One of country music’s most talented trios, Honey County, is starting 2019 off with a bang! The group has released their debut EP High on the Radio today, which consists of 6 tracks including their latest single “Cigarette,” which was written by the girls and their friend (and another popular artist in town) Kalie Shorr.
We’re very excited about that because it’s going to be fun to release a body of work that is ours and that people can go and listen to from start to finish,” Honey County told CS Country in Nashville last November.
Comprised of three female superstars Dani Rose, Devon Jane, and Katie Stump, Honey County is rooted in “three-part harmonies, pop hooks, southern twang and California cool.” CS Country sat down with the girls to chat about the process of the EP, the year ahead, and their love for the wonderful Kalie Shorr!
Celeb Secrets Country: Since you’re from LA, what made you want to get into country music?
Honey County: “We grew up listening to great songwriters like Carole King, James Taylor, and The Beatles. So we always gravitated towards great songwriting. Country music is that on the highest level so that’s why we actually gravitated towards it.”
CSC: Do you guys like Nashville? What’s your favorite spot?
HC: “The Five Spot Motown Monday is one of our favorite things in Nashville. We’re still trying to find the best food here. Food in Nashville is really good and definitely its own style. Bar Taco is pretty cool and we really like the drinks there, but we’re so busy when we’re here that we never really get to hang out so maybe our favorite place is in a writing room with Kalie [Shorr].”
CSC: Tell us all about your single “Cigarette” — the writing process, the recording process, and what inspired it.
HC: “We wrote it on a trip to Nashville with Kalie [Shorr] and Dani had this idea for a song called ‘Cigarette’ that’s about an addictive relationship so we brought the idea to Kalie. Dani just kind of said maybe it should have a moody vibe and Kalie played the opening riff just out of her brain. She’s brilliant — she basically sang the first verse totally as it ended up.
I think we started to feel it more and more as we began performing it live. We tell the story so many times that eventually you really start to get in to it. Every time you perform it’s like you’re talking to the audience and telling them an intimate story. This one is no exception. It’s a very honest and raw story to tell. It’s sad and vulnerable. We’re basically admitting that we have this person in our lives that we continue to go back to even though we know it’s bad for us and we’ll go through the agony and pain.
We want people to know they’re not alone if they’re going through this. Men, women, there are so many people that come up to us after a show when they’ve heard it and say ‘wow I feel that right now.’ It could be a teenager going through a breakup or a 40 year old guy who just got divorced. It’s been pretty crazy how many people have come up and said that they relate to the song.”
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CS: When you write your songs do you take from individual inspiration? Or collectively as a group?
HC: I think we all try to pull from real things that we can relate to because if we can’t relate to it how can we expect anyone else to relate to it? We definitely try to pull from raw experiences. I think when we go to write songs we kind of try to make it the best song it can be and not try to force any details into it that don’t need to be there. When we bring the song from the experience it becomes it’s own thing and we kind of separate ourselves a little more in that process. It could be anything, it doesn’t always have to be something that’s super raw and emotional. It’s fun to write songs that are upbeat and poppy that kind of gets the crowd going because if you can’t perform your songs live, why are you doing this? That’s what we live for. So when we actually perform live, we’re doing these upbeat songs and as silly as they might sound when we record them or whatever, people have a good time in the audience and I think that translates and keeps people coming back to our shows.
CS: What’s it like working with Kalie? You seem so happy whenever you’re writing with her!
HC: Kalie is the best. She’s a magical human and so funny. She’s crazy smart and like I said, her brain has all these ideas just locked away in there so whenever the idea presents itself she’s like “Oh yeah! Do you want that one? Okay here you go!” We’re always done so quickly with our songs and they’re always our favorite to play live and to listen to. She’s phenomenal. She has a really great way of translating our feelings into songs.
CS: Can you elaborate a little more on the sound for High On The Radio? What was that whole process was like?
HC: “It’s been fun to find our sound. We’ve done ballads, the upbeat pop-rock thing, we’ve done the moody sultry thing, all of those things which have been really successful in the film and TV world so it’ll be really fun to kind of put all of those things together. There’s always a current of us running through these, whether it’s a guitar riff of Devon’s, or it’s harmonies, or the cadences and the songs, it’s always us. It doesn’t matter what style it is, you can always tell ‘oh it’s Honey County!'”
CS: Since we’re Celeb Secrets, can you tell us a secret or a fun fact that your fans wouldn’t know?
Katie: “We can solve a rube cube in under a minute and a half. We also secretly, not so secretly, want to be touring with Keith Urban. We want in on his tour because here’s the thing: Devon played with him several years ago. It was just at an awards show but hopefully he would recognize her. He’s so big on female empowerment and I think if we can reach him through this interview then we have done our job here.”
Devon: “I was on tour with Katy Perry all year. I was her guitar player. It was amazing. It was so much fun. I always wanted to side band for a big artist and I always looked up to her. It was pretty much a full year from September through the next August. A lot of shows. It was pretty non-stop. It was rough to balance the band and touring.”
Dani: “There were times where we were like ‘we might just break up; maybe Katie and I will be a duo.’ We never knew what was going on. I mean we did but we’re girls, we have so many emotions. One second you’re really angry and the next you’re good with it, so you justify things in your own mind. I don’t think it was ever a question of ‘are we going to break up and not do this?,’ it was a question of ‘how big of an ultimatum are we going to give Devon this time — she needs to be back here and doing this.’
But I will say when she left for tour she was like ‘watch me do this; I will be in this band’ snd she did it — every single time and she was exhausted. She was flying all over the world. She came from Australia and then played a show. She got off a plane and walked to the festival. She was like ‘yup I’m here, let’s do the show’ and we played a big festival. It was like that for a year and half. It was crazy. Katy Perry rehearsals started in 2017 around Stagecoach, so all that time up until a couple months ago it was very rocky. We had to schedule shows around when she was going to be here but she did it! We did it!”
CS: Was that your biggest challenge making this music?
HC: “Oh yeah, 100%. Because now that she’s back we’re like ‘we made it, we’re solid.’ So it’s awesome and really exciting.”