Embrace; An Interview With Holy Wave

You rapidly run into your room with a smorgasbord of records tucked snuggly under your armpit.  You follow this up by slamming the door shut and pulling the blinds down to darken up the location, only to have a stray beam of light bursting through the small creases.  You slowly pull out a black record from the sleeve and plop it down on the player.  Once that needle gingerly places its position on top, a wave of eutrophic noise emerges. 

Holy Wave has become notorious within four albums to provide fans from around the world with providing a trippy, psychedelic experience chockfull of experimental dreamy pop.  Key performances at Levitation, Desert Daze, among other gatherings have given the Austin-based band pull off opportunities past their wildest dreams.  Some of their biggest spots to date are sharing the stage with Slowdive, Spiritualized, Hope Sandoval, and The Black Angels.  Interloper, Holy Wave latest offering released in July, accentuates its signature songwriting by heightening it with new layers.   

There was a My Bloody Valentine show that ultimately changed the course in your lives.  What was it about that set that shifted your world that much?

Well, the MBV show left a huge impression for a few reasons. We were very into them and we had never been to Los Angeles before, so the setting was already amazing. We’re all huge Spacemen 3 fans, too, so when we found out Spectrum was opening the shows we were very hyped. It’s also worth mentioning that it was the first time we took ecstasy. So after the show, we just walked along the beach in disbelief and it was all so perfect. After that, all we knew was that we wanted to start a band and really give it a shot.

With the wealth of musical talent residing in Austin, is there a sense of competition that breeds within the city?

Nahhh, everyone in Austin loves each other there’s no competition. I feel like everyone really empowers each other and it’s quite nice.

The band has quite the following overseas.  What can tell us about touring across the world?

Well, for one it’s an absolute dream. It’s still so strange to see people singing along n stuff, super wild. The thought of not being able to go on tour and play our new songs is definitely stinging all of us every day.

When did the vibe between the bandmates start to click in the beginning stages of the band?

Since day one, the vibes were strong; we’ve all been best friends since way before our band so that’s never been an issue.

During the recording sessions, the band went in without having anything too locked down in terms of songs.  Having done this, what was the biggest takeaway from the experience?

The record came out more cohesive in a way. The session itself was able to influence the parts being constructed.  Also, we definitely got to use the studio more as an instrument and songwriting tool.

Listening to the album, it feels more psychedelic than previous efforts.  What was different within finding inspiration with the instrumentals?

That’s a tough one. I think we normally approach songs in a similar way. With each new album normally have some new keyboards or things and play a big part but I think as far as songwriting goes, we normally try to make each part as interesting as it can be with what we have. With this particular album, we got some new keyboards and we were able to really experiment with them during the recording process.

A lot of the lyrical content for Interloper focuses on being more introspective.  Was this by design or did it just come organically while being in the studio?

Our lyrics have always been pretty introspective. On this one, maybe we’re breaking things down in a more specific and straightforward way, whereas in the past we’ve been more general or metaphorical.

Interloper was recorded at Reverberation Appreciation Society.  Did the band work with a producer or was it all done solo?

We recorded with our buddy Charles Godfrey at his studio and while we didn’t go into it with the intention of having a producer, he contributed some great ideas. He’s a very creative dude so it was a great environment for us to work in.

With the quarantine being longer than what most expected, has the lure of being on the road been louder to everyone?

We wanna be on the road so bad and we had some really great tours lined up. It’s so strange to have a new record coming out and not be able to go show it off all over the place. But we’re being patient and that day will come.