We’re proud to announce Honey Wild (artist page) as Shorewave Records’ newest signee! Shorewave releases “Garden / Magnifique Innocent,” [SW003] as a AA-side which will drop digitally on 11/18 and 7” white vinyl on 11/25. The first single streaming below, “Magnifique Innocent” premiered yesterday via The Wild Honey Pie. Pre-order via their bandcamp (or iTunes) and catch them live headlining Mercury Lounge on November 25.
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We first met the Brooklyn-based ’60s-influenced indie rockers when we asked them to play at the Haus back in July. They blew us away with vintage melodic rock, mixing reverb-rich licks with frontman Joe Stevens’ clever lyrics and harmonizing voice. (Ed. note: On an aside, frontman Joe also apparently remembers me before from meeting at a party at in Ithaca, NY a couple of years back, but my memory isn’t so clear.)
It’s not every day at Shorewave HQ that we can announce a signing, so we take it seriously here when we do. We chatted with the guys behind Honey Wild about how they began, how they deal with practicing and developing songs with four guys in a tiny, sort-of locked room for three hours and how the guys bring something different to the musical table.
Joe Stevens: I originally planned to move to NY with a bandmate from college… but, I ended up here alone. The move was a big do-over: I found a job cooking at a restaurant on Bedford Ave [in Williamsburg], where I met a lot of people involved with music and I decided to start a new band from scratch. There, a co-worker introduced me to Andy [Payne, drummer] who is handsome as shit — and a great drummer. We started by ironing out these dark folk songs that I was writing… they turned into an angsty, hollering alt-country/power-pop schtick that defined our first songs. Looking back, it’s pretty funny.
Shorewave: And then you guys met the Steve [Laing, bassist] and Alex [Rainer, vocalist]?
Honey Wild: Well, Andy eventually linked up with Steve, a college friend from his SUNY Purchase days who was also living in Brooklyn. Apparently, they both reunited at a bar one night, got wasted… and decided that Steve should be our bass player. Pretty early on, we developed this intense faith in the band — it wasn’t just this arbitrary extra-curricular thing. The fourth guy, Alex, is just an all around synch.
Shorewave: Very nice. So, we’ve got four guys sitting in this practice room in Long Island City, Queens. How did a few musical guys hanging progress into creating cohesive, catchy Honey Wild tunes?
Honey Wild: So, we rehearse in a storage unit which is attached to an ice rink. Our practices are usually about three hours (and leaving the room is against the rules, for some reason) — a long time for four dudes to be cramped into one tiny, 7 by 10 foot space. If we’re working on new material, we have this cultish work ethic. We approach each minute detail of the song as if it’s the first time we’ve ever played together. The bulk of the time is spent arguing over how the parts should be arranged: making them thinner or thicker, softer, swapping parts, changing keys… we go through lots of options. The most important thing is if a song is fun to play.
Shorewave: Yeah, three hours in a tight space seems pretty rough. How do you guys get through it?
Honey Wild: We’re always doing different skits and voices… maybe from the delirium of it, always trying to make each other laugh. Also, whenever Joe has a weird idea for a part, he presents it in this lopsided way that makes him sound like a psychopath. Everyone gets all ‘social worker,’ like “no, no, I see what you’re saying Joe, let’s try it out. It’s okay.”
Shorewave: Sounds like a scene that I’d love to sit in on sometime. What do you think Honey Wild bring to the musical landscape?
Honey Wild: That’s kind of hard to answer. At this point, we’re trying to bring a more laid-back variety of rock ‘n roll to a scene that’s a bit saturated with over-styled bands. That’s not to say that we’re trying to put out Dad rock either — we hate that shit. Style is important and we consider ourselves an indie band first and foremost, but you’ve gotta be a real dude. Our style is kinda homegrown, so whatever that specific thing is… we bring it?
Follow Honey Wild‘s journey on Facebook and Twitter. Also, take a listen to their first, self-released EP “Mea Culpa” from April.
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