Considering their short tenure as a band, things have been coming together pretty quickly for Savage Honey.
Having gained a tonne of attention from their opening slot for Melbourne/Naarm based nü jazz outfit Glass Beams, the Jan Juc-based indie-rockers have wasted no time carving a name for themselves in the local gig scene, with Savage Honey appearing on gig lineups all around the city.
For the group, it still feels like a fever dream, with lead vocalist Jake Hunniford admitting that even he has been blown away by the immediate warm reception the band has received. Although, for him, it’s a sign that they are on a pretty good trajectory.
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“At this point, it feels like the sky’s the limit,” he laughs, “Truthfully, when we were first starting I thought a lot about what I wanted to achieve with this band. My biggest goal was to play in a room full of people who like our music. Quite honestly, we are lucky enough to have achieved that already.
“If we never moved further than where we are right now, I don’t think I’d mind. We are still so early on in our career and I am already incredibly proud of what we have done, I feel very privileged in that regard. But with that said, we just want to enjoy the ride and push it as far as we can, and if that gets us amazing support slots; headliner tours, or regular radio play, that would be amazing. They are definitely things we want to reach for, but I’m enjoying the process rather than the destination.”
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A statement quickly affirmed by the group’s keyboardist Alex Mathieson.
“I think more than having any specific goals that we want to achieve, we just want to make sure that our music is good; something that we are proud of and of a high standard.”
With the band featuring members from a wealth of different musical backgrounds and levels of experience – including Dom Paver, Savannah Higgs and Jack Wilby, alongside Hunniford and Mathieson, Savage Honey spoke about how their overall mentality and demeanour have shifted this time around, with the group now finding solace in the comradery of their bandmates, as opposed to the glorified rockstar lifestyle.
“It’s been therapeutic for me,” states Hunniford, “having spent so many years on the open mic circuit, I’ve played enough gigs hungover or intoxicated and I know that it’s not the way to go.”
“It’s a mindset that we all share. We like having fun, being social and having a party, but we know that partying and making music isn’t necessarily conducive to each other, and we take that seriously. It’s really important for us to be coming in fresh so we can deliver a good performance because that is the most important thing to us.”
“I think the trajectory we have been on has definitely been aided by us having that mindset, you know, music first, fun after,” agrees Mathieson.
Having spent the last few months cutting their teeth on the gig scene, the group discussed their plans for recording, with many fans beginning to ask, ‘where can I find your music?’
“We are looking at recording in January,” states Mathieson, “I think Dom is getting keen on the idea of recording, which is pretty evident every time someone comes up after a show to ask where they can find our stuff,” he laughs. “But, it’s something we are looking into.”
With the band having “almost an album’s worth of material” ready to be tracked, Hunniford spoke about the group’s writing process, which sees the majority of the lyrical writing done by Hunniford and rhythm guitarist Dom Paver. Having spent so long crafting himself as a solo artist, Hunniford remarked that he found it relieving to share songwriting responsibilities.
“I find it refreshing,” he candidly remarks, “that’s the God’s honest truth.”
“I don’t like someone buttering me up or pretending to like something, I really want people’s input when it comes to creative stuff. I mean, if I wanted to still be a solo artist, I would still be a solo artist. I wanted this project to be collaborative, so straight away sharing songwriting duties with Dom and having Jack (Wilby, lead guitar) who is very unapologetic and straightforward has been refreshing. There are certainly times when your ego gets in the way, but you just have to relinquish that control and make sure everyone is heard.”
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With plans to record over the summer, a recent support slot for surf-rockers Majak Door and an upcoming performance at Tasmanian festival Party In The Paddock alongside Gang of Youths, Benee, The Presets, Vera Blue and more, Savage Honey are gearing up for a pretty flat-out couple of months, but according to Hunniford, it’s a level of acceleration the band hopes to maintain.
“There’s no faltering anyone’s commitment. We are all passionate, committed and hungry for opportunities, as long as we keep that up, I feel we will continue on this trajectory. “
Keep up with the latest news and gigs on Instagram @savage_honey_