Cinematic, retro, romantic guacamole: an interview with Izzy from Black Honey

I caught up with Izzy from Black Honey, a band from Brighton taking the music scene by storm recently, being penned up for Live At Leeds this year, headlining Poltimore Festival and more recently announcing a new tour across Eastern Europe.

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The band are doing extremely well across the UK, their self-titled debut album reached 33 in the UK album charts, several music video releases, including their most recent ‘Crowded City’ from the album.

Hi Izzy! First of all, let’s get down to the basics. What did you want to be when you were younger?

I really wanted to be a stuntman, like an acrobatic person, jumping out of cars and all that shit. Turns out I’m not the most co-ordinated person in the world.

What was your vision of being in a band before you were actually part of one, and has that changed?

Honestly, I can’t remember when I wasn’t in a band. I’ve been writing with my best friend and bandmate Chris for around 10 years now, so music has always been a very big part of my life.

I’ve seen you’re headlining the Poltimore Festival in Exeter, how does that feel, your first ever headliner?

It feels pretty fucking nuts to be headlining Poltimore. We’ve always dreamed of headlining a festival and it’s absolutely mindblowing that we’re doing it. 

Talking of festivals, which ones would you love to play in the future?

In a dream world, one day I’d love to play Glastonbury, maybe even Coachella and do some really cool stuff touring around the USA.

Are festivals different to playing a gig for you? Is it a different atmosphere?

Honestly, festivals are so different from your typical show. Mainly, you don’t get a soundcheck. After the last festival circuit I was so excited to get back to an actual venue, where we could sort out our own sound. Festivals are kind of a lucky dip when it comes to everything. With the crowd, the lucky thing is if it’s absolutely pissing it down then I’ll be like ‘Great! Everyone’s gonna be coming into our tent and seeing us play!’ 

What do you guys have planned in 2019, other than the tour and festival stuff?

There’s honestly so much in the pipework. I’m so excited about everything happening at the moment, there’s possibly going to be announcements about new music, crazy collaborative stuff we’re doing with fans for the next record. It’s really hard to tell people about things, especially to create hype for the next stuff we’re doing. My favourite thing at the moment is to test songs on non-musicians, like just have it on in the background and then have them say ‘THAT SONG!’, it gives a more critical perspective. It’s fucking cool within our friendship group to try new stuff out. I think we’re ready to blitz the next steps, and all I can say is EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.

You have recently released the Crowded City video, which was a continuation from your previous video Midnight. How fun was that to shoot, especially with keeping the theme of the other video.

It was hard, we had to kind of waggle the storyline with no budget and no time. A funny story is that I borrowed my stepdad’s car which had already broken down about 7 times, and we just had to push start this car from the 1960’s in the middle of Leicester Square, and had people saying ‘Did I just see Black Honey push starting a car in Leicester Square?’. When we eventually got it to work, I was just driving the car through London with no insurance, not even legally driving it.

It was all done in one shot which was fucking hilarious. Another thing is that I was running through busy London traffic, with everyone honking their horns and shouting out of the windows at me as I was weaving through cars. It was an absolute riot to film. 

Another story is that we once broke into a theme park to film a video – we found this amazing theme park and had tried to bribe the security guards and beg them to let us in, ‘It’s my birthday!!’, I think a little flutter of the eyelashes might have swooned them over. 

If anyone, who would you LOVE to support/collaborate with in the future?

Honestly, it would be quite hard to beat the Royal Blood tour. I’ve got so many mad stories of waking up at 2am to Ben [Ben Thatcher, Royal Blood] dancing with a bottle of tequila. If anyone, I’d love to collaborate with the main pop scene. People like Debbie Harry from Blondie, HAIM are great, we supported them once in 2014… I’d love to collaborate and support some of our mates too like The Amazons. One other band that would be cool to do some stuff with would be Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes too, they’re amazing. 

Finally, would you describe your music in just one sentence for me?

Oh god… I’d say.. cinematic, retro, romantic guacamole. That’s just like 4 words!

Izzy was great to interview, she’s amazing and so is the rest of the band too. Catch them at Live At Leeds on the 4th of May, alongside other artists like Metronomy, Tom Grennan and Sundara Karma.


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