Congratulations for your debut album, I really loved it! How do you feel about the upcoming release of the record? It’s like in two weeks…
Yuri: Yeaah, it’s two weeks?!
Tim: It’s nice to finally have it. This is the end of a really long process, so it’s really nice.
Anouska: I’m excited!
Why did you choose to title the album after your band’s name? Was that a sort of a statement like ‘hey, this is us’?
Yuri: While recording we felt like the album was sort of all we had as a band. It’s a documentation of time and who we were at that time. And I think that’s why a self-title album felt right.
Anouska: Yeah, I guess is like an introduction to us as well. These were the first songs we made and with the album we are kind of introducing ourselves.
Tim: It’s also nice to not say too much ever, to always just say exactly what you need to say when you add a title it adds a bit of information about it, which we didn’t really wanna do. These are the songs and this what this is.
There is a great heterogeneity of styles in the album, but there is also a strong underlying cohesion. How or where do you find inspiration for your songs?
Yuri: [nods and smiles] Everywhere!
Anouska: I think we try to incorporate all of what we see and hear.
I really love the song Burglar. And, especially, the image of this burglar who comes to rob you of your time – probably a happy one. I think these lines express our fragility and weaknesses. And it feels like sometimes we as humans are kind of helpless in the face of our anxieties. I find therefore that the song is an intense, heartfelt confession, and – I can honestly say to you – that it is really moving. Can you tell us more about the song? What does it mean to you?
Anouska: It’s actually based on a poem by Charles Bukowski and I took a lot of inspiration from it and a few lines directly. Yeah, it’s really beautiful… this vague dreamlike state and feeling the fleeting time and the early hours of the morning... And when I took to the boys with the lyrics, it happens very easily: we just jammed, and it came together.
And it was your first single! a longer than 5 minutes, slow-building darky song was really a bold choice! Why did you select this one as the presentation-single?
Tim: No one knew us at time so in a way the first single is not the marketable one. It’s one of our favourites. It felt like the beginning of us as a group writing together.
Anouska: I think we didn’t wanna go with a pop heavy start. We kind of wanted to go with slow and pensive and then build up to a kind of more upbeat stuff. It was fun to open with that.
I like the irony in Female Lead, and I think it goes well with the nice pop melody. Anouska, did you really do what you narrate in the song, or have you ever felt like dyeing your hair blonde like Madonna?
Anouska: I didn’t do it, but it was during lockdown, and everyone was cutting a fringe or experimenting with hair colour. But I do enjoy that, and I’m often tempted by drastic changes. It was a fun situation I could have written about. But, nope, I never dyed my hair blonde.
In the future, maybe.
Tim: You should have done for the video.
Yuri and Anouska: Yeah!
I have the feeling that Creative Jealousy is different from any other songs on the record. [Yuri nods] It sounds as if ‘this creative block’ has led you to something completely new. What can you tell us about this song?
Tim: I think Creative Jealousy and I’m Not Your Cushion were written just before we had to stop see each other because of the lockdown. I think that was a point at which we were really keen on try to change the songs as much as possible. Originally it has a bossanova thing on a keyboard and then me and Yuri changed the rhythm. When we started recording the demos, we tried to see what would happen if we just made everything kind of wonky.
Anouska: I think it was like a very clean song before and we just started playing with it and it got darker and darker.
On the record you sing about – I quote one of your lines – ‘this feeling of constant inadequacy’, andyou say that you ‘struggle with self-esteem’ or that you feel like you ‘don’t fit anywhere’. I would then ask you Anouska, if I may [she laughs]: is writing songs a sort of empowerment for you or a sort of way to truly express yourself, or a combination of the two?
Anouska: Yeah, I guess is a combination, but I find a lot of the time getting those feelings in something more positive, helps. It just frustration and making something productive with it, rather that just have those feelings in you. Everyone has struggles with all those things…
Childish Things is probably my favourite song on the record. I was amazed and impressed when I first heard it. It’s a great end for a fulfilling musical journey and really makes you want to start the record over from the beginning. And the revelation in the last line of the song is kind of brutal. [Yuri laughs] Do you really think that we are all blind in some ways?
Anouska: I think when I wrote, I had that realisation that everyone is on the same boat. everyone has the same feelings, everyone is just wandering around and doesn’t know what they are doing.
Yuri: It’s always been the last song on our shows. I think it hits perfectly when you finish things off with that song and it is just like silence… I think is great!
Tim: Originally our entire set was very quiet, just generally, I think Yuri used to play with brushes sometimes and we were just trying to be gentle and support a singer-songwriter in a way. But that song was the only one where we played as hard as possible. Start, the intro track has samples of Childish Things to create this mirror or loop effect during the listening.
I didn’t get that!
Tim: Oh, it’s just vocals… and it has the same chords.
What is the ‘most childish thing’ that you recently said?
Anouska: Maybe not said, but I did very childish yesterday. My housemate had a day over. When she was out I put a slice of American cheese in her bed. I haven’t seen her yet… [we all laugh] I wait to hear the feedback!
Tim: I posted a screenshot of a magazine interview, but I didn’t want to breach their copyright by posting the actual article so I replace all the words with a fake radio show that I did with my friend when we were teenager.
Yuri: I sadly don’t have nothing to say about that.
Anouska: Yuri is serious and very grown-up.
Tim: Isn’t he?
Yuri: I accidently spat on myself yesterday. It was like I had something on my mouth, and I tried to spit out and it just all went on my body. [laughs]
Anouska: I don’t know if that is what you wanted to hear Daniel.
It’s okay, it’s okay.
Anouska: I don’t know if this is useful…
Tim: Are you gonna publish that?
Maybe… If this is okay for you, Yuri, I will transcribe it.
Yuri: Of course!
Tim: I like to see that transcribed!
Yuri: Yeah! [laughs]
Childish Things it is the longest song on the record, and it takes its time to grow in intensity. When you write your hardest tracks do you already start with the idea that it will be a layered piece, or does it only slowly emerge that you can go further and lengthen the song?
Anouska: I think it only had 3 verses originally. It was slightly shorter. But then we used it to play that live and jammed and pushed the slow build-up, especially when we got pedals and stuff and we could add another chance of intensity.
Yuri: That was literally it, I think. We got drive pedals and we were like: “okay we can one step further with this and just add another whole section to this and do it even louder!”
How does your writing process usually look like?
Tim: It depends on the song.
Yuri: Yeah. Anouska wrote most of the songs on the album without me and Tim. It was just chords and the melody and me and Tim arranged ourselves around that or slightly changed things around that. But nowadays we are doing a lot more together. We are trying things out together and we are trying to create new sections together.
Anouska: Yeah. Half Past on the album is the closest to how we write right now, because we wrote that quite late for the album and it was the main one on the album that we were fully kind of working together collectively.
I find the atmosphere of the album and singles covers very intriguing. Could you maybe tell us more about these artworks and this dark iconography that you have chosen for the band?
Yuri: All the singles artworks and the album artwork, except Burglar, are done by an artist called Agnes Treherne. She does these beautiful paintings which we came across accidently online. We just reached out to her and she really liked the music and then started this collaboration.
Tim: The Burglar artwork was done by Bug Shepherd-Barron. The vibe was dreamlike which fits well with the vibe of the song. And Agnes’ works fit very well too. We like that aesthetic, I guess.
Dan Carey produced the record. What was it like working with him? He’s kind of a legend in South London, isn’t he?
Yuri and Tim: Yeah, he is a legend!
Yuri: Yeah, he’s an amazing person to be working with! The range of our shows has grown a lot since we met Dan and he gives you a lot of confidence.
Tim: He really believes in the music that he makes, and that helped us a lot. Having someone who knows exactly what they are doing and also really likes it made us confident about our artistic choices.
Anouska: He was super nurturing and took time out to listen to what we had to say. He was really patience and encouraging as well! A lovely man!
Do you have a favourite record among those he has produced?
Yuri: Uhh, that’s a good one!
Tim: It’s very hard, because he has made like half of my favourite music.
Yuri: Well… I mean the Squid stuff is just phenomenal! Town Center and Bright Green Field are probably ones of my favourite albums of recent days.
Tim: Yeah, I would also say Bright Green Field and then maybe something by Chairlift are definitely on my favourites.
I love the Kae Tempest albums!
Yuri: Ohh, yeah!
Tim: So good, so good!
I read in another interview that you love Cate Le Bon – she is one of my favourite songwriters too. Have you ever had the chance to see her live?
Anouska: I should have seen her live a couple of weeks ago, but I was away and I missed it… but we are playing some festivals with her this year.
Yuri: Yeah, Green Man.
Anouska: I’m really excited so see her!
She is phenomenal!
Tim: She is magical, isn’t she? She sort of seems like an alien!
So cool that you’re playing Green Man! Have you ever been to the festival?
Tim: Yeah, we love Green Man. We played last year.
Anouska: It was our first festival that we play together!
Tim: It was our first gig outside of London.
Anouska: It was crazy, a magical experience, so fun!
Tim: I went seven years ago, which is pretty hard to comprehend… It was bizarre and really crazy!
I can’t imagine how the line-up looked like…
Tim: It was Slint and Neutral Milk Hotel one of headliners.
Yuri: Oh my God!
Yuri: So cool!
And, now what? How does the future of Honeyglaze look like?
Anouska: We disbanding!
Tim: Yeah, Noush left… [they all laugh]
Yuri: No, I think the next step for us is touring. From literally two days time we are away for a month and a half of nearly everyday gigging. Uhm… should be fun…
Tim: Will we survive?
Yuri: That is the question…
Are you planning to go on tour in Europe too?
Anouska: Probably in the future! We definitely want to!
Yuri: Yeah, probably next year!