We chat to Stina Tweeddale from rising Scottish duo Honeyblood about inauspicious inspiration and defying expectation
Shona McVicar and Stina Tweeddale are making a racket of the best kind, and making quite a name for themselves as duo Honeyblood. They’ve come a long way since their first four song gig at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh. We catch them as they finish off their first UK headline tour, with the news that they’re set to join the NME tour this November, showcasing their eponymous debut album that’s making waves in all the right circles.
We caught Stina for a quick chat about guitars, ska and Halloween costumes
How did you and Shona meet and what led you to form Honeyblood?
We kind of knew of each other previously but we weren’t friends or anything, and I’d been writing songs that I wanted to start playing live and a mutual friend of ours said that I should ask Shona to play with me as the style I wanted to play she would really be into. Then we met each other in a bar by chance one night and I kind of went up to her and asked if she wanted to do a practice session, so she came along and we started playing; and then that was it really, that was the start of Honeyblood.
How did the name Honeyblood originate?
It’s actually from a really badly done Halloween costume (laughing) I made my own blood one year for Halloween, and my costume was basically just me carrying around this bottle of blood and spitting it on people. I had made it myself out of water, corn flour, honey and red food dye, and mixed it all in a water bottle, and went round spitting it on myself and other people (laughing).
Did it go down well?
NO everyone hated it! They all told me to stay away. I was playing with my old band, I spat it all over the bassist in my old band, and it got it over his bass and it stopped working so I got in trouble for that! So don’t mix it with instruments (laughing).
How old were you both when you first picked up instruments, and started learning to play?
We both started playing when we were twelve, thirteen, really just since then. Shona just begged her parents for a drum kit, and my dad plays guitar so there’s always been guitars in the house, he’s actually a musician as well, and that’s where my sad obsession with guitars comes from. All through high school and all through Uni, we were always in bands and always played instruments. We both love music, it’s part of us, we can’t imagine not playing.
What did you listen to growing up, did your dad influence you at all?
He hated the music I listened to as a teenager, still the same, like any parents telling their kids to turn that racket off. I was really into all my riot girl stuff, like Batmobile and Bikini Kill, because they were girls who played guitars and they were angry, but I also loved Dismissed and 90s Britpop stuff.
Shona was really into punk stuff, mostly bands I’ve never heard of (laughing), lots of early 2000’s punk bands like….I couldn’t even tell you, that’s how obscure they are!
You are just finishing off your first UK headline tour, what was your first show together like?
Our first show ever, we supported Allo Darlings at Sneaky Petes in Edinburgh. We were so nervous, and we only had like four songs, and I think when they asked us to play that they thought that we were going to be like a folk band or something. And then we started playing and everyone was like wow! Did not expect that! People assumed that we would be different than we are, they still do!
What has been your most memorable show?
I guess recently in America, we played this show in Cleveland, and we had literally just released the album it had been out for like a week. These two guys were stood at the front of the crowd singing every single word to each other, and Shona, she just thought it was hilarious, they were just enjoying themselves so much and knew every word.
What have you got coming up in the next few months?
Pretty much just touring, touring forever! So we’re just finishing off our first UK headline tour, then in October we head over to Europe and play a ton of shows there. And then in November we come back here and do the NME New Breed tour with Superfood.
Words: Siobhan Frew