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HONNE On 'Love Me / Love Me Not,' Lollapalooza Return, Drinking Tea On Tour & New Music

HONNE at Lolla 2019

Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy

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HONNE On 'Love Me / Love Me Not,' Lollapalooza Return, Drinking Tea On Tour & New Music

"I just like [to perform] any song where loads of people sing along, basically. It's one of the best feelings in the world for us," James Hatcher, one half of the British duo electro-soul duo, told us

GRAMMYs/Aug 7, 2019 - 04:59 am

British electro-soul duo HONNE, consisting of James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck, put their musical vibes front and center in 2014, making waves with their debut single, "Warm on a Cold Night." The smooth, longing-for-love song would serve as the title track of their debut album, released the following year.

In August 2018, they followed up with their sophomore album, Love Me / Love Me Not, on which, as the name hints, the first songs are themed around falling in love and second half highlight romantic challenges (alternate half-moon symbols next to the tracks names denote this, too). Even with the duality, the album is a rather sunny, upbeat sounding one. As Hatcher describes it, "in terms of production, we wanted it to be a bit more open, daytime and upbeat, whereas the first album was very nocturnal and chilled out."

We sat down with the pair shortly before they returned to the Lollapalooza stage—they also performed in 2017—to chat about the album, new music on the way, how they stay at home on the road—English breakfast tea is must—and more.

So, you guys are going to take the stage here at Lolla later today. How are you feeling about it?

James Clutterbuck: Feeling very great about it. It's been two years since we've played, so we're back fairly soon I would say. And yeah, can't wait. The crowd last time were brill, and I'm sure they'll be brilliant once again.

Do you have any pre-stage rituals before a show, or do you just kind of go up there?

Andrew Hatcher: I think at a festival, it's so tight, the turnaround, there's not much time for any rituals really.

Clutterbuck: No, not really.

Hatcher: Just checking we can hear ourselves and getting ready. Pacing around a bit. Maybe have a gin and tonic. And feel a little bit panicked. [laughs]

Clutterbuck: We've started doing press-ups, so maybe we'll include that in our ritual. Trying to get biceps [both laugh] for the first time ever.

Hatcher: Which apparently doesn't do much for his press-ups, but yeah.

You put out a new album, Love Me / Love Me Not, late last year, right?

Clutterbuck: Yeah, yeah.

Do you want to talk a little bit about the style and sounds on it?

Hatcher: In terms of production, we wanted it to be a bit more open, daytime, and upbeat, whereas the first album was very nocturnal and chilled out, so, that's kind of the difference between the two sound-wise as well.

And so, obviously, this Lolla performance versus two years ago, you have new music to play, and you've been touring lately. What's been your favorite new song to play this go around?

Hatcher: I think, maybe, "Day 1." I just like any song where loads of people sing along, basically. It's one of the best feelings in the world for us. "Location Unknown" as well, that's pretty great.

Clutterbuck: Yeah, and "Me & You."

Hatcher: "Me & You."

Clutterbuck: Yeah, it's nice to play the new ones.

Hatcher: We're playing all of them.

As you mentioned, you're touring a lot and one of you is getting married later this year. Is there anything you do while on tour to stay grounded when you're away from home and flying all over?

Clutterbuck: Well, constantly talking to people back home. So yeah, just kind of trying to, where we can, experience home life wherever possible. But what else? 

Hatcher: I think we've been really careful with who we tour with in terms of our team, so it kind of feels like we've got our own little family everywhere we go. And we wake up, and go and get breakfast together, and hang out all the time basically. And it's nice to keep that, have companionship, rather than just having colleagues, if you know what I mean, have actual friends with us.

Clutterbuck: And lots of tea. Yeah, English breakfast tea.

Hatcher: Yeah. It's ridiculous. Just scrambling around, looking for teabags everywhere we go.

Do you feel like there is, on this album, or maybe in your music in general, part of it that brings you back home? And what influence from England do you feel like is most apparent in your music?

Clutterbuck: Well, "Location Unknown" is basically about being away on tour, and dealing with missing someone back at home. So every time we play that, I kind of...

Hatcher: Think about home?

Clutterbuck: Yeah, think about home. But in terms of just English traits, the whole music has got this kind of quirky feel to it, which maybe reflects a bit on our sort of stupid personalities. 

Hatcher: Yeah. Cheeky little English boys.

What kind of music did you guys grow up listening to? What's at the base of your musical influences?

Hatcher: Loads of '90s stuff. Yes. I mean, just everything. Like Destiny's Child. All that kind of stuff just seeps into you during that age. But for me, Michael Jackson was a massive influence. First gig ever went to, think I was like 10, saw him at Wembley Stadium, which is a big... I don't know if... Do you guys know that place?

Yes!

Hatcher: It's that that famous?

Yeah!

Hatcher: Oh, great! Yeah, so that was nuts. And Quincy Jones' production on all that stuff is amazing. It's kind of similar for you on that-

Clutterbuck: Yeah, similar for me. My sister used to work in a record shop, so I would go in there, and she would blast out hip hop when I was a young teenager. So, she'd be listening to J Dilla and the Beastie Boys, and all sorts of different types of people. I'd just basically listen to whatever she would listen at the time.

Hatcher: And your dad's a rocker, isn't he?

Clutterbuck: My dad's a bit of a rocker.

Hatcher: Yeah, I can remember him upstairs with... Well, his dad has like guitar amps and guitars, and he used to just go up and sing and play guitar, didn't he?

Clutterbuck:  Yeah, he did. He still does. Bless him!

And then, what was the starting point for each of you thinking about making music professionally and seeing it in that lens?

Hatcher: We both set out with the intention of doing that. I mean, even from... This sounds ridiculous, but when I was 12, within a week of starting to learn guitar, I was like, "This is it. This is what I want to do now." And I carried on trying hard at school still, but I'd go home every day and play guitar, and, on weekends sometimes, I'd play guitar for like six hours or something. It was a bit of a joke.

Clutterbuck:  How are your friends from your childhood?

Hatcher: I didn't have any. E, A, D, G, B, and E. That's a really sh*t guitar joke. I think even at that point, I wanted to do it. And then I met Andy when we studied music at university. We just had to slog on for a few more years and hone our craft a bit.

Clutterbuck: I think we first realized, when we first started HONNE, and we'd written "Warm on a Cold Night" and a couple of other tunes, we were like, "Okay."

Hatcher: We were on to something.

Clutterbuck: Like, "I feel like this could be something that people like and grab on to." And we've got lucky, I guess.

You mentioned the first album, it's more of that darker, nighttime feel and this one was more daytime, a little sunnier. What about the next project? Do you already have a vision or plan to go to the studio after touring?

Clutterbuck: Yeah, we're kind of working on it as we go. Every gap between gigs and touring, we're back in the studio. And we're hashing it out as we go along. And, at the moment, it's a bit of a mixture between the second album and the first album. So, it's kind of these two different types of vibes.

Hatcher: We'll see.

Clutterbuck: We will see. We just need to figure it out for ourselves, but we're getting there. And it feels like it's coming along nicely.

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

Lady Gaga

Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program

GRAMMYs/Oct 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm

On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.

Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.

"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."

The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.

"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

 
This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.