Honeyblood have returned, but not how we used to know them. The last few years has been an adjustment period for frontwoman and chief songwriter Stina Tweeddale. Once the heart of the garage rock inspired two-piece, Honeyblood is now helmed by Tweeddale and Tweeddale alone with the new album technically being the first solo album of her career.
“I guess it was freeing to not have the restrictions of the duo to write for because as a solo player I can just have whatever I want,” says Tweeddale. “I added instrumentation and didn’t really focus on what the live show was going to be like, I just focused on making a really sonically personally satisfying record.”
This month Honeyblood will be releasing album three titled In Plain Sight, the follow up to 2014’s acclaimed Babes Never Die. A first attempt at going solo is no doubt a daunting feat. Considering this, Tweeddale says, “I am nervous. I’m quite an apprehensive person to be honest and I over-think things, all the things I think are going to happen probably won’t by the time the record comes out.”
When looking at the title, it is hard not to think of the controversies that have surrounded the entertainment industry over the past three years. Tweeddale however leans towards ambiguity rather than a direct explanation saying, “you know I love to hear everyone else’s interpretations of things because I do feel that once you make something like a film, a painting, a video or anything it can be interpreted in so many different ways.”
“So I’m not going to say that that’s not what I was thinking. You know that doesn’t really matter. That’s the whole great thing about it.”
Despite being a member short, the latest singles still sound distinctively like Honeyblood. Lead single Glimmer has the fuzzy guitar riffs, the thumping drums and the vocals on The Third Degree are drenched in swagger and attitude. The difference is the new richness of instrumentation, with added synths and glossy production with a hint of glam rock thrown in the mix. “I wanted to make guitars not sound like guitars and I wanted to make the music have space rather than just play through everything,” explains Tweeddale.
“I guess the last album was very much a classic rock driven album in the sound we used and the way that the drums were recorded, and, you know, the kind of classic guitar sounds. I really didn’t want to do that because we done it already, so I wanted to do something a bit different.”
The latest tour consists of an eye watering 46 dates, Glasgow and Edinburgh included. Tweeddale admits however that she struggles with such a demanding run of gigs, “I don’t really have coping mechanisms,” she says. “It’s just such an unusual way of living, such an unusual lifestyle. I’m usually a nightmare to deal with when I come home to be honest. It does get tiresome after a while and you do get home sick but I don’t think this time I will. This time I will be not wanting to come back.”
Since the release of the band’s previous album, women have ignited change within the entertainment industry as a whole. On the other hand, TRNSMT is still to have a female main stage headliner, it was six years ago that Rihanna headlined T in The Park and Beyoncé opened for Coldplay, which should be a criminal offence. Tweeddale however remains optimistic that a change is happening saying, “I do watch things change and have watched things develop and a positive change is happening. I guess it’s all about visibility, women playing music that is not atypically female music.”
“Honeyblood has been going for seven years now. When I started there wasn’t many women playing electric guitar through distortion pedals and jumping about but there were tons of dude bands doing that. Now I look up and I look around and there is so many more and I think it’s all about visibility. Those bands were always there, and those women were always doing it but I feel like now they have, we have more of a platform. I think that’s because the stereotype is being slowly disintegrated.”
In Plain Sight is out on Fri 24 May 2019
See Honeyblood on tour:
@ Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, on Fri 31 May 2019
@ Beat Generator, Dundee, on Sat 1 Jun 2019
@ Summerhall, Edinburgh, on Mon 3 Jun 2019