Hailing from Newark, the Honey Badgers were formed in 2011 by University of Delaware students Erin Magnin (vocals, fiddle, glockenspiel and harmonium) and Michael Natrin (vocals, guitar, mandolin and harmonica).
Erin, 23, who's a senior majoring in music, touched on what the Badgers will bring to the table for their Young Bean debut (which is a free concert), the band's three upcoming albums and more.
Q Do you and Michael still meow a lot?
A All the time [laughs].
Q Why don't you do the badger scream?
A I think we would terrify people if we did that because I don't know if everyone knows this, but honey badgers are horrifying creatures; they're horrible and merciless. But we just really like cats, so we meow a lot [laughs].
Q What songs will you be playing at The Young Bean?
A We'll probably play a lot of our originals, which are sort of folk-Americana, and then we'll probably stick some covers in there, hopefully ones people will know and can recognize. We play: Mumford & Sons; a little bit of The Civil Wars; and The Avett Brothers. We try to play the kind of stuff that's in our genre.
A Some of them — yeah. We did that about a year ago, and it was sort of when we were figuring out who we were as a group. So we've sort of branched out from there and now we play stuff that we've written more together. A lot of the stuff on "Booth Bay" was written by Michael, and I sort of jumped in there and contributed when I could. Now we're writing more songs together or we'll come to each other with a song that's almost done and help each other finish it.
Q What's a new song you might play at The Young Bean?
A The most recent one we wrote together is called "Hidden Away". We actually wrote it for a songwriting contest, sponsored by Graffiti Radio, and they asked us, "What does music means to you?" It's sort of a hard question to tackle in one song, so we sort of narrowed it down to the freedom that music gives you and how it doesn't always have to be perfect all of the time. Sometimes music is more beautiful when you just let whatever comes out come out.
Q You mentioned Michael wrote most of the songs on "Booth Bay" and you helped to fill in. What was that experience like creating your first project together?
A It was really interesting because I've been a musician for pretty much my whole life, but it's always been very structured. And I've been in choirs and orchestras, and stuff like that, so it was a really different experience for me to create my own music, because there was no one putting a piece of paper in front of me and saying, "Hey, this is what you're going to sing" or "This is what you're going to say." [Instead], I got to contribute whatever I wanted. And Michael had already been in a band for a couple of years, so he was used to that. I think it's been a learning experience for both of us working together and having to meld both of our ideas.
Q "Booth Bay" was self-recorded, correct?
A Yes it was. We actually recorded it at the University of Delaware at the Gore Recital Hall. The whole album was recorded live and we did it in about an hour and a half. We weren't actually supposed to be in that room [laughs]. We sort of snuck in and stuck out as quietly as possible. I don't think I can get in trouble for that anymore [laughs].
Q When will you begin recording your next record, and do you plan on recording a full-length project?
A We actually have plans to release a full-length album and you're the first person to hear about this, I think [laughs]. We have a very long-term plan. We're hoping to release a Christmas album by December. That one will probably be small, maybe five or six songs. Also by the end of the year we're hoping to release another EP, sort of comparable to the length of "Booth Bay". Those projects will give people a sense of what we've been working on since last summer. Our long-term goal is to get our full-length album out, probably by this upcoming spring.
Q How will your sophomore EP differ from "Booth Bay"?
A Not too much has changed, but I think we're going to try to make it more focused and more true to who we are now.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Honey Badgers in concert
WHEN 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
WHERE The Young Bean Coffee Shop, 314 Main St., Clayton