Honeyblood vocalist/guitarist Stina Tweeddale chats with Mike McGrath-Bryan about their new album, tour footage, and what lies ahead.
It’s a time of expansion for Scottish punk/pop duo Honeyblood. Sophomore effort Babes Never Die has landed on shelves, with the record’s eponymous leadoff single now doing the rounds. What follows in the coming months will be the band’s biggest tour yet, taking in another circumnavigation of the UK, debut Ireland dates, and gigs in Asia and Australia. Vocalist Stina Tweeddale speaks on her relief in getting the music out there and seeing the response it’s received. “It’s very daunting putting out the second record, so, I’m very glad that Babes Never Die has connected in the way it seems to have done. People get the ideas behind the record and that’s more than I could ever ask for.”
The curse of the difficult second album seems to be no issue here – equally spirited and noisy, it amply shows off the pair’s knack for melody. Tweeddale’s writing process was a lot more defined, and the project benefits from a newfound collaborative songwriting process. “Definitely there was a change… I started demoing more, the tracks were coming together with sounds and basslines which didn’t happen with the first record. And of course, Cat is now here to collaborate with me (on drums) which makes all the difference. I guess with this one I had a bit more of a clue of how to go about making an album.”
Taking in the sights and sounds of the band’s touring activity over the past year or so, the video for the Babes Never Die single was constructed entirely from found footage and photography. “This video could not have been made without the help of our fans who filmed and were part of it. It was made over three months of touring the US and UK and also includes a lot of footage that Cat and I filmed ourselves. It’s really just the reality of what our tours are like.”
Touring as a two-piece – how might it differ from heading out with four, five people, in terms of keeping each other’s company almost exclusively in the car/van/bus, etc? Is there a risk of cabin fever, for lack of a better term? “It’s great. We tour in a little van and scoot around! Nowadays we actually do take a few other people on tour, so it isn’t ever just us, but we fortunately don’t get too sick of each other’s company. I think we would have stopped long ago if we did!”
The album has released via Brighton-based indie Fat Cat Records. For a band so attitudinal, what does a label infrastructure offer that the do-it-yourself approach perhaps mightn’t? “We had the opportunity to work with FatCat from a very early stage with Honeyblood. I guess we have really formed a business with their help as a label. I do entirely believe in bands self-releasing though – I think it’s a hard task, but a very worthwhile one.”
April 7th sees the pair head to Cyprus Avenue for the Leeside stop of their tour, part of the run-up to a massive London show at the Koko, the biggest in the band’s run so far. When asked their thoughts heading into their Irish stretch, however, none of this is in mind – the date is a night of celebration. “It’s Cat’s birthday the day of the Cork show! So, I’m hoping we are going to have a very fun night indeed!”
In a time of exponential growth for the band, the summer festival grind comes calling, before the next step of the journey. “We will be hitting a fair amount of festivals this summer and then back to do some writing at the end of the year, maybe for the next album.”
Honeyblood play Cyprus Avenue on April 7. Tickets available now via the Old Oak and cyprusavenue.ie.