Hello, Modern Drummer readers! I’m Shona McVicar, drummer of Honeyblood. Honeyblood is a two-piece band based in Glasgow, Scotland. This last year has been by far the most exciting for us since we started in 2012.
Back in November we had the privilege of recording our debut album with producer Peter Katis in Connecticut, USA. To be recording where some of my favorite LPs had been recorded (the National) was a real privilege. The entire record was recorded over just ten days, which was an incredibly intense and challenging, yet rewarding, experience. In terms of my own personal drum techniques and recording, I certainly learned a lot in those ten days. We worked towards this album for a long time, so it means a lot for it to finally be released July 14 on Fatcat Records.
In February, we headed out on our most extensive period of touring yet, with label friends We Were Promised Jetpacks, throughout the US. We played some of our biggest venues yet, such as Webster Hall in New York, and got to stop off in Austin, Texas for SXSW. There really is nothing like playing shows every night to improve not only your drumming skills but also your tightness as a band. We’re due to head back to the US at the end July, and we’ll be out on a full UK and European tour in September.
I’m often asked how long I’ve been drumming or how it came about. I began drumming around the age of thirteen after constantly begging my parents to let me get a drumkit (for which I am eternally grateful). Apart from learning the basics during music class at school, I’m mostly self-taught. I’d come home from school every day and play along to all my favorite songs for hours, gradually improving. I soon started playing in bands, and I guess it’s continued ever since!
Playing in a two-piece isn’t necessarily straightforward. I had to learn to adjust my drumming in a way that I could add to the music without over-powering just a vocal and guitar. The bass guitar and second guitar that I’ve been used to in other bands isn’t there anymore, and I have to find a way to make it work.
The most important thing to me in my drumming is power and rhythm, much more so than complexities. The more Stina and I play and write together the more I learn which boundaries I can push. My heavier influences are beginning to come through, evident on songs from our albums such as “Fall Forever” and “All Dragged Up.”
This year we plan to be on the road a lot, but I’m hoping to also get back in the studio and progress as a drummer and as a band!
Thanks for reading.
For more on Shona McVicar and Honeyblood, visit www.facebook.com/honeybloodeatitup.