I had a conversation with one of Atlantic Records most exciting new acts, HONNE, ahead of their show at the Triple Rock Social Club (8/5). This conversation took place over the phone on Tuesday (8/2) as they settled in their hotel after two sold-out shows in California (L.A and San Diego). I spoke with James for the majority of the conversation while Andy chimed-in from the background and eventually closed out the conversation with me.
The London-based electronic/R&B duo creates intelligent, vibey, pop music that’s cherished for its unique, seductive (‘baby-making’) sound. I stumbled upon HONNE earlier this year on Soundcloud. I came across their song ‘Someone That Loves You’ featuring fellow London-based rising singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu. The song caught my attention, after listening to it on repeat numerous times I was eager to learn and hear more about HONNE and their music.
HONNE is a duo, James Hatcher (producer) and Andy Andy Clutterbuck (singer/producer) who both write, record and produce the music. About 18 months ago they officially formed HONNE and have been crafting their sound, aesthetic and finding their footing within the music industry. The band name ‘HONNE‘ is a Japanese word that roughly means true feelings and desires. The duo found that this word was a perfect fit for the type of music they wanted to make. Their first two EPs Warm on a Cold Night and All in the Value were released via Super Recordings in 2014. In 2015, they released their third EP, Coastal Love, on their own imprint Tatemae Recordings via Atlantic Records. They released their debut studio album, Warm on a Cold Night on July 23rd and have set-off on a multi-city North American tour in support of it.
Behind The Lite: A Conversation with HONNE about Music, Touring and more.
Hey Guys, How’s it going?
James: Hello! You’ve just got James on the line but Andy is here as well.
How’s the tour going so far?
James: We’ve just played two show so far, L.A and San Diego. Those show were very high energy and a different experience for us. We are very excited about this tour.
So the band name is HONNE and your record label is Tatemae Recordings? How significant is the Japanese culture personally and professionally?
James: I personally haven’t been too Japan yet, but Andy has spent a significant amout of time there. He lived there shortly. We both stumbled on these names and they resonated with us and our vision for our music, so it made sense to use it. We look forward to playing some shows there in the near future. Andy was actually in Japan and JONES was in London when “No Place Like Home” off our Over Lover EP was written.
HONNE means: True intentions/feelings
Tatemae means: The version of yourself that you show to the public.
I know you guys were at SXSW this year, how did you enjoy Texas?!
James: Well, we have only been to Austin. Austin was pretty cool and SXSW was a fun experience. We got to play some cool gigs and connect with some friends and other artists from London as well.
So far, Do you have a favorite city or state in the U.S to perform in?
James: *Laugh* Um! Not really. This is tough question. We have played shows sparingly in the states; this tour is the first leg of consecutive dates in the states. We are looking forward to all the dates and cities.
How has the fan reception been since your debut album ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ dropped?
James: The reception has been really good. We wish we could respond to all the comments, tweets and etc we’ve gotten so far. We are really appreciate them. It nice to see people appreciate a body of work that we’ve crafted and work on for a long time. It’s a gratifying feeling for sure.
I know you guys haven’t done many collaborations with other artists except for Izzy Bizu (Warm On A Cold Night) and JONES (Coastal EP). Are there any collaborations with other artists in the works?
James: Most definitely. We have definitely been in touch with a few people and are currently having those conversations. They are a few things in the works and we are looking forward to doing more collaborations as well.
How does it feel to have JONES as the supporting act for this tour?
James: We haven’t gotten a chance to see her yet but we will see her in a few hours. JONES has become a very good friend of ours. She very talented and we are excited to have her on tour with us. We have been very involved in her upcoming project. We also co-wrote and produced her single, MELT. We are excited for the music she has on the way.
What should people expect from a live HONNE show?
James: We try to do something different always. We don’t want people to necessarily expect anything but we want to be open to the experience and enjoy the music. We didn’t just want it to be James and I on stage on our computers. We have a solid group, a back-up vocalist, bassist and drummer to take the performance to the next level and be able to broaden our sound live.
Also, I forgot to ask, how was it touring with Kwabs? I love him.
James: Oh! it was amazing. Kwabs is an very talented and is very well-known in Germany. We did a few dates on the European leg of this tour and it was a great experience. He is a great guy and incredible artist. It was a pleasure to share a stage with him
Andy: Thanks James.
James: Andy just said *Thanks* like I was giving him those compliments *laughs*
What are your favorite apps or social media platforms to engage with fans on? I read a past interview and Andy seems to really be into snapchat *laughs*
James: *laughs* Yes! Andy is really into Snapchat and we also have a custom filter on this tour. It has HONNE ‘WARM ON A COLD NIGHT’ and the city we are playing on the bottom. It’s pretty cool. I think Twitter is my favorite, we try our best to keep up with all our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). But Twitter is engaging, quick and easy to connect with people. We have connected with a lot of artists and fans on Twitter for sure. It’s nice.
James to Andy: Have you been keeping up with Snapchat?
I saw the session you guys did with Mahogany with House Gospel Choir and it was amazing. I have listened to it on repeat all day.
James: Oh really? wow thanks. Yes, we had a great time doing that. That the choir that we originally recorded ‘Good Together’ and a few other records on the album with. It always a pleasure working with them. Hopefully we can get them to play a few live shows with us soon. That would be cool.
I don’t want to keep you guys any longer. Thank you so much for chatting with me, I look forward to seeing you guys in Minneapolis.
Andy: Thank you, we look forward to meeting you and coming to Minneapolis
James: Thank you. Sounds good. Take care.
Check out more of Honne’s music on Soundcloud and Spotify. Stay updated with everything HONNE via their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Let me know what you think of HONNE and their music; comment below or tweet me (@thelitestyle). Don’t miss their show at Triple Rock Social Club (8/5) in Minneapolis. If you’re not in Minneapolis, see the rest of their tour dates below and be sure to catch their show if they in a city near you.