segunda-feira, 20 de agosto de 2018

Whirl with Holy Forrest - An Interview

E os australianos invadem novamente as páginas do TBTCI.

Não é de hoje que por inúmeras vezes tenho insistido em afirmar que as terras de lá devem ter pego a água que Austin, porque é inacreditável a imensa quantidade de bandas, nos mais variados estilos, de extrema qualidade que tem surgido por lá.

A mais nova a instigar os sonhos dos gazers de plantão é o quinteto, Holy Forrest. Apesar de novatos, a singularidade para criar canções hipnóticas é latente.

Oscilando entre o etéreo e o agressivo, o Holy Forrest chegou a seu terceiro single, onde "Whirl" é qualquer coisa de majestosa.

Sonhos borrados são a especialidade do Holy Forrest e isso nós apreciamos e muito.

***** Interview with Holy Forrest *****

Q. When did Holy Forrest begin? Tell us about the history:

The origin story of how HF came to be is a lengthy and peculiar one. It all started when I walked into class one day in our first year of uni. I sat across the table from this somewhat geeky looking boy, the teacher instructed us to do some hands on activities and Shiv was clearly getting the hang of it and not afraid of showboating.

I remembered thinking:

”ergh, get a load of this guy.”

The next time I came into class I was late and the tables had all filled up so I sat directly behind him literally on the loner table, population... just me. I overhear him telling the teacher about “Jam Club”. Intrigued, I pull him aside after class and ask him what it’s all about and he tells me it’s just him and a few other people that gather in the student lobby every Thursday to well... jam.

We begin to talk bands and there’s instantly some common ground, I tell him I’m a drummer and with no hesitation he says:

“I want you to be the drummer for my band.”

“His band” population... him HAHAHAHA

Nevertheless, I found it endearing so we shook on it, REALLY not even understanding the weight of what it would one day manifest to become.

He had made his first official friend since his move to Australia and I was coincidentally asked to track drums in studio for a friend’s assignment, Audrey who was studying sound engineering at the time. I invited Shiv to come with me the very next day and the first time we ever played together was really telltale somehow.

We went on for another 2 years and grew close as best friends, writing our first ever track as a duo ‘Difference’ by emailing each other audio files back and forth, each time adding more layers. That being said for a long time we would struggle to find a bassist as everyone that came in our path weren’t really on the same wavelength or maybe it was something bigger than us, something cosmic and mysteriously... not yet Jesse, which leads me to how I found our beloved bassist.

I took a casual ‘stock replenishment’ job at the time which basically just meant I stacked shelves into the AMs, I was assigned the health and beauty section where I was paired with a nice middle aged white lady, her name is Jen. For months we would confide in each other or bicker just to pass time as we worked, but there was one recurring phrase I heard quite often

“Gosh you remind me so much of my son.”

At first I just thought:

“yeah yeah us emo kids are all the same I know”

but over the course of many months she would somehow manage to keep ‘encouraging’ me to become friends with this son of her’s as he was too shy to approach me as I later learnt she was also pushing for this “cool chick” on his end.

Skeptical, I added this dude that needed his mum to make friends for him on facebook. We get chatting and he was lovely as you would now expect, I asked him to come to The 1975’s concert with me the day before and he miraculously agreed.

I told him:

“dude we’ve never met, who am I looking for.”

and he goes:

“nah... like, you’ll know it when you see me.”

He wasn’t wrong, this big ginger afro in a pink headband emerges from the darkness and I know as much about him as his mother’s told me sooooo A BIT.

I warm up to him quickly as he wasn’t at all what I was expecting, way cooler. I invite him to my 20th birthday mentioning nothing to Shiv that he was also a musician as I wanted nature to run its course without my influence. I set up a live jamming area for the guests that wanted to have a little whiz on live instruments as I wasn’t really into the whole “Let’s get you a DJ” thing.

I laid down a few beats and then left them both to just get to know each other as I hung out with my other friends and family outside. Shortly after, I come back and Shiv puts his arm around me and goes:

“Nancy guess what?”

I had a little inkling but waited for him to finish his sentence

“meet our new bassist.”

I was of course over the moon as my little stitch up had worked without me actually suggesting anything.

The three of us would be a trio for about 6 months, one day I decided I wanted to front the band instead, as I had more to say than * DUT DUT DUT DUT * and the boys were very supportive but of course singing lead and drumming proved to be very difficult so I bought my very first electric guitar, a beautiful green Fender Mustang.

My interest for drumming began to feel lesser so I called it quits and we were once again stuck with finding another perfect fit. We auditioned a few people that didn’t make the cut until finally I gave up and posted an ad on Gumtree, in which a cool dude by the name of Zac messaged me back expressing his interest in our little instagram posts. I wasn’t feeling very chatty as I didn’t have very high hopes due to our luck or rather lack thereof, for the past few months leading up to that moment. No more, No less the exchange was about 4 short messages, a time and a place and that was that.

To my surprised he turned up, in fact he turned up before us. I was instantly impressed by his playing and saw great potential in him but it took about 3 jam sessions and a better day than ever for me to be running late for the boys to finally come around and REALLY connect with Zac musically without me being there, they said something like:


Yeah look... we aren’t the most refined people out there but that’s just rock ‘n’ roll and how we talk man, own it.

The 4 of us played our first gig on the 21st of July, 2017 in which that very night we would meet a handful of people that have stuck by us since, one of them being our last and final member Marco. He being the cheeky party animal he is, showed up to the warehouse gig we were playing support for, just to watch from the crowd.

We wouldn’t actually meet him until later when Shiv goes to a gig one day (unrelated) and meets the infamous Natureboi, doing his iconic dance moves in one of the three shirts he owns, bearing Slowdive’s design. They strike up a conversation and became fast friends.

The rest of us met Marco at an even later time, probably/definitely intoxicated in an über where I very enthusiastically told him that he should join the band from the front seat of the car probably/definitely scaring the driver.

so— now we’re here and we couldn’t be anymore of a maddeningly dysfunctional family if we tried but don’t worry we are very in love.


Q. Who are your influences?
Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Loop, The 1975, Smashing Pumpkins, Ride, Sleep, Daughter, Cocteau Twins, Curve, Warpaint, Drop Nineteens, Nirvana, Oeil etc.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time
In no particular order:
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Metallica - Kill ‘Em All
Loop - A Gilded Eternity
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Methodrone
Slowdive - Souvlaki

Q. How do you feel playing live?
We love playing live. Our music with the exception of some songs have a very high level of energy about them and we really enjoy sharing that ecstatic surge of adrenaline with our audience. An important thing that we have realised from both watching and playing gigs is that the energy that radiates off of an artist can be the difference between a musical act and a PERFORMANCE. When we get up on stage we often move around in unusual ways without even realising it because we really just let loose. It is a better time than ever to rid yourself of the demons that trouble you in your everyday life. It’s always great to see how people react to our stage presence, especially if they haven’t seen us before and at first there’s an element of surprise and then they decide to join in.

Eccentricity should always be embraced at the right time and place :)

Q. How do you describe Holy Forrest’s sound?
We come from various musical backgrounds, shoegaze just happens to be the place in which we have decided to meet in the middle. Upon breaking down our multifaceted wall of sound, and revealing the layers of what we individually contribute, you will definitely be able to pick apart our differences as musicians. Nevertheless we’ve managed to make those said differences work so far! Fingers crossed our music grows in a succinct fashion alongside us and our growing audience.

For lack of better words our sound is:

Dreamy and melodic at times then ZAAJDKLSLSLDF fuzzy mayhem the next, we try our best to utilize all of our resources, that being our elaborate array of pedals and guitars that we’ve painstakingly acquired over the years to create soundscapes that evoke various moods and/or emotions. Our goal ultimately is to create an experience for both the mind and body rather than just playing an easily digestible and catchy tune. Which is why most people won’t get it, but the ones who do, stay and that exclusivity can be kind of personal and nice. Not in a way that we are purposely veering people out, because music is for everybody, but it’s somewhat more like an inside joke amongst good friends.

Q. Tell us the process of recording the songs.
Most of the songs to date have all been recorded in a totally DIY way in our drummer Zac’s magical shed. Couple of microphones, straight into a mixer which connects into a (pretty shotty) laptop and worked on Logic, nothing complicated or fancy.

For upcoming releases we aim to expand our horizons and experiment with different means of recording. Particularly, recording analog and embracing the involvement of others, preferably more knowledgeable than us who would be able to help us really capture that live sound that our audience are familiar with. That would without a doubt make things slightly easier and certainly more efficient.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Draining from Adelaide, Tennis System, Modern Color, Swirlpool, Death Bells etc.

Q. Which band would you love to make a cover version of?
‘Soon’ in honour of paying our respects to Lord Kevin Shields, My Bloody Valentine.

Q. What are your plans for the future?
The Future seems very exciting! As of right now we’re recording our first EP and plan to release some singles off it before the final drop. It’s too early to say too much as of right now but we expect to be due for a release in the first half of 2019!

Q. Any parting words?
If you have taken the time to sit here and read all of this then, wow please teach us that level of commitment but all jokes aside thank you so much for the overwhelming support and interest in what we do as a band. We are always so humbled by the love that is exerted from you all both on and off stage. A big shout out to Renato for reaching out to us all the way from Brazil, it’s been a pleasure.

We wish you all happiness in good health!
Love Always