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- Tori Chalmers
‘Everyone is an author with something to say. Everyone’s got a picture to paint.’ Listen to any song from Scottish duo Honeyblood and let the punchy riffs, dynamite drumbeats, and catchy lyrics paint an unprecedented image. At the helm of Honeyblood is frontwoman and guitarist Stina Tweeddale and drummer and vocalist Cat Myers, who took over from former-drummer Shona McVicar in 2014. Formed in 2012, together, this dynamic duo never fails to lull listeners into an alternate musical universe exploding with lo-fi vibes, discopunk flows, garage rock tones, and a kick-ass pop-punk essence.
2014 marked the release of their eponymous breakout album Honeyblood, which received stellar reviews and caused music industry tongues to start wagging. Since then, the band has supported the likes of Foo Fighters, Sleigh Bells, Palma Violets, and Deap Vally. Honeyblood has also graced festivals such as T In The Park and SXSW, and rocked shows for VICE and The Skinny, to name a few.
Whether audio or live, there is no denying the hauntingly magnetic vocals of Stina. Every note uttered is done so with an effortless sense of authority and unassuming sass. Her lyrics, which are as powerful and addictive as her voice, are enrapturing and prove her a master purveyor of words. Nothing can prepare folk for the epic beats of deftly skilled drummer Cat either. A true powerhouse, there is no stopping this one, with her rock star personality and ‘ready for business’ type attitude.
In true Honeyblood style, the soon-to-be released LP Babes Never Die is an exhilarating rollercoaster of sharp riffs, empowering attitude, profound vocal hooks, and lyrics that resonate. This sophomore album will take folk by storm on 4th November 2016. Just as perfectly intense as Honeyblood, Babes Never Die — which features new tracks Sea Hearts and Ready For The Magic — is an epic, fully-evolved narrative with refined rock star riffage and pointedly fierce rhythms. In the words of Honeyblood, ‘like a dream, it’s prophetic’ and ‘a scream when you least expect it’.
Here, Culture Trip delves deep into the minds of the bewitching babes of Honeyblood:
It seems that music has been written in the stars for Honeyblood since the start. Can you describe how FatCat Records discovered you?
We played a showcase called Wide Days, curated by the people who do Born To Be Wide, and they gave us the opportunity to play. Alex from FatCat was at that show and spotted us there.
Tell us about the name ‘Honeyblood’?
Honeyblood came from a lazy Halloween costume! I made my own blood and spat it on the audience at a show with my old band.
We are digging the post-apocalyptic Scotland in the video for Ready For The Magic. What would you do in the event of a zombie (or little girl) apocalypse?
I’ve always thought that I should really learn how to kick-box, as it might come in handy in that situation.
From SXSW to T In The Park, Honeyblood has played some major gigs and supported many renowned acts. Which has been your favourite show so far?
To be honest, the highlight so far has been supporting Foo Fighters. However, we have been very lucky to play lots of fun and varied shows over the years.
Your musical style is pinned as indie rock, lo-fi, garage, and punk. Who are your greatest influences?
As a guitar player and songwriter, I love PJ Harvey and The Breeders. I probably count them as my biggest influences.
Any pre-gig rituals?
Eating dinner and drinking beer. We are both pretty chilled out people, so don’t have any mad rituals really!
How does it feel being on the road?
It’s fun to see new places all the time and meet people who know your music miles away from home. You do miss friends and family though. Oh, and your own bed.
Tell us about your songwriting process. How do you go about crafting your lyrics?
I read lots and get inspiration from stories or popular culture. Many of the songs have a personal touch from my own life too.
Not long now until the release of your sophomore album, Babes Never Die. Can you tell us about the album and how it was working with producer James Dring?
He was great — we are very lucky to strike it right second time around on producers. We all worked really well as a team to create this record too.
Your breakout album Honeyblood was a roaring success, and then some. Do you feel any pressure for this sophomore album?
Yes, absolutely. But we made an album we are proud of and that’s what’s important really.
Who are your favourite Scottish bands right now?
The Ninth Wave, The Van Ts and Martha Ffion.
Favourite Scottish saying?
What’s next for you?
Releasing the album and whole lot of touring and festivals to come!
Babes Never Die on FatCat Records will be released on 4th November, 2016. Honeyblood will head out on the road again mid-November.
16th: Newcastle, Cluny
17th: Leeds, Wardrobe
18th: Liverpool, Academy 2
19th: Birmingham, Rainbow
21st: Stoke, Sugarmill
22nd: Nottingham, Bodega
23rd: Bristol, Fleece
25th: Southampton, Joiners
26th: Oxford, Bullingdon
28th: Cambridge, Junction 2
29th: Norwich, Arts Centre
1st: London, Scala
2nd: Manchester, Deaf Institute
8th: Glasgow, St Lukes