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Student Band ‘Mellow Honey’ To Bring Alternative Rock & Indie Music To Movin’ On

Creating music and forming a band was always in the cards for Mellow Honey members Dillon Holzheimer and brothers Rob and Martin Borysiewicz.

Mellow Honey is a local band that performs alternative rock and indie music as part of the live music scene in State College.

The band performs at numerous spots downtown, including 3 Dots Downtown, Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, Cafe 210 West, and houses in State College. Mellow Honey performed at the 2022 Battle of the Bands and won the 2023 Battle of the Bands, earning a spot as the opening act for Movin’ On.

“It was super fun,” Rob said. “It was such an honor just to be selected to play Battle. They have a really nice stage, really good sound, and it’s super fun to be able to be in the HUB.”

Rob, a sophomore studying cybersecurity, and Martin, a senior studying computer engineering, grew up in Chicago, Illinois. The brothers have had a passion for music since they were little, citing their involvement with the school orchestra when they were young.

“Robbie and I used to play guitar and bass together in high school. The earliest we played together was middle school,” Martin said.

In 2019, when Rob visited his brother at Penn State for a college visit, the brothers went to a Webster’s show and saw the band “Queen Blue” perform.

“It was just the moment like ‘we have to start a band,'” Rob said. “It felt very tangible, like the dream.”

After graduating high school in 2020, Rob took a gap year before his first year at Penn State. While balancing schoolwork and work, Martin met Holzheimer when he sold him a bike at The Bicycle Shop on West College Avenue. Since then, the trio has been writing and performing music under the name “Mellow Honey.”

The band’s first performance was in October 2021 at 3 Dots Downtown.

“Back then, we were a little more slower, more indie,” Martin said. “Our very first show was all acoustic, and we didn’t have a name before our first show, so we had to come up with something.”

The members decided on the name “Mellow Honey,” as it fits their sound. The band’s music has changed drastically since its first performance, and it now focuses more on alternative, ~psychedelic~ rock. The band has found success within State College at house shows downtown.

“[State College] is definitely the best place to start any kind of musical thing because everybody listens to you, everybody goes to the shows They’re all supportive, and everybody is somewhat close in age to you,” Rob said. “Being as active as possible in the community has definitely helped us gain some popularity.”

The band’s first house show was at a house named “Chumps” downtown. The house show coordinators reached out to the members for a spot at the next show. At that point, the band had only performed at Cafe and 3 Dots, so performing at a house show would provide more exposure for its music.

“The basement of the house was very small with low ceilings and cramped with people,” Martin said.

The band performed alongside other bands, and during the show, the floor of the basement broke.

“It was the first house show back from COVID-19 so everyone was ready to rage,” Rob explained. “We finally were able to play our psych rock music, and people followed us from there.”

The band members write and produce their own music, and they all have similar music tastes, making writing music an easier task. In October 2022, Mellow Honey released its first original album “Sentimental by Design.”

“Sometimes we’ll play for 15 to 20 minutes, and we’ll think of a really good idea, and we’ll always just save those ideas for later,” Martin said. “Eventually, when we have a lot of ideas, we mix and match them to make songs. When it feels really natural to put them together, that’s when we know we’ve come up with a song.”

Coordinating timing to write music and scheduling recordings has been one of the largest challenges for the band members.

“The biggest challenge is work and school getting in the way of it,” Martin said.

“The only challenge is time. It’s the only thing fighting us,” Rob said. “Not having enough time to write and record because we’re students…not doing anything music-related in school. But, it’s a passion, so you do it in your free time.”

The band has been hard at work this past year working on future projects and music and hopes to start filming videos of its performances for fans to grow its online presence.

To stay updated on Mellow Honey and its new music, visit the band’s Instagram. You can check the group out on Friday, April 28, at Movin’ On, too

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About the Author

Gracie Mullan

Gracie is a senior from Delaware County, Pa, studying telecommunications with a minor in English. In her free time, Gracie likes to read, write, and drink coffee. Get in touch with Gracie on her Instagram @gracie.mullan and for more formal inquiries [email protected].

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