Family band The Longest Hall (Zac, Adam, and Dan Hall) has unleashed an album with multiple meanings. One Short Ride uses seven tracks to remind us that life is short and we need to make the most of it. This includes getting lost in the thrash punk sound that the band has been honing over the years. With a storytelling arrangement, the album takes listeners on the journey of life with all the messages and lessons we learn along the way. We had the chance to talk with The Longest Hall about the album, instruments, sonic messages and much more!
OSR: As brothers, you have been playing music together since you were very young, but what is the earliest memory you have of creating a melody together?
The Longest Hall: Our dad is a singer/songwriter, and I still remember listening to him working on tunes as a kid, and thinking “how can he come up with these catchy melodies out of nothing?” He helped us put together the first song we ever wrote. Zac was 10, Adam 8, and Dan 6. It was a comedy song called ‘Poor Larry’, Weird Al was our biggest, and probably only influence at the time. We wrote one verse, and half a chorus, then got bored and moved on to something else, as kids tend to do. We can all still sing the entire “song” though. The first line was “Poor Larry was born when he was very young, in the eye of a hurricane.” We’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
OSR: What first drew you to your instrument of choice?
The Longest Hall: Zac is the oldest, and he started playing first, so obviously, he chose the coolest instrument available, the guitar. Adam started second, and we were really into Blink 182 at the time, and all of their guitar and bass parts are basically the same, so Adam picked up the bass so we could play songs together. From there, Dan really only had one option left. And so, the band was formed!
OSR: Your music is a combination of metalcore, prog-rock and melodic metal. Was this the sound you always knew you wanted?
The Longest Hall: Actually it wasn’t. We started out as a ska band in high school, with Dan on trombone. We always loved playing ska, and still dabble in it occasionally, but as we got older our musical tastes diversified, and we tried to merge all of our favourite styles to create an original sound.
OSR: You have recently released the album One Short Ride. Does the album have a backstory or theme?
The Longest Hall: The central theme of the album is the everyday battle to get the most out of life. Our lives are fleeting and can be difficult beyond comprehension at times. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations (can you even have tribulations without having trials first?) of everyday life and this record is a reminder that life is about the journey, not the destination because, in the end, we’re all headed to the same place.
OSR: The order of the tracks are made to mirror a story. What prompted you to do this?
The Longest Hall: All of life is a story. It only made sense to make this album, which is a reflection on life, follow the path of the traditional story. The hero’s journey, slaying the dragon. Whatever you want to call it. We all go through it every day, and it seemed like an appropriate template for these songs.
OSR: Through the album, you encourage listeners to get everything they can from life. What other messages have you packed into the engaging tones of the tracks?
The Longest Hall: The title track, ‘One Short Ride’, takes a number of different views on the nature of our life experience and examines their similarities, as opposed to their differences, which is too often the case these days. Our country, and the entire world, seem to be reaching an unprecedented level of division, and we need to be reminded in times like these that we are all far more similar than we are different. We should take comfort in our common humanity, and look for ways to make it through life together.
OSR: As this is your second album, how do you feel it compares with your last?
The Longest Hall: Our first record, Don’t Panic, was a collection of songs we had been working on together for years. Some were originally written for other bands. Others were acoustic tunes Zac wrote and never expected to make into fully arranged rock songs. With One Short Ride, we wanted to make a more complete and cohesive piece.
OSR: What do you feel has the biggest influence on the music that you make?
The Longest Hall: We try to look for inspiration everywhere. Life experiences, relationships, books, movies, music. There are countless places and ways to find inspiration, you just have to open your mind up to experiences and ideas that come from outside yourself.
OSR: If people could listen to only one track from the album, which would you recommend to get the essence of the whole?
The Longest Ride: ‘One Short Ride’ really covers all of the themes we’re trying to explore in this album. Lyrically, it sums up the ideas of all the other tracks, and musically it covers the different genres we like to work in. Sing-along choruses, fast driving drum beats, and a prog-influenced bridge. What more could you ask for?
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
The Longest Hall: We’re already hard at work on our next album, and plan on touring to support this one after the holidays. See you soon, world!