interview by Kira Wilber
Hot and rising alt-pop trio half•alive, comprised of Josh Tyler (vocals / guitar), Brett Kramer (drums), and J Tyler Johnson (bass / synth) are taking the internet by storm. Releasing their newest single “still feel” this past August accompanied by a music video has the whole internet talking. With only four songs currently under their belt, the trio is set on holding their first LA show next month at the Moroccan Lounge which sold out in just days after it being announced. We had the chance to catch up with them and learn about how it felt to see such a positive reaction to their newest music video, their first LA show selling out, and what they have planned in the future.
I just saw that your debut performance in LA sold out in 2 days, how does that feel?
J Tyler: We’re pretty ecstatic about it, really excited, Josh was pretty sure that it was going to sell out but it’s just hard to know when you have social media fans and that online presence and how much it actually becomes ticket sale fans kinda way, so I think we’re really excited and stoked to put together a show for these fans that we really appreciate
No I get that because you do have a social media presence but you just don’t know where they all are.
J Tyler: Yeah, yeah it’s cool to see we have a lot of hometown-ish fans.
So correct me if I’m wrong but I only see four songs released from you guys, do you have any new music planned for the remainder of the year, or are you just going to wait until 2019?
J Tyler: We have more songs that we play at our live set, we’re currently going to the studio to record two more and we’re excited for that. So our set contains some more songs but we’re excited to debut the two new ones that should be released around…nevermind. We don’t know when they’re going to be released.
I saw that your video for “still feel” just hit 4 million views, were you expecting that big of a response towards it?
Josh: No, not at all. It’s impossible to know. Every time we put something out we expect a little more but we’re definitely surprised by how everyone reacted to the video and how well it’s been accepted. We have a lot of support, it’s crazy.
Was the video entirely taken as a one shot?
Josh: It’s made to look like a one shot but it’s actually five takes cut together and some of them are meant to look seamless. That’s the feel we were going for was a one shot look.
I had noticed that when you went through the clothes rack I noticed that it cut there.
Josh: That was the one I wanted to be most seamless, that shot in particular took 3 hours to make.
What was the creative process or idea that you had in mind for that video?
Josh: So originally the thing that we had planned was that it would be sort of 70’s themed with the costumes and just have a lot of dance in it and then it just slowly started coming together as we completed the song and just started thinking of how it could look…different color schemes, and then J’s brother, Jordan, choreographed the whole thing. They kind of formulated the whole dance portion and then we just had different friends of ours help on the costumes and the lights and the camerawork. Everything just kind of came together.
How long did it take to learn that choreography? Cause it was a lot to watch.
Josh: It is a lot to watch, and a lot to learn. I think it took about 7 days of rehearsals
I’m assuming long hours of rehearsals?
Josh: Surprisingly not as many as you might think. We had to definitely practice on our own time as we are not dancers.
So how did all of you guys meet and made you decide you wanted to be in a band together?
J Tyler: It’s kind of a serendipitous kind of thing where Josh and Brett were writing in the same studio together and they met through church but then started working together being in the same studio space at the same time and then Brett and myself met through playing different music festivals together and we didn’t really know we were going to be in a band, we just knew each other from university. Josh and I met each other through my brother so we all just kind of came together and I think it was cool because Brett and my background playing different pieces of music together we were able to kind of have that connection. So when we first got together it felt really good and we haven’t looked back since…maybe a couple times.
So far what has been the coolest experience together as a band?
J Tyler: I think a good experience was when we played Summer Fest (held in Milwaukee, WI) and people showed up actually singing our songs and we didn’t really promote that show until like the last minute and just to see people knowing our lyrics was really a game changer for us.