Lead singer and frontman of indie Soul Rock band Honeyvibe David Jones II is an original product of Lousiana with silky smooth vocals and a clear vision for his band’s future. The group’s debut studio album “Milk & Honey” is expected to be released in August this year. Today Jones spoke with ETV about several topics, including the band’s latest single “Work This Thing Out,” the ideology behind his music, and how he has overcome the challenges he’s faced along the way.
Honeyvibe is was formed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in March 2015. Jones said the name of the band came about when he learned that honey was one of the only natural substances on Earth that bacteria was unable to grow or survive in. He had always loved the taste of honey and used it as a sweetener in place in sugar, so he decided to put two and two together and just like that Honeyvibe was born.
“We were already in the process of trying to find a band name when I stumbled across that random fact online, and it just stuck with me for some reason,” Jones said. “The society we live in today is so dark and evil man, and with the positive lyrical content I write, I can just remember saying to myself, ‘That’s what we need to be. Figuratively speaking, this music, this brand, it all needs to be like honey to the world.’ And that’s literally how the name Honeyvibe came about.”
Honeyvibe is a rock band that would be classified under the Indie Soul Rock genre, though like most bands, its influences come from many genres. Jones said the band takes inspiration from jazz, funk, blues and folk. These genres all share expressive and genuine emotions in its lyrics and style, so it’s no wonder why Jones is drawn to them. He cites his writing style and singing delivery influences to Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, David Ryan Harris and Bilal.
“On the other hand guys like Earth, Wind & Fire, Hall & Oates, Kings of Leon, Lenny Kravitz, MuteMath, Thundercat, and several other classic and contemporary artists that have influenced this really unique rock sound we produce as a band,” Jones said. “Listeners should expect to hear a guitar driven, versatile rock sound with a ton of soul from Honeyvibe.”
The band is comprised of multiple musicians at every position allowing for a variety of lineups at each show. Jones said the lineups are based on the member’s availability and that he decides on the lineup each time, understanding that life takes the front seat to playing gigs and touring. However, no matter who is in, all the musicians are on the same page about delivering the Honeyvibe music and message. Aside from Jones who performs at all the band’s shows, there are consistent appearances by his cousin Ric Jones on drums and bassist Bruce Reid. Honeyvibe for the most part is a five-piece band consisting of vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, bass and drums, but is also open to opening up the live experience with additional keys, live strings or a percussionist.
Jones described he feels an unbelievable rush when performing live in front of his fans because he is completely comfortable on stage and he allows the music to move effortlessly through him.
“Man, there’s literally no greater feeling than being able to take a song you wrote in the privacy of your bedroom and share it with a crowd of people under those lights!” said Jones. “Being on stage with the guys in Honeyvibe, and knowing that they’re just as excited as you to perform, knowing that they have your back, it just makes you wanna turn up and really give your all to whoever is listening and watching.”
The band’s single “Work This Thing Out” was inspired when one of Jones’ good friends whose wedding engagement was suddenly called off.
“It was a heartbreaking situation for everyone involved, and this song was my attempt to help my friend articulate what was going on – while also beginning the healing process,” Jones said. “I think it’s incredibly important to be honest about the realities of life when writing music, while also acknowledging that there’s always hope even in our darkest situations if we’re grounded in truth. Sonically, ‘Work This Thing Out’ is much different than what our fans can expect from us in the future, but we felt it was a great record to showcase my abilities as a singer and lyricist, and our band’s ability to produce a mature sound that’s competitive with anything being made today.”
Along the way, Jones said the band has faced challenges creating opportunities for itself in Baton Rouge, a city that is lively and musically talented but isn’t as progressive to the sounds they create. Jones mentioned the struggles in finding venues that are looking to promote original music and offers advice to other bands going through a similar situation.
“In general, I think the best way for bands like us to overcome this obstacle is to always show up and show out when your time comes,” Jones said. “I pride myself on working hard to be a band leader that ‘dribbles with his head up,’ and giving my all to the audience – no matter how big or small that ends up being. Polish your material, surround yourself with people that are gonna keep it 100 with you, and don’t hold back when your opportunity comes. Also it’s just important to be humble and recognize those around you who have a desire to help. We’ve recently been blessed to have some folks within the community take a chance on our sound, which opened a lot of new doors. Even still, I strongly consider Honeyvibe as music pioneers within our city and region, and we’re currently working to use the influence we do have to create platforms for other local musicians to perform their unique, original content.”
Jones discussed the importance of honesty of an artist when starting a band. He said musicians should identify the sound they want to create and then to go out and listen to classic and contemporary bands that influence their sound and to compare the quality between the two. The level of writing and level of instrumentation should be viewed at with an honest perspective, which means that if either of those could use some work, then its time to put in the effort to get better.
“I feel like the level of honesty that you bring when answering those questions will really determine how far you will go – and most importantly, how much you’ll enjoy creating and building your band,” Jones said. “For instance, a couple of years ago I recognized that I had been given a gift to sing, but for a while I sucked because I wasn’t polished. I had to get to the point where I fully understood my weaknesses so I could push myself to get better. I had to surround myself with vocalists and musicians that I could look up to, that were willing to coach me and show me the ropes. And I had to put the time in to learn my craft and get comfortable being myself.”
The band is currently in the process of planning and headlining a world tour following the upcoming release of its album. Jones said he is excited to be both putting time in the studio to get the album out and also about the prospect of traveling across the world to share his heart with people everywhere.
“At the end of the day, we’re just a group of guys who desire to share good vibes and real music with people across the globe – music that makes you feel something, that has an uplifting message, and encourages people everywhere to change the narrative of how society says you have to live your life,” Jones said. “We love music, we love people, and we realize we can make an impact on the world around us through our talent.”
To stay up to date with all things honey, check out Honeyvibe on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter at @honeyvibemusic. Following band photos credit to Jordan Hefler.