A Conversation (and Show) with “almost monday”


Author: Diana Sambotin

My friend, Sarah, and I had the opportunity to talk with almost monday, a San Diego-based indie pop band, that is quite literally the definition of California sunshine. Their music is fun, upbeat, and hard to not dance along to. While they were in Seattle for a stop on Pineapple Sunrise: The Tour with Beach Weather and Rec Hall on Saturday, April 27th, 2024, the band sat down with us to give us some insight into their music, the intricacies of the music industry from the perspective of artists, and some surfing tips! We also attended the show that night, and I will preface this review by saying that it was one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in a while, but more on that will be near the end of this article! 

The band consists of Dawson (vocalist), Luke (bassist), and Cole (guitarist), who have all known each other for many years. Dawson and Luke grew up together, both having gotten into music through the church scene and met Cole out surfing in high school. Below are some pieces of our conversation. 


Diana: Starting out in the surf scene in Southern California, how has that influenced your journey as musicians (whether through your sound, who you’ve played with, your journey as a whole)? 

Dawson: I think you start putting out your best stuff when you start fully being yourself. And I think we kind of went on a journey of figuring that out and then coming back to where we feel like is the sweet spot of the band, which is kind of coming back to what we’re all interested in: San Diego, and just kind of the culture we grew up in. California, surfing, being around beach days, is something we all genuinely love. When we tried to weave that back into the music, it felt like that was kind of getting somewhere for us and feeling good. I think that’s a really big part of the band, and I feel like today, especially, people really know when something is authentic, so going back to that and being really proud of where we’re from, what we do, was really important. 

Sarah: So, what are your biggest musical influences as your sound has changed over the years from “parking lot view” (which is one of my favorites) to now? 

Cole: When we write music, a lot of times, we are drawing in influences from what we are listening to in that moment. As fans of bands, we’re constantly listening to new artists every week, so it kind of changes. I guess foundational bands that we draw a lot from are The Strokes, MGMT, Phoenix. 

Diana: What is your production process like? With songwriting, how do you get from whatever your first idea is to a song when it gets put out? 

Luke: It’s kind of changed and changes all the time. I feel like as we write more, we’re always finding new methods, so it never gets stale. But a lot of the times, we will all get in a room together and listen to music that’s currently inspiring us, and then kind of get on the same page and draw inspiration that way. Sometimes, one of us will bring in a track, or someone will bring in a melody or chords, or sometimes we’ll start with a title and try to imagine what that song sounds like, so it just depends. I think that’s actually a really helpful tool, to keep changing things up so it doesn’t become the same process over and over.  

Diana: Sarah and I both go to a lot of concerts, and we work with our school’s radio, and that has kind of changed our perspective on music a lot, so we were wondering if you guys have had any experiences like that growing up. Being a part of the music industry, how has that changed your relationship with music, if it did at all? 

Dawson: The more shows you play, or the more tours you do, you see behind the curtain of what goes into it, like loading in, all that stuff. When we were kids, it was like “oh, you go on tour and it’s this great thing” and then you go on tour and it is this amazing thing, but you realize you drive a lot, and then wait a lot, and then finally get to the show and then you play and it’s amazing, and then it’s over and you’re like “okay, I have to find somehow a way to sleep” and then wake up and do it again. Obviously, the more you do it, the more you realize the show always makes it worth it, but I feel like when we were young it was just like “get in the van!” so exciting, and it is, I’m not trying to say it’s not, you just kind of know what it takes to do it. It’s a lot, but in a good way. 

Sarah: What’s your biggest milestone so far as a band? 

Luke: It hasn’t happened yet, but putting out our first album is kind of the biggest, most solidifying thing, like “here’s the point, here’s who we are.” I think that’s going to be a significant point we will look back for the rest of our lives on.  

We had some time for a few fun questions at the end. 

Are there any bucket list venues you have on your list that you hope to play? We (Sarah and Diana) have some bucket list venues to see shows in so that’s why we are asking. 

There was some deliberation from the band, but the top ones that came out were Red Rocks, Madison Square Garden, and Wembley. Luke mentioned that he would like to play SOMA in San Diego someday, the venue where he saw his first show, and Cole said that he’d love to play in countries and places they haven’t played in yet. Dawson also added at the end that he’d like to play The Fonda in Los Angeles since it’s such an iconic LA venue. 

Any surfing tips for someone starting out? 

Cole used to be a surf instructor and gave us the insight that the biggest thing to start with is learning how to paddle and getting your balance as early as possible is important. Dawson, who attempted to teach his younger brother how to surf, said it is important to curate your first experience, in terms of the conditions you are surfing in. 

What does your band name mean, where did it come from? 

The name “almost monday” came from a friend who suggested they be “The Mondays,” but that was already taken, so they became “almost monday.”  


It was a pleasure to talk to Dawson, Luke, and Cole before their show, especially as both of us were already fans of their music. Shortly after we finished our interview, we were back at the iconic venue, The Crocodile in Belltown. Being an early show, the music started very promptly, and things were moving quickly.  

First up was a band called Rec Hall from Los Angeles, California, who brought their energy from the second they stepped on stage. Their catchy hooks and bright sounds had the crowd nodding along. My favorite part of their set was when they wanted the crowd to jump with them – the guitar player said, “I know you don’t know this song, but we have one request: when we jump, you jump!” And it worked! The whole room was bouncing up and down with the band. Their music sounded as if you were to put a beach day into a bottle and then open it up in The Crocodile, a very Los Angeles, sunshine, warm sand kind of feeling.  

After a too-short first set from Rec Hall, almost monday was up. Like Rec Hall, almost monday lit up the room with their contagious energy. Early on in their set was their new single, “is it too late?” from their upcoming album, followed by an unreleased song called “tidal wave” which had a fun sing-along and a reference to “Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure (I can’t wait until this song is released!). A little later in the set was a cover of “What I Like About You” by The Romantics, during which Dawson pulled out a harmonica and added an unforgettable touch to their performance of the song. The last few songs were “sun keeps on shining,” “sunburn,” “cough drops,” and “life goes by,” which happen to be my favorite songs by the band and would recommend these songs to anyone! Just like that, almost monday’s set was over, leaving us with mixed feelings, sad that it was over but excited for the last set of the night! 

The final band to play was Beach Weather, a pop-rock band from all over the U.S. The singer, Nick Santino, is from Boston, Massachusetts, whereas other members of the band are from Phoenix, Arizona, Nashville, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, California. I’ve been wanting to see Beach Weather for a long time, and first heard of them through their close connection with The Maine, one of my top bands. If it isn’t obvious yet, the whole vibe of this show was very beachy, and palm trees decorated the sides of the stage, and a big sign at the back of the stage that read “Beach Weather Presents: Pineapple Sunrise.” As the band played through their set, they made multiple comments about how this had to be one of the biggest shows they had played as a headliner, which only got the crowd more excited. Each song they played was a hit, and Sarah and I were marveling at how many of their songs we didn’t realize we knew! Some of the highlights were “Chit Chat” (my favorite of theirs), “Unlovable,” and “Swoon.” Needless to say, we were a little disappointed when the band walked off stage and the houselights came on since time flies when you’re having fun!  


Overall, the show was incredible and I would definitely encourage people to see any of these three bands if they ever have the chance. We were kept very well entertained the whole night and walked out of the venue with big smiles on our faces. The whole walk home consisted of us remembering small moments from the show that stood out to us (and there were a lot of those).  

After speaking with almost monday, we gained new insights on how some artists approach writing and recording music, as well as a new view on what it’s like to be a part of the music industry, something we hadn’t thought of as just fans of music. And now, I feel like I’m ready to learn how to surf! 


Diana Sambotin I KXSU Production Director

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Tags: ,