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Mad Honey: How Hardcore and Worship Musicians Formed a Glitter Rock Band

With band members from hardcore and worship bands to small towns in Oklahoma and Nashville, Tennessee, Mad Honey comes together to make music that is dreamy, glittery, and a perfect band for those end of summer days. The band is made up of Tiffany Sutcliffe (singer/guitarist), Branden Palesano (bass), Keegan Ball (guitar), and Austin Valdez (drums).

At the time of this interview the band was not even a year old. But so far, Mad Honey has released three songs and a music video directed by an Emmy Award-winning director. They are performing at the Opolis in Norman as part of Summer Daze 2.0 on August 31.

In this interview, they talked about those first songs and how they and those songs developed.

Hear the full interview above and read the highlights below.

On forming the band

Tiffany: So in 2017, we (Branden) started just like messing around and trying to write some stuff together and as time progressed we met the others. I think Keegan was next and we'd never even hear him play before but we were like "we need a guitarist!"

Branden: I asked him and I had no idea like—having never heard him play, "Hey, do you want to be in the band?"

Keegan: Yeah!

Austin: I met Tiff at the coffee shop that we worked and basically just heard like a rough demo of the first single, Carol Slumber Party...


And then as soon I heard it, I was like, "I gotta get in somehow." - Austin Valdez

Austin: They didn't even hear me play either. It was all first practice.

Keegan: Yeah, we met at our first practice. It was like July when we met and our first show was in August...

Branden: It all kind of fell into place naturally which was really cool.

On genres

Austin: The bands I was in before were a much different genre. I used to be in the hardcore scene.

Branden: I was in a worship band. This is like the first actual band; I just played guitar at church. That's my background right there... Alternative dream pop is kind of what we have on everything right now. Glitter rock was something we came up with at the beginning. I don't know. We kind of just make synthy rock.

Austin: Synthy rock with like an edge.

Tiff: Moody synthy rock is the new description.

Austin: When I think of dream pop or glitter rock, it just sounds very 'eh.' Very mellow. But I mean there are definitely aspects of our songs that would be considered heavy...

Keegan: Yeah and we're still just figuring the sound out, as well. So its still just kind of evolving... It's ever changing still.

On their song, Blue & You


It's blue and it's for you! - Austin Valdez

Keegan: Blue & You was kind of the most natural, I think.

Branden: That was the first song we wrote together...

Tiffany: That makes it the most special, I think... cause it was the first song where I came to ya'll... So that was really cool—learning how to write together.

Austin: With the first song, I was just like,"I'll just play what was recorded already," which was cool... But Blue & You we're all together—just working stuff out. And then also for it being a completely different sound than the past two. It was just like refreshing.

Listen to the full interview to hear more about the process behind Mad Honey's other songs.

The band is set to release a six-song debut EP titled Theories. More information on Summer Daze 2.0, where bands like Mad Honey, Smokey Motel, and Sports are set to perform can be found here.

Matthew Viriyapah is KOSU's production assistant and host of the music podcast Songwriters & Tour Riders.
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