It's February Album Writing Month and folk duo the Honey Badgers have a pair of piping hot tunes they'll be sharing from FAWM during their concert at The Young Bean Coffee Shop this Friday.
FAWM is an annual online songwriting challenge in February that tasks songwriters with penning 14 songs in 28 days, or a song every other day during the month.
Smyrna native Michael Natrin (vocals, guitar, mandolin and harmonica) makes up one-half of the Newark-based Honey Badgers, alongside Erin Magnin (vocals, fiddle, glockenspiel and harmonium).
Natrin, 23, discussed the significance of participating in his fifth FAWM challenge, the Honey Badgers' resolutions for the year, and more.
Q Which new songs will you and Erin roll out at The Young Bean?
A Probably Erin's new song called "Silver Castle," then one of my new songs called "Learning to Be." The new cover song we have is Florence and the Machine's song "Shake it Out."
Q Explain the meanings behind "Silver Castle" and "Learning to Be."
A They're both mainly about being happy with who you are.
Q With you and Erin being in a relationship together, how do you guys juggle your love life with playing in a duo?
A Sometimes it's hard when we have to drive two or three hours to a show that we don't necessarily want to play [laughs]. But we try to always focus before we go on stage. We try to find some time to relax and focus on the set we're about to do and act professional and be musicians.
Q Since the goal of FAWM is to write 14 songs in 28 days, does that tough task compromise the quality of the music you and Erin will be making?
A Not necessarily. You would think that having to output so many songs in so little time would decrease their quality, but, a lot of the time, that stress and pressure forces you to create songs that come from places where you normally wouldn't go. In some cases, the songs aren't the best quality because you have to meet that quota and write a song every other day, so you have to force out a song sometimes that you don't necessarily think is the best. But you [can] get back on track, get in the groove and start writing stuff you know is good.
Page 2 of 2 - Q One of your challenges as a songwriter has been finishing songs. Has FAWM helped you to put a bow on your songs?
A Definitely. I think a lot of artists struggle with finishing projects, and the whole FAWM community has helped me to realize you don't have to put out the best content – you can improve it afterwards. If you're going for quantity, you're going to write a lot of stuff and you can go back and throw some of it out, revise it and make it better.
Q In addition to dropping your EP "Soul" this spring, what are the Honey Badgers' other resolutions for 2013?
A To finish our full-length record by the end of the year. Ultimately, we want to play at some bigger venues.
Q Which venues do you have in mind?
A Ideally, we'd like to play at Firefly Music Festival. But it doesn't look like they're going to start that this year. But we're always hoping. That's one I can think of off the bat. Since we've pretty much played at most places in northern Delaware, next we'll probably start to play some more shows in Philly.
IF YOU GO
WHAT The Honey Badgers in concert
WHEN 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8
WHERE The Young Bean Coffee Shop, 314 Main St., Clayton
INFO theyoungbean.com or 653-3674