Published on August 5th, 2015 | by Nigel Cartner0
Honey Ryder Interview
Coming hot on the heels of the success of second album, ‘Marley’s Chains’, UK soft rock/country band, Honey Ryder, are back with third album, ‘Born In A Bottle‘, complete with mini UK tour to follow later in the year.
Having become firm favourites across the Nashville scene, Honey Ryder’s star continues to rise having endured a successful summer season with performances at C2C and Isle Of Wight Festival to name but a few.
We had the chance to catch up with the band, who gave an interesting insight into the Nashville scene (making me want to visit), stating the importance of Pledge campaigns and saying what we can expect from them for the rest of 2015.
‘Born in a Bottle’ is your third album. How does this differ from the first two? Is there a progression in style and sound?
I wrote the first album, ‘Rising Up’, with Martyn Shone (who I started the band with originally) and it has a far rockier edge to it with more emphasis on the electric guitar. After Martyn left and Jason came on board we started using other instruments like the mandolin and bouzouki, and during the making of ‘Marley’s Chains’ we were invited out to Nashville by Paul Worley (the producer of Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum) to write and record, which naturally had an influence on the style of the album. We felt very comfortable there and enjoyed the organic process of recording…..so headed out again for the making of our third album. Each song we write starts off with a riff on guitar, so when we recorded the material we did it with the idea in mind that each track would sound good stripped back to nothing but the voice and guitar.
How has the album been received so far?
The album was made available to fans whilst we did a Pledge Campaign last year in order to raise money for promotion….it’s actually going to be re-released with some extra tracks in the next few weeks……so we’ll let you know…but so far so good!
‘Drink With Me‘ is the opening single. Isn’t there a story about how the song came about?
We wrote this song during our second trip to Nashville – we were writing in the day and performing/partying at night…..so the track just reflects the positive and lighthearted mood we were feeling. I think we’d just performed at The Bluebird Cafe the night before and were on a high. Nashville is like a playground for musicians – you can just walk down the road, pop into one of the many bars and see an amazing artist at almost any time of the day.
How has working in Nashville influenced the quality of song writing?
We like to think we’ve learnt a bit from writing with the guys out there – they totally excel in the lyric department. In fact they mostly like to start with lyrics by finding a concept and building up a storyline. I think most writers would agree that lyrics are by far the trickiest part to get right so it was brilliant to work with the Nashville guys and see how their minds operate. We wrote ‘Hitting the High Note’ with a songwriter called Rivers Rutherford, who’s penned tons of hits for big artists. He injected a lot of humour, fun and personality into the writing process…..and the song reflects that – have a listen!
Tell us a little about your experiences from Nashville? Are people out there more receptive because you’re British?
When we first went over a lot of the writers said it was interesting to work with people from outside the Nashville circle because they didn’t get too much – but Nashville is now attracting writers and performers from all over the world as well as Americans from New York to LA, so I guess they’re getting used to the invasion now! It’s definitely no bad thing being a Brit over there….they love the accent for starters!
What’s your inspiration when writing music?
It used to be everything that’s happened to me – but as I get older I find myself way more sensitive to other people’s situations. It’s good to put yourself in other people’s shoes and try and empathise with how they’re feeling….and sometimes take a more journalistic approach to songwriting. But mostly I write from the heart…..honesty is always the best policy.
It was really beneficial for us – and a fun way to gain funding. You really have to think outside the box when you release music nowadays and Pledge can get your creative juices flowing! We got to meet and spend time with some brilliant fans by doing this campaign. I would definitely advise other bands to get involved with Pledge.
Is it a sign of how the music industry works these days, the fact you’re signed to Ocean / EMI, but there is an expectancy to do a lot for yourself too?
You should rely on no one but yourself….you really have to experiment and find ways to promote your music. The internet and social media is a fantastic way of getting your music heard….but it’s constantly evolving and you’ve got to go with it.
There’s a comparison with Fleetwood Mac in terms of the harmonies, and obviously in the band dynamic. Do Fleetwood Mac songs feature in the song writing process?
Nope, we never listen to a song and try and create a song that sounds similar. We just write tunes that we enjoy playing and hope that others enjoy listening to them. We’re naturally influenced by a variety of artists including Fleetwood Mac but that’s all in our sub-conscious.
Stevie Nicks has recently said that every band should have a female member within it. Do you agree with that, Lindsay?
I must admit I do love the sound of a girlie harmony! I especially love the blend of male and female voices together….plus girls are always prettier to look at on stage (no offence boys).
We played on the Saturday at the Isle of Wight Festival and we were hoping to see them – but they were headlining the Sunday night and unfortunately we had other commitments…..I have seen them play live before though at Earls Court. Bloody brilliant they were!
How was the Isle of Wight Festival?
Amazing! We played on the Hard Rock Cafe Stage and had a blast. The sun was shining, we cracked open a few tinnies and hopefully entertained the crowd – they were lovely and really responsive.
I read a few months back that there’s some interest from Scandanavia in Honey Ryder, how has that developed?
We’ve had quite a lot of radio play in Denmark so we are exploring our options at the moment.
What else is planned for 2015? Is there a UK tour in the pipeline?
We’re going to radio soon with our first single, we’re playing various festivals (see www.honeyryder.com for details), we’re playing at the British Country Music Awards in October and will hopefully do our own UK tour in November…..see you there!