Meet Bow’s hottest music duo, HONNE

Electronic music duo James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck began their musical collaboration soon after meeting at university. Now based in Bow, they both write, record and produce the magical, laid-back sound that is HONNE. Their first-ever gig was back in 2014 at Muxima in Roman Road and their trajectory to success has been nothing short of amazing. They’ve played festivals and gigs all over the world, including Coachella, Latitude and Lollapalooza to name but a few, as well as rocking up this summer in, quite literally, their own back yard, at All Points East.

Five years is an incredibly short time to have made such an impact; what’s the secret to your success?
Being true to ourselves – the need to be ‘very us’. We only create music that we love and we write about things in our lives. We don’t have people write lyrics for us so it’s all very personal to us, about real things in our lives. We are inspired by a lot of different sounds – classic soul, synths, electronic music… and we incorporate different elements, such as horns and guitar. If it feels natural and right it all comes together, and, so far, people seem to like what we are doing. The key for us is to be ourselves.

What was your reaction when the Coachella moment happened – when you found out you’d been chosen to play?
We were like, “Are you sure?”

How did the name HONNE come about?
It’s a Japanese word that doesn’t have a direct translation into English, but a way of describing it is “true feelings” or “one’s intimate self” which is at the heart of our sound. Creating music is often like wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve in a sense, and although songs mean different things to different people, everything we do is based on our own life and experiences. So it’s about being vulnerable and honest.

You’ve done a lot of touring and have played some huge festivals; what’s the best bit – the most fun for you – of the whole tour thing?
Touring and playing festivals is a lot of fun – and in some ways, playing to a huge crowd at a festival is a lot less stressful than playing in a small venue with lots of your mates in the audience! We love exploring new places when we get the time. We also really like discovering local food – Asian food in particular.

And what’s the most challenging?
We spend a lot of time in airports! Seriously though, touring involves a lot of sacrifice in terms of being away from home, both for us and for our families. We miss out on things -family events like weddings, stuff like that. That’s hard.

Andy, tell us about singing in Japanese; that’s quite an ambitious thing to do. I’ve listened to the track and it really works, although, of course, I don’t understand a word! How difficult was that to do?
Well, it was only on a recording and not live, so that made it a bit easier. It was for a version of Warm On A Cold Night back in 2016. I don’t think I’d ever attempt it again though.

How does it feel to be performing essentially in your own back yard at All Points East?
It feels great!

What’s next for you?
We have a lot of tour dates over the summer – Hawaii, Australia, Chicago, Russia… we’re all over the map this summer, so a lot of travel!

Any advice for young musicians?
Focus on the music. Stop worrying about the marketing and concentrate on developing your own sound; get to be the very best you can be at it and stay true to yourself.

Facebook: hellohonne
Twitter: @hellohonne
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(Japanese version)