With the sensational new album In Plain Sight being released in May, Getintothis’ Max Richardson had a chat with Honeyblood ahead of a daunting tour.
The sensational, genre-blending talent of Stina Tweeddale, working under the alias of Honeyblood, has set the indie-rock world ablaze over the past few years.
Following two electrifying LPs, Honeyblood and Babes Never Die, Honeyblood returns this May with a tour featuring a date at Liverpool’s Arts Club and what looks set to be a cracker of an album in In Plain Sight.
Ahead of this new album, Tweeddale‘s first working as a solo act, Getintothis had the pleasure of chatting to Stina, talking about writing processes, tour dates, and being bought Guinness in the US.
Getintothis: So you’ve got a new album out on May 24th – was your approach to this album much different than the previous records you’ve produced?
Honeyblood: “Yeah – this is going to be the first solo record.”
Getintothis: So some of the tracks that you’ve shown from the album so far include Glimmer and The Third Degree, both of which are absolutely cracking songs but are quite different in terms of style.
Honeyblood: “Thank you!”
Getintothis: Have you deliberately tried to play around with your style creating the album or did it just naturally happen?
Honeyblood: “I always like to play around with different instruments like guitars and synths when making music, so it’s kind of normal for the style to change a bit from record to record based on my mood.
I deliberately made In Plain Sight thinking of the album as one big whole work really, rather than a collection of separate songs.
Babes (Never Die) was a lot more a translation of live songs being recorded, this has been created in the studio so it was all a bit of an exploration.
I definitely tried to just play around with guitars and synths and see what I could create, sonic…sonic…sonically? Is that a word?”
Getintothis: Did you write most of the songs especially for this album, or did you have some kept in the bank for a while?
Honeyblood: “I think most of the tracks were written specifically for In Plain Sight.
I kept Glimmer for a while, I think I was waiting for the right time to use it as it’s really special to me.”
Getintothis: It’s a really fantastic song.
Honeyblood: “Thank you! It’s really quite personal to me, like I say I’ve been holding onto that for quite a while, waiting until it felt right to record it you know.
I had around thirty songs for this album, I think the first I wrote was She’s A Nightmare.”
Getintothis: What were you listening to while writing the album? Did you find any particular new influences or was it more of the same as your previous records?
Honeyblood: “Honestly I can’t remember, I’m basically always listening to new music which sort of soaks its way in, there’s so much going on I can’t really pinpoint anything.
I did actually get a piano before writing the album which is really new to me, I wrote a few of the songs from the album at the piano which is something I’ve never done before.
There’s a song called Touch which is near the middle of the album, I wrote that at a piano which was really interesting.”
Getintothis: So you’re playing in the US in a few weeks, and then in the UK just a week later. Do you find it different playing to an American audience compared to a British audience? Do you need to adapt your set at all to change it around?
Honeyblood: “No, I don’t change the set really. It’s different wherever you go, the crowds in the US and Australia are much more vocal.
Crowds in Australia are kind of similar to Scotland, with the same idea of banter.
It’s funny, we recorded the album in LA with producer John Congleton, and while we were there quite a lot of people actually thought I was Irish and kept trying to take me to Irish bars and buy me pints of Guinness. I get why because of the accent but it’s still a weird feeling!
There’s also a bit of a cultural difference, a lot of folks didn’t really get the naturally self deprecating Scottish sense of humour!
We’re going over just to play New York and L.A, and then we’re back in the UK for more dates.”
Getintothis: You’ve got quite a lot of tour dates coming up over the next few months, are there any you’re particularly looking forward to over others?
Honeyblood: “I don’t know really, there’s an awful lot of dates so it all kind of rolls into one.
I’ve got quite a few solo dates without the band in there, I think there’s a period where I’m playing for like 17 days in a row which is pretty huge!”
Getintothis: Do you find that you write while you’re on tour or do you prefer to write in the comforts of home?
Honeyblood: “No, absolutely not! I definitely like to write alone, I think even if I work in a collaboration I’ll normally come with a song already written and expand on that rather than creating something new together.
I couldn’t write on tour at all, I don’t understand how people find the time. Maybe they’re not playing 17 dates in a row!”
Getintothis: And one quick last question – what was the last album you listened to?
Honeyblood: “You know I can’t really remember.
I think it was the acoustic version of Masseducation by St Vincent, do you know it?”
Getintothis: I don’t think I do, no.
Honeyblood: “It’s great, you really need to listen to it. I saw her live out in LA and her pianist is just incredible, it’s a great album.”
Getintothis: Thanks so much for talking to me today, and all the best for the album and for the tour!
Honeyblood: “Aw thank you, cheers!”
Honeyblood’s new album In Plain Sight will be released on May 24th on Marathon Artists.
Full tour dates are:
- 1 May Cambridge – Junction 2
- 2 May Leicester – O2 Academy 2
- 3 May York – The Crescent
- 4 May Stockton-On-Tees – Georgian Theatre
- 5 May Glasgow – Stag & Dagger Festival
- 7 May Wolverhampton – Newhampton Arts Centre
- 8 May St Albans – The Horn
- 9 May Tunbridge Wells Forum
- 10 May Ramsgate Music Hall
- 11 May Southampton – The Joiners
- 13 May Reading – Sub 89
- 14 May Bath – Moles Club
- 15 May Exeter – The Cavern
- 16 May Preston – Action Records (solo instore gig)
- 17 May Romsey – Hundred Records (solo instore gig)
- 18 May Frome – Raves From The Grave (solo instore gig)
- 18 May Swansea – Derricks Music (solo instore gig)
- 19 May Huddersfield – Vinyl Tap (solo instore gig)
- 20 May Bolton – X Records (solo instore gig)
- 21 May Southsea – Pie & Vinyl (solo instore gig)
- 22 May Kingston-On-Thames – Banquet Records (solo instore gig)
- 24 May Glasgow – Monorail (instore gig)
- 25 May London – Rough Trade East (instore gig)
- 26 May Brighton – Resident Records (instore gig)
- 27 May Bristol – Rough Trade (instore gig)
- 28 May Nottingham – Rough Trade (instore gig)
- 29 May Chesterfield – Tallbird Records (instore gig)
- 30 May Leeds – Jumbo Records (instore gig)
- 31 May Aberdeen – Lemon Tree
- 1 June Dundee – Beat Generator Live!
- 3 June Edinburgh – Summerhall Arts Centre
- 4 June Newcastle – The Cluny
- 5 June Sheffield – Plug
- 6 June Guildford – Boileroom
- 7 June Bedford – Esquires
- 8 June Oxford – O2 Academy 2
- 10 June Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
- 11 June Liverpool – Arts Club
- 12 June Preston – Guildhall
- 13 June Hull – Polar Bear
- 14 June Stoke-On-Trent – The Sugarmill
- 15 June Kendal – The Brewery