Walker & Sam From Local Band, Honey Motel, Chat About Their Recent Live Performance at FestEVOL, Their Upcoming Headline Gig And Their Latest Single
Matt Walker and Sam Meredith of local four-piece band, Honey Motel, met me at LEAF on Bold Street in town to chat about the fantastic things that they are up to.
I arrived slightly early to the booking at one of my many favourite City Centre hangouts to ensure that the table I booked was secured. We agreed to meet at LEAF, a stunning urban paradise that would offer us the opportunity to chat and record an interview in a vibrant yet relaxed setting.
The tea room-come-bar is located in the buzzing Ropewalks district of town, and it was just before 7 o'clock in the evening so there was a nice vibe to the place.
'And that's kind of the same way, when you know every single beat and bar, and every single track off by heart - you don't have to think about what's coming next. Then you can focus on having a good time with your mates, and enjoying the day and enjoying the set.' - Honey Motel.
As I was texting them to let them know I had arrived, I saw on their Instagram Story they were filming their walk towards Bold Street and chatting about how this is the first in-person interview that they were doing as any previous ones had been over video calls.
After spotting them outside waiting on the main road I waved them to come inside. I was sat in the snug sofa part of LEAF by the window facing out onto the thriving independent-driven street.
They both made their way inside and greeted me warmly. We all got comfortable and ordered some drinks and got to know one another more. Chatting about all sorts from our favorite music to video games, TV shows and beer.
After an hour or so of talking we said about getting a table outside to record a conversation about the things that they're up to
Read the interview below and listen to our full conversation by playing the video embedded at the top of the page, now here is Walker and Sam of Honey Motel talking about the amazing things they are up to.
Peter Eric Lang (The Liverpudlian): Hello, it's The Liverpudlian. I'm with Walker and Sam from Honey Motel. So, guys, do you want to just introduce yourselves a little bit.
Matt Walker (Honey Motel): 'Hello, my names Walker. I'm the lead singer in Honey Motel.'
Peter: 'And Sam.'
Sam Meredith (Honey Motel): 'Yeah, I'm Sam, I play guitar and keys in the wonderful band, Honey Motel.'
Peter: 'So we've just been chatting for about an hour or so in LEAF. Had a couple, couple of beers. And now we are- and a coffee. And now we are-'
Sam: 'Had coffee, cause one's driving.'
Walker: 'And we're responsible adults.'
Peter: 'And now we're sitting on the street - not on the street, but like, in-'
Walker: 'On the floor. Cars keep beeping at us.'
Peter: 'But like, we're sitting outside on Bold Street and enjoying the atmosphere, which is very nice. So, you where recently at FestEVOL, and you were great, you were playing an afternoon set. And yeah, so do you want to tell us a little bit about the band and how you felt FestEVOL went, All Dayer: Part One.'
Sam: 'Yeah, we opened the festival so it was erm... I think we were just using it as a kind of like example to show that we could still play live, and we didn't mess up and we knew how to play songs and things like that.
It was just kind of just to "let's get our feet back on the ground" where we're comfortable and we know what we're doing. And everything that we wanted to do went well.
Like, we've just invested in a new piece of equipment that we wanted to use for the first time, and we used it and it went well. So it was just making sure that everything we knew could still go to like a "t", and you know, there was no major mess ups really.
But, like, apart from that. It was just a great gig, wasn't it?'
Sam: 'I think it was just nice to get the cobwebs out. I think we were all a bit nervous. Over, you know, a year not playin' a gig.
We formed Honey Motel in the lockdown and yeah, just felt a bit scared I suppose...
There's a boom box coming up the street 'ere.'
Peter: 'We'll just pause for one sec.'
Peter: 'Sorry someone just walked up the road with like a very loud...'
Sam: But yeah, FestEVOL, it went sound I think. As Walker was saying, we were just trying to get the cobwebs out and I think a few of us felt nervous and we just wanted to, you know, not make any major mistakes and play a solid set which I felt we did.
You know the crowd seemed to like it and onwards and upwards from here. It was nice to get the first one out the way.
Walker: You could tell like the... I don't know what words I'm looking for here. The importance of playing live. We were, that set, out of all the practices we've doing for FestEVOL, like, the one we did live was the best one by far.
And I think just like, we just all stepped up to the plate. And like, right, we're performing live for the first time since December Two Thousand and Nineteen, let's, you know...'
Sam: 'Yeah, I think in the practice room cause it had been so long since we gigged, we were trying to replicate that live feeling and because since it had been over a year since any of us had felt it from- and we'd all been in different bands back then.
We'd forgot what it felt like, so I think we were a bit worried, you know, will we step up? But, yeah, once you get on that stage, it's... yeah. We are naturals *laughs*.'
Peter: 'Just naturally talented.'
Walker: 'What can we say?'
Sam: 'We were born this way.'
Peter: 'You're doing it were you put a lot of practice in as well. And that's the thing, you're making sure it works and as you say, that's what you want where it all comes together for the live performance. As you say, the more you do, the more it's just going to be better 'innit?'
Walker: 'I think the more you can commit to muscle memory, the less you've got to focus on when you're playing live. Cause then you can just enjoy playing live with your mates which is like, really really important.
It's like, showing people you're having a good time and you're not stressing of your 'ed. Something, cause I did a Drama Undergraduate Degree, something that they said was when you know your script off by heart, you can actually focus on your acting and you don't have to focus on remembering your lines.
And that's kind of the same way, when you know every single beat and bar, and every single track off by heart - you don't have to think about what's coming next. Then you can focus on having a good time with your mates, and enjoying the day and enjoying the set.
Sam: 'I think even in the practice room like, I think we’re like proper harsh like. Even when stuff sounds okay and I’ll still go “we are awful” *laughs* but yeah, it’s just self critiquing. But yeah definitely, felt nervous but it was good to get it out the way.'
Walker: 'I think we’re always going to be our toughest critics though aren’t we? Like, I don’t think there’s ever going to be a set where we’re one-hundred percent happy. I think we did really well on Saturday but I still think there’s areas where every single one of us can improve.
I think that’s just gonna be- I think that’s just us as a band and as people. We all know where, how strong we are as musicians and how good we can be. I think sometimes, at practice maybe we don’t show it as much as we should, we’re the first to… you know, when we where in the studio recently we were recording a new track and our bass player kind of struggled to play a part - not because he’s a bad bass player - it’s because he was in his own ‘ed.
He’d played the part hundreds and hundreds of times before that, but because he was in his own head, the pressure obviously got to him. It’s not because he’s a bad player, it’s cause the pressure got to him.'
Sam: 'It's because he’s an awful player, he’s not bad. He’s not bad - he’s awful *laughs*.'
Walker: 'So yeah, we’re always going to be our toughest critics.'
Peter: 'Yeah, like, I think the same goes for a lot of people. Like, I know I’m quite like critical over meself as well, and like, with photographs and articles and stuff. But at the same time it makes you wanna be better and like you’re always striving to be better. Which is good, like.'
Walker: 'One-hundred percent.'
Sam: 'You onto that, like. I don’t know whether you get it like, so obviously for you it might be - you’re a write a review or you put an article out, or take photos.'
Peter: 'But, like…'
Sam: No, yeah, I was gonna say I don’t know if for youse it’s the same but maybe you’ll take a photo or write an article - or for us, it’ll be write a song. And the day you do it you think it’s class. And you get up the next day and look at it and you go “that is awful”, like “what was I thinking yesterday?” And then you’re just your biggest critic. But then someone else goes “ey, that’s good that”, you know, and you’re just like “it’s not, but…”'
'You’re just your biggest critic.' - Sam Meredith of Honey Motel.
Peter: 'Yeah, yeah. I think it’s like- and I think you’ve got to allow yourself to feel like - just not look back at stuff too much. And I think you’ve just got to move forward.'
Walker: 'I think trust in yourself as well.'
Peter: 'Yeah, trust, yeah.'
Walker: 'And trustin’ in, you know, we’ve, me and Sam-'
Sam: 'We trust nobody.'
Walker: 'Accept each other. But like, me and Sam have been writing stuff together since Two-thousand Seventeen, so when one of us has an idea we know to trust that idea. I think that’s really important especially when you’re working as a team, that's so important to be able to, you know.
And we do trust Paul ["Pablo" Robinson - drummer] and Jack [Hughes - bass] *laughs* as well, it's just we've got to that point in our musicianship career were we know that... if somebody has an idea let's go with it for a while because we've got that trust in each other to think that "this is gonna be a good idea this", even if it doesn't come across.
Like, Milk and Honey, the first time we showed our drummer, our drummer was like... "what the hell was that?"
Cause obviously the start- I don't know if you've heard it yet, but the start is... it's very, very loud. So me and Sam came into the practice studio and we showed our drummer this song. And it was just distorted guitars for like thirty seconds and we finished showing him it and then we went "oh my gosh, how amazing is this song?" and he was like "that was horrendous, that was the worst thing I've ever heard in my life."'
I hope you've enjoyed so far, you can listen to the rest of the interview from 8 minutes in on the video at the top of the article.
Honey Motel will be performing their first headline gig at The East Village Arts Club on Seel Street at 7pm on Friday the 22nd October 2021, you can buy your tickets now to ensure you get to see them live!
Photographs by The Liverpudlian:
65-67 Bold Street,
City of Liverpool,
Liverpool City Region, UK.