Dubai Sound City chat

Soft-rockers Martyn Shone and Lindsay O’Mahoney talk

Interview, Music feature

How would you describe your band’s sound?
Lindsay: We’ve got a lot of different influences. Martyn’s got a rock background and I love rock music as well, but I listen to a lot of singer-songwriter stuff, quite a lot of writers from ’70s and ’80s America… people like James Taylor and Carole King. So our sound is mixed, but very melodic and commercial

Martyn used to be a banker. That’s not very rock and roll, is it?
Martyn: Yeah [laughs]. I was working 15 hours a day in a bank, then rehearsing until 3am, then going back to the bank three hours later – it wasn’t ideal. I recorded the album [Rising Up] when I was actually working full time as well. No one in the bank knew that I was a musician, so I just had to keep a straight face when I was working.

Lindsay: The thing is, we had to pay the rent. We would have loved to have given up our jobs years ago but we had to pay for rehearsal time, and we partly self-funded our debut album so we had to find the money somewhere. We are Honey Ryder full-time nowadays, though.

Martyn: The good thing about doing what we’re doing is that we have control of everything – we can do whatever the hell we want, as opposed to being signed to a record label that tells you what to do.

You funded yourself by selling shares in your albums, right?
Martyn: That’s right – we’ve sold shares in the future profits of albums. There were a hundred shares for sale – they were £3,500 [Dhs20,949] each, so we aim to raise £350,000 [Dhs2.9million]. Buyers get profits based on all music and merchandise we sell, and they obviously own a share of the album for life.

Isn’t it a bit of a risky thing, doing shares in this economy…?
Martyn: Obviously some people are more cautious about spending money in the recession, but music generally transcends the economy. And it would be great to get a couple of sheikhs from Dubai into the Honey Ryder family, maybe…

What should people expect from the gigs at SoundCity?
We’re going to break it down and do our songs in a very raw way. We’re going to have acoustic guitars and lots of harmonies – it’ll be an acoustic version of the album.

If you were to put on your own festival, what five acts would you book and why?
Martyn: Fleetwood Mac, because we both grew up listening to them, and their album Rumours is one of the best albums of all time. It’s amazing. And Guns N’ Roses; they’re my all-time favourite rock ’n’ roll band.

Lindsay: Foo Fighters, definitely, just because they’re energetic and they’ve got great songs. It’s all about the songs, for me.

Martyn: Radiohead as well – they’ve got amazing presence on stage and they play tracks from the entirety of their back catalogue.

Lindsay: And probably Coldplay.

Martyn: Maybe Slayer? [Laughs]

Honey Ryder play Dubai SoundCity at Warehouse and Festival City’s Floating Stage, November 6.

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