The energetic and atmospheric sounds of Holy Holy have been filling airwaves and international music arenas for the past few years. With a successful first album ‘When the Storms Would Come’ under their belt they are now touring Australia with their second critically acclaimed album ‘Paint’. Blitz was lucky enough to spend some time chatting with the band’s lead guitarist Oscar Dawson about their beginnings, his new album and the upcoming tour.
Your band Holy Holy has been enjoying some tremendous success recently; tell us a bit about how it all started?
I met Tim when we were no more than teenagers. We were both in Thailand doing volunteer English teaching placement (I use the word teaching loosely, It was pretty lackadaisical). After five or so months it ended. Tim and I stayed in loose contact but we were from different parts of Australia so we were mostly living separate lives. Then, five or six years ago I was living in Berlin but travelling to Stockholm on other business. Tim popped up on social media as he was living in Stockholm at the time and we got chatting. I ended up staying at his place because I needed a bed. He was actually working on a solo release at the time but I had a jam with him and it went from there. We didn’t have a plan beyond him putting the songs out as a solo record but when we got to the end of that process it turned into more of a band thing and Tim started feeling like it wasn’t just his project. That’s basically how we got together.
It’s a pretty big coincidence that you two were both in Stockholm at the same time and that it’s led to this great musical collaboration. Do you think it was fate?
You never know when a musical collaboration is going to kick off and when it’s not. In our case we were held together by the fact that we were living overseas. A lot of people go to Europe hoping to achieve their dreams and come back with nothing; I was at a loose end when I started working with Tim. Most other bands I’ve played in I’ve tried to be more strategic to make them into a success. With this band we weren’t trying so hard and it fell into place so there is that element of serendipity.
It sounds like being in that different head space really helped the creative process?
Being out of your comfort zone living overseas and out of the typical head space, you feel very freed up. It can mess you up a bit too though.
Mess you up, hey. What does that mean?
I like routines and it doesn’t always feel good to be out of my comfort zones but when I look back at it, it’s important.
It seems that your first album developed quite naturally, were there any more nerves when creating your second and most recent album Paint?
There was a bit of nerves, people always talk about second album syndrome but we didn’t feel that. I’m not sure our first album was successful enough to have that affliction anyway (laughs). I didn’t want to try completely new things out with this album but I wanted to develop the sound we have a bit and to start with a different ethos in mind.
I personally loved the new track Elevator and the music video as well. What can you tell me about it?
That was one of the earlier songs we wrote for the record. As for the video clip we worked on that one with Charlie Ford. For the people who make your video clips your asking for an amount of favours. We never have the budget we’d like so we often have to rely on the goodwill and good faith of trusted people. Charlie Ford is one of those people.
That’s awesome. So with all the success you guys have been amassing recently, I’m sure a lot of people will be exited for your upcoming tour. What can they expect at the live shows?
There is an addition to the sounds we’ve made in the studio when performing live. We want to sound like the recordings but also be faithful to the venues and let it get a bit more wild and a bit more free. I want to give people at the live shows more than just what they get on the album. A balance between being faithful to what we’ve done and going to new more interesting places. Plus we always add a few covers into the set for a bit of excitement.
It’s been great finding out about the inner workings of Holy Holy but before you go let’s play a quick game of word association. Tell us the first word that comes to mind.
Holy: But that ones already on my brain as being two words that’s not fair!
The Factory Theatre: Sydney
Timothy Carrols by candle light, that has nickname potential. Thank you so much for talking to us today Oscar and best of luck with the upcoming tour.
No thank you, thanks for taking the time!
Holy Holy will be playing at the Factory Theatre in Sydney on Friday June 23rd. Check out the times and tickets here.