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INTERVIEW: Holy Holy at FOTSUN

“It’s both a noun and a verb, it’s very visual and colorful and creative and expressive. It felt like the right title for where we wanted to take the record,” said vocalist Tim Carroll about the second album.

With the release of PAINT earlier in the year, Tim and Oscar Dawson have received praise for their authentic approach to their musical direction. PAINT holds a sentimental value beyond the music itself, recruiting Newcastle artist James Drinkwater for the design of the album cover.

After their set at FOTSUN 2017, Chris Daniel sat down with Tim and Oscar to talk about their 2018 tour, and what we can expect from the band as they enter a new stage in their career.

CD: You just got off stage, and I have to say it was an amazing performance. How are you enjoying FOTSUN at the moment?

Oscar: Well it’s ironically named, because it has been entirely rainy the whole time, but that set was nice. It was a summer shower on the entire crowd, and they seemed to have enjoyed it.

Tim: It was the first show we have played in a long time, but lots of fun. As soon as we got out there, the crowd was on board so that was easy. An hour-long set is a bit longer than your average festival set, but it gave us time to settle in and enjoy what we were doing.

CD: You released your album PAINT earlier in the year, how was the overall reception from it?

Oscar: I was happy with the reception, it seems like people liked it. I’m happy with the record. It’s been almost a year since we released it, so I have psychologically moved on now. It’s hard to assess how an album is received because we are so biased in our own right, but I am ready to do another one now.

CD: As a Novocastrian, I see that you guys are coming to Newcastle to play in February. Of all the bands for support acts, you chose the Moving Stills. Tell me a bit about that choice…

Tim: A lot of different things stuck out, but I have a bit of history with the band. We did a competition that allowed people to get in touch with us if they had any good suggestions, and the band actually got in touch with us themselves. A friend of ours who runs a label in Canada told us to check them out when we played Mountain Sounds, so that’s where I discovered them. I them sold my 70’s Stratocaster to the singer from that band, so I have been keeping in touch. I had a look at a bunch of other bands from Newcastle, about 20 different bands, there were lots of great bands, but since that history with the boys, it felt right. Not only that, I just think the integrity of what they are doing and the quality of their music led me to make that choice.

CD: On the note of Newcastle, you had James Drinkwater design your cover art for the album. What was the connection there?

Oscar: I first met James when he was living in Melbourne and we got to know each other because we were both playing in bands. We kept in touch, but long story short he moved to Berlin, and I also moved to Berlin and that was actually also where I had caught up with Tim, because he was living in Stockholm. So the band was young, and we developed that connection because we had a number of days where we were together. When we were all back in Australia, we had the album ready to be released and we tossed up a few artists, but eventually reached out to James. He sent through a bunch of options, and I think it fits the approach to the album.

Tim: As our second album, I think it was fitting to look back at those days in Berlin where we were just starting out as a band, so bringing him into the equation really worked.

CD: There’s so much context behind that story, it almost sounds like a film.

Coming the end of 2017, what do you have in stall for us in 2018?

Oscar: We have a tour announced in Australia, so we are doing that. Anyone in Adelaide should be happy to know that we haven’t forgotten about you, because this time we will be stopping by. And aside from that we will be writing some new music.

CD: Now that we know a bit about the band, I want to know a bit of what happens behind the scenes. I want to hear from Holy Holy, do you have any embarrassing fan girl experiences?

Tim: I don’t really know where to start because there are so many different ones. The band Big Scary, whenever they would walk into a room I would be completely speechless because I admire them. When the lead singer told me some of the members would go to gigs because we were playing them, I was rendered kind of speechless. We did a gig with Vance Joy recently, and they had Paul Kelly come as a guest. We were downstairs in the green room, and for some reason, because he was a guest, Paul Kelly didn’t have any beer in his room. So he finished up and walked into our green room and told us he had no beer, so we just embraced him. Again I was rendered speechless.

Oscar: We played a show in London, and Liam Gallagher showed up. We knew he was there, so the show was already semi ruined for us. I got way more hammered than I usually would have, but we met him after the show, and we soon discovered that it was a situation where we didn’t know what to say. Sometimes you meet someone like that and you don’t stand a chance.

CD: As such amazing artists, you would have a record that changed your life. Does anything come to mind?

Tim: A lot of people come to mind including Miles Davis, Jeff Buckley, Bright Eyes. But maybe a Grizzly Bear record ‘Veckatimest’ I would say changed me. Their whole approach to music is one of the biggest influences of my musical life. Now that I get to this point in my career, I seem to be heading in a different direction with the aid of different albums.

Oscar: Similarly to Tim, I could mention a bunch of older records.
After the Goldrush by Neil young, Queens greatest hits, and even the second one… Queens Greatest Hits volume 2. I guess there are some that I didn’t like at first, but every time I listened to it, it just kept giving.

CD: I’d probably go with Queen’s greatest hits, I dig it. Anyway, as much as I would like to sit and talk to you guys for hours, it has been an honour talking and I wish you the best of luck for the year ahead.

You can catch Holy Holy on February 24th at the Small Ballroom, supported by local band The Moving Stills

Written by Newcastle Live

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