Honest Eyes are bringing a new surge of pop-punk to the Manchester music scene, which has been seeping out across the UK, as they gain momentum and tour with bands. With an upcoming debut EP due for release at the end of January, it made total sense to have a chat with the trio and dig deep into who they are and what’s to come.

“It’s not so much that we want to burn our bridges, it’s that bridges are burned in life and that’s the way it is.”

The band consists of a classic set up, with Leo Craig on vocals/ guitar, Richard Kinrade on bass/vocals, and drums played by Joe Bilsbrough (or Milky to his mates). Leo and Richard met on the Isle of Wight, where they grew up,which has influenced a retrospective style in their lyrics, because “coming from a small island where everything is so insulated, lots of various social issues come to rise”, as Leo said.

Their sound though, isn’t ordinary. It’s clear they’ve had many musical influences, but Leo thinks their genre blending comes from  “always having only a vague idea of what we want a song to sound like and the message we want to give before we actually write it. That way, within reason, all ideas are welcome and it helps to create something that hopefully people will find interesting and different. So it definitely sounds like each song they release could take a surprising direction.”

Despite being fresh to the scene, they’re full of wisdom, which we can expect to see more of on their debut EP, called “Bridges Burned, Lessons Learned“. The title suggests the guys haven’t had it easy, so why would a group of promising musicians want to burn their bridges? Leo cleared things up, “It’s not so much that we want to burn our bridges, it’s that bridges are burned in life and that’s the way it is.”

They’re certainly deep; when asked about the lessons they’ve learned to lead them to this title, Richard states: “Through life many people come and go, the lesson to be learnt is knowing who’s worth keeping around.” As important as this lesson is, it’s certainly easier said than done. It’s safe to say that we can expect a mature pop-punk from these guys, rather than the more satirical style taken by the likes of Blink-182, whom the band are fond of.

“Through life many people come and go, the lesson to be learnt is knowing who’s worth keeping around.”

Leo added more depth to Richard’s point about the EP, “I fully believe that anybody in a place that they can’t stand or surrounded by people that walk over them should get out while they still can and break the cycle, because the longer you stay in it, the harder it’ll get to break. You’ve got to remember everything your life teaches you, as you grow, but getting caught up in the “what if’s” is detrimental to moving forward.”

That’s what they were thinking when it came to writing. Strangely, the majority of the EP was written before they moved to the North West though. Before meeting their drummer at university, Leo and Richard attended a youth club together, where most of the songs were written. They decided to keep them as they “remained such important songs to us” and “we have a lot of faith in them”.

Last year they managed to jump on tour with “some awesome bands, that we’ve been into for a while and followed such as ‘Coast to Coast’ and ‘Catch Fire’, so that was really something, to be on the same line up with them.” This was a particular highlight for Richard. However, we’re not going to catch them headline a tour in the near future, because they don’t feel they’re at that point yet; they’re hoping to benefit from gaining “some exposure hopping out on a tour with a more established band to make it more worth our while, so we want to get something organised as soon as we can.”

They’re happy with their progression, even though it was slow to begin with and hope to become a flagship pop-punk band for Manchester, as there’s “not a great deal of pop-punk getting about” there, it’s mostly indie and post-hardcore. They’ve got their dreams and they’re willing to take their time to get there. We can’t wait to hear the results!



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