Honey Motel reflect on 2020 and talk music | Interview

honey motel band liverpool 2020

Honey Motel stop by tell us about starting out in 2020, Liverpool, their sound and much more!

Hello Guys! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this – could you quickly introduce yourselves?

We are Honey Motel. A four piece indie rock outfit from Liverpool. Matthew Walker is our frontman. Sam Meredith plays Lead Guitar & Keys, Pablo Robinson Plays Drums & Jack Hughes plays bass.

As we know 2020 has been a shit show, and I wanna try to get through the interview without saying the ‘C’ word! However in 2020, you guys actually formed (which is amazing), how did the band form? Was it due to all the free time you potentially had this year?

We have been playing together for a while, before the big “C” word came upon us haha. But it was only during lockdown of this year (back in early spring) that we thought we should properly brand ourselves and release some of our music to the world. The lockdown, although it had its terrible side (like being locked up, not contacting friends etc.) it allowed us to take the time to properly organise and brand this band successfully.  We officially launched in september of 2020 after careful planning over the summer, and released 2 tracks this autumn.

Are you guys from previous bands, or is this a complete fresh and new scenario for all of you?

We’ve all been really good mates for years now, and we’ve played music together before, we went to gigs together and played with some other bands. But when we played together, we never really took it as something serious, more of a hobby. After we realised that we loved doing it together, (and we were better than we thought we were haha), we decided to properly brand ourselves and give it a good go. And so far so good, I’d say.

Also, where did the band name Honey Motel come from? I’m a big fan of honey, so I would probably take permanent residence there.

The name come after months of brainstorming. For a good few months earlier this year we were just debating what to call ourselves. If anybody had a name idea it would get sent into our whatsapp chat, got rejected immediately or you got the reply ‘not bad’; which isn’t the most reassuring either! I think we had the Motel part of the name first and wanted to call ourselves ‘something Motel’. And then Honey just seemed to fit…right. Honey Motel. 

So far you’ve released ‘Weekends’ and ‘Madeline’, which are two really strong songs and show that your sound is embedded with these bright guitars and euphoric drums! I immediately jump to The 1975 and their guitar pop sounds, is that a band you take influences from, or what other bands do you take influences from?

The 1975 are amazing, and have paved a new way for british guitar bands over the last decade with their luscious instrumentals and delicate guitar sounds. But i’d say in general our influences can’t really be pinpointed to any one artist or sound. Our front man Walker loves traditional british guitar bands of the 00s and 10s such as the Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Circa Waves. Our guitarist & songwriter Sam loves everything from marvin gaye, to bruce springsteen, to haim, to sam fender, to pink floyd, to taylor swift, his music taste is a mess, but in a good way haha. Pab our drummer loves bands such as kings of leon and tame impala, he also loves scouse rockers ‘the night cafe’. Pablo also loves british rappers like skepta and dave. Our bassist loves his pop punk, anything like blink 182, green day, paramore, jack is all over it. So I guess you could say we’re a real big mixing pot of influences, but it seems to work.l, as we’re never short for ideas. And it normally ends up in an argument; who’s idea will make the final cut of the song. 

Side note, you definitely could’ve released Weekends’ and ‘Madeline’ as two separate singles – how come you decided not too?

Yeah, everyone keeps telling us this hahaha, suppose we should have. Que sera, sera ey, haha. I suppose we never really thought about it that way. We have a lot of singles coming out in 2021, and we didn’t want to clutter people’s feeds with our music, and because we thought it sounded more b-sidey (i.e shorter,) We decided to put it as that.  However, looking back, you’re probably right, we should have released it as an A-side. 

Of course in the circumstances you haven’t been able to perform live as much as you would’ve liked, so have you used this time as a band to create a tonne of music, or have you put efforts elsewhere?

Yes, thats all we have pretty much been doing, music music music, demos demos demos. And the odd photoshoot/promo video in the mean time (where safe to do-so, and socially distanced, wearing masks etc.). We are also in the mists of organising a UK tour for 2021 when things have hopefully…calmed down with the big C.

You guys are from Liverpool, and the city is booming with new bands and artists at the moment – is there anyone you particularly enjoying at the moment?

Liverpool is full of talent in the music scene, and new bands that are amazing. Literally too many to mention. We especially love the night cafe, the kairos, zuzu, STONE, red rum club, Clean Cut Kid. Some class music of all different styles in the city at the moment. 

The best band to come out of Liverpool?

Offt, now that’s hard. The obvious answer is the Beatles, and don’t think you can argue with that , as they single handedly ruled the world at one point in time. But honorable mentions go to the wombats, the la’s, space, the zutons, flock of seagulls, cast..so so many.

Honey motel band 2020

You guys have gig at the Arts Club Loft in Liverpool coming up April 2021 with Voodoo Bandits and Nocturnal Coast which I’m sure will be amazing. Was there anything in the selection of that venue, and the support acts?

This date has changed so many times! We originally had this date booked for EBGB’s, however, after putting the first announcement out, many people weren’t happy with the fact that they couldn’t get in, as EBGB’s is an 18+ venue. We then decided, where best but the locally famous Zanzibar. Then, after the terrible news of hearing the closure of this famous venue, it was just a case of finding a new venue, that had a similar capacity, with the correct age restrictions, where we decided upon the Arts Club. It was a decision that just kind of sat right with us. The Arts Club is a great venue, which has had many amazing bands play there, and thought we’d add to the list.

Both bands we’d listened to before, and I think we’ve always had in mind what bands would be best to support us. Ones with a similar music vibe, but bands not as heavy or darker than us, meaning when we come on it’s a bit of a change to what’s been played so far on the night. And again, the decision just kind of sat right with us.

Liverpool is littered with so many good venues, is there any you’re particularly looking forward to playing and why?

Playing music is what we all love to do. We’re all best mates and we thoroughly enjoy every part of the band, and we’ve always been told to aim big. I don’t think any of us would accept lower than arena level venues. So I guess it would have to be the Echo Arena. I think we have music that can fill an arena, I think we can gain arena amounts of fans, so I don’t know why we can’t aim for that.

After years of listening to British and American based bands, I’ve decided to broaden my horizons and listen to what other countries have to offer. Honourable mentions go to Molchat Doma, a belarusian pop punk band, and The Chats, a very punky Australian band. But I’ll always stay true to my roots and always be listening locally,

We’re all big music lovers at WFM, so it’s always interesting to know what bands are listening to?

Like we said before, we’re a whole mixing pot full of music genres, and we’re all constantly listening to a whole wide array of music to really give us some good ideas for our own tracks. So I couldn’t really pin point one artist that we were listening to. But, a few that we as a band have really enjoyed this year are Sam Fender’s debut album, Nothing but Thieves, Larkins and me personally, I’ve been listening to a lot of Greta Van Fleet.

Best album of 2020 for you guys?

I think The 1975’s Notes On A Conditional Form is a really poignant and important album, especially after the year we’ve had. Not only is it an important album for this year, it’s also got some bangers on there. 

Finally, 2021 can’t be much worse than 2020 – so what are you plans for the year if it all goes smoothly? Debut EP? Play a festival? Be happy and healthy?

We have alotttt, of new music to release. We have an LP’s worth of singles to show the world, so we’re hoping to get those to everyone in the early stages of 2021. As mentioned before, we also are in the stages of planning a tour of the UK at some point in 2021 if big Boris allows us haha. And we dont have any festival plans atm but would loveee to get on some of them for the summer if they go ahead. 

Thanks for your time guys, super appreciate it – wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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