is fact. Toronto is fun, culturally diverse and proud of it. Each neighborhoods distinct and has so much to offer. Toronto’s fuckin cool, we’ve got it all.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “What Did You Learn Last?” as a single?
Charlie – It’s fun, it’s loud, it gets stuck in your head, it sounds both new and nostalgic. It’s the kind of song that will bring you back to 2007, driving with your friends to the mall. You’ll belt out the chorus, make fun of the theatrics, be moved by the strings, and absolutely pretend to play sing that piano part…
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Sammy – We started a band in a pandemic. All of us getting together at the same time has probably been the biggest issue. Between family and bubbles, it hasn’t been easy. We’ve been lucky to have time on our hands to do this song slowly, but we really want to play shows and show you everything we got.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Jackson – It’s making a comeback. Our generation is reminiscing about that time in our lives that was absolutely fun and rebellious. The younger generation is looking at it and seeing just how cool it was and then turning it on its head. There couldn’t be a better time than now.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Olly – We’ve “Almost” been a band multiple times. We’ve “Almost” worked together multiple times. We’ve “Almost” been together multiple times. We’ve all “Almost” been the next big thing individually multiple times. “Almost” is sort of a promise to each other. We’re not going to be “Almost” anything anymore. It’s time we took the spotlight.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Olly – Everyone and anything. So, here’s our individual list – For me, it’s Loviet, Command Sisters, Mind Bath, The Nursery and Chloe Black. For Jackson, it’s Scott Goodwin, The Drifts, Scott Hellman, The Beaches and Alvvays. For Sammy, it’s Valley, James Bailey, Allie X, JJ Wilde, Ferraro and Chippy Nonstop. For Charlie, it’s At Dawns Edge, Zach Zoya, Sean Watson Graham and Joseph Of Mercury.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Charlie – We wanted to get “What Did You Learn Last?” out first, so we can show people what we’re all about. That said, Olly isn’t the only vocalist here and we have a lot of songs ready to go. “Vipers” is super cool. It’s very Depeche Mode-meets-Evanescence. You’ll hear.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Jackson – The neighborhood beaches and sit by the water.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Sammy – I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ‘em later.
Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Olly – Maybe a stronger star system here in Canada? Communication and community support here in Toronto has been pretty great. Everyone sort of knows everyone and we all promote each other and hype one another up. We even have all these amazing grants and this funding systems in place that supports and lets everyone’s voices be heard – Canadian Music Incubator, RBCxMUSIC, etc.. That said, industry-wise, Canada can be a little safe. We have so many superstars that are to us, as big, charismatic, talented, etc., as Miley Cyrus and whoever else you can think of. Canada’s arts in general are sometimes too humble. “I am this incredible artist, but I also work at Starbucks to support my art.” There isn’t anything wrong with working multiple gigs and making art, but that shouldn’t be the common narrative. Lots of our superstars have to go to the states to find wider success. Let’s change that!