We meet Bow boys Andy and James of HONNE to talk dream festival appearances and fainting fans.
Bow boys Andy and James have been writing, recording and performing as HONNE since they met at university. Specialising in chilled languid vocals over warming tropical synths and shimmering light percussion, their self-released Coastal Love EP, put out on Tatemare Recordings is their third offering to have helped them power Hype Machine.
After branching out into remixing for Shura and Tei Shi, recognition for the pair’s work has widened past their own fan base and resulted in a sold out headline show at the The Laundry. If you missed the pair at Field Day last weekend, you can catch them at Latitude later this summer. We pinned down James to talk beginnings, inspirations and fans.
So how did you guys meet?
Andy was the first person that I met at university. We started making music within a matter of days and we just seemed to click both musically and personally.
Was music always the plan for both of you?
Yes definitely. From the moment I first started learning guitar I was set on doing music and never really considered anything else. We both spent a lot of time messing around in bands and learning instruments when we were at school and of course have had a couple of questionable jobs along the way, but that only helped us to decide that music was even more right for us.
I’m guessing it hasn’t always been plain sailing, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Our main piece of advice would be to take your time and make sure that the main focus is on the songs and how they sound, because that’s the most important part, and if you get that right everything else falls into place a lot easier.
Your sound is somewhat seductive, how would you term it?
We like to describe our music as something you might listen to on a late night summer drive through a city with the windows down.
Who would you cite as your biggest influences?
This is a tricky one. We don’t necessarily just draw influence from other music. We try, where possible, to make our music create a feeling, which can often come from other things like our surroundings, a mood we’re in or a scene in a film. But to give you some insight, some of our favourite bands at the moment are Inc., Kendrick Lamar, Caribou, Baths and Jamie XX.
What’s the story behind “Coastal Love”?
I started off Coastal Love with just the title and then created an instrumental based around that. At that time Andy was in a long distance relationship, so for him it was quite fitting that the song be about two people both in different places, waiting for one another.
How was your recent show at The Laundry?
We had the best time. Very overwhelmed that it sold out and that there were so many people there singing along. A great great night, and definitely one we’ll remember.
What sort of fan base do you tend to attract?
We don’t know for sure but….
28% women between the ages of 18-24
22% men between the ages of 18-24
17% women between the ages of 25-34
17% men between the ages of 25-34
The other 16% is our parents.
In all seriousness, everyone who we’ve met so far have been great.
Do you have any crazy fan stories you can tell us?
A couple of people fainted at our gig in Paris. Not sure if they were starstruck or if it was down to the fact that it was about 40 degrees Celsius in the room.
So you played at Field Day, have you been before?
Yes we have and absolutely loved it. Luckily for us, it’s also really close to the area that we live in (Bow), which is great. After we finished playing we stuck around for the rest of the night to see Caribou and our talented friend Tei Shi.
What would be your ultimate festival to perform at?
It would have to be Glastonbury or Coachella. We don’t have first-hand experience of Coachella, but have heard many great things. As for Glastonbury, Andy’s been going for the last ten years as it’s relatively close to where he grew up, so it’s a special one for him I think.
Last one, which emerging artists are you currently backing?
There’s lots of great music coming through, it’s hard to be so specific, but as mentioned before, we think Tei Shi is pretty special. Enjoying George The Poet too.