|The Honeyrunners – Album Cover|
June 13th, 2012 – For the 18th straight year, North By Northeast (NXNE) is happening in Toronto from June 11th to the 17th 2012. NXNE is a music festival, conference, and even a film festival all rolled into one. NXNE is the most anticipated summer music event in Canada and aims to bring exposure to Canadian music of all genres and in general to support the Canadian music industry. Over 650 bands and 40 films converge for 7 days in Toronto and put us on the map in terms of large artistic and creative gatherings. Modeled after the fabled South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, we are very pleased that Toronto is hosting NXNE and we are certain that NXNE will grow in both number of attendees and stature in the music industry (much like Toronto’s International Film Festival has). SXSW is plagued by over-commercialization and unless you’re deeply embedded in the industry you can forget about watching the big names. NXNE will also feature large free performances at Yonge-Dundas Square for four nights with the Flaming Lips being the main attraction on June 16.
After we weeded through all the bands bios found here and listened to their music, we were still left with a long list of bands that we were interested in finding out more about. We approached some of our favourite bands to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a local Toronto band named The Honeyrunners. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on The Honeyrunners website reads:
Music is a drug. The Honeyrunners are your new favourite dealer. Brimming with energy live on stage and pumped through your car stereo, this young Toronto band offers up a fresh dose of modern rock, soul, and a warm reminder of the Motown spirit. In short, these guys are about to leave a large dent on the hood of music’s shiny white Cadillac.
Here is what they had to say to us:
1. Hey Honeyrunners, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
We’ve got the heavy-handed Brandon Robins on drums (complete with afro and stick-tricks), Nick Lemieux slappin’ the bass like it’s going out of style, Marcus Bucci on guitars & vocals (think Jimmy Page, minus the dragon-suit – although, maybe we should think about getting him one?), and Dan Dwoskin on keys (Wurly, Rhodes, Piano) & lead vocals (imagine the love-child of Janis Joplin & Rod Stewart circa 1970).
2. How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
Funny enough, we were all headed down to the Yonge & Dundas crossroads to trade our souls to the devil for some chops (musical, not lamb). Unfortunately, the devil was late (had an appointment with Keith Richards), so we threw down a jam right there at the 4-way crosswalk and decided to reserve our souls for a better trade. And so it was that we formed The Honeyrunners in January of 2012, and we haven’t looked back. Good thing too, because music needs soul. Tricky little devil.
3. Who are some of your musical influences?
OLDER: HUMBLE PIE, CSNY, OTIS REDDING, LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX, FACES, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JANIS JOPLIN, ROY ORBISON, JAMES BROWN, ROLLING STONES, RAY CHARLES, THE BEATLES.
NEWER: THE RACONTEURS, YOUNG THE GIANT, MUMFORD & SONS, BON IVER, GARY CLARK JR., DISPATCH, GRACE POTTER, BRIGHT EYES, AMY WINEHOUSE, RAY LAMONTAGNE, JOSS STONE, FLEET FOXES, FOSTER THE PEOPLE.
4. We found you as we were searching through the mountain of artists being featured at the 2012 NXNE. Why should a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them?
Because you owe it to yourself to let loose on a Saturday night and party with a rock band who knows how to make your inner child run amok. Also, our drummer has an afro. Next question.
|Dan of The Honeyrunners|
5. What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
Single line is tough; let’s make it a chorus:
“Won’t you take me for a fool? Won’t you take me for a ride? Won’t you take me for everything I have? You’re coming too.”
This is the chorus of our new tune, “Fool”, all sung in three-part harmony. It really seems to get people riled up at our shows. The subtext is, “Do your worst, but know that we are in this together.” Simple. Honest. Dark. Muahahahahahahahahaha…*cough*…sorry.
6. What does the rest of 2012 and 2013 hold for you?
In July, we’re releasing our debut five-song EP, THE HONEYRUNNERS (available for download on iTunes & www.honeyrunnners.com). Check our site for info on the wild album release party we’re going to throw in Toronto (TBA SOON!). Fall 2012 we’re headed out for an Ontario/Quebec College Tour; rock out with the University kiddies! Finally, rumblings of a 2013 Canada tour are afoot. But don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.
Just got back from Bonnaroo 2012; we are DYING to play next year if we can make that connection happen. We’d love to break into the North American festival scene; our music belongs in Amrrrrrrica.
Beyond that: private jet, stadium tours, cover of Rolling Stone. Baby steps, right? We’ll keep you posted.
7. Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.
CURRENT: THE ROLLING STONES.
HISTORICAL: ZEPPELIN. Would love to try and out-crazy them on stage. We’d probably have to light ourselves on fire.
|Marcus of The Honeyrunners|
8. What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
The economics of the music business will never be feasible for emerging artists. It is those that can brave the storm who find themselves in a music career. You literally have to go for broke. This job is not for the faint of heart, no matter how glamorous Mick Jagger makes it look. Being a working musician was, is, and will always be a great challenge, and with good cause; It yields immense personal rewards, unlike most jobs on the market.
As long as people congregate around music, the market will never die. The currency of things like recordings, radio, video, tours, merch, and exposure may change throughout the decades, but there will always be a way to capitalize on music. The way we listen will change (they’ll probably plug it right into our brains, sans earphones), but as Led Zeppelin once famously put it – The Song Remains The Same.
The richness of music comes from people who are desperate to communicate an inner state-of-being using a language based on pure emotion. The beauty of music comes from the overwhelming power it yields in people who truly listen.
9. Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere?
We have free MP3’s for download on our website (www.honeyrunners.com/music.html). We give it away because we’d much rather you listened to our songs every day, rather than Justin Bieber’s 2011 Christmas Album (sorry Justin). Also, the brand spankin’ new EP is coming out in July! Don’t want to brag, but Adele is probably going to be very jealous that she didn’t write these songs.
10. At the end of 2011 we did our picks for top 10 albums of 2011. What album do you think we should include in our top 10 albums of 2012 article?
LOCAL: BAHAMAS – BARCHORDS + YUKON BLONDE – TIGER TALK
WORLD: NORA JONES – LITTLE BROKEN HEARTS + BLACK KEYS – EL CAMINO (Go Danger Mouse go).
11. Any closing remarks for our readers?
Remember, it is you whom dictates the direction of pop culture. Don’t blame record labels for the state of today’s music, they simply churn out what they think the masses are going to buy. This logic put the cart before the horse; we’ll never have anything new and exciting. So support your local musicians! You are the taste makers. You have the power to pave the way for bands like us, and we will continue to thank you by playing great shows and making great music time & time again, until radio once again kicks ass, and Nickleback is no longer the gold standard of Canadian Rock. Long live great music!