Jersey band to sing anthem at NFL Pro Bowl
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Last updated: Tuesday January 26, 2010, 8:00 AM
BY MIKE KERWICK
They watch a lot of football on their tour bus. So we offered this scenario: Two minutes left, your team down four, what quarterback do you want leading your squad down the field?
Honor Society will play at Pro Bowl.
They couldn't come to a consensus. One musician wanted Peyton Manning. Another wanted Tom Brady. Someone mentioned Brett Favre.
This Sunday, Michael Bruno, Alex Noyes, Jason Rosen and Andrew Lee will get an up-close look at some of the best quarterbacks in the game. Honor Society, a band that used to rehearse at Noyes' home in Midland Park, will be playing the NFL Pro Bowl, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPN. We spent a few minutes on the phone with them last week.
Q. You guys are big football fans?
Alex: We're big Giants fans. Unfortunately, we're no longer in it, but we've got high hopes for next year.
Q. What do you think about the Jets' run so far?
Andrew: It's great to see the Jets do something. They've been struggling for so many years and it's great to see [Mark] Sanchez, a young guy, leading the team. I'm really excited for them.
Q. What kind of feedback have you guys gotten on [your newest album] "Fashionably Late"?
Michael: The feedback has been great. I think it was really a record that we made primarily for our fans in addition to satisfying our musical desires. It was a record that was a long time in the making for our fan base, a real major label record. From the fan perspective, I think it's been incredible … we got a great review in Rolling Stone on our first single, "Over You." I think the record has a lot of life left.
Alex: One of our songs, "Here Comes Trouble," is getting rotation now on Sirius satellite radio on Hits 1. So that's been really cool for us. To be listening to the radio and finally have that moment where you hear your song on the radio.
Q. You guys are in the middle of a six-gig run with Timbaland. Do you have any funny Timbaland stories?
Alex: Not only is he an incredible producer, but he is able to translate that performance in the live setting. He does this great thing during the show where he almost has this James Brown-esque moment where he starts calling out to the different people in his band … he calls out, 'Drummer, you stop. Now keyboards only.' He dictates the whole thing. And every night is different because he cuts songs early, goes into songs whenever he wants. He's just a great musical mind.
Michael: I think in just a short few shows we learned a lot from watching him and his band. We actually had our own headlining show … in New Jersey, kind of a special fan appreciation acoustic show. We actually started to put what Alex was talking about into practice. We started a jam session and improvised on it. We've already learned a lot from him. And the New York show was off the charts. P Diddy came out, Lil' Kim came out, Keri Hilson came out. We were really lucky to be a part of it.
What's it like to come back here and play shows in New York and New Jersey?
Andrew: The homecoming shows are great and … [at School of Rock in Hackensack] was no different. We were playing songs we probably hadn't played in two or three years. There's this one song that we did last night called "No Win Situation" where we were just going to tease it… We stopped and the entire audience sang the chorus.
You're performing the anthem in addition to the pregame set. What makes doing the anthem so tough?
Andrew: You can't mess it up. It takes a tremendous vocalist to really pull off the anthem. When you think back to Whitney Houston and others, there's a lot to live up to in that moment. All eyes are on you. There's no music to hide behind. And you have to make your country proud. It's a lot of pressure. It's a simple song, or seemingly simple song because we all know it growing up. It's actually a very complicated song, especially when it comes to putting a vocal arrangement together.
Michael: I don't think anyone's expecting Whitney Houston's version of the anthem. The way I'm approaching it is obviously put on a great vocal performance, but really just make it heartfelt.
The set list for the pregame … have you guys worked that out yet?
Andrew: I think we're going to do the single that we started off with, 'Over You," and then I think we're going to play "Here Comes Trouble." That might change, but I think those are the two songs we're going to do.