Interview with Johnnie Dee and Derry Grehan of Honeymoon Suite

I conducted this interview on March 16th, 2002, just as the band is releasing a brand new album called Lemon Tongue, their first new studio album in over ten years, and are hoping to get a fresh new start. In fact during our chat here in Fredericton, New Brunswick, whenever I asked any questions about the 80's, they quicky steered the conversation back to the new CD.

GB - Welcome back to Atlantic Canada. I knows its been a while since you been here. Last time I recall here in Fredericton was 1988. Why the long wait?

JD - Ya it's been a while. No real reason to. We just finished the new record and we are playing some of the new songs live and feeling it out. It will be in stores in May and on radio in April and we are playing this stuff live so here we are. Smaller venues but that's all right, but its not where we want to be.

GB - Tell me about the new album Lemon Tongue?

DG - It was done in and around Toronto. We did it in a studio in the country and finished it at a home studio, which a lot of people are doing these days. Its an independent record, did it ourselves and co-produced it with a guy in our band named Rob Laidlaw. The songs were written by Johnny and myself and Rob. It was a real labor of love we think it's a great record. We just did a deal with a small record label in Toronto called Bullseye Records. The first single is called "The Way I Do.

GB- Are you going to be doing a video for the song?

JD- We are thinking about doing something live rather than do a video. I like to call it that way as we spend most of our time playing live. Rather than do a video. We've done like 12 of them already.

GB - How is the new material going over live?

JD - It's been great. This record is not like something totally different than what we would do. Typical Honeymoon Suite. Fits right in there.

GB- What keeps you going after all these years?

JD - I don't know. I seriously don't have any idea. I get confused a lot but I don't know why I still do it.

GB - How do you still keep the older material sounding fresh each night?

JD - You get pi**ed off at the guys when they are not playing the songs right, that's what you do and that keeps it fresh.(laughs) After all, some of these songs I sang when I was 25 years old and I still singing them the same way. I'm not going to go fooling anybody trying to do it this new style or something like that, so that's what keeps it fresh.

GB - The new material still follows the same melodic rock format?

JD- It's what Derry's been writing and I've been writing for the last little while. It's taken a long time to do this record. If they want to call it independent and all that stuff fine let em. I think its kind of neat now getting different markets singing up different licencing deals. I just want to get it out there. It will be released in Canada and there is talk about it being released in Europe, which is really cool and once the States gets it....... you know. We want to let people know we didn't brake up and just get back to togther to write another record.

GB- Since you last trip here you have new band members I see?

JD- We been with these guys like what ... four years. But we're the originals. This whole thing is like a marriage. Things change. Drummers start going slow and they got to go do something different.

GB - Do you still keep in touch with some of the former band members?

DG - Ya some of them sure.

GB - What was it like being on American Bandstand and meeting Dick Clark in the 80's?

DG - It was amazing. It was like going from nothing to like touring America and tour busses and arenas and meeting Dick Clark. It was a great time.

GB - You have backed up a lot of bands in your time Journey, Kinks, Aerosmith. Any road stories you want to share about them days?

DG - Ya there is a lot of stories. It was a lot of fun. I'll just say that. We had a great time and are still having a good time.

GB - What's the future hold for the band?

JD- I'm hoping this record does well and if we could get a couple of singles out of it and start writing a new record real soon.

DG - We are sort of laying ground work right now. It's still March. Traditionally we go out more in the spring and the summer and do the larger shows and the fairs and festivals. So this is a nice kind of warm up and getting the new stuff worked in and letting people know we got a record out. We'll come back though this area in the summer and play some bigger shows. It's going justify a lot more like what we're about on a bigger stage. The clubs are a lot of fun too cause you get nice and close to people but the summer there is a lot more people.

GB- What do you listen to now for music?

JD- I listen to everything. I like country. I like Shania Twain. I don't just turn the radio off cause I don't like it unless I cant hear what the person is saying.

GB- What do you think of so called modern rock?

JD - When you get into a lot of that stuff it all sounds the same to me. Sounds like the all go together and wrote the same damn song if you want to know the truth. That's just my opinion and im not knocking it. A lot of them guys are doing better than I am. They are on the radio and I'm not.

Official Honeymoon Suite Web Site

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