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Let’s just address the pink elephant in the room. Adrian Grenier is in the Honey Brothers. When I requested an interview with the Honey Brothers, who will be in town for a July 4 performance at the W Hotel, I was given the green light, so long as I focused on the band and not on Grenier/Entourage.
Fair enough—the Honey Brothers are a successful band with accomplished musicians. But one of their members is named Ari Gold—same as the asshole superagent with a heart of gold on Entourage. How could I not at least ask about that? The answer is, I couldn’t. I spoke with Honey Brother Andrew Vladeck, who plays guitar, banjo, ukele, and mandolin, as well as provides vocals.
WCP: You guys were in town last year for the inauguration—what was that experience like?
AV: It was epic. We were really lucky to have a couple fun parties to play, and we had the day off to be on the Mall.
WCP: Each of the Honey Brothers has their own chosen moniker—you’re Dory Honey. How did you choose your name?
AV: We started this project in the world of fantasy—something different and magical where we could have a new identity. We each chose names that tickled us. I’d just read The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I really identified with that character. As the band has evolved, we’ve used those identities less—more often than not we’re okay with being who we are.
WCP: You’ve got your own solo project. How’s the experience different from the Honey Brothers?
AV: The Honey Brothers is purely collaborative, and we hash things out, and we try to figure out ways to make them work. It presents different opportunities and challenges as well. In my own music, it’s not a committee. I work with other musicians, but I don’t have to consult anyone. It’s purely my own vision, which can be challenging too. I feel really fortunate that I don’t have to choose between the two projects.
WCP: You guys will be performing this weekend on the rooftop of the W Hotel. How’s the dynamic different playing a gig at a hotel event from playing a more traditional concert?
AV: My solo act performances tend to be at more traditional venues and clubs. The Honey Brothers still tour and play clubs, but now we also have the opportunity to play some really fantastical venues, like hotel rooftops—not your average experience for a folk singer.
WCP: The Honey Brothers started in 2001, and Entourage debuted in 2004. What’s the band experience like pre-and post-Entourage?
AV: We’re so lucky to have all this exposure, and clearly over the past six or seven years, our audience has grown, along with our music.
WCP: I find it really funny that one of your band members, Ari, shares a name with one of the main characters in Entourage. How did the band react when you found that out?
AV: None of us are quite sure of what to make of that. We saw it as a form of homage, and whether it was on purpose or accidental, we’ll never know. Maybe there are no coincidences in the world.
WCP: What’s in store for the Honey Brothers?
AV: We went to the studio in January and February and we’ll be releasing a new album this fall. We’ll probably play a couple hometown shows in New York in August, and then tour in the fall, so we’re trying to get our ducks in a row for that. Our last album, we were calling it new wave folk. It had a very angular sound. This one is more in the rock-indie-songwriter world. I can’t wait to share our new music with everyone. The waiting is hard. I’m able to keep myself busy, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the sunshine.
The Honey Brothers perform at the Boom with a View party Sunday, July 4, at 6 p.m. at the W Hotel, 515 15th St. NW. Tickets are $200. If that seems steep or you’re out of town, you might find them at the Florida Avenue Grill as they’re leaving town on Monday.