We caught up with Belfast-based future garage maestro Honeyruin (aka Andrew Wightman) to talk about all things music. Read our exclusive interview here…
Hey Honeyruin, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview. Where are you based? Do you tend to travel a lot, or are you firmly rooted at home?
No problem mate. I don’t travel a whole lot, I work at my day job a lot throughout the week but I try and get to places here and there, so I would say I’m pretty firmly rooted at home!
Can you recall your first real exposure to music?
I was probably around 12/13 when I started to take listening to music more ‘seriously’. I listened to a lot of metal and rock music, that slowly evolved into more electronic stuff like Massive Attack, The Orb, Future Sound of London, stuff like that. I still listen to rock and metal and all of that, I think it’s better to have a broad range of musical tastes, you can draw inspiration from more sources that way!
How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?
I think I was around 16 when I started to get into making music, I got a copy of FL Studio and started making these awful ambient tracks lol, they were so bad and didn’t make any sense whatsoever, but it was fun making it and if it’s fun and you enjoy it then that’s what it’s all about in my opinion.
Can you describe your music for us?
Definitely dark and moody. It’s music for traveling home at night, or for rainy days in autumn. Atmospheric and bass heavy with messages hidden in the vocals. Music for heartache pretty much.
Have you ever played live? Would you like to in future? Any upcoming shows?
I haven’t played live yet but I’m not in any rush, I’m not sure how my music would do in a club or gig setting, I think I make music more for headphones than speakers!
What have been your biggest influences?
Burial of course, all those crackles and vinyl sounds and use of beautiful vocals, although I’m trying to edge away from being just another carbon copy of that style. Aside from him I would say Vacant, L Own, Bucky, Boards of Canada, Pink Floyd, El-B, Massive Attack, Oh Wonder, Crywolf etc.
Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both?
Technical skill might make it easier in a way but I think if you put the effort in, and are creative with the tools you have then you can make amazing things, sometimes from nothing! You can have the most expensive gear in the world but if you don’t have the feeling for what you are creating then does it really mean much in the end?
Do you tend to find creating music a cathartic or therapeutic experience? Has creating music helped you cope with difficult times in your life at all?
Absolutely both of those things, I usually make music when I feel miserable lol, which sounds bad but it lets emotions and feelings push through to the surface to be able to produce the way I do with all of the sad melodies and vocal samples I seek out that have that tint of somber tones. Music for lost souls I think.
Any new genres you’d like to explore in future?
I’m dipping my foot in the water with chill out at the moment, slightly cleaner production, less muddy pads etc. My last few releases have been pretty different to what I usually make, I’ll maybe try and blend the two in some way!
Any new releases coming our way?
I have a new LP out in August called Kalopsia, it has a few older more obscure tracks of mine and some of the new releases, and brand new stuff too that is coming out on the Lush Selects label!
Do you enjoy working with other artists? Can we expect any Honeyruin collabs in future? Any specific artists you’d like to work?
I’m still relatively small fan base wise so it can be difficult getting other artists to want to take the chance on you, but I guess it’s a matter of keeping working hard to prove yourself. I’ve worked with Ghost-Youth (Kit) before and it was so great, everything flowed smoothly, we both knew what we wanted to do with each section of the track and it was just a great experience to work with someone so talented, plus the track we made was extremely lengthy so was definitely a lot of fun. Hoping to possibly get a collab started with Owsey at some point too.
Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?
Ooo that’s a tough one, I really can’t answer, there’s so many!!
It’s been said that a life in music can be a hard one. Would you agree with that?
I wouldn’t say hard, it can be frustrating if you don’t have the reach, like if you make a solid tune but don’t have resources to push it out there and get it to a broad audience, it starts to feel like people aren’t into what you are trying to create, that’s sometimes true but sometimes not, it’s a matter of finding a platform to get your tunes heard. I don’t feel it’s hard, it’s my hobby, something I do to relax.
Any other Honeyruin projects on the horizon that you’d like to tell us about?
I’d love to make a purely ambient album at some stage, like I’d be listening to a few future garage tracks and maybe there’s a few breakdowns with all of these wonderful pads and melodies, and I feel like I could just listen to it for hours, so definitely a lot of sadness and some crackle and atmospherics could be coming in the future!
And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about?
There are a million great guys making some beautiful music at the moment, I couldn’t single out just a few, but I would urge people to dig deeper than what’s on the surface of future-based music, it’s like an ocean of never ending musical discovery, and it becomes special when you find that one artist that isn’t known to many but makes such amazing music and it feels like you own this piece of art all to yourself. Or maybe I’m talking crap lol!
Thanks so much Honeyruin!
Honeyruin’s back catalogue is available here.