Spreading The HONEYMOON DISEASE
December 1, 2015, 2 years ago
While conducting a Google search for the Swedish rock band Honeymoon Disease, the first entry that appears is a sexual disease called honeymoon cystitis (aka honeymoon disease). The symptoms are a frequent urge to go to the bathroom with a burning sensation during urination. However, this particular Honeymoon Disease that we’ll be discussing here is a kick ass four-piece rock ’n’ roll band.
Consisting of Jenna Disease (vocals/guitar), Acid Disease (guitar), Admiral Disease (bass) and Jimi Disease (drums), these two chicks and two dudes dutifully crank out some memorable and hooky tunes on its debut full-length release, The Transcendence (released Nov. 20 via Napalm Records). It’s a fabulous hybrid of early punk, glam and stoner/psyche rock, decorated with groove-based, bluesy-rock tones. As of late, Sweden has been cranking out some outstanding female-fronted retro rock, and Honeymoon Disease fits the bill nicely. During a recent record release party for The Transcendence in their home town of Gothenburg, Jenna chatted with BraveWords writer Kelley Simms via Skype.
BraveWords: Sweden’s been churning out some great female-fronted retro rock bands as of late, including yourselves, Spiders and Blues Pills. What do you attribute this to?
Jenna: In some way, I think all females have stepped it up just a couple of years ago. You see so many female bands right now. A woman myself, you can see yourself in so many singers. If you listen to rock ’n’ roll, you can see that if bands like Spiders can do it, why can’t I? There’s so many role models right now and I think that it’s so good that women have stepped it up recently.
BraveWords: I’m sure you’re aware of what your band name brings up when Googled. How did you decide on the name Honeymoon Disease?
Jenna: It doesn’t mean THAT! (laughs) Actually the first time I came across the name was in a TV show. I don’t know if it was on Glamour (the Swedish version of American soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful) or Dallas. But I saved the words and thought I should try to write a song that is named Honeymoon Disease. And when we started the band, I was like of course we’re going to be named Honeymoon Disease because it’s like the coolest name ever! And everyone likes it. But to us, Honeymoon Disease means a wild honeymoon that never ends.
BraveWords: You possess a ’70s rock sound, look and vibe. How did you get into this type of old school rock?
Jenna: I think we were all raised on this kind of rock, in different ways. But it has always been with us through our childhood till now. The look and everything came natural just because we have this musical background with ’70s rock.
BraveWords: You have an eclectic mix of influences on The Transcendence. How did you come up with the Honeymoon Disease sound?
Jenna: We all love Kiss, Thin Lizzy, early Scorpions. But I think our strongest thing is that we all have different backgrounds, even though we all have listened to ’70s rock. Jimi (drums) is from the stoner rock scene, Acid (guitar) listened to a lot of black and death metal and I’m from the classic rock scene. I think that for this album we made a perfect balance between these elements, even though of course you can’t hear black metal in it. But Anna is also a big fan of, as we all are, into Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy harmonies. I think we made a really good mix of our backgrounds.
BraveWords: Your lead vocals and soaring harmonies are key to the band’s overall sound. Who are your influences vocal wise?
Jenna: Absolutely Suzi Quatro. She is so cool and has a great voice. But actually I have plenty of singer idols, but I think they are all men. Rob Halford, even though you can’t hear it, but he’s really good. But also Klaus Meine just has this thing. I fell in love with his voice the first time I heard it. I take a lot of inspiration from him. But also Nicke Andersson from The Helicopters.
BraveWords: Album opener “Higher” has an old school psychedelic rock vibe to it. What were you going for on this track?
Jenna: I think we were mostly influenced by Judas Priest when we wrote the riffs because it has a Priest groove, I think. The lyrics came natural too, because it was something that happened. We didn’t think it was going to be this great as it actually is before we heard the finished result with the choir, because that just made it. The choir was the last thing we recorded, but that made it so great. I think it’s really groovy.
BraveWords: “Imperial Mind” is such an explosive track, what’s that song about and who’s mind is imperial?
Jenna: It’s about someone who has a big mind but maybe you haven’t been taken very seriously. I was thinking about all those kids out there that have started a band and no one believes in them, but actually they will be big rock stars someday. Those kids have an imperial mind because they think big from the beginning and that’s what you have to do if you want to be a rockstar, that’s what the lyrics are about. That song is really different from the other songs because it’s more rock ’n’ roll, I think you can hear old school rock ’n’ roll riffs and melodies. That’s one of my favorites.
BraveWords: How did you record the album, it sounds so full, live and organic. Did you demo the songs and have them water tight before you entered the studio?
Jenna: We made a pre-studio demo and then went into the studio. That was so good for us because we hadn’t been in the studio before with this band. So we went to the studio in Gothenburg and I think we recorded it in one week, then we put the final touches and the final vocals in Stockholm. I think it was a smooth recording because everything went so fine. The guys that we worked with were so great and helped us out a lot.
BraveWords: You’re embarking on a European tour this month. Are there any plans to make it to the US?
Jenna: It’s our first European tour and we’re so excited because we finally have the chance to show the rest of Europe what we can do, and what the message is about with Honeymoon Disease. I think it’s a great start and we hope to get to the States very soon. We’re going to record a second album next year. But our biggest dream right now would be if we could go to the States and rock and roll all over it!