Serving up an anthemic, big room indie sound, Honours are bursting on to the scene with music that makes you sit up and listen
London Based trio Honours, made up of Steve Hughes, Ed Carlile and Andrew Mconckey, are receiving love all round for their high octane music, powerful lyrics and pleasing vocals. Their latest track Bulletproof, has been met with adulation from those in the biz and a constant stream of new fans.
After delivering a killer of a show at The Islington last week to launch their new material, the guys now seem to be going from strength to strength. The three piece are currently in the studio working with experimental guitarist and producer Leo Abrahams, but have bestowed on Wonderland the honour of their presence to discuss the story so far.
When were Honours born?
Around two years ago we started thrashing some ideas around. We’ve known each other for quite a few years prior through different bands and through mates (we also live in the same neighbourhood) but it took a while for us to get it on. Pretty quickly we had what we think is one of our best songs and that was that, the die was cast – we were in!
Where did your name come from?
We faffed around for ages coming up with a name. (We have a list of appalling and unrepeatable names if anyone wants some bad suggestions?) And then a friend in New York suggested Honors… we instantly loved it, but of course we’re British, so Honours it is.
When have you personally felt most honoured?
Hearing our music on radio was a great moment. For so long you live with these songs in demo form on your phone, and we’re tweaking away at our studio… and then, suddenly it’s on the radio and people are talking about it.. Such a weird and wonderful feeling! It really does mean a lot when someone says something nice about the music, or that a lyric means something to them. Twitter is so awesome for that and we always get on twitter straight after a show to see the response and chat.
Who do you guys look to for inspiration musically?
We’re into all sorts of stuff. In the studio we’ll often start the day listening to a bunch of tracks. It’s awesome when you hear a great song AND a great recording. To give some recent examples, we’ve been loving Charlie XCX’s Boom Clap, Rae Morris is awesome, War On Drugs is a stunning record, Phosphorescent, Lorde is a genius, Lykke Li we’ve loved for a few years now. Then obviously there are the classics; Peter Gabriel (or “Our Peter” as we call him), The Boss, Prince, Jackson… Elvis was good too wasn’t he?!
It’s endless. I just think if you’re into music and you’re fortunate enough to make it too, you’re just swept up in a million thoughts and ideas that are a result of everything you’ve ever heard ever. Trying to match the sounds in your head with the sounds coming back out the speakers is the trick!
If you could join forces and collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Kanye and Taylor Swift. For differing reasons.
You’ve been described by some as ‘unashamedly 80’s’, would you agree with that?
We don’t see ourselves as 80s at all so it’s kind of funny that people say so! I actually think it’s the fact we’re not shy of making a big sound and attempting to have a good chorus maybe? Recently in music, small seems cool, and we like a synth or two so we can’t be 90s – so 80s it is! There’s definitely something about combining electronics with the energy of a live band that’s part of what we do. And I guess that became more of a thing in the 80s… so…yeah.
Also, there’s probably some deep underlying emotional pull back to the decade of our birth that we could further delve into through psychiatry whilst sitting in brown leather chairs and sipping a chai latte…
How would you describe your own sound?
Such a hard question to not sound totally pretentious, but with that in mind, we try to make something beautiful, resonant and powerful, with meaningful lyrics and melodies that we want to sing.
Tell us about Bulletproof, what is the song about?
The song is about giving yourself a break. Everything is at a million miles an hour, life is relentless, and to be “successful” we’re all pre-programmed with the desire to be perfect… The song is an antidote to that and says you’ve got to be forgiving to yourself because you’re fine as you are… Ahhhhh…!
The video is pretty mesmerising, what inspired it?
Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer. We have a great mate called Davey Spens who had the idea to paint our faces for the single artwork, and it looked so weird that the idea for a stop motion video came about using all the stills. We were fortunate enough to find a great director to piece together the thousands of images and add the animation.
If you were actually bulletproof for just one day, what would you do?
Words: Josh Willacy