Honey Child hopes for sweeter pastures
Honey Child made a lot of noise in the Valley, but not as much as it wanted. That's why the band is leaving for Charlotte, N.C., on May 29.
"This is not a music town," guitarist Dino Gisiano says. "God bless Roger Clyne. He's got a fan base. But if you're not Roger Clyne . . . "
Honey Child is a solid, hard-working band, with a polished stage presence and well-written songs. But fame didn't seem to be calling in the Valley, and the group had trouble finding its niche.
Rather than make peace with a lower profile, Honey Child decided to do something about it. The group looked at its fan base, studied the music scenes in different towns and then decided to relocate.
"We're a touring band," Gisiano says. "We want to perform. We want to be able to play five nights a week if we can."
They figure the music scene will be a bit more dynamic back East, and more welcoming for its straightforward rock/pop sound.
"As a music town, Phoenix is dead," he says. "It's not as dynamic as it should be. But we're not bitter."
"Well, we're a little bitter," lead singer Heather Higgs says with a laugh.
Her spirited wail and uninhibited style onstage make her one of the most vibrant women on the local scene. You would think if any member of Honey Child had a claim on being more famous, it would be her.
But she simply wants the chance to sing on a regular basis for audiences sympathetic to her warm, bluesy sound.
"The end goal is to make a little bit of money and to play," she says.
It's true. All the members of the bands have degrees. Gisiano left a job as a chemical engineer to focus on music.
"It's not like we have to do this," guitarist Jason Montero says. "We're doing this because this is what we want to do. It's not like we're a bunch of kids with no skills to fall back on."
The group is saying goodbye to the Valley in fine fashion. The band's latest disc, Taller, will be in stores next week.
An ambitious record that even features a string section, Taller was produced by Valley wizard Clarke Rigsby, who has worked with Tower of Power and Kim Wilson.
"We can't afford Clarke as a producer," Gisiano says. "But he heard us and he believed in us. Clarke has become like a special member of the band."
Of course, Rigsby isn't making the trek to North Carolina. But that's not all the band will miss about Arizona.
"Burritos," Montero says. "All the Mexican food."
"I've been here for 10 years," Gisiano says. "It's like leaving behind family."
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