Fresh from their debut session on Jack Saunders’ Radio 1 show, Stereo Honey announced the release date of their EP What Makes a Man and dropped a new single ‘Icarus’. The latest release features soaring and sophisticated statements over a mellow beat, and has received justifiable hype.
Making 22 festival appearances this summer and amassing impressive support within the industry provides testament that this band is an exciting one to watch! Ahead of their UK tour this October, we got the lowdown on the forthcoming EP What Makes a Man and chatted about supporting The Amazons on their sold-out show.
We’d love to know a little bit about your musical journey, how did music happen for you guys, and how did you all meet?
Three of us were in a band beforehand and decided to start another project together. I was originally the band’s drummer but once we’d auditioned what felt like every singer under the sun the other lads eventually coaxed me off the kit and behind the microphone and we brought Jake in to complete the line-up.
How did you guys decide on ‘Stereo Honey’ as the name of your band?
Without a doubt one of the most difficult decisions we ever had to make as a band. After going back and forth for months we eventually agreed on the name Stereo Honey, which is a track by The Daysleepers.
Can you tell us about the process you guys go through when creating tracks, is it a collaborative process?
Very much so. We’ll usually build a song around an idea, be it a guitar part or drum beat and then descend into discussion for hours on end. We’re all perfectionists and we love a good debate! We can usually be found huddled together in the rehearsal room arguing about how many bars to leave before a chorus! Honestly though, I feel lucky to make music with lads who are so focused and have such attention to detail. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You did your first even session on Jack Saunders’ Radio 1 show, tell us a bit about that experience!
Jack has been a big supporter of us from pretty early on. He took us on his Hopscotch tour last year when we were just starting out. When he got in touch and asked us to be the first live session on the new show, we obviously tripped over ourselves to say yes! We had been told about the studio and the team at Maida Vale and how incredible they are but nothing can prepare you for just how inspiring and humbling it is to be there for yourself.
You’ve got your headline tour coming up, how are you feeling about it?
Equal parts nervous and excited, it’s a huge deal for us to do our first headline tour. We feel like everything has happened very quickly for us, we only put our first music out about 18 months ago. Playing your music in front of people across the country who have taken that music to heart and are singing the words back at you is an indescribable feeling.
You supported The Amazons on a sold-out show in Leeds, what was that like?
We’ve been lucky enough to support them before and we’ve all become good mates. The Amazons are truly some of the best humans you will meet. Nicky (guitar / keys) and I ended up joining them on stage to play ‘Junk Food Forever’ and I’m not going to lie, we were completely blown away on all sensory fronts. Best night ever.
So, ‘Icarus’ was recently released, congratulations! Tell us all about the song! Where did the inspiration for this song come from?
‘Icarus’ is a song about my dad. It’s a love song really, that uses the Icarus myth to talk about father/son relationships. I got the idea from a Christine Hemp poem, which unusually is set from Icarus’s point of view. It’s a really great poem that comes at the Icarus myth from another angle, it’s all about a son’s struggle for independence, how he yearns to get out from under his father’s shadow, to be good-for-something on his own. For me, Icarus kind of underlines that essential father/son conflict. It was very therapeutic song to write!
And can you tell us a little bit about your forthcoming EP What Makes A Man?
What Makes a Man is our second EP and it’s out on November 16. It’s a collection of songs we wrote over the last few months together. The lyrics are really personal to me. The EP revolves around the question of manhood in relation to mental health. It felt great to put all of my thoughts down onto paper and turn them into music and talking openly about this stuff is also a great way of combatting the stigma associated with mental health. We can’t wait to share it!
Finally, dead or alive, who would you love to collaborate with?
Leonard Cohen without question. Greatest lyricist ever.