After an incredible 2011, the Norwegian punk world at their feet, 2012 began with heart breaking tragedy, original drummer Anders Eikas killed in a car accident at the end of January. After such a tragic occurrence, many bands may have chosen not to continue, April however finds the lads with three dates in London, Edinburgh and Dublin, a hometown gig later in the month and two Scandinavian Festivals in May. Totally captivated by Honningbarna’s energetic, although intelligent and exceptionally well crafted punk / metal sound, Mudkiss snatched the first available opportunity to quiz lead vocalist Edvard on their contradictory beginnings and hopefully, less traumatic future.
ANDY: Could you tell us about the history of the band, how you came together?
EDVARD :We met at school two years ago, and became friends fast. So we did what friends do, start having fun together. Through a quite large amount of cover songs we found out that punk was the genre with the most headroom for fun, and in the same time serious, intelligent but full of desperado attitude.
ANDY: And why the name Honnigbarna, The Honey Children?
EDVARD: We started out as “Åh, Faen” (Oh, fuck), but after one of the guys had a bit of a rough time dodging questions about the band at a family dinner, we changed it to something a bit less vulgar.
ANDY: Although I believe you are proving popular in Norway via the punk scene, I detect a number of other influences in your music including metal and possibly even a nod across the Scandinavian border to Sweden and The Hives. Who are your musical influences?
EDVARD: Our guitarist listens a lot to metal and we all listen to The Hives, so you observations seem correct. It’s actually a bit hard finding bands that we all like, but when we’re driving on tour we listen to bands like Ramones, Gallows, Kvelertak, Rage Against the Machine, Dead Kennedys and Clash.
ANDY: It’s unusual within the style of music played to find a cello being used, is there a classical background within the band?
EDVARD: Yeah, started playing at eight and studied classical cello at the conservatory in our hometown Kristiansand, but it still feels very natural to play it in Honningbarna. You sort of just take what you’ve got when you and your mates start a band.
ANDY: Your songs are in your native Norwegian, what subject matters influence you lyrically.
EDVARD: The great big ideas – freedom, justice, love, anarchy. We don’t care about narrow local politics or if the new highway should have two new lanes or not. The world needs rescuing and if someone is going to do it, it might as well be us.
ANDY: You released your debut album in March last year winning a prestigious Spellemannsprisen rock award, did that come as surprise at such an early stage of your career?
EDVARD: It came as a surprise mostly because Spellemannsprisen is an award for the established artists which we don’t identify ourselves as, so it’s actually nice that our music is appreciated in such different settings, when you’re at the same time shouting at them in the songs.
ANDY: Along with the brilliant track “Klart Blikk” the accompanying video is an animation created by 5th grade students. How did that project come about?
EDVARD: We worried a lot about making a music video, that it would turn out to be this lame cliché rock video, so when we heard about the animator and the kids wanting to make a music video we were thrilled. And it turned out great, us grownups haven’t ruined them with our clichés just yet.
ANDY: After a fantastic 2011, 2012 started in the worst possible way with the tragic death of your drummer Anders Eikas in a car accident. Did you ever consider not continuing as a band after the tragedy?
EDVARD: I think all of us thought about that maybe it all had come to an end, but we found out that to continue would be the only decent thing to do.
ANDY: You have three gigs scheduled for London, Edinburgh and Dublin this month, is this your first visit to the U.K and Southern Ireland.
EDVARD: Yes it is. None of us has been in Ireland or Scotland before, so playing there should be the best way of knowing if they’re up to no good. Good times, probably.
ANDY: I was disappointed there are no other gigs around the U.K, especially Manchester. Do you have any plans to return to the U.K for a more extensive tour.
EDVARD: Me too. Not at the moment, but I guess if we don’t fuck up there is a chance to come back.
ANDY: Are you working on new material at the moment and if so, when will that be released?
EDVARD: Yes, we are recording a new song every month that we send home to people who have subscribed together with the artwork, so we can, when the time is right, make a “best of Honningbarna” album. It’ll be glorious.
ANDY: What else do you have planned for the rest of 2012?
EDVARD: Touring, maybe record an album and finish the first year on the university so we can tour some more. That’s what it’s all about.
I’ve a strong feeling a Honningbarna return to the U.K after the forthcoming dates will arrive very soon, the propensity for The Honey Children to “fuck up” appearing slim based on current evidence.