Local Noise: Almost There

Almost There are indeed, almost there. They’ve played some of the top tri-state area venues, are being heard on 95.5 WRAT radio, have a strong online presence and went to Los Angeles to record. Their lush harmonies placed over the power pop, radio friendly distorted guitars make a sound that would fit in on any top 40 playlist. “It’s alternative rock and pop punk with tons of hooks, vocal harmonies, guitar riffs and manic drumming patterns,” says Zach Sicherman, bassist/vocalist for the band.

Zach is joined by Eddie Soles on guitar and vocals and Phill Serzan on drums. How they came to become a unit was a long, convoluted process, but the result was well worth the journey. “Ed and I both played in a pop punk trio called RDX for three years in high school,” relates Zach. “A year after RDX broke up, we formed Almost There with three other friends. The winter after RDX broke up, our friend’s band was hosting a benefit show to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims and asked me if I wanted to get a band together to play the show. It was me and Ed on guitar, Mike Fitzgerald on bass, Jimmy Joe McGurl singing lead and Rob Crowther on drums. We had such a good time playing the show that we decided to try and keep the band going. Over the next couple years we went through a series of second guitarists, and I eventually switched to bass. The band once again became a trio. Right before recording our first EP with Jesse Cannon, Rob left the band. We rehearsed a few times with a studio drummer, and he played on Audio Takeover, our second EP. A short while later we asked Cannon if he knew any good drummers. Coincidently, Phill had been cutting tracks in the studio with him, and was looking for a permanent gig. We jammed together and the rest is history.”

Together they have managed to come a long way in a short time. Winning the WRAT band contest enabled them to play at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel for RatFest 2010. They’ve also graced the stages of The Stone Pony, The Wonder Bar, The Saint, Starland Ballroom, The Trocadero Theatre and many more.

Besides the radio contest, the group also won the “Artist Discovery” contest sponsored by Myspace Records, and were flown to LA to record with Jon Pikus and Ryan Williams (Pink, 30 seconds to Mars). They finished three songs, one of which, “Garbage Dump or a Goldmine,” is getting airplay on The Rat. “Our latest release, Silver Lake, is named after the town Silverlake in California where we recorded the three tracks,” explains Zach. “We were only there for five days, but it was 70 degrees and beautiful every day we were there. The studio had a laid back, comfortable feel to it and it’s hard for us to listen to the tracks and not associate them with our first trip to the West Coast. Hopefully we can return at some point to record a full-length record with those guys!”

Some of the other songs in the bands repertoire have also become fan favorites. “We get a varied response from our fans about which song is their favorite,” Zach states. “Normally they like the songs they can relate to the most. For instance, some fans love the message from ‘Last Laugh,’ specifically about people you thought were your friends but turned out to stab you in the back. Some older fans still love hearing old RDX songs as well, that were retouched in Almost There fashion, such as “This Is Goodbye,” and “Gone.” My personal favorites are “Can I Take You Home” and “A Fine Night to Overdose,” because I think we play those best.”

The music develops with the input of all the band members. “Ed and I usually start with some lyrics and a melody,” Zach says. “We’ll put it over some chords, and over time the skeleton gets filled in. Once all the lyrics and chords are complete we sit full-band and come up with rhythmic and melodic arrangements for us to play during the different parts, the transitions, etc. Phill writes usually starting by putting a drum pattern along to the lyrics.”

Their influences run the gamut from classic rock to current, and even some jazz. They cite Blink 182, Sublime, Weezer, Foo Fighters, The Beatles, The Police, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Incubus and Buddy Rich as artists that they’ve listened to in honing their musical chops.

The near future will include continued area shows, and the long-term plan is for much bigger things. “We’re going to continue our attack on the tri state area, then hopefully a US Tour in early 2011,” Zach exclaims. “Who wants to go on tour with us? There are many goals professionally that I am always striving for; get signed to a major label, build a stronger online presence to add to our 5,000 fans on Facebook, open for many more national acts, etc. Musically, our goals are to simply be able to play music professionally and get our music across to as many people possible while being able to support ourselves financially doing what we love.”

They might even have a side project to go along with Almost There. “While recording with Jesse Cannon, we were listening to some awful screamo bands and started doing inhale-screaming three part harmonies,” laughs Zach. Since then we’ve often joked about starting a screamo side project with ridiculous lyrics and shredding guitar and double-bass drumming. We’re only half kidding… “

To check out more about Almost There, go to almostthererock.com, facebook.com/almostthererock, and myspace.com/almostthererock.