The dynamic duo of Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard of OH HONEY have taken the music industry by storm in in the past year. With a new record label (Atlantic) behind them, the pair is embarking on a national tour with James Blunt, the Fray and Barcelona, gaining more acclaim for their first EP, With Love and building a fanbase that they had once only dreamed of. To put it simply, in Mitchy’s very own words, they’re truly “living the dream.”
mxdwn: OH HONEY became a band the spring of 2013; you premiered your first single in September; played your first show together in October; released your first EP in November and by December you were selling out shows and being covered on Glee. Now, you’ve just started your national tours; you guys are unstoppable! How does it feel?
Mitchy: It’s all very surreal! It’s definitely exciting that it all happened so fast. We didn’t expect it all, but we’re also not mad about it, either. It’s all very exciting. The tour has been a lot of long days, amazing shows and lots of driving, but it’s been fun.
Danielle: It’s been a good ride. We got to play our first big arena last week which was such a crazy experience, it was pretty awesome.
Before forming Oh, Honey, how much experience did you both have performing at large venues?
Mitchy: I have played a couple of larger venues, but nothing like an arena. It’s definitely a learning experience. It’s something crazy!
Danielle: I played mostly small clubs before, so that was such a– like [Mitchy] said– surreal experience just looking out at the crowd when they brought the lights up and seeing how many people were staring back at us. It’s so crazy!
Of all the things you have accomplished thus far, especially playing SXSW and getting signed to Atlantic Records, what would you say was your most prized moment?
Mitchy: Hearing our song on the radio, definitely.
Danielle: For me, it was watching it being performed on Glee. I grew up a theater kid and I’ve seen the show a lot and I think Lea Michelle and Naya Rivera are amazing singers, so that was really cool watching them sing it.
When you first started the band, did you ever imagine that you would already be in this position a year later?
Mitchy: Yeah, I mean, it’s the dream! I definitely think we imagined it happening. We are literally living the dream right now.
Mitchy, you’ve played in several different bands throughout your career, but the singer duo dynamic of OH HONEY is a bit different than your previous work. What inspired you to take on this new method?
Mitchy: I’ve always loved the whole idea of a guy-girl duo, you know, Johnny Cash and June Carter and Sonny and Cher. It’s something I’d been chasing for a while. It was something that I wanted to try to do and it all fell into place and was a good match with every situation right now.
I’ve read that you become acquainted with one another through a mutual friend, but can you elaborate a bit more on your decision to pursue a musical venture together? Is there a story you associate with the moment you realized that your combined talents would make a great band?
Mitchy: Our mutual friend had known I was trying to figure out this duo thing and trying to find my missing link and I had met Danielle probably a year and a half or so prior to us connecting musically. And he kept tapping me on the shoulder saying “I got the girl, I got the girl, I got the girl,” and me being stubborn as hell, I tried to find it on my own, but then he finally shut me up and sent me a voice-mail of Danielle singing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and I was like, “Who is this?” and he told me Danielle and we met up and that’s it. Danielle was the missing piece.
Danielle, you’ve had a lot of experience performing theatrically in musicals and plays. In your opinion, is there a difference performing live as a singer/songwriter versus as a singer/actress?
Danielle: Oh yeah, totally. Theater performance is obviously a lot more scripted and I feel like performing with a band, things change every night and there’s a lot of that feeling of you don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s a lot of fun. I have had some experience performing as a singer too, but they’re different. They’re just totally different elements, but they’re both a lot of fun.
You both are absolute naturals on stage and it’s apparent that you have a lot of experience performing. I’ve seen recordings of several concerts in which you have done covers of some of my favorite ’90s songs, including “No Scrubs” and “No Diggity,” and I’ve also seen a picture of a Backstreet Boys cassette featured on your Facebook. Who would you say were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Mitchy: I grew up on Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Butch Walker– anything that contained stories, I’d be all over.
Danielle: For me, I grew up listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac (my mom loved them). I love Stevie Nicks. I’ve got into a lot of female singer-songwriters like Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson. I love Bon Iver and a lot of people like that.
I can hear those influences in your music. My favorite song off the EP is “Lonely Neighbor (What Am I To You).” “Oh to dress up in your arms / Alone with nothing but our scars / I know that she won’t love you like I love you” is sheer romantic perfection. You were able to capture an even balance of the optimism and despair that accompanies a prospective romance. How were you able to encompass such conflicting feelings and thoughts in such little time?
Mitchy: In our songs especially, we try to stay as honest as possible. We try to put everything out on the line and hopefully people can connect.
There is a sweet sincerity in all your lyrics and your voices complement each other like very few artists out there today. Can you walk me through the writing process and production of your first EP, With Love? Did you write in the studio, did you write separately or together?
Mitchy: The EP writing process was definitely a collaborative effort. I had a bunch of song ideas I was kicking around and then I met up with Danielle. We also have a family of collaborators, including Christian Medice and another producer, Robbie G, that we worked with on a few songs on the record. It’s like a family affair putting all the songs together. All the songs were written on guitar, but we built the songs around the sound. All the songs are pretty organic and we just kind of let the songs take the lead on it.
With one EP out and some internationals shows down off the new tour, how are you feeling going onto the tour?
Mitchy: We started the new tour last Thursday. It’s amazing, James [Blunt] is fantastic and we’re stoked to be here.
Danielle: Yeah, we just did a week in Canada with James Blunt and we’re actually just about to go right back to America now and we’ll have three weeks throughout the US with him. James is an amazing performer and he’s been doing it for so long, so I feel like we have a lot that we can learn from him by watching him every night.
Do you have more music in the works, possibly a full-length album?
Mitchy: We have our EP out and our single “Be Okay” is out and that’s kind of a focus for us right now and lots of touring. In our down time we always try to get into the studio and work things out. So, hopefully there’ll be one sooner rather than later.