Honeyblood blossoms from DIY effort 

click to enlarge Stina Tweeddale, left, and Cat Myers are Honeyblood. - COURTESY LAURA COULSON
  • COURTESY LAURA COULSON
  • Stina Tweeddale, left, and Cat Myers are Honeyblood.
Glaswegian vocalist-guitarist Stina Tweeddale still gets a chuckle, looking back on the things she and her former drummer Shona McVicar did to get noticed as the fuzz-rock duo Honeyblood.

“The one which totally showed my dedication was, I took a huge amp on a bus from Glasgow to London, a nine-hour drive,” she says. “And I thought, ‘It’ll be fine, we’ll just get on the subway,’ not realizing that the tubes in London don’t have lifts, they have stairs. A lot of stairs. Plus, it was rush hour when we arrived, 8 a.m., with everyone going to work. It was a nightmare.”

A helpful businessman offered to carry their equipment. But he couldn’t lift it.

“He just looked at us, shook his head, and said, ‘You girls are crazy!’” she says.

McVicar quitting the team last year didn’t slow Tweeddale. She recruited childhood friend Cat Myers on percussion and soldiered on. The pair plays San Francisco this week, backing their new single “No Big Deal” as well as last year’s Peter Katis-produced self-titled debut CD.

Tweeddale didn’t know showbiz rules.

She simply was tired of fronting male bands, even though she was encouraged to be as wild as possible onstage (the name Honeyblood came from a viscous honey-and-red-food-dye concoction she devised, then spat over audience members in a Halloween concert with her last group).

“I was really more inspired by a lot of female songwriters, like The Breeders, P.J. Harvey, and all the riot grrrl bands that I loved as a kid,” she explains of why she flew solo. “So Honeyblood is my whole personality and essence, and everything I drew from those bands as influences.”

The singer, “who terms her music “crunch pop,” had no studio knowledge, either.

She and McVicar recorded their first song, “No Spare Key,” in a friend’s echoey bathroom, just to hear how they sounded.

“Then we listened to it, and I was like, ‘That’s just terrible’ Then the tape chewed itself up when we tried to pull it out,” she says. Still, they started selling cassettes of the garbled track at shows, along with hand-stenciled tote bags for merchandise. “They were awful, too,” she adds.

Honeyblood put on guerilla shows, playing on streets, under bridges and in any art space they could commandeer. Diligence paid off.

When the head of Fat Cat Records, Alex Knight, came to see Honeyblood – then sign them – Tweeddale says, “He was just laughing at our merch, and saying, ‘This is so DIY, it’s funny.’ But he bought a cassette and a tote, and he still has them today!”

IF YOU GO

Honeyblood

Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. March 11

Tickets: $13 to $15

Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.ticketfly.com

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Tom Lanham

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