Some bands form through a Craigslist ad or through introductions to a friend of a friend. Others, like Honey, come together in the chaos of a high school cafeteria. Frontman Joe Praksti, bassist Pat O’Toole and drummer Evan Meindl came together in 2010 and seven years later, they still hold on to what matters. “There’s still the same manic energy between us. I mean we love playing music together,” says frontman Praksti.
They’re not just bandmates of convenience; they’re best friends working as a unit. It also helps that they’re roommates. “Living with your band [means] becoming closer with them musically, even if music isn’t technically involved,” says Meindl.
Honey will debut its first full-length album, Mock Pop, on June 30. The release party, at Spirit, will also feature local bands Bat Zuppel and Derider, both of whom the band looks to as inspiration in the growing Pittsburgh music scene. “We’re more excited about Pittsburgh music right now than music on the national scene because it’s actually influencing our lives,” says Meindl.
Ahead of the album, Honey released the single “Send Me No Flowers,” a heavy guitar track about death personified. While there are traces of death-centric pessimism, the album doesn’t wallow in darkness like a teenage nihilist. As the title suggests, there’s mocking involved, as if to say “death’s laughing and you should, too.”
The album title, Mock Pop, comes from an embrace of a poppier rock sound, detouring slightly from Honey’s more experimental punk EP, Exorcise. “It’s our version of doing pop culture through a skewed lens, all our weird influences,” says Praksti. The album ends with hints of Monkees-era pop on the dreamy “Leapt Into My Mind,” which the band lovingly refers to as a victory lap.
The band is planning a two-week tour following the release. “If we have any immediate plans,” says Meindl, “it’s just to not stop.”