Honeyhoney Makes Sweet, Sexy Music

“Musical soulmates” Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe aren’t afraid to go there

By Natasha Zouves
|  Friday, Jul 30, 2010  |  Updated 11:01 AM PDT
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Music LA: Honeyhoney

Brandon Taelor Aviram

“Musical soulmates” Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe aren’t afraid to go there.

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Music LA: Honeyhoney

"Musical soul mates" Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe aren't afraid to go there.
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Sure, Honeyhoney’s hit “Little Toy Gun” may sound like a song about gunfighting. But when asked about the inspiration behind the track, awkward silence ensues.
 
“It’s about a vibrator,” said Ben Jaffe, the guitarist and piano player. “It was about my experiences with a lady friend and her experience with said implement. Specifically, it’s about a girl who has a better time with her vibrator than her dude. Not that that means anything about me. But I don’t buzz.”

Vibes of a different kind brought Jaffe and lead singer Suzanne Santo together four years ago at a Halloween party in Los Angeles.

Jaffe said he recognized an off-beat kindred spirit in Santo: “She was wearing a cheetah costume. I looked like 'the Karate Kid.'”
 
After their first meeting, things moved quickly. They formed Honeyhoney, started jamming, and finally discovered their sound: “folky-blues-pop-jazz-rock-soul.”

A year later, they were signed to a record label.

“We were really grateful for the label, getting signed at 21 was so surreal,” said Santo.

Four years later, the label went but that's when the big success came.

“Little Toy Gun,” the song about the vibrator, was recently picked up by Showtime for a promotional campaign. The group will begin recording its third album on Aug. 2.

And they did it all without a label.

“It’s a little scary, and we had to grab the bull by the horns,” said Santo. “To sort of go through the emotions taught us about the ebb and flow of the music business. There are no rules to this game.”
 
After four years of being together -- “not romantically,” the duo exclaimed -- their vibe is still going strong.

“We’re really close at our core, but on the outside, we’re like kittens in a fight,” said Santo. “We’re gentle and we care about each other, but…”
 
“Sometimes,” finished Jaffe. “It’s like, stop stealing my cheese.”

Despite their apparent quarreling over dairy products, the band is optimistic. Both musicians say Honeyhoney will hopefully still be together in 10 years.

"…and I'd like to be pregnant," said Jaffe.

Honeyhoney has an upcoming show Aug. 7 at the Ford Amphitheatre. Tickets are available online.

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