[INTERVIEW] Blood Like Honey drummer James talks ‘Haunt Me / Love Me’

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Forming in 2015 and releasing their first EP, Haunt Me / Love Me earlier this year, Blood Like Honey are quick to enter the scene and start making a name for themselves. Haunt Me / Love Me is a ferociously made album with a unique sound easily identifiable to their name. “Josh (our singer/guitarist) post an advert on a local bands group on Facebook advertising that him and Harry (the bassist at the time) looking for a drummer for music in the vein of Biffy Clyro and The Xcerts. It really just sounded right down my street, so we all met up and got on really well, and started practising soon afterwards. It was great how it all came together so well.” Since their initial meeting though, Blood Like Honey have been hard at work perfecting their first EP, Haunt Me / Love Me. Opening with 100ml, Haunt Me / Love Me showcase the energy in a catchy, moving beat that stays in your mind. “It [100ml] was actually the first song we ever wrote in the band! The backbone of the track was already written by Josh prior to us practising, but we beefed it up quite a bit since and tried to add a bit more dynamics with the off beats in the verse,” James says. ‘100ml’ is a strong start to the EP, offering a huge introduction to the band and what to expect. While there are a thousand names for genres these days, the best way to describe the opening of Haunt Me / Love Me is the hint that Blood Like Honey really does have the ability to draw inspiration from artists to combine it into a unique sound. There’s a hint that they can play heavier despite their punk, maybe rock ‘n’ roll persona.

“The writing process was pretty casual for this EP, as it was our first recordings so it was gradual. In the early stages, we were just trying to find our sound as a band. It took the best part of a year to fully write, and tweak. We’re so pleased with the outcome though, it has exceeded my expectations quite a bit,” James starts. The five-track EP is beautifully produced, with clear gritty guitar sounds that spits energy and the underlying drums that really adds that attitude. “Our bassist, Tom Joy recorded and produced it all, I remember there were quite a few times in the studio that I was just blown away with how good everything was sounding – it was like a whole new dimension to the songs we’ve become too accustomed to. He’s a studio wizard.” The EP has not only brought the first dreams of Blood Like Honey to life, with bands such as Black Foxxes, Can’t Swim and Tiny Moving Parts influencing drummer James through the production of it. The clear bassline that adds layers, depth and the overall feeling is complemented by cadenced, high-energy drumming; both instruments using each other to really let the songs come alive.

The fourth track, ‘Tim Roth,’ gives us an even further insight to their ability to cope with heavy riffs and aggressive undertones. But, it is quite a misleading song because it gets softer and just takes away what we were all expecting. It’s almost like being teased, but the crescendo of the music really drives out that passion behind the music. One of the interesting things about music is that it can trigger an ancient reward pathway where it encourages dopamine to flood to the striatum – a part of your forebrain that’s activated by addiction, reward and motivation. Music has the ability to do this, and bands – thousands of artists – have achieved this stimulant in their musical careers, but for Blood Like Honey to work on their first EP and still give you that rush of shivers going down your spine, it’s rare. Why you may ask? Well, Blood Like Honey have sat down and worked on their own music without the nitpicking of someone who apparently knows what people want to hear; they produced and recorded the album on their own yet they’ve still come out with undeniably passionate music that strikes emotion and feeling in a very real way. According to James, ‘Tim Roth’ is one of the best songs to garner attention. “It’s probably my favourite for the EP. For a long time, it was the track we would open live shows with and I just really love playing it.”

“There’s an overall theme behind the EP – it’s almost like a concept EP,” James starts. Haunt Me / Love Me is a fluid album, with each songs connecting well without catching you off guard too much. The confidence Blood Like Honey have put into their produced sound shines through, and definitely adds appeal. “We’ve described it as ‘ying against yang’, about finding the positivity within the negative and how that may not be in a harmonious balance.”

“I just feel really proud of it – it’s a huge sounding recording which perfectly embodies what we’re all about.” 

The passion that Blood Like Honey showcases throughout the five-track EP is obvious, with their spirits channelled through instruments and voice. The EP is mastered wonderfully, with each member of Blood Like Honey really contributing vital elements that give the songs a solid body. Not only do the band possess the talent to support the songs musically, but lyrically the songs grow in depth. “‘Melatonin’ for instance is about overcoming a particularly dark time in Josh’s life and it builds up towards the end with the lyrics ‘Haunt Me / Love Me’ which we liked so much that we chose it for the EP name,” James says, “for me, [the album] was a long time coming – I found it so relatable to me personally even though Josh wrote the lyrics about his personal experiences. Like, ‘100ml’ there’s a lyrics ‘Fight back to where I belong, this old shell is getting lonely’ which was literally my experience from living in London and moving back home shortly before joining the band. I’m just really proud of [the EP] – it’s a huge sounding recording which perfectly embodies what we’re all about. I also think of it as laying the foundations, so people can get on board with what we’re doing and just hopefully want to support us throughout our journey, I guess!”

With plans to start their first UK tour early next year, Blood Like Honey has other exciting plans to tour outside of the UK that they’re currently working on. “Also we have our next single down which we’re looking at filming a music video for and launching either later this year, or early next. It’s a big slice of radio rock,” James says. But, despite the band life ultimately being a hectic, go-getting, high-energy lifestyle, Blood Like Honey have more to their music than the collateral rock ‘n’ roll life. “Our ultimate goal [as a band] is to have people connect with our music, we’re all really enjoying recording and playing live together so we’re hoping as the band grows that we’ll reach new fans,” he starts, “I can’t speak for the guys but I know I definitely have a few things I would like to tick off the bucket list, like be played on Radio 1; to play Reading/Leeds and to tour abroad.” With the talent that Blood Like Honey has already showcased, James’ dreams might be easier to reach than initially thought – bands such as Royal Blood, Neck Deep and 30 Seconds To Mars are currently seeing more airtime on the radio, and while Blood Like Honey isn’t necessarily in the same genres as the previously mentioned bands, the work, talent and clear understanding of creating catchy music with hints of diversity and expanding depth and relatability, Blood Like Honey definitely fit the bill to reach a huge potential.

You can follow Blood Like Honey on their FACEBOOK, TWITTER and INSTAGRAM to keep up to date with their upcoming, exciting plans and be sure to follow them on their SPOTIFY and BANDCAMP.

 

 

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