“It’s rewarding when people can relate to you through your music that you wrote crying in your pants on your bedroom floor.”
Brighton four-piece Black Honey are one of the UK’s best new live bands, made up of Izzy B Phillips, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor and Tom Dewhurst. After supporting long-term friends Royal Blood on a UK arena tour last year and releasing their latest single ‘Dig’, they’ve since been holed up in the studio completing their highly anticipated debut album, due for release later this year. We spoke to frontwoman Izzy B Phillips about her Wes Anderson hotel dreams, the importance of having good friends, going to boot camp and much more…
Hey Black Honey, what are you working on at the moment?
Hi! We are working on our debut album baby! As well as gearing up for a UK headline tour.
In your track ‘Somebody Better’, you sing “Lonely nights eat you inside / Send me a sign / Tell me what’s real when I’m living a lie”, were these lyrics the result of personal experiences of loneliness and feeling like you weren’t being your true self?
Yes, the complete truth, it’s kinda like my inner monologue reaching outwards for something more real when I lost myself for a little while.
‘All My Pride’ seems to be about a relationship that corroded your sense of self to the point where you didn’t feel like much of an individual anymore, is there a danger in investing yourself too deeply in a relationship? How important is it to make sure that you have a circle of friends throughout your life?
I think because I’m such a deep thinker, I can only invest deeply in relationships. I also don’t see much point in anything other. Your friends are important and there’s a small few that I can tell you I truly would not be here without them. I find friendship really tricky though, I keep getting told how I think everyone is my best friend or completely loving them when it’s not reciprocated. I seem to be good at finding friends who don’t necessarily stick around. I think that’s why I love music so much, it never lets me down.
Your song ‘Corrine’ helped to make one of your friends realise how distant they were being and that you felt like you were losing them, is songwriting quite cathartic for you because it seems to have helped you to say things that you wouldn’t be able to say to someone directly?
Yeah it’s cathartic, but also now more so it’s a necessary coping mechanism that helps me get through life. It’s my pleasure, my art and my therapy.
What has been your biggest life challenge and what did you do to overcome it?
I used to have really bad stage fright and still do from time-to-time, I get through it best when I have long tours where I can get used to being studied by everyone.
How important has music been to your mental health?
It’s the most important for my mental health, which is still a tightrope I have to be smart with. It’s really rewarding when people can relate to you through your music that you wrote crying in your pants on your bedroom floor. It makes me really excited for our debut album.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
A perfect day would start on tour with the boys, a good coffee in hand. Then maybe a drive through the desert to a festival with friends in a vintage open top car. I’d be wearing a sassy glittery cowboy outfit before performing on stage with a margarita in hand to a massive crowd of beautiful people screaming my songs back! There will be a mad sunset whilst meeting all the fans after, then skipping back to a Wes Anderson-themed hotel with a waterpark and a gig booked for the next day with the guys!
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My friends, my mum, my family and my band.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Who was your best friend at school? What was the funniest thing they did?
My best friend in school was Emma Haworth, I think we were more weird than funny. We used to play magic unicorns alone together. We had to cross flaming crocodile ponds to rescue elves, whilst all the other girls would play Mums and Dads as one big group.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
To call me and that most big problems can be lessened with a nap and a cup of tea.
What three songs lift your spirits?
I love ‘Only Shallow’ by My Bloody Valentine for fire when I need it. I listen to a lot of François Hardy and Brigitte Bardot too.
Do you have any routines that help you through stressful situations, such as right before a live performance?
Yeah, I warm up a lot and make a point to be the weirdest dancer ever so that I lose inhibitions.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
Eggs, and I do a lot of cooking big hot meals for everyone around the table. I like to make sure everyone has nice full tummies with big pies and hotpots.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I go to boot camp, cause I hate gyms and I’m the sort of person who needs to be screamed at on a second-by-second basis to do any kind of exercise. I like it because it’s outdoors and reminds me that I’m human. I go once or twice a week and have to go on a lot of walks in between to keep the blood flow going for my creative brain.
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