by Daisy Sells


Music September 10, 2019

Half Alive is an still emerging sound from Long Beach, California. The band was formed in 2016 and consists of lead singer Josh Taylor, drummer Brett Kramer and bassist J Tyler Johnson. 

They might be young, but, they have an appreciation for the creation and art of their music that few of the today’s cookie cutter youngers that seem to have missed, to their detriment, during the process of creating disposable music that large management and labels  are churning out.

The band leader, Josh Taylor, began his Half Alive journey with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the over and, I don’t know whether they created complete balance, but, after 7 months, Taylor returned with 50 songs. 

The trio are best known for their single “Still Feel” and its choreographed music video – qudos to Taylor’s Dad for playing the role of Doc no.1 and his high school maths teacher supporting as Doc no.2.

The inconveniently challenging to label band, combining aspects of Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock, Dance-pop, Electronic rock and Electropop have just been on this side of the pond touringing Berlin, Paris and London  gathering followers and fellow travellers along the way, word on the street (I actually went to the park to canvas1)is that they have a statement cover which the play at their gigs to get the whole place riled up, but, I have a mashup that just makes me smile AJR X Half Alive Mashup: Still Feel The House Burn Down

On their whistle stop European tour, the boys were confronted with a short barrage of rather excellent questions…

When and why did you start playing/performing?

We all have differing individual stories but for me (brett) it started by forming a band when I was in middle school. We would perform our favorite covers as well as originals.

What’s it like working so close with each other?

It’s great. We all try to build a culture of communication and affirming each other so the moments that are stressful never seem that bad. 

What band name alter egos have to tried out on your musical journey?

In high school I was in 2 bands the first of which was titled Space Dragons, and we were glorious. The second band was titled Eklectik and we had a picture of a phoenix majestically flying through the sky on my bass drum.

Is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake?

Can confirm – Jaffa cake is a biscuit

What was the first tune(s) you learned?

Probably let it be by the Beatles. What a great tune.

What is the most embarrassing song in your music library?

Not the most embarrassing but the most unexpected would be my playlist of who let the dogs out on repeat. 

How do you handle a fuck up on stage?

For me my strategy is typically 2 beats of silence followed by 2 beats of the craziest drum fill I’ve ever tried. No one knows what happened and I usually play it off like it was on purpose. Its delightful.

Who or what is your ultimate influence, musical or otherwise?

I don’t know if we have an ultimate influence. We take inspiration from a ton of different artists that we admire. A few artists I can think of right now is Bon Iver, Chance the Rapper, Kimbra, and Jordan Rakei. 

What scares you most in the world?

What scares me (J Tyler) the most is the moment I’m trying to fall asleep and then I start thinking about how sleeping works, which brings me to a place where I can’t ever fall asleep. Horrifying.

Which Spice Girl would you be?

I’ve been wondering which Spice Girl I would be. I think it may be a question I’ll never be able to fully figure out. 

Where and when would you travel back in time to perform?

If we as a band could travel back to the time the child’s song “Baby Shark” was first written and performed, and potentially have a hand in creating that, that would be the move for us. 

If I gave you an elephant where would you hide it?

If I(J Tyler) was given an elephant to hide I would not tell you where it would go. Or I would loose the game of hiding the elephant. 

If you could choose one song that you wish that you had written, what would it be? 

If we could be part of writing any of the songs with The Beatles that would be an incredible experience. 

Which instruments do you play?

We are all pretty versatile instrumentalists.  We can all find our way around a keyboard, a guitar, and a drumset.  But our primary instruments are Josh-vocals, keys, guitar.  J- bass & keys.  Brett- drums & keys.  

If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose and how would you torment them?

What??   I would not want to torment anyone.  Why on earth would I want to do that?!  Hah.  The way to save the world is through love.  But maybe to some, loving them would feel like a torment, until they can accept it.

Who wins in a fight, a grizzly bear or a giant squid?

Is the fight in water or on land?  If its anywhere near water, the squid.  If not, the bear 1000%.

What is your greatest vice?

Right now, harry potter. (josh)  I’m reading them for the first time.  Sometimes I use them to escape the constant workflow that half•alive has right now.  But I think in that sense it’s a healthy vice.  I also can escape into the void of instagram or youtube sometimes.  But ive been setting boundaries on those things that have really helped me recently.

If music is the answer, what is the question?

Hmmm.  I don’t think music is the answer to everything, but I think it can be really helpful.  so I suppose the question might be “what is a language without words capable of penetrating nearly every soul on earth?”

Tell me one thing that you wouldn’t want your mummy to know?

I don’t keep many secrets from me mum.  But one thing she didn’t know for awhile but knows now is that I smoked weed once while in New Zealand.  It was a terrible experience for me and I have since decided I’m not a fan of it.

Having unleashed their album, Half Alive are taking it on the road for their global headlining tour. Click for tour dates.

Stream Half Alive’s album ‘Now,Not Yet’ below


Daisy Sells | WRITER 

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