With the release of their debut album When The Storm Would Come due to drop on July 24 and their upcoming appearance at Splendour In The Grass, Oscar from Holy Holy talks about the album, Splendour and their upcoming headline tour.
Emily: so you guys have just gotten back from touring around Europe and the UK, how did all that go for you?
Oscar: Um it was great! Yeah it was fun. We were driving around in a big old van with a bunch of dudes, it was a bit harrowing driving there, on the opposite side of the road and the wrong side of the vehicle so we were shitting ourselves driving that thing around on the autobahn, with cars screaming by at bloody 200 kms an hour, BUT it was a lot of fun and we played some really cool shows and a couple of little festivals and had some good crowds actually, people received us well. And it was really nice touring in Europe, people were really respectful, and they gave us the time of day and that was really lovely actually.
E: That sounds great! So where was your favourite place to play?
O: Everything was good for different reasons. London was great because we got to play our own headline show and the crowd was great. To be able to play longer sets and be a bit more dynamic, kind of stretch out a bit and play truly as ourselves. Berlin, always great to play there too. And what else? Yeah like I said each city was different and equally awesome.
E: Yeah cool cool. So after gaining such positive responses to your live shows and the singles you have released like “History” and “You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog” are you guys more confident in releasing your debut album When The Storm Would Come?
O: Well I guess it does build the confidence a little bit, which is a good feeling. Before you release anything you can just be SO crippled with self-doubt, not that the doubt ever really leaves you, I think its always there to some degree, but it definitely takes a bit of a sting out of that feeling when you have released a couple of songs and you think, cool, people seem to be responding to it well, and if it feels good to us and feels good to other people then that’s a nice sign. I think it’s really important for music to remain a social activity, as much as an art form, and so I’m really excited to share these songs with the people, and I hope they like it to haha.
E: Haha yeah of course. So can you tell me what the driving force behind this album was?
O: The driving force behind this album… um there defiantly wasn’t just one driving force. Tim was initially, in terms of getting the ball rolling, then there was a series of steps to make it happen. It was almost a case of serendipity when we started writing, then demoing the songs, recording the songs, things just happened. But I think ultimately the driving force, was that we just felt like it was all working and worth pursuing you know.
Then I suppose musically the driving force comes from all different places where we were inspired. Tim’s got all his own set of influences, then there’s classic rock for me. We each all bought something different that contributed to the overall inspiration of the album.
E: And so with making the album, how was it working the Matt Redlich, a man who has worked with so many other big Australian bands?
O: Great! He’s great! He was really crucial as well. I should have mentioned him before hey… He has been a part of it from the get go and his approach to sound is really crucial, initially recording the album to tape was a big factor, and also just his approach to recording digitally, just keeping the sounds very natural and keeping the performance natural and not going overboard in terms of using the computer for editing or any other trickery.
E: So with keeping the sound more natural in the recoding, does that mean it’s easier to play these songs live?
O: In some ways it actually means that it’s harder, not being able to use a backing track and shit, but it’s also truer to us, so in that way it makes it easier.
E: It must be a pretty be a pretty exciting time to be a part of Holy Holy, playing festivals and shows overseas, your debut album and new singles coming out and then there is your upcoming place on the Splendour line up. Are you just stoked with how it’s all going?
O: Yeah! I mean of course. Maybe at first I was almost a little bit surprised when things started to be received well. Not because I didn’t think we were good, but maybe because in the back of my head at least, I don’t know about anyone else, but I think, “I like this music but I don’t know if anyone else will”… which is ridiculous really. And probably a more egotistical approach than If I was all arrogant and saying, “I’m fuckin awesome.” Haha. But people do still want to hear my music and that’s amazing. But then the other side of it is when you are in it, it’s all happing around you and you’re just in the thick of it, it’s hard to sometimes take a step back and think “cool”.
E: Yeah yeah, you’re too consumed by it all whilst it’s happing to notice, until it’s over.
O: All consuming, yes exactly.
E: When you are at Splendour are there any bands in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing?
O: Well I would like to see Blur and Florence, and I would actually quite like to see Tame Impala, not sure what night all these bands are playing but hopefully I won’t miss them. But yeah mainly Blur, just for old time sake.
I wasn’t actually a big fan, when I was younger. Back in the 90’s I was more into stuff from the 60’s and 70’s, yeah it’s like I’m a bloody decade and a half, or more behind. Right now I’m starting to listen to stuff from the 90s and think, oh yeah cool, which as a musician is shocking, I feel like I should always have my finger to the pulse. But I don’t!
E: Haha all good. So finally do you guys have any plans for after your national tour in August and September or is that going to be a nice way for you to finish off the year?
O: Definitely, stuff will happen that we don’t know about yet. There is one thing on the cards and that’s a shorter jaunt in the UK and the EU, not sure if that’s going to happen but it’s looking pretty likely. Going to back it up and go again in the end of October. Then it will be Summer and I’m sure that something will happen, with all the festivals happening then, so we will see where the cookie crumbles there.
Written by Emily O'Brien
Catch Holy Holy during their fresh tour dates to celebrate the release of When The Storm Would Come below.