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Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters Make Mom-Friendly Music

Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters' first EP perfectly encapsulates their charming, old-fashioned sounds.EXPAND
Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters' first EP perfectly encapsulates their charming, old-fashioned sounds.
Wesley Branch

What’s in a name? For Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters true crime, local folklore, and autobiography all come together for a name that listeners won’t soon forget. The four-piece indie pop-rock group is led by singer Danica Lee, known professionally as Honey Danger. Drummer Matt Oliverio, bassist Philemon Lucero, and guitarist Kenyttiesh Thomas make up the I-10 Shooters.

About a year and a half ago, Honey Danger locked up this consistent line-up of musicians, which changed the band’s dynamic: they were no longer a jam band, but something more concrete. Naturally, that meant that it was time to preserve, so they made their first EP. On Friday, May 18, Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters are having a release party at Bonus Round, 24 West Camelback Road, to commemorate their first project, EP, Pt. 1.

Oliverio, Lucero, and Thomas play in a plethora of different bands around The Valley — EZ Shot, Vintage Clothes, From Mars, The Chosen Few, and HUMANOIDE. Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters are different from the reggae and metal bands that some of the members are associated with. They are more accessible.

“My mom really likes our band,” Thomas says. “It’s a mom-friendly band.”

All four members laughed at the notion.

“My mom doesn’t really get behind the song about Charles Manson,” Danger says. “She’s like ‘Why did you do that?’ in her Filipino accent. I was like ‘Why not?’ At the time, before anyone knew he was a terrible person, he was quite charming.”

They wouldn’t go as far to call Manson an influence — like, at all —, but Lucero butts in with: “he had some pretty good jams.”

Danger says that older music influences herself and the band. That comes through with their hard-to-define, timeless sounds exhibited on EP, Pt. 1 and the songs they’ve only debuted live.

Danger listed Amy Winehouse, Leonard Cohen, Leon Bridges, Patsy Cline and Alabama Shakes as some of her most cherished and influential acts.

“We like Patsy Cline,” Lucero says after recurring chatter about the country singer.

It took a while for Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters to lock in, member-wise. Less than a year ago, the band was playing with Danger serving as more of a musical conductor leading a free-form ensemble. Now, the songs have a more beefed-up structure, and everyone participates in the writing process.

“For a really long time, I’d just be like ‘Hey y’all, do you want to play these songs,” Danger says. “I’d play it for them and they’d dress it up, and give it everything it needs that it didn’t have to begin with. Later on, we wrote newer songs like “Can’t Be Bothered” and “Hey Baby,” and that was more of a collective creative process, as opposed to me just bringing them a skeleton.

Along the way, they’ve emulated their influences and have created music with an old-school feeling. This isn’t a result of anything intentional, Lucero says.

“It happens as a natural thing,” Lucero says. “We’re not trying to make this old-school band. We make it, and it just sounds like that because we’re all into older stuff.”

Next up, Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters plan to record more of their songs for the implied follow-up of EP, Pt. 1. The first project consisted of many of the band’s older tracks that Honey wrote independently. More of the ensemble’s writing will show through in their next EP and at their release show.

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“They’re fun to play live,” Danger says. “We enjoy playing these songs the most. We’re like ‘which ones are the bangers?’ Then, we picked all of the ones that are on the EP now.”

Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters like to keep it relaxed. After all, everyone in the project is busy playing across the Valley. They rehearse every Sunday, and try not to get into too many fights. On stage, their friendship comes through.

“We’re a couple of assholes on stage, trying to do our best,” Danger says sardonically.

Honey Danger and the I-10 Shooters are playing at Bonus Round, 24 West Camelback Road, on Friday, May 18. Mama Butane and Vintage Clothes will join the band. The performance is free; doors open at 8 p.m.

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