U.K. Rock Band Black Honey Is Ready For World Domination

Photographed by Charlotte Rutherford. From left: on Ostler: suit by John Varvatos, shirt by Topman Design; on Phillips: coat by Dilara Findikoglu, shirt by Vivienne Westwood, pants from Rokit Vintage; on Taylor: jacket by John Varvatos, t-shirt by Topman;

Charli XCX talks to lead singer and guitarist Izzy B. Phillips about the band’s next moves

The following feature appears in the June/July issue of NYLON. Every year we scour the music scene to round up the best rising acts for our annual music issue. This time around, Charli XCX guest-edited the feature, hand-picking a crop of new musicians to be interviewed by veterans in the game who have been there and done that. To meet more up-and-coming artists on Charli’s radar, click here

This four-piece once preferred to send cryptic texts to fans rather than reveal their identities, but the popularity of their shoegazey sound and melancholic lyrics left people begging to meet them IRL. Now the band—composed of lead singer and guitarist Izzy B. Phillips, guitarist Chris Ostler, bassist Tommy Taylor, and drummer Tom Dewhurst—is ready for full exposure.

Charli XCX: When did Black Honey form? Why are you the best rock band in the world?
Izzy B. Phillips: We each played in loads of different bands in Brighton [England]. I had been writing songs for a while but everything just clicked with [my Black Honey bandmates]. I think we are different because we are paving our own path, making music we love on our terms and our standards.

Do people often ask you what it’s like to be a girl fronting a rock band? On a scale from one to 10, how annoying is that? 
Surprisingly, not that often. Though people do ask—and, yeah, it’s a nine—I prefer it to the blinkered expressions I get daily from engineers, as they try to figure out why a band member’s eccentric girlfriend is asking for guitar levels in the monitor mixes.

Out of all the members in the band, who parties the hardest? What’s the stupidest thing they’ve done? 
I mean, there are a lot of stupid things that we get up to. We recently lost Tom in Newcastle, half-naked in a red magician’s fez. Thankfully, he turned up in Slaves’ tour bus at 5 a.m., singing. Our other great late-night ideas involve stick and pokes and naked swimming.

You definitely have an eye for fashion. What are some of your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
I collect vintage clothes, and my all-time winners are my red berets, a dress, and black boots. Right now I’m digging my hand-painted leather jacket and my heart-shaped Lolita sunglasses.

How many berets do you own?
I own about five at the moment but they get stolen off the stage by fans at every show, so I have to keep my eBay searches on constant rotation.

Who’s at Black Honey’s ultimate rock ’n’ roll dinner party? You can invite anyone, dead or alive.
I’d invite David Lynch to cook the dinner. It would be set in the Twin Peaks diner with some of his characters from other films there, too—like the Elephant Man and Eraserhead. Also I would invite Elvis, but only if he came bearing some donations from his stage wardrobe. Françoise Hardy, Charles Manson, and Ringo Starr, too.

You’re on tour with Royal Blood—what’s it like? 
Mike [Kerr] and Ben [Thatcher, of Royal Blood] are amazing. We always have a laugh just hanging out and going to gigs together, so touring is fun. They have always been super supportive of what we do, so we’re stoked to finally hit the road with the guys.

Are you making a record? Can you sum it up in three words?
Lips are sealed.

What’s next for Black Honey, aside from world domination?
After we’re done touring with Royal Blood we start festival season—Reading and Leeds, Ibiza Rocks, to name a few. Expect to see us back on the tour circuit with loads of surprises, too. Watch this space.

Styled by Krissie Torgerson. Hair: Sami Knight at Starworks Artists. Makeup: Amber Dreadon. Photo assistant: Brooke Taffet.

Photographed by Charlotte Rutherford. From left: on Ostler: suit by John Varvatos, shirt by Topman Design; on Phillips: top by MSGM; on Dewhurst: shirt by Vivienne Westwood; on Taylor: jacket by John Varvatos, t-shirt by Topman, pants by Roberto Cavalli.

Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, and Agyness Deyn also star

Elisabeth Moss is trying to keep it together as punk rock artist Becky Something in the trailer for forthcoming movie Her Smell. She's surrounded by iconic faces who make up her band Something She, Gayle Rankin as Ali van der Wolff and Agyness Deyn as Marielle Hell, as she grapples with the fact that her musical prowess just doesn't draw as big a crowd as it used to.

In addition to the wavering fame, Becky is "grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom," according to a press release. "When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success." And what's clear from the trailer, Moss is absolutely meant for this role, transforming into the punk on the brink of collapse.

Rounding out the cast are Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne, and Dan Stevens. Watch the official trailer, below. Her Smell hits theaters on April 12 in New York and 14 in L.A., with "national expansion to follow."




Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

In an acceptance speech at the BRIT Awards

As The 1975 accepted the BRIT Award for Best British group, outspoken frontman Matty Healy shared the words of journalist Laura Snapes as a way of calling out misogyny that remains ever-present in the music industry. Healy lifted a powerful quote from Snapes' coverage of allegations against Ryan Adams for The Guardian: "Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of 'difficult' artists, [while] women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don't understand art."

Snapes reacted almost immediately on Twitter, saying she was "gobsmacked, and honoured that he'd use his platform to make this statement." Snapes had originally written the line for an interview she published with Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek back in 2015, in response to Kozelek publicly calling her a "bitch" who "totally wants to have my babies" because she requested to speak in person rather than via e-mail, which she brought up in the more recent piece on Adams. Kozelek's vile response, and the misogyny that allowed it to play out without real consequences, it could be argued, could have easily played out in the same way in 2019, which makes her reiteration of the line, and Healy's quoting it on such a large platform, all the more important.

It should be noted that back in December, Healy caught a bit of heat himself on Twitter for an interview with The Fader in which he insinuated that misogyny was an issue exclusive to hip-hop, and that rock 'n' roll had freed itself of it. He clarified at length on Twitter and apologized, saying, "I kinda forget that I'm not very educated on feminism and misogyny and I cant just 'figure stuff out' in public and end up trivializing the complexities of such enormous, experienced issues."