Artists / Bands, Culture, Interviews, Metal / Hard Rock — October 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

Let’s get the House rockin’, Honey!

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With a long standing tradition in revealing outstanding classic rock acts such as AC/DC and Cold Chiesel, Australia is a melting pot of talented bands looking for a spot under the sun. With a long standing tradition in forming talented musicians through its trial-by-fire, survival of the fittest live music scene, Melbourne is a boiling rock cauldron filled with the best musical ingredients.

From such promising scenario rise The House of Honeys, a distinctively  hook-oriented classic rock and hard rock combo. We had the opportunity to chat with the band composed of Beau Gothard (bass/vox), Mike Pizzey (vox/ guitar), Anthony Speranza (drums), and Adam Ryder (lead guitar) about their background, approach to music, releases and future plans.

 

First, please tell me how did this all come about? How did you form the band?

Anthony: I met Mike in London through a mutual friend and we just started rehearsing together. By that time I was travelling through Europe and working as a designer. We wrote a few songs and started working on that. The name of the band back then was Stone Circles. We then recorded five or six songs together as the starting point. We did not push them out commercially, just through the Internet to get some word of mouth going. We even got an invitation to play a gig but by then we had never played a gig before and with no time to prepare we had to turn it down. We then got some airplay in university radio stations, especially in Italy. From there, Michael came back to Australia and met Beau, and then started putting some more songs together. I came back to Australia and with that material we recorded a demo – our first material as House of Honeys.

Mike: Yes, I met Beau during a BBQ, right after I arrived back here. We then scheduled a session in a studio and started jamming. Adam is the newbie.

Adam: I went through an audition. They had another guitarist, Clinton, who recorded those tracks with them.

 

And at what age or how did you decide, “music is what I wanna do with my life” – and why? Was there a specific album or a concert that triggered it?

Mike: This is a very individual question. We all have our own individual reasons for being in a band I guess. Some guys like to perform, other guys just write songs, want to have a legacy or something. For me, personally, I love all three: playing, writing, and leaving something meaningful to the world.

Anthony: I’ve always pictured myself behind the drum kit in front of a big crowd, you know? Growing up as a teenager, my brother was into metal music and I always liked hard rock and staying up late to watch Rage* and record my favourite clips. I would get home and put the recordings on, stuff like Tool, Motörhead or Soundgarden… rock has always been a constant, I think.

Mike: The lowest paid full-time job, that’s what we do now, playing in a rock band. We’re a business, an enterprise, running at a negative gearing ratio. That sort of shows the reason why we still do it – we love playing! My two highlights of the week, after working really hard on the job, are the two nights when we rehearse. A special bonus would be having a gig at that same week.

 

Can you talk about the recordings (four new tracks) you’ve done recently? Are they gonna form a full-length? 

Mike: I don’t know. I think we’ll do a full-length from scratch. The four songs we have now will go into an EP to be released sooner than that album. Between us, the producer and the record label, we decided to try to work with up to 30 ideas and pick the best 10 for the album. 

Anthony: During these rehearsals we’re mainly concentrating in writing new songs. Maybe we’ll pick one of two of the songs from the EP, but that’s it. Our writing process has changed now too. “The Waiting” would be our first ballad, as we call it. On the first demo we had more 140, 160 BPM tracks we recorded at the previous guitarist’s house, and then was mastered by Dave Petrovik up in Sydney. So let’s see what comes out now.

 

Influences – there is obviously a lot of classic rock and hard rock influences on your music – any bands in particular? Is that what you guys grew up with?

Mike: I grew up with Enya (laughs).

Anthony: I can safely say our music is a result from our influences in a way, but hardly intentionally nodding to this band or the other. The way our songs evolved is because we became better players and started listening to music in different ways, especially after being in the studio together for some time.

Mike: It’s all about having strong but open minds too. If we only listened to AC/DC, every song would come out as AC/DC. But everyone has different influences – Adam for example loves his heavy and hard metal, so thumping riffs come out of his guitar. Anthony is into his Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and more drummer-driven bands.

Anthony: … drummer bands, yes!!

Mike: Well, I’m a big fan of Soundgarden and stuff like that, but I also love AC/DC and other classic rock bands. I go back and listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival some times. And all we play has that very rough Australian rock finishing. I wouldn’t classify it as pub rock though as that limits your options, and what we do has the potential to be bigger than that. 

Anthony: These big bands like Soundgarden, Motörhead or Mötley Crüe… we like what they do with certain parts of the songs. If I start a drum beat, immediately somebody will start a riff, and the other way around. And we think it sounds cool because of these influences we have.

Mike: You can never hide away from your influences; it comes out no matter what you want to do. Our influences are across the board, but we’d rather dwell in heavy songs that have melody and understandable lyrics, you know?

 

What about you, Adam, you seem to bring heavier and darker influences to the table…

Adam: I like the dark and heavy feel to music. I was raised with Black Sabbath and everything that I could find that was heavy, with that sound.

Mike: It could be the perfect mix for what we’re trying to do at the moment [note: referring to the current formation of the band]. I like those undertones of heavy, but I also like the melodic side too. Beau is the more eclectic of all of us, he listens to everything. He only puts his foot down when he really thinks it’s not gonna work [when developing a song].

 

Besides Enya, any other unexpected influences you might want to mention?

Mike: First two cassettes I got were Top Gun and Pretty Woman [movie] soundtracks (laughs). I love the old guys like Roy Orbinson, Van Morrison, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, all great songwriters. Even Norah Jones, her first album that came out, that was pure class – there’s no reason why rock can’t have class again.

Anthony: As far as being eclectic, my iTunes library is very extensive. Anything tasteful suits really.

Mike: That girl that is big at the moment, Adele, I take my hat off to her. It’s pop but she’s singing better than Nancy Sinatra. Simon and Garfunkel are also on my list of favourites, I would say. We have the job of merging all those ideas together. Red Hot Chilli Peppers for example, they are punk, pop, funk, heavy all at the same time, and all because they managed to fuse all their influences together and create something unique.

With an extensive range of musical influences, talented musicianship, a professional approach to what they’re doing, and the legendary Aussie rock attitude, this band has what it takes to be the next big thing in classic or hard rock. Make sure you get their EP as soon as it comes out – it will be launched in November 2012 on iTunes and all other digital stores.

* Rage is an Australian music show.