After the announcement of Black Honey’s second album, Written and Directed by Black Honey, Forge Press’s Ella Craig caught up with frontwoman Izzy B Phillips to talk lockdown, inspirational women and, of course, the new record.

Written and Directed is inspired by the Brighton band Black Honey’s love for films by the American director, Quentin Tarantino. “What we wanted to achieve with it was that it would fit in any of the Tarantino movies but also have really strong female protagonists that are complicated and intricate. With each song we thought about which movie scene it would fit into and that’s how we figured the album out,” says frontwoman Izzy B Phillips.

The four-piece teased the announcement with the release of the single ‘Run for Cover’, a fierce, bass heavy track that would indeed fit a Tarantino movie soundtrack.

Although the new album focuses on powerful women, Philips didn’t have many female musical heroes growing up: “I thought I invented the idea of it.” Although, she later discovered artists such as Debbie Harry, Patti Smith and The Kills and realised that she wanted to be a musician.

“I guess my heroes were all men; Kurt Cobain and Jack White were the people who I wanted to be. But now, I’m like, holy shit, Nancy Sinatra is punk rock as fuck and there are so many cool, new artists and rock chick bad bitches in the different realms of music.”

When asked about her highlight of the six years she has spent fronting Black Honey, Philips recalls all the big moments that ‘feel like a scene out of a movie’, from festival slots at Glastonbury, supporting Royal Blood and their self-titled first album reaching the Top 40. However, she also enjoys the small things and ‘all the other shit that comes with being in a band’. 

She says: “I love meeting other bands and getting drunk with them, feeling invincible and living your best life. It’s so powerful to be that happy and to get to celebrate with your friends.”

Due to going into lockdown and the coronavirus’ impact on the music industry, Black Honey had summer gigs, an October tour and a potential January arena tour all cancelled. However, after constantly touring since they formed in 2014 and becoming accustomed to the lifestyle of “hardwork and early mornings” that comes with being on the road, Philips felt relieved to have a break.

The singer notes, “I think I really enjoyed the time to reflect and work on myself a little bit. Going back in, I’m obviously gonna love it and I’m so ready for that but at the same time this is the only point in my life where I’m literally gonna be in one place for this long. So I’ve just gotta enjoy it and make the most of it.” 

Looking forward, Philips can’t wait to eventually get back on the road and seemed impatient for the album’s release in January. She says: “I don’t like the feeling that I’m holding onto this completely finished thing for so long because it looks like I’ve done nothing.

“Which technically I have; I’ve done nothing since February. But now that it’s been announced to the world, I can process it and move on to my next creative adventure.”

Written and Directed by Black Honey drops on 29 January 2021 via Foxfive Records. Pre-order it here.


Image: Chuff Media


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