Fresh off the Jakarta coast, Andrew Clutterbuck and James Hatcher, the cool duo from English soul-synth/RnB band HONNE, made their way to Genting Highlands the very next day for their first Malaysian debut at Good Vibes Festival on 22nd July 2018 (Sunday).
Long-time friends Andy and James brought a lot of romance to the dance floor as they performed their most desired hits such as “Warm on a Cold Night”, a cinematic piece with a groovy chorus and soaring synths, as well as “All in the Value”, which features a beguiling guitar solo that gives Guns N’ Roses a run for its money.
In Japanese, “honne” is described as the contrast between a person’s true feelings and desires (本音 hon’ne, “true sound”) — which perfectly resonates with the band’s warm and sensual, late night vibes, and serious baby-making sounds.
Fortunately, we managed to catch up with the lads backstage for a chat about their new album, their creative process, and the future work they have in store for fans. Read on below to find out more:
Q: How did you guys meet?
Andrew: We met 10 years ago at our university. Yeah, just on the first day, queuing up for some food, who was beside me? This guy.
James: We started making music within a few days of meeting each other. And–yeah, we just like, clicked.
Q: Did you guys major in music?
James: Yeah, music.
Q: How do you feel to be a part of Good Vibes Festival?
Andrew: We’re really happy. It’s an amazing and very beautiful setting. And yeah, we can’t wait to come back to Malaysia to play again, ’cause we’re only here for less than 24 hours. It’s a very fleeting visit but we’ll be back to explore another time.
Q: What other music festivals around the world are on your bucket list?
James: I’d say Glastonbury is a classic, which we’ve done but we’ll love to do it again. Coachella, we’ve done that too!
Andrew: I don’t know if it’s a festival but it’s a venue in America called Red Rocks which is really cool.
James: I’ve always been intrigued by Burning Man Festival. I’ve heard loads of crazy stories that sound kind of scary but kind of want to go and just see what’s going on. (Looking at Andrew) I think you’d die there, to be honest.
Andrew: Yeah, I think I will. I’m not very strong.
Q: Can you describe your songwriting process as a whole?
Andrew: It varies hugely. Normally, we’ll start with a piece of music — separately, because we can’t write in the same room. It’s not possible–and then I’ll come and sing the top line, and we put it together that way. We’ve also, on this new album, worked with different people. So every song on the record is a different process which is nice for us. It keeps things fresh.
Q: Your debut album is beautiful and it’s such a hit. What can we expect from your future work?
Andrew: Thank you very much. We are just putting out more music. We’re releasing our second album, Love Me/Love Me Not, which is out fully on the 24th of August 2018. And yes, it’s a bit more evolved but it still has the HONNE feeling, like you’ll feel the same way when you listen to it. Yeah, we’re just going to carry on playing hits, come back to Asia as much as we can, ’cause we love it here.
Q: Who are your biggest influences?
James: Frank Ocean, Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar. Production-wise, all that kind of stuff.
Q: Since “honne” is a Japanese word, “Warm On A Cold Night” could have been “Samui Yoru Ni Attai” instead. Have you ever thought of naming your songs in this language?
James: We have actually released a Japanese version of “Warm On A Cold Night”, and Andy learned the whole thing in Japanese and recorded it. Not the whole album, but just the song. It’s out there somewhere, you should listen to it. It’s quite impressive.
Andrew: To be honest, no, we’ve never thought about it. Because we’ve got [people pronouncing it as] “honne” or “Hon”, and our record label is called Tatamae, which is another Japanese word — it’s the other half of the word “honne”. But yeah, maybe in the future we’ll consider that. I think you could ask for a royalty for coming up with the idea.