Chicago – Mitchy Collins had been in search of a strong female vocalist to be the June Carter to his Johnny Cash. When he heard Danielle Bouchard belt out Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” he knew he had found his match. In 2013 the two musicians created the indie folk-pop group Oh Honey, named in part for the rooftop honey-farming craze in their beloved Brooklyn, and also for their favorite episode of How I Met Your Mother. (Favorite because it features the fabulous Katy Perry!) They released their EP With Love, signed with Atlantic Records, and unleashed the catchy single “Be Okay.”
Sound familiar? You may have seen the Glee episode “New Directions” or perhaps you’ve been cheerfully singing along to the upbeat single on iHeartRadio. I had the pleasure of taking in Oh Honey’s Chicago show and chatting with Mitchy and Danielle about “Be Okay.” We also talked making music and honey, seeing the glass half full, and of course, Katy Perry.
Dressing room vibes in Phoenix, Arizona.
Sarah Hess: I need to talk bees with you for a moment. Is it true you guys are in the process of producing your own brand of honey?
Mitchy: We are! Yes, we are. “Oh Honey” honey. Actually right now we’re in the process of trying to find a honey harvester, a bee farm, and whatnot, in Brooklyn. Hopefully we’ll get it going from there soon.
Sarah Hess: Talk to me about your EP With Love and your song writing process. Mitchy: The EP, it’s songs we feel really close to. The song writing process is different for every song. Some start with the guitar, some with a lyric idea, some with a melody. It all just depends.
Danielle: Everything is collaborative, too. We have a team of people that we like to work with, that we worked with on the EP, and I think we definitely have a sound and a vibe we’re going for. We like to be very positive and optimistic, and we hope people take that away from the songs.
SH: I read that “Be Okay” is inspired by this quote: “I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but everything’s going to be okay.” Where is that quote from?
Mitchy: I don’t know. It’s something that I read on the Internet. I saw it a handful of times, it just kept popping up, and I was just really drawn to it because it’s true. You know, it’s like no matter how bad things get, life happens to everybody: family problems, heartache, money trouble. Life happens to everybody, but you can’t let it hold you back. Even when you feel like you’re just being shit on and everything is going wrong, you can’t let life hold you back!
Danielle: I think happy songs make people feel good, and maybe we can make music that gives people hope. That thought is really rewarding for us.
SH: Have you guys been writing any new songs while on the road?
Mitchy: Yeah, we’ve been trying to get into the studio when we can, and we’re always jotting stuff down.
Danielle: Once this tour is done, we also plan to get back into the studio.
Mitchy: Yeah! It’s been going really well.
Danielle: It’s been awesome! People have gotten some really cool photos. They also post stuff on facebook. It’s been nice to see it and connect with fans.
SH: While we’re on the topic of social media, Mitchy I see a lot of Gossip Girl tweets from you. Are you a big fan of the show?
Mitchy: (laughs) No, I just think it’s really funny. Most of the time, it’s me being delirious and tweeting something funny.
Danielle: I feel like both of us are pretty consistent at tweeting about food and coffee.
Soundcheck in Phoenix, AZ.
SH: I see you’re both – but more so Mitchy – are big fans of Katy Perry. Have you guys gotten to meet her?
Mitchy: Yeah, I love her! I met her a long time ago, maybe like 2008.
Danielle: Did you really? I didn’t even know that!
Mitchy: Yeah, I think it was 2008 at Warped Tour. I also met her previously, prior to her first single coming out, but I’m sure she has no idea who I am.
SH: We’ll try to fix that.
In LA at The Greek.
SH: Danielle, you come from a musical theater background, so I have to ask what are a few of your favorite musicals?
Danielle: What are my favorite musicals, oh that’s a good question! I’ve seen Hair a couple of times. I really like that one. I guess I’ll be typical and say Wicked because it’s just so amazing, no matter how cliché it gets; it’s such a good show!
SH: Mitchy do you have one?
Mitchy: Definitely The Sound of Music.
Danielle: That’s pretty clever.
Mitchy: No, I’ve actually never seen it. I’m just playing! (laughs) I saw The Addams Family on Broadway. That was pretty cool. Rent was great, too. Rent was really, really, really good.
Mitchy: I wish I saw American Idiot because I heard that was really good.
Danielle: I saw it. It was really good. Oh, and Les Mis! That movie was unbelievable!
Mitchy: Oh, and High School Musical was really good, too! (Everyone laughs)
SH: Mitchy, you’ve talked a lot about how Johnny Cash and June Carter inspired you to form a guy and girl duo. Do you think there’s any chance you’ll cover a song of theirs?
Mitchy: I think that’s a very strong possibility in the near future. They’re the ultimate guy-girl duo. I think they’re what every duo wants to be.
SH: Mitchy what’s your favorite Bruce Springsteen album?
Mitchy: That is a tough one! Okay, I think it’s a tie. Nebraska is amazing, and I’m going to try and sound all credible right now. (laughs) And Born To Run is the other one.
SH: And Danielle, what’s your favorite Fleetwood Mac album?
Danielle: I’m so bad with albums. The one with “Dreams” on it, is it Rumors? I’m going to go with Rumors! (laughs)
Red Rocks was a dream in Morrison, Colorado.
Top Photo By Eric Mooney
After attending The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Sarah went on to study education at Dominican University, earning a degree in history. When not teaching, writing, or taking in a show, she is most likely to be found with a camera to her eye or hanging out in a darkroom.
You can follow Sarah Hess on twitter at @Sarahhasanh and view her music photography on her website: smhimaging.com.