AMF: For the music fans out there who haven’t ever heard The Halways music, how would you describe the band’s music?
Daniel: Normally I say “psychedelic rock” because it is a good catch-all term that most people know.
But the meaning of “psychedelic rock” has been morphed much like “indie” was a few years before and I don’t feel that it really describes what we do anymore. Now it seems, that’s much more directed towards surfy and garage-y bands so to avoid confusion (or add to it) I came up with my own term, haha! ; Imageful Psychedelia. Essentially, my goal has always been to create music that puts images in the listener’s head. When I write a song, I like each different section to be like a new page in a story book or some sort of musical vignette. But if you want to get technical, I’d say we’re a psychy-jazzy-funky-sometimes folky-sometimes surfy-sometimes bluesy group of boys; The Halfways.
AMF: What artists were you and the Halfways influenced by?
Daniel: Aside from the legendary bands that really go without saying, we’ve been influenced by a variety of different artists such as The Stone Roses, Fleet Foxes, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Jacco Gardner, Quilt, Fuzz, Tame Impala and Argentine band Soda Stereo.
AMF: Where did the band’s name come from?
Daniel: When Alejandro (guitarist) and I were back living in Miami, I wrote a song called “The Halfway Blues” about a band that breaks up right before they make it big. I hope it’s not prophetic given the subject of the song (haha!) but I realized the name The Halfways was perfect. The way I’ve always thought of this project is as a musical crossroads where multiple different musical styles meet. The Halfways is a name that doesn’t tie us down to any one of these styles. We want to be the crossroads, not a car on any particular road. It’s simply a name that I can see myself being happy with 10 years in the future because it really allows the music to speak for itself.
AMF: What are the band’s plans for 2016 and what new releases do you have coming up?
This year, our first release will be our self-titled EP out on January 20th in Cassette and CD. This is our debut EP as a full band and it’s really the first time we all went into the studio as a unit to work on a project. We are doing a release party at Hotel Vegas on Wednesday, January 20th with The Sun Machine and The Rotten Mangos, two awesome local bands. Then we plan to keep doing more and more regional shows and then do a longer stretch during the summer perhaps even going to the East Coast. There’s lots of work to be done! And there’s lots of music on the way. Also, it’s one of our main priorities to start writing music for what will be our follow up release as a band! Exciting times.
AMF: How has AMF helped your band and if so, in which ways?
Daniel: AMF has been incredibly helpful during our time here. When we first arrived in Austin, I went there and I met “The Oracle” AKA Alex Vallejo who gave me instructions on how to kickstart the band in a completely new city. Since then, I go in for periodic visits to keep my priorities and goals in order and I always leave feeling with a great sense of direction. Every time I meet a new musician in town, I recommend them the Austin Music Foundation because they really know how to guide musicians and help them integrate themselves in the scene. They also have industry panels where musicians can go learn about different facets of the industry! These are extremely helpful as well. Each person who works there has a special place in my heart and as a musician I have a deep appreciation for what they do for the music community.
MORE ABOUT THE HALF WAYS:
The Halfways are a four-piece psych quartet from Austin, Tx. They incorporate a variety of different musical styles all the while maintaining a strong sense of musical identity. Funk, folk rock, baroque pop, jazz, and grunge are only some of the genres that seep into the band’s sound. Their live shows are characterized by energetic performances featuring rich sonic textures, vocal harmonies, unusual song structures and strong usage of dynamics and tempo changes. What started out as the solo project of main songwriter Daniel Fernandez, is now a full band and they are releasing their debut studio EP on Wednesday, January 20th at Hotel Vegas. www.thehalfways.com