FAULT meets Holy Holy

We chat to Oscar Dawson, lead guitarist of Australia’s own Holy Holy. Following the release of their debut album ‘When the Storms Would Come’ last year, Oscar and co have dived straight back into the studio to record their second offering. Recently releasing the lead single from their as-yet-untitled sophomore album, ‘Darwinism’ keeps to their lyrically-captivating roots and epic production qualities. There is no doubt that Holy Holy is about to draw 2017 into their vast, distorted reality once again.


Hey Oscar, how’s it going?

Good mate. We’re just in a little Airbnb in Shoreditch before going down to soundcheck for our show tonight at Electrowerkz. We’re on tour in the UK and Europe at the moment, and that’s been pretty fun so far!


How far through the current tour schedule are you?

Halfway I think, I mean last week we were at Reeperbahn and that was a bit mental; playing 4 shows a day! Actually probably past halfway halfway now because we went over to the Netherlands and Germany, back here and then we’re going to cross over the channel again. We kind of zig-zagged a bit.


You’re going to be playing in the likes of France soon too, right?

Yeah we’re playing in Paris then back up to Rotterdam. The Netherlands seem to be quite good for us actually, we really like going there. Lovely place, crowds are really lovely. And London tonight; it’s always a fucking pleasure to play here, should be fun.


Did you play in London on the last tour?

Yeah, can’t really come over and not play London, you know? Should be a sold out show tonight, a bunch of people down so it should be great!




What can the fans expect from the setlist?

We’re touring a single at the moment called Darwinism. We released an album last year; our first album, so now we’ve dived straight back into the studio to write and record new music for our second album. This is our first single from that. We’re at the stage where we can split the set, bunch of songs from the first album and a bunch of songs no-one’s heard before basically. Darwinism is a fresh single that has been already been released, but there are other songs in different positions within the recording process. But we make sure we don’t just play the new ones, because that would be annoying for the crowd!


Do you enjoy playing Darwinism live?

Yeah, well it took a while for us to warm to it actually. When you play the new ones, during the recording process you might not play them that much. After you’ve recorded them you have to think about translating them live. Getting that ready is sort of an interesting process. For example we’ve got a horn section on that song, but we haven’t got that with us this time to Europe, but maybe next time! We’ll probably tour a horn section back home in Australia. We add workarounds to make it as faithful as it is on record. Recently its been coming out pretty well.


Are you experimenting more on the new record? Sounds like it so far.

Definitely, we’re letting go of what we think we have to be. We’re not too bad with that kind of stuff, but the first album felt that it was going to be a certain type of album, so we sort of played to that. With the new one we tried to let it be more. If we try something out in the studio and if its not something we’d normally do, then that’s good. We’ve been trying a few things out such as drum machines, synths, those sort of things. Stuff like that we’re starting to bring into the live shows.


How has the response been to Darwinism at recent shows?

Yeah good! The Netherlands are great, they really like us. You never know who likes what. They’re so nice and respectful not just as crowds, but the way you’re treated in the country, not just at the gig. It’s really wonderful to play there. We played the Paradiso in Amsterdam, its great – one of those really great venues. Great feelings in the room, great sound and a really great place to play.


You’re embarking on a massive tour back home in Australia later this year, looking forward to it?

Yeah, of course! We’re in a good place in Australia. Our tours there nowadays are really enjoyable. Its good because we know the lay of the land back home. But also the shows sound pretty well and its always nice playing to home crowds. We’ve actually been across to a few states (our version of a county) in Australia. I’m in Melbourne with our producer, couple of guys up in Queensland in Brisbane, and a few female singers down in Tasmania. So we get to play in three different hometown shows in Australia which is kind of fun. It almost feels like a home show in Brisbane, kind of feels like one in Melbourne and probably even feels like one in Tasmania.


Do a lot of family come down to the shows?

Yeah, I hate it when my family is there. I find that unbearable. Obviously its lovely and nice because I love my family, but I hate when they’re at my concerts. It feels weird, probably something I need to go and talk to someone about. I wonder if I’ll ever get there, maybe I won’t get there and it’s fine [laughs]. Hopefully we get to a point where we just keeping tour the world, and we won’t have to play any hometown shows so our families won’t have to come again. [laughs]


Any names for the upcoming album? Is Darwinism playing a part?

No the album won’t be based on the Darwinism name at all but we’ve got a few names flying about, we’re not going to say just yet. It can always change on the journey through the album making process.


Any album release shows planned?

That will be next year so we haven’t got them locked in yet. It’s one of those things when everything always move around a lot and gradually it’ll get focused in on an album release date and a bunch of shows based around that. We’ll be back in the European spring/summer time.


So around the festival period?

Yes, maybe the headline slot at Glastonbury [laughs]. But we haven’t played it yet, shock of the century. It would be bloody nice! We’ll see what comes through. We kind of get two summers, one back home and one over here. The perks of travelling in the summer and all that.



If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why?

Aside from being a human, it would be pretty weird. Probably quite a stupid animal, I’d want to be able to not feel trapped in my body. Living moment by moment you know? It would be quite hard to know what it would feel like to be animal, I could imagine what it would feel like a human in an animal’s body. It would be horrible. To be a dolphin would be nice, wouldn’t it? They’re pretty smart so I’ll leave it at dolphin.


What is your ‘FAULT’?

I’m grumpy and impatient.


Grumpy and impatient all the time?

Always impatient, often grumpy. It’s a vast dessert of gritted teeth and frustration inter-dispersed with rare oasis of calm.


When do those rare oasis of calm come in?

They come in with alcohol, coffee can bring them on too, howeverI wouldn’t call that calm though as I just get more and more impatient. Playing music brings it on, that’s why I prefer playing music over socialising, forgetting about the world you know?

Not to say my life isn’t good, I’m very lucky. But i still find the space to be a grumpy old fuck. A grumpy young fuck I suppose, but I’ve got the mind of a grumpy old fuck put it that way.


You can’t be that old! What’s the average age of the band members?

I could probably calculate the average age, around 30 I think. So, I’m young!


Holy Holy are expected to release their sophomore album in early 2017.

You can follow the boys on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Words Stuart Williams