Photos by Gian Nicdao and Tin Sartorio
I didn’t realize how much of a Honne fangirl I was until I was minutes away from meeting them. I was waiting for my turn to interview them, familiarizing myself with all the questions I noted on my phone, when I felt that wave of anxiety crashing onto me. Shit. I’m really meeting Honne today, huh. I gave myself a pep talk. I took deep breaths and put on a big smile (which I hoped didn’t make me look constipated). As I opened the doors with all the courage that I could muster, I found myself face-to-face with Andy and James. They were mere inches away from me, on the way out of the room, and my first thought was that they decided to cut the day short. But instead, they greet me with pleasant smiles. Andy turns to me first, and excuses himself for a bathroom break. James does the same. I melt. The waiting continues.
There is a certain fear that comes with meeting your idols in real life. The fear, perhaps, could be attributed to the magnitude of idolatry, but also, in the possibility that the images that we have conjured up in our brains won’t come close to who they are in real life.
As I wait for them to come back to the room, I suddenly wonder how I would react if I they don’t measure up to my expectations. My mind wanders, but I am brought back to reality by the cheery greetings from Andy and James. They gesture me to my seat, and they wait for me to take my place before they plop down on the couch. As nervous as I am, I start off the interview with a bit of small talk. We talk about their ongoing world tour, their travels, and Manila. When the conversation moves to Filipino food, they asked me if I’ve tried “that weird egg thing”. “Oh, balut, you mean? No, no. I’m actually scared to try it,” I say. They laugh and say that they feel the same way. My anxiety is now long gone. All that is left is genuine fondness for the two guys in front of me.
“Love Me/Love Me Not” is Honne’s latest album, featuring twelve songs that tell a cohesive story of a love found and lost. As you listen to more of the album, the narrative shifts to that of a heartbreak. From being together to breaking up. From a gleeful, budding romance to the poignant acceptance of the end of a relationship. “It’s an account of our last couple of years, basically,” Andy shares. “We’ve always liked writing true songs — songs that mean a lot to us, about our lives. We wanted to have two contrasting sides for this album, so we have Love Me, and we have Love Me Not.”
The beat-driven “Love Me/ Love Me Not” is a fresh, new sound of Honne. Compared to the tranquil and subdued feel of their debut album “Warm on a Cold Night”, this album is more spritely, feature songs like Day 1 and Me & You.
For Andy, the difference in the sound came about after a change in the time of writing. “I think the biggest difference really is that most of the songs in ‘Warm on a Cold Night’ were written at night, and it showed a lot in the sound. For this album, a lot was written in the day time,” he says. “That’s why the songs sound summery, almost. Bright.”