BLACK HONEY | Credit: Lauren Maccabee

Albums now are often a regurgitated accumulation of singles we’ve heard (and enjoyed, of course) for the three years of breaking through from anonymity to having one of the most committed fan bases in the world. For BLACK HONEYthough, this was never going to be the case. Speaking with lead singer Izzy B Phillips ahead of the highly anticipated self-titled debut record, she reveals I get really fed up with bands releasing albums where the lead single is a song I heard two years ago. When I hear an album, I want to be blown into a new perspective. With Black Honey, I wanted to give more; I wanted at least half of this record to be brand new and be like banging new singles.”

This approach has not been easy, but in some respects it has flowed perfectly and been executed with grace – take Midnight for example. A track that came about when “we were just dancing around the studio after we’d just wrote Bad Friends and we were really chuffed because we had finished it two hours early. We were like ‘shall we just have a mess about with some beats’ and in the space of two hours we wrote the whole of Midnight.” With an immediate vision of where Black Honey wanted the track to go, Izzy “took the demo that we made and overlaid it to John Travolta dancing and sent it to the director like ‘dude we’ve gotta make this, check out this disco track I’ve just written.’ He was like ‘Oh my God this has to happen.'”

Suprisingly, “it never happens like that. I’m always the one dragging a song through to its final end, but this one took two hours and I had the video idea already.” The record itself was quite a mixture of being a long process and coming naturally – “it actually ended up that half of the album was quite quick in the end. I wrote a lot of songs, then everyone was like ‘we’ve got a record,’ but I said ‘NO! We haven’t got a record yet,’ because I feel, and felt, strongly that I have more to say that I hadn’t quite nailed yet.”

It was after an extensive stint on tour with Royal Blood that a creative burst was formed; I came out of the Royal Blood tour that we were on for six weeks and recorded three or four of the songs that are on the album, so it kind of feels like one or the other – I’ll either pain and agonise myself spending years on a song, but sometimes they just come in a flash. It doesn’t mean they are better or worse when they come quickly, they just feel better because you haven’t grown through a struggle with them.”

Translating the final recorded mixes into a live performance will be interesting for Black Honey, but in terms of the shows 

You can expect everyone sharing a fucking moment together, singing their hearts out, drunk debauchery and crowd surfing. We’ve got some surprises in line but I can’t tell you yet …” Even after their incredible rise into one of the most loved bands in the UK, the Brighton four-piece have still have “what we call chin-scratching” that “happens in London and Brighton, where people are really judgemental. Up north everyone is so welcoming! We always say anywhere up north is cool.”

Black Honey do not hate the south, though, as Izzy reitorates “it would be mean to say we have them [chin scratchers] in every city, because we have the most amazing, heartwarming fans and that is a privilege.” It is also the London show that the band are possibly most excited about heading to on their largest headline tour yet. “We’re really excited to do Electric Ballroom because it is so fucking massive. I am in awe that we are actually going to be playing a stage where we supported The Cribs three years ago. Mad!”

Another reason the quartet are fond of London shows is because a certain Queens of the Stone Age put them on the bill at their Finsbury Park this summer – a show that Izzy remembers vividly, reminiscing: Iggy Pop blew me away. There’s no way anything I have done or will do will ever match how amazing he is. It was probably the highlight of my summer: we were supporting Queens of the Stone Age, we announced the album the day before, we’d just watched The Hives then I sat on Chris’ shoulders watching Iggy Pop do the most perfect rendition of The Passenger and you know when it sounds like the record and that is all you ever want when watching a heritage act.

“It was fucking awesome. I went and watched The Hives with Miles Kane and Royal Blood then saw Iggy Pop. Queens, man! Fucking hell they were so good!”




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