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Who are Honey Honey?

Ella Fitzgerald, Gillian Welch, Brian Wilson, Shel Silverstein, Bill Watterson, and Tenacious D have taught us more than we'll ever understand.” What band would claim artists this diverse as their influences? Try Honey Honey.

Honey Honey are actually a duo composed of singer Suzanne Santosuosso and guitarist Benjamin Jaffe, and while it's surprising that so much cool music can come from just two people, Jaffee did tell me that the band is expanding.

Being a two person group will immediately bring comparisons to The White Stripes. As Jaffee says, “Well, we are honored and totally unworthy of that comparison! They have been a huge influence on us and most other contemporary bands simply because they managed to become one of the best bands in the world. As far as our decision to be a two piece, that was motivated by our relationship. It took awhile to get to the point where we could introduce other players - which we've now done - without sinking the ship.”

In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to get your music out there, but how do you stand out? Honey Honey’s music is certainly unique, and when they started out they got very lucky because they were discovered on MySpace, “back when it was the cat’s pajamas,” says Jaffee. “We were approached by an A&R man, in the real classic sense of the title, who introduced us to a lot of extremely talented and helpful people in the music business. The internet has always been more helpful to us as a networking tool.”

Honey Honey also has a good YouTube channel, which is where I first checked the band out. As Jaffee tells me, “YouTube is amazing. It’s the first place I go to look for content of any kind, really.”

Okay, so they’re connected through social media, but like most bands today, are they touring? Ditto. A lot of bands today big and small have to tour like crazy to make a living in an era where people aren’t buying music, and Honey Honey are no exception.

“We’re just getting to the point where our touring is becoming consistent,” Jaffee says. “It’s definitely a struggle to make a living. It’s really like any other business, you open up a store and it’s anybody’s guess whether people will show up or not. We set up our stores in a different city every night, though.”

Honey Honey also got lucky in that they got one of their songs, “Little Toy Gun,” on a promo commercial for Showtime. “Pretty much every sync we’ve gotten has been through personal connections that one member or another of our team has. TV people are looking for music that will support the picture, and oftentimes the really popular stuff is too expensive. In that sense, there’s a lot of opportunity [but] there’s just so much supply that it takes very specific circumstances for the dots to connect.”

There’s pros and cons to running your own career. Although it’s great that so much is back in the hands of the artists - which teaches them to be self-reliant and learn the business themselves - at the same time a lot of indie artists wish they could just concentrate on their music and let a bigger label/manager take care of the rest.

Jaffee definitely agrees its good to learn how to do it yourself. “It’s taken us a couple stumbles around the block to figure that out, but I think it’s a really powerful way to be a musician,” he says. “Some of my heroes were as brilliant businessmen as they were musicians. I think the best way to do it - and also the hardest - is to really get yourself going as a business while devoting yourself entirely to learning how to write and play great music at the same time. It’s like having two full-time jobs. When things start rolling, then labels or managers or whomever will step in and help, but it will be on your own terms. I think I might be talking about an ideal, though.”

Honey Honey will be back on tour starting July 16 through mid-August. Their second album is on the way, then it’s back on the road in September. Jaffee adds, “In terms of goals, I think we both are really focused on really appreciating these opportunities that are coming up, and developing our touring business to the point where we’re ballin’ on eco-friendly buses and selling out theaters.”

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Comments

I like what they are doing with a two piece set up. Good article also.

I love her voice!

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