What’s in a name? Actually, not much. Let’s face it, the moniker attached to most bands doesn’t have a lot to do with who they are. But most bands aren’t Honor Society.
Just like those overachievers in high school who never took a study hall and enrolled in summer classes when they didn’t have to, these up-and-coming pop stars have worked overtime to make sure they secure their spot at the head of the class.
Last summer’s opening slot for the Jonas Brothers is a perfect example. While most acts would be happy just to land the gig and coast along in the passenger’s seat for a few months, Honor Society’s Michael Bruno, Jason Rosen, Andrew Lee and Alex Noyes decided they’d use their downtime to stage their own headlining tour.
So most nights, as soon as the quartet finished its opening set, they’d head for not one, but two meet-and-greets, take a short break until the brothers Jonas finished up, find a spot in the venue to do a signing, then climb into waiting cars and head to a nearby club or theatre and deliver a full show. On other stops, the band’s headlining shows were scheduled before the evening’s main event.
Frontman Bruno said the double tour definitely made for a busy summer but it was worth the effort, even if it did result in some unusual things happening.
“We had a couple of police escorts to make sure we got to places on time,” Bruno told Pollstar. “That’s definitely a first for us.”
The singer explained not making the extra effort wasn’t an option because it’s the band’s goal to “meet every person possible” and properly introduce them to Honor Society.
“This was really our first extensive touring experience,” Bruno said. “One thing we wanted to do was maximize what people got from us this summer.
“What we wanted to do is say to fans, ‘Hey, if you like what you heard [in our opening set], you should come see a full Honor Society show.’ Everyone from the Jonas Brothers to our management team loved the idea of us doing the arena shows and then doing more intimate gigs to give a fuller picture of our music.”
The Jonas Group’s Ned Specktor, who manages the band, told Pollstar the strategy was a winner.
“We sold out House of Blues in L.A. We sold out the Blender Theatre in New York City,” Specktor explained. “It was awesome going into cities for the first time – Charlotte, Chicago – and seeing 500 to 1,000 kids show up to hear their music.
“You could feel it growing in each city. The guys really worked hard to gain each fan. They match the work ethic coming out of The Jonas Group. Anything that we put in front of them, they want to do.”
Creative Artist Agency’s Brian Manning agreed and said the band’s dedication blew him away.
“I’ve never worked with a group of individuals that put more blood, sweat and tears into selling shows than Honor Society did for the ‘Full Moon Crazy’ tour,” Manning told Pollstar. “The guys probably spent six or seven hours each day – before they’d do these second shows – literally going from mall parking lots to Pinkberry stores to find potential fans and sell tickets. They never stopped. It was unbelievable.”
The success of the tour is remarkable when you consider that the band didn’t even release its debut, Fashionably Late, until mid-September – after the Jonas Brothers gig was over.
Noyes, who drummed for the Jonas Brothers touring band before joining Honor Society, told Pollstar the group’s ‘Full Moon Crazy’ shows became a must-attend event, even for the other artists on the tour.
“Sometimes they were after-hours shows and sometimes they were matinee shows,” Noyes explained. “In either case, it ended up being the pre-party show or the after-party for the Jonas Brothers tour.
“It was really cool, with people from the tour showing up. The fans obviously liked it. Jordin [Sparks] came out and the [Jonas] boys came out and actually performed with us a couple of times.”
Alex Noyes, Jason Rosen, Michael Bruno & Andrew Lee
It might appear Honor Society came out of nowhere at the beginning of the summer, but they’ve actually spent some time working to get to where they are now.
“The four of us are celebrating our two-year anniversary as a band,” Bruno said. “Alex was the last to join the band, and myself, Jason and Andrew were a band for a couple of years before that. We’ve also known each other since we were kids.”
Noyes said touring with the Jonas Brothers band was great, but being part of his own band opens up other doors.
“Honor Society has given me the opportunity to collaborate with Mike and Jason and Andy on a lot of writing,” the drummer explained. “There’s not a huge difference, because ultimately I just enjoy performing. It’s awesome to be able get up on stage and do my own thing with guys who are basically my best friends.”
While some bands might at least contemplate a break after such an arduous summer, Honor Society had no intention of slowing down and headed right into a full-blown headlining trek that runs through late November. Plans for next year include additional headlining dates in North America and beyond.
“We’re so proud of the album that we’ve made that we want to make sure we’re out there supporting it and bringing it to fans,” Bruno said.
“I think the best promotion for the album is the show. If you come see us live you’ll get what Honor Society is all about. I think that’s our best selling point – our live show.”