Black Honey are one of the UK’s most exciting acts. Known for their anarchic stage performances and Instagram feed to die for, they are the ones to watch. We climbed into the tour van before their set at Flying Vinyl Festival to talk touring, their new EP and Wes Anderson.
So, have you had a good day? Have you seen anyone yet?
Izzy Bee: We saw Yonaka, Theresa is a friend from Brighton and we’re big fans of theirs. Her stage presence is wicked. Also Magic Gang! We’ve been forever fans of Magic Gang, another Brighton classic. Of course, we’re fucking psyched about Swim Deep as well.
You’re in the middle of touring with Catfish & The Bottlemen, how’s that?
Tom Dewhurst: Funny.
Chris Ostler: It’s crazy. It’s just wicked. Playing to 2,500 people every night, it’s so awesome.
I feel like your sound would fit those sorts of venues better, it’s a very big sound.
IB: We can’t hear anything from out front, from where we are, so as far as we’re aware it sounds great! We don’t actually know what it sounds like.
How does it compare to the headline tour?
CO: Polar opposites really. We’re having such a great time, we’re learning a lot as much as we’re enjoying it!
Tommy Taylor: It’s so different going from playing your own shows and having people really psyched to see you and then going to play for someone else’s crowd.
Is it more pressure having to entertain people who don’t necessarily know you?
TD: It’s harder, it’s more of a challenge, but it’s awesome at the same time.
TT: It’s fun because of that, you know?
TD: Fresh ears.
Distracted by The Jar Family walking past the tour bus.
IB: THE STEAMPUNKS FROM EARLIER! Are they in a band? THE GUY WITH THE HARMONICA!
He played the gig with a harmonica attached to his guitar, like a punk Mumford and Sons.
IB: AMAZING. SO GOOD.
|(L-R) Tom, Chris, Tommy|
Have you seen the superfan walking round? he’s got a bowler hat on with a Jerry on.
IB: We’ve heard about this guy.
Distracted again by Swim Deep walking out the venue.
CO: Dim Sweeps!
IB: It’s the Dim Sweeps! With the shirt on that I bought James. [Balmont] Excellent. I’m like “James wear everything I would if I was a boy.” and he’s like, “Ok.”
But yes, this megafan.
IB: He’s one of the many people we’re so so happy to have on board with our band. He comes to all the shows.
So, Flying Vinyl. How did you get involved and how did it come to you guys putting out Corrine with them?
CO: We were actually talking to them earlier about this. Apparently he was fans of ours for a while and he kept emailing our manager saying “We need to get them on.” And apparently, Dan [Potts] didn’t reply for ages! We didn’t know about this!
IB: I think it was our old manager!
CO: Oh yeah! So basically, we were biding our time. Then Dan, finally got the email and he actually replied. They told the story actually, apparently he was sat at home playing XBOX in his pants, and he got the email through and was like, ‘YES!”
Black Honey, better than Fifa.
|Live at Flying Vinyl Fest|
So tell us about the EP. What was it like being in the barn in France?
TD: Fucking freezing.
TD: It was my parents place. And we had this idea, maybe we should go there and do it. We’d never recorded anything all together, and we also sort of got a holiday out of it. Well, Chris [Ostler] didn’t, I did, the drums were done in a day.
CO: It was really nice. We were just kind of in the middle of nowhere, there was nothing to do other than be productive. So it was really good to push ourselves in that respect. And I think, the recordings have gained a lot from the landscape. Like being out in that environment, I think it translated which is amazing.
One of you told us there’s bird noises on the EP?
TD: At the end of the last track, Chris put a mic in the garden and just recorded the sound of the garden.
CO: Yeah, I had a lot of time.
IB: It actually really makes that song! You get a real sense of what our whole experience was about. Where as EP’s for us before has just been a collection of our songs. Now, it’s like an actual idea. That felt great.
How would you describe it as a work?
IB: A collage of a romantic history. So, taking segments. Some of these songs are old, some are new. Collating them together is sort of like a romantic snapshot. Collaging relationships that have all contrasted each other in different ways. But it came together so nicely because the whole EP has a really certain romantic feel about it. That was the kind of idea we wanted. We knew we wanted to do something that had the romance, but still had the schizophrenia that Black Honey are known for. That up and down, like the crazy passion and then the really chilled love. That’s what we were going for.
When I listen to your music it sounds like a film soundtrack. You guys are Wes Anderson fans I understand? Where did that obsession begin?
IB: I mean no, who’s Wes Anderson? The funny thing about Wes Anderson is that I was so late to the party. I discovered him when I was with my ex-boyfriend, which is why I guess everything is so prevalent at the moment for me. He showed me Wes Anderson and so I spent five months of my life, in bed, watching movies.
What was the first Wes Anderson film you saw?
IB: I think it was Moonrise Kingdom. So that’s the one that resonates the most. Moonrise Kingdom and the way that it harks back to the experience of your first love, I think that’s quite an interesting way of looking at music. In terms of romantic musical memory. The way that you write songs is the way that Wes treats his films. In the way that he’s just spurring on all of these different romantic events, which is so true. You can see that when that kid runs away and they make a camp and do snogs in the tent, that’s probably real. I think it is anyway. That’s how I see our songs. A painted, beautiful child-like perspective of something that was real, something that actually happened. It’s a mixture of the narrative in it’s true sense as well as what’s imaginary. Yeah.
You talk about your songs and the EP being a collage, a collection of memories. Is that where the ideas for your artwork come from?
IB: Yeah exactly, it’s all the same. It’s about this weird hoarding of memories and emotional relationships and in one explosion it all comes together. A lot of what we do comes from the years of stock-piling all these things. When we did the EP, we were torn between having the visual being an aeroplane. Because the idea of All My Pride, it’s a story about my ex-boyfriend. He literally said, “Bye, I’m moving to Berlin forever.”
|Live at Flying Vinyl|
IB: Exactly! But what would I write about if we didn’t have any of them? So like, the visual was either gonna be an aeroplane or the pool of tears. We tried me as the crying character, but it didn’t work as well. Headspin is the name of the EP, with the spirals in the eyes. It references the way that romance is a drug. When you’re in love, your head spins. You’re almost drugged or high or whatever, from love.
So the EP comes out soon, are you going to tour alongside it?
TT: Yeah, but we’ve got loads and loads of festivals coming up! So it’s mostly that, but we’re hoping to do a bit more touring at some point in summer, but we’re definitely playing loads and loads of shows.
Final question. If you guys were to organise an all-dayer like today, who would be on the line-up?
IB: Do they have to be alive now? No? Ok. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood.
TT: Jesus and Mary Chain.
CO: My Bloody Valentine.
TD: Kings of Leon. But at their very first gig. Not now.
Have you got anything you’d like to add to the people of the world?
IB: I think the people of the world are pretty sweet.
TT: You’re all lovely. And attractive.
IB: Flirting with the people of the world. Smooth.
Photos: Poppy Marriott