Photographer Joshua Shultz
Location The Fonda Theater
Story by Jaclyn Prophet
Bellus Magazine (BM): How did you come up with the name “HONNE”? What does it mean?
Honne (H): We found the word and fell in love with its meaning. It’s a Japanese word that essentially means ‘true feelings’. It’s part of a two word phrase – Honne and Tatemae. Honne refers to the true feelings that you keep to yourself or share with very close companions, whilst Tatemae is kind of your public front.
BM: What is the story behind HONNE?
H: Andy and I (James) met on the first day of university. We worked on music together in all sorts of shapes and forms, learning our craft. A couple of years ago we started writing music almost entirely at night, as we were working other jobs at the time. The outcome was this late-night soul that is HONNE.
BM: What has been your favorite HONNE song to write?
H: I think ‘Warm On A Cold Night’. It was the first song that we felt like ‘this is our sound and it’s unique to us’. It came so easily and was the first song we put out and got the ball rolling for us.
BM: It’s a bit cliché, but what is your favorite HONNE song?
H: Maybe a track called ‘FHKD’. It’s an interesting one as its a lot more electronic and dance orientated than our other tracks, and that was fun for us. It’s just got a nice feel to it too.
BM: What has been your favorite HONNE video to produce?
H: ‘All In The Value’ is a favourite of mine. It was filmed in Barbican in London in an incredible flat. We aren’t in the video itself, but we like to go along to help or just see the magic happening. The dancers in that video are so talented and so expressive and it was a real pleasure to see them doing their thing.
BM: How do your U.K. shows compare to your U.S. shows?
H: I think we’re really lucky in that all our shows seem to have a great party atmosphere. Loads of couples come to our shows (our sound engineer says he sees people getting a bit carried away at the back. Haha). Everyone is there to sing along, dance and have fun, and that’s the same wherever we play all round the world. We love it.
BM: What was your favorite thing about your U.S. tour?
H: Our favourite thing was waking up every day in a different city. We were in a tour bus that left after every gig at 2am. So we’d go to sleep in Philadelphia and wake up in Washington DC example. So that gave us a chance to have a look around all these places we’ve never been before. We’ve both always loved travelling and touring is giving us amazing opportunities to do this.
BM: How much control or creative input do you have in your tracks and videos?
H: We pretty much write, record, produce and perform everything on our tracks. Having said that, collaborating is something that we’d like to do a lot more of, and going forward we’re hoping to work with rappers, singers, producers etc to see what might come of it. You never know what’ll happen.
With videos, we like to show people the song and see what it makes them think of and what images it conjures up in their minds. Sometimes when you’re so involved in writing a song, you’re seeing it in a certain way, and a fresh perspective is exactly what it needs. When we have the idea from someone, then we’ll speak to them and throw our own ideas into the pot and take it from there.
BM: When can fans expect a new album/new release from HONNE?
H: Hopefully it won’t be too long. We write a lot all the time and right now we’re feeling very inspired. We’ve already started album two. Maybe next year or the start of the following year for another album. But there will be all sorts coming in between now and then. There’s a always something in the pipeline.
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