Just from reading their self-penned band bio, it’s easy to tell that Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe — who record under the group name honeyhoney — have a good sense of humor.
Interviews tend to bring out the funny in them, too. Santo and Jaffe recently took time out from their tour in support of the eclectic First Rodeo (released last fall on Ironworks Music, a label run by actor Kiefer Sutherland and musician Jude Cole) to answer a few questions via e-mail.
Medleyville.us: Kiefer Sutherland yells a lot on 24. How loud or quiet was Sutherland when he directed your video for the song “Little Toy Gun”?
Ben Jaffe: “At times very loud, yet at others [as hushed] as a mouse.”
What was it like having Jude Cole produce your latest album?
Suzanne Santo: “It was like warm fresh corn muffins baked to a delicate texture.”
Jaffe: “Jude has a lot of really good ideas that allowed us to stretch our sound and have a record we love.”
How about some insight into the writing of the single “Black Crows”?
Santo: “It was one of the first songs that we wrote together, and [it] has changed a lot since then. We’re still experimenting with new ways to play it.”
Your band is based in Venice, California. Have either of you seen the Venice-based movie I Love You, Man, and if so, did it do Venice justice?
Jaffe: “Well, it looked fantastic on the big screen, but we think the real deal has a tad more skeez.”
Have there been any strange travel or stage incidents during your current tour?
Santo and Jaffe: “There have been a few notable incidents that we feel best to deliver with bullet points.
* Recently a flock of birds flew straight into the van, causing the early demise of two otherwise healthy birdies.
* We have consumed enough Starbucks and Cracker Barrel munchibles to sufficiently damage our systems later in life.
* Suzanne was temporarily abducted by extra terrestrials during the SXSW portion of our tour. They took her aboard their ship and forced her to sing their alien national anthem and eat an exorbitant amount of spaghetti and meatballs.”
What are some of your favorite songs and albums from 2009?
Santo and Jaffe: “The Bird and the Bee‘s Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future, Benji Hughes‘ A Love Extreme, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ It’s Blitz! and Grundelina‘s recent LP debut, Dick Fingers.”
— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior
honeyhoney on tour (schedule subject to change):
* April 28: The National – Richmond, Va.
* April 29: The Square Room – Knoxville, Tenn.
* May 1: Kentucky Derby Festival – Louisville, Ky.
* May 3: Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, N.C.
* May 4: Exit/In – Nashville, Tenn.
* May 5: The Loft – Atlanta
* May 7: Jack Rabbits – Jacksonville, Fla.
* May 8: State Theatre – Tampa, Fla.
Photo by Dan Martensen