Photography by Charlotte Patmore©
Interview: Black Honey
Pushing boundaries on youth culture has always been Black Honey's thing. They have a punk attitude and look, and led by the enigmatic Izzy B Phillips, they ooze a certain style desired by many bands. But this isn't just a fashion thing. Consistently over the past few years Black Honey have produced seriously good music. And now, it's just taken a step up. The 2016 Headspin release is their best to date. A four-track EP which at times runs fast and ferocious, it opens with the immediate hit All My Pride. It's difficult to decide what's the best thing about this song is. Is it the driving bass lines? The haunting Cerys Matthews voice of Phillips? The evil twang of the guitars? We don't know. But we are singing along.
"I listen to Get It On by T-Rex when I do my makeup in the morning".
The title track Headspin is equally as addictive. It's a slow moving dream anthem which once again shows off the impressive vocal skills of Phillips. On Your Time and Mocking Swing are equally as good. The first starts off like an Oasis track before turning into one of the most gentle but compelling electric flushes. It's simply song writing at it's best. The latter is no different. Showing beautiful eerie gentle guitar riffs and scratches of the vinyl, until another sweet vocal masterpiece takes over. I guess Black Honey are simply portraying a standard of originality that we wish all Indie music bands had, no matter the level of production. That's why it probably feels like Black Honey have somehow taken up the mantle for Indie bands in Britain at the moment. For us, Headspin is the level we wish the new Paws material was at. That's a big compliment. Carry on below to read our interview with the mastermind behind Black Honey, when Third Outing spoke to Izzy B Phillips...
3rd: First question, Headspin just came out, tell us a few things about it people don't know yet?
Black Honey: If you listen to the end of the last track you can hear a recording we took of the soundscape of the barn we recorded it in. We also recorded vocals to the view a full moon with thousands of tiny fruit bats flying overhead. One of the bats even managed to get trapped in a bedroom later that night. We rescued him and set him free outside. Finally, the song Mocking Swing we recorded in one take.
How would you describe the sound you created in one sentence?
We love the cover! What inspired it?
The cover was inspired by Man Ray Larmes de Verre. I wanted an image that was equally unsettling and abstractly beautiful. The red rocks are intended to represent an otherworldly dessert, like a Lynch film set on the surface of Mars. We work closely with collage artist Olivia Savage on creating our covers.
On the new songs there is a special atmosphere, a mood throughout the record if you will. It's hard to describe but it feels like you have a connection and it is reflected in the music. Do you agree?
I guess there's almost a spiritual sentiment to these songs. I wrote them at a time I was desperately trying to reach out, I suppose to something bigger or to somebody who could relate to the way I was feeling.
Our favourite beat is on the track On Your Time. It shows it's possible to be inventive using three chords and simple melodies. Got a favourite three chords song?
A great 3 chord tune is Get It On by T-Rex, I listen to this when I do my makeup in the morning.
After this second EP we guess an LP is on its way? Could you tell us a bit more about it?
We haven’t any immediate plans for the LP just yet, we are busy touring this summer and are going to get stuck into it properly in Autumn.
What's your ambition with Black Honey, then?
To make a songs that speak to people on a deeper level around the world. To help people forget their sorrows for a moment, or have teenagers fall in love, lose their virginity and grow old to the soundtrack of Black Honey.