London to Nashville and back again

  • Honey Ryder
  • 2015-07-09

UK band Honey Ryder return from the inner circle of Nashville’s elite to spearhead the British country crossover with third album, Born In A Bottle. The trio of Lindsay O’Mahony on vocals, Matt Bishop on rhythm guitar and Jason Huxley on lead guitar write music that encompasies rock, folk and indie. We caught up with Lindsay to learn more.

First up, tell us bit about yourselves - what were you all doing before you started making music?
I’ve been writing music since I was 14 so after I’d been to university I decided I wanted to work in a place where music was the focus, so I made it my aim to get into MTV and after a couple of years, managed to get a job in the studios as a Production Assistant. I obviously needed to earn money but was able to write and perform in my spare time… I had a career in TV for several years and loved it but always knew that I wanted to eventually make my living as a writer/performer.

What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was their a particular song or artist who inspired you?
My parents played an extremely eclectic mix of music to me growing up - Kenny Rogers and Dolly P, James Taylor, Elvis, The Carpenters, The Beatles to name a few. My uncle and brother were a big influence on me too and with them I listened to lots of 70’s funk/soul as well as The Jacksons and later on Michael. After that I was obsessed with guitar bands like U2 as well as songwriters like Neil Young and Neil Finn. I was hugely inspired by Alanis Morrisette particularly when Jagged Little Pill came out. Brilliant songwriting and a unique style/voice.

Tell us when you realised you wanted to get involved in making music and playing tunes to people?
Probably during my GCSE’s really. I played the piano and started writing songs and then got asked to sing in a friend’s band called The King Cut Groovers (!). We played covers at weddings and parties, and I loved it. Particularly the Hartspring Leisure Centre gig - that was a stormer!

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice that day, what would it be?
Always check your dress isn’t tucked into your knickers after a toilet visit… and on a more serious level, listen to everyone and listen to no-one. In other words seek advice and opinion, take it all in but go with your gut instincts.

How do you set about writing tunes? Is there a common starting point for all your work?
Sometimes we have a concept for a song so we work around the lyrics - but mostly we start with a guitar riff or melody line. I’m often writing down lyric ideas on my phone when I see things that inspire me going about my daily life.

If you music was a person, how would you describe their personality and where would they live?
Errrrrrr… wowsers that’s a tricky one. He or she would probably be quite an unbalanced slightly unhinged kind of person, capable of experiencing hundreds of different emotions all in one day - cos that’s what I love about music, it has the ability to evoke such a variety of feelings. One minute they’d be sleeping rough, the next they would have moved into Buck Pal for a change of scene…..they’d be a right good laugh, very giving and generous but incredibly explosive.

They’d definitely live in the UK so they could experience four seasons in one day.

I’m often writing down lyric ideas on my phone when I see things that inspire me going about my daily life.

What are your top three “must haves” while you’re on tour?
A brilliant book, chocolate raisins and a bottle of Jack (Daniels). I don’t ask for much.

What have you been listening to this year so far?
James Bay, Ed Sheeran, First Aid Kit, Jungle, The Shires.

Do you have any pre-set rituals?
Several trips to the bathroom where I find I don’t need to go, but just like to be sure. Singing through the first track on the setlist. Adjusting my makeup. Yes this is Lindz talking.

What was the most significant moment of 2014 for you and why?
I find it hard to remember what I did the week before let alone a year ago, but I guess completing the album has got to be up there with the top moments - looking after 2 little kiddies and maintaining my music career can be a little tricky at times so it’s good to focus on tasks that we’ve managed to complete!

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Lindz: Oh no this is way too hard, although I think I’d rather enjoy a harmony or two with Mumford and Sons. I love his gravely voice.

How is the rest of 2015 shaping up for you? Where can we see you play?
We’re performing at several festivals including The Isle of Wight, The Acoustic Festival of Great Britain, Pennfest, Gosfest and Weyfest, and also hope to do a headline tour later on in the year - please go to www.honeyryder.com for more info!

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