On October 15th HoneyHoney will be at the Taft Theatre. If you've never heard of this band you should make it a priority to do so. Suzanne and Ben make music from their hearts and are building a strong fan base across the country. They are regulars on the #1 Podcast the Joe Rogan Experience, where you can hear them talk for hours and really get to know them. I would describe their sound as part old school country mixed with blues and topped off with rock. The part of their sound that makes them one of a kind is this: when you hear one of their songs you will get a sense of familiarity, however the sound will feel new and will keep you listening for more. They are out on tour for their 3rd studio album, cleverly called 3. If I can recommend a few older tracks for you to listen to I would say, “Angel of Death”, “Thin Line”, “L.A River”, and “Ohio”. Ben plays guitar in his own distinct way. His rhythm mixed with Suzanne’s fiddle playing creates a truly special sound. Suzanne's voice is truly one of a kind and paints the picture in your head of the words she sings.
I caught up with Suzanne this week and got her input on the new album, their influences, and the music scene these days. Please do yourself a favor and check them out this October when they come to rock the Taft!
Jeremiah: Thank you for talking with me today. I'd like to know what artist or group would you say influenced you the most, musically, when you were growing up and do you think that reflects in your music nowadays?
Suzanne: We both have different influences. Well, we both like Jimi Hendrix a lot. Ben was into a lot of classical and I was into a lot of jazz and guys like Frank Sinatra stand out to me. We also liked pop music and bands like Nirvana. So we kind of had the whole 90s menu, which you know was a whole lot of great stuff. There's also a lot of terrible stuff too. I think it had an effect on both of us.
Jeremiah: That's good to hear. Being from Cleveland and coming back to play in Ohio has got to be fun. That said, being from Ohio, what would you say stands out about Cleveland from the other places that you guys have lived or have been to in your travels as a band?
Suzanne: I have like 35 family members there. What’s really cool about Cleveland is the downtown area is really developing a lot more these days. There's lot more music and young people living downtown; it’s not just the commutes from the suburbs. I feel like I'm in a real city. You know, it's really exciting because I've known Cleveland my whole life and I've seen it be totally desolate and I've seen people be really excited about the beautiful architectural structures that are pretty badass and really take advantage of inhabiting those places. So it's cool to watch and you can feel people be more excited about being downtown and coming to shows and things.
Jeremiah: I know that getting yourself heard as a band back in the day is completely different than it is now. Radio doesn’t play such a huge part like it used to. A lot of people download music now compared to going to record stores and buying an album, a CD, or a tape. Podcasts are a newer outlet and they seem to be opening more doors as well. I know you guys were on the Joe Rogan Experience; that’s where I first heard you guys. I’m just curious what your take is on new outlets like podcasting and social media. Do you think it helps you guys to reach new fans?
Suzanne: Oh my gosh, they are tremendous. Joe Rogan, in particular, has been a huge, huge part of expanding our fan base and audiences. It's really incredible what you can accomplish with those things. Not just getting our music out there but being there and talking about important things, like life in general. It plays a big role for us.
Jeremiah: Especially for a longer period of time. You actually get to sit down with them go a while and not feel rushed for answers.
Suzanne: Totally! It's really to cool to be able to express yourself and let people know who we are and what kind of people we are. You know, it's a real gift and it's something we take seriously. It's an honor that some people want to take the time and listen to that and also support us and our music through that vessel. It's pretty fucking cool.
Jeremiah: Awesome! Your new album, 3, has as song called Big Man. I have to admit that it is in my top 5 songs I've ever heard, period. I would like to know what the meaning was behind that track. Also, after listening to the actual album version, I noticed it's changed musically from when you’ve played it live last year and on Joe's podcast. Why the change to it?
Suzanne: Thank you so much. We cut out the blues sound and we changed the chords a little and I think we went minor instead of major or something. Ben wrote most of that song and I wrote a little bit. The song was based off of an experience he had had in Nashville with this big fella that lived upstairs. He was one of those wild guys that just everyone knew and everyone loved and he did anything you wanted. He overdosed on cocaine and died and it was so sad. It was just like they lost their captain for this group of friends. There was a pretty crazy reaction to his passing as well. There was a lot more partying going on and it was just nuts; it had so much energy. It’s a beautiful song to play and even though it's kind of one of those worry songs it’s definitely a little poetic. People can relate to that --the way things shift so quickly, you know.
Jeremiah: What do you think is more exciting for you guys? Is it creating the new music that you guys have, the recording of the music, or playing it live?
Suzanne: Oh, I’m going to say playing it live! A lot of the other parts can be arduous. Recording is not easy. It's beautiful, it’s a fucking amazing process that really puts you in your place and humbles the shit out of you, you know. You get to really examine how you play stuff. It's a different environment for us. But when you get to play live it's always different and the crowds are always different. The bigger we get, which is something we think is really cool and we're really grateful for, we're meeting more people that come up to us and talk about what our music has done for them. It's really special because it's not easy for us and when you are encouraged by people’s emotions and the fact that what we're doing is important to them, it's all you can ask for. We are like okay; I guess we are doing our job. It's fun even though we don't sleep enough or eat enough on the road. There's all this other really great beautiful experiences and things we’re really grateful to have along with that.
Jeremiah: Suzanne, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day for this interview. Like I said earlier, I’m a huge fan of you guys. In my opinion Honey Honey is one of the best bands ever and your music stands on its own merit. There is also a really great BBQ soul food place close to the Taft. I will make sure you guys eat good food while in town.
Suzanne: Awe, man, thanks. Right back at you! Thanks for wanting to help us get our music out there. We really appreciate it so much. And we love soul food and look forward to Cincinnati. See you at the Taft!