Guitar Pedals and Axes and Knives and Slingshots – 10 Minutes with Holy Fuck

28 09 2009


I sit down with Holy Fuck only minutes after their set, the first time I’ve ever done it that way. They look exhausted, so I promise to keep it short. We sit down, and I grab my computer while they grab the tequila. I spoke mostly with Brian Borcherdt and drummer Matt Schulz, though bassist Matt Mcquaid had one brilliant addition.

Adrian Markle: The requisite question. What’s your opinion on festivals as they relate to or differ from smaller, headlining shows.

Brian: Well they’re definitely two different things, normally, but here it feels like a little bit of both. We’re at a venue that we’d normally play, with the type of crowd we’d normally play to.

Matt S: It Feels like something we’d normally do, but “festival” automatically makes me think “outside,” and “tent,” so this…

B: What if we set one up inside?

MS: That could work.

B: And I’d just like to say that what little I’ve seen of it that there’s something really appealing about [Rifflandia]. It’s done really well, there’s an attraction to it. We even really liked the festival guide. It’s nice, the artistic direction.

AM: And how did you feel about playing in Victoria?

B: We’ve played here once before. We opened for Wolf Parade at Sugar. It was fun. They’re great and this is kind of their hometown so it was fun to come here with them and play here for their friends. The crowds are really good here too,

MS: It’s beautiful. We got to walk around all day and see everything. The weather doesn’t hurt either.

We’re sitting in the band room back stage as the club-DJ takes over for the night. The first song is a “No Rain” mash-up. The band all stop talking at one. Finally, Matt Mcquaid breaks the silence.

MM: What the fuck? That’s like taking a really nice pizza and shitting on it. Why would you mash up this song?

With no one able to answer, or even respond, we turn back to our interview when the laughter dies down. Brian continues on about Victoria.

B: It was great tonight. Our album isn’t new. It’s been out a few years now, so it feels good to go into a full room even though we haven’t been generating a lot of press. People danced their asses off. There are asses still out there, laying on the floor, getting swept up into little cups.

AM: By now people understand what you do, musically, at least as well as they can. What I don’t know though, is “Why?” Where did the idea to write and perform this kind of music come from?

DSC_0060B: Where it comes from is what the four of us do together. It’s a group effort, and it would sound very different if any different people came into the band. It’s a very creative project. We’re trying to use different instruments but still…we have toys and guitar pedals and axes and knives and slingshots. It forces us to be creative in an unexpected way.

MS: I don’t have anything to add.

B: The concept was based around that. Just trying to do something unique, maybe not in all of music, but for us. Push ourselves a little bit while still having fun.

AM: What about the new album? Want to talk about it?

MS: Well we’re just about done with a record that we’ve been working on for a minute now.

AM: Did you play anything new tonight? I missed about the first half of your set.

MS: Well then the whole first half was new stuff. That’s all we played.

B: We actually did stuff we’ve literally never done live before, which was awesome.

MS: And the next fifty times we play it it’ll suck, because it just won’t be as good as it was tonight.

B: Yeah, that’ll happen. It can still be good though.

MS: Like “Greasefire.”

B: Yeah. There were times…

The band jumps into a conversation of jams and off-the-cuff songs they’ve played live. Brian tries desperately to get anyone in the band to remember the song he can only remember as “Dinkdog.”

Food is brought in for the band, and I promise to get out of their hair, but have one more quick question. In 2008 the band’s name was listed as one of the reasons that Federal Conservatives we’re cutting funding for local musicians to go on promotional tours.

AM: Publicity aside, how did that feel?

B: Well you can pretty much imagine. It felt pretty lousy. We were in Poland and we got up, still jetlagged. I was up really early, and it’s a weird feeling being somewhere new when you can’t sleep, and that was the first news we heard from home. It was insulting. The worst thing was they were sort of passing us off as illegitimate, and that our art or music was somehow not deserving. But here we were far from our family and loved ones, working really hard, playing music in different countries. We were working our asses off and we’d have liked to hear good news. But whatever. It just sucked.

-Adrian Markle

Photography by Casey Bennett




One response

22 10 2009

I noticed that there is nothing holy about the word fuck? What darkness ate at your consciences to chose such a derogatory name for your band?

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