Local Of The Month: Better Homes


Photos: Agnes Owusu, Liz Peterson

Interview by Abbey Elliott.


The month of February defintely had a lot of great local bands releasing music. One in particular was Better Homes with their new EP, Cardiosonus. This down to earth 4 piece of Hayley Katarina, Aaron Sorge, Nick Sloane and Will Gies brings together musical stylings of Panic At The Disco, Blink-182 with their own personal style that can only be described as a perfect emotional disaster.  Not in the typical sense, but in the way the band writes music that gives the listener insight into their struggles with love and life. You can tell that the band poured their heart into this album and you can’t help but to smile through the tears.


So first off, where are you guys from?
Nick: Depending on where we are playing we tell people different things. Sometimes we say we are from the D.C. Metro area or Woodbridge. But we are from a lot of different places. Alexandria, Woodbridge, Manassas and then Aaron is in Baltimore right now and Will is in Harrisonburg, VA at times during the year.


How did you guys all meet? Tell me little about how you guys came to be Better Homes. 
Hayley: We came around in 2014, when Aaron and I were in college together. We were both in a theatrical production. Aaron was playing guitar and I was one of the singers. We decided to jam one day, which lead to fooling around with some projects before deciding that we wanted to make this project a full blown band. But It wasn’t always called Better Homes, though. At first it was WATSON, but since adding our former drummer Sean Robinson, we changed the name to Better Homes. Referencing a favorite Taking Back Sunday song of theirs.

Abbey: wow that is a little confusing!

Nick: haha oh yeah. So basically Haley, Aaron, Sean and Justin, who is now in Underdog Champs, all started the band. Then Mauricio joined for a little and then left in 2015. That is when I joined. Will came in after but is now taking a backseat due to focus on school. But because Will is at school we have Alex Kang as our tour bassist.

Sean also left for a little, but he’s back now. And Aaron has a number of jobs in the band. He’s the lead guitarist and also the drummer on our new record.



Why Better Homes? What’s behind the name?
Nick: We thought that WATSON was an awesome name but found out that it was already taken. So we decided to choose Better Home because the song Better Homes and Gardens was Aaron’s favorite song and decided it was easier to say. It basically “rolled off the tongue.”


Because the rock world is still dominated by men, Hayley, can you comment on what it’s like being a female front of an Alternative band?
Hayley: Being the only female in this band used to be super intimidating to me, but now it’s inspiring. Of course, nothing comes without great difficulty but I believe I’ve worked hard to get where I am. It’s all about building up your self esteem, having confidence, and saying things like, “Yes, I can do this, and yes, I am good enough” as cliché as that may sound. This band has changed my life, and I really hope other women can be inspired and know they can definitely sing lead vocals in a rock band and blow everyone away. It’s changed my life for the better, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else!

Nick: yeah, “The good ones don’t focus on being a female band. I think of us as good rock band…. lt’s like we are a rock band with a female front, And?….right?” ‘laughs a little’


You guys have one other EP. What inspired you guys to write this EP?
Hayley: It’s written about my feelings about my breakup with my boyfriend of 5 years. I was with him for so long and loved him, so I definitely had a lot to say on the subject. Even so, all of us connected and related to my pain and stories in our own ways which was helpful in writing.

“Going through a breakup is hard and horrible, but sometimes it can lead you to create beautiful things.”

Nick: Musically, Aaron and I were inspired by the  Blink-182 2003 Untitled album. And we were all writing while recording. All brought to the table by Aaron.
At first we recorded 6 instrumental songs before Hayley wrote lyrics. But eventually we ended up with a 4 song EP.

So basically three of us are writing most of the music with everyone else helping out. 17391794_10154740423849079_471464531_n


So what does the name, Cardiosonus mean?
Nick: ‘laughing a little’ it’s basically hipster Latin for heart sounds.


Who did you guys record with?
Nick:  it’s all home brewed at Aaron’s house. With our own equipment.
We put in a ton of research to find proper instruments and microphones so we could get the sound that we wanted. The cool thing about it was that we had time to explore all of the sounds that we had available to us. “we were just trying to put stuff together” and then out came the EP called Cardiosonus. So being able to do everything at home and not pay for studio time gave us the ability to explore and create. “All from the genius called Aaron Sorge”

Aaron: yeah… “we recorded in my basement with live amps in this increasingly digital simulation world.”


Any plans on what you want to do with the future of the band?
Nick: We are asking ourselves that a lot. Basically looking to fulfil our visions that is not quite formulated yet. We aren’t playing as many shows right now. But maybe later!

Hayley:  We love writing music, so we want to do just that. Touring would be awesome as well, we’d love to get our name out there more and meet new people.

“our batteries are sold separately” – Aaron Sorge



Their new album Cardiosonus is out now on all major music sites for download and streaming. If you are one like me and love a good heart wrencher you defintely need to check this album out. As for me, “One Last Pack” is one of my favorites on the EP. Enjoy!





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Are you in a band? Releasing music in the near future?
Email Abbey: abbey@aspirepresents.com