Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Quick Vaycay Q&A With Holiday Shores

Holiday Shores are one of the most enjoyable new acts I've come across this fall. Not only is their album Columbus'd The Whim one you can't help but grin and groove to while its playing but they're also a lot of fun live. They come from the beaches of Florida and their laid back attitude is undeniable in their music and in their general outlook...


TWIAPC: You're sound is very much tied to your Florida/beach roots but did you always aspire to capture a new take on the Beach Boys-ish sonic aesthetic? 

Holiday Shores: We love Beach Boys. I think we've all been listening to them since we were very young. So, in a way, we grew up with them and our appreciation for that massive turn in pop music has only grown as well. Influence is a hard thing to trace, but when you've listened to an album like Pet Sounds, or even just a song like Surf's Up, a million times, it will probably make it's way into your own output, even in very small ways.  I think for us, much of the Sixties music we heard as children became our roots music; we didn't know anything else for awhile. So, to hear any comparisons with our music to that music is such an honor. The sound that Brian Wilson created is unparalleled and always will be, but it is also uniquely inspirational and I think we'll always draw from that.

TWIAPC:How has the group evolved during the recording and touring process?

HS: The group has gone through a good amount of changes in the last year. Just before the recording began last winter the line-up began to change and dwindle when responsibilities with school increased. Many times, whole parts of songs would be completed solely by Nathan in his bedroom, or just a couple of us in the living room.  However, a song like Edge of our Lives might be the best example of a group effort, as it was worked out during practices for some shows we played around that time. This summer the line-up changed again with the addition of PJ on bass and Clayton on drums, neither of whom played on the record. At home, we tried to play as many as we could with two drummers, but for touring we actually had to split up the duties because neither drummer could be out for the entire 5 weeks. Our CMJ run was carried out with Clayton, and our Evangelicals tour has been held down so solidly by Ryan, who flew to Phoenix to meet up.
Due to the nature of the recording process, the songs take on varying new colors when performed live, and I think this is something people would probably have to just see us, to see.

TWIAPC:I understand vintage equipment was a rather integral part of the recording process. What did that list include and what are some of their finer contributions on Columbus'd The Whim?

HS: Well, we've all been fortunate enough to come across some awesome, affordable, older gear. Nathan swears by his early 80's Juno-60 and hopes for the best with old Farfisa organs found for cheap. A song like Days Drag really benefits from the amazing patches on the Juno, and the shimmering wash a Farfisa can provide. Coupled with a few pieces of old drum sets, we were able to use a great amount of vintage equipment on the record, from a nice old Sunn bass head to a beat up 60's Fender Jaguar. If you can't have much good recording gear, you might as well get the sweetest sounding musical equipment you can find.

TWIAPC:What prompted the change from Continental Divide to Holiday Shores?

HS: We had been thinking for awhile that Continental Divide didn't mean much to us personally (we had never seen the Continental Divide until yesterday) and on top of that, there is a Bluegrass Group called Continental Divide who had the name long before we did, and probably use it to greater effect.  Right before the record was going off to get mastered, we were all racking our brains for a better, more meaningful name. So, one night, as we were signing rent checks one of us looked at Nathan's street address on the check and said, "Holiday Shores...we should just call it Holiday Shores." Naturally, the name rang deep within Nathan's psyche as it was the street he lived on for much of his adolescent life. But for the rest of us it had no street-name connotations, but rather more restful, new beginning, feelings. "Holiday" is a great word that simply means, a day to remember, a day of celebration, a day of rest. There are a bunch of little communities around the country called Holiday Shores, and most of them are on lakes. I think for us, the name signals a cause for celebration, like an explorer finally reaching a place they can settle down in.

TWIAPC: I've seen you twice now and there is such a chill vibe, which is reflected on the album as well, and you seem to let your instruments and vocals wander within the parameter of your lyrics and arrangements. Is it a matter of well rehearsed or planned chill-ness or genuine looseness?

HS: Hey, thanks a lot. I think this may come from a comfortable feeling we all have playing with each other, and playing live in general. Honestly, its a vibe that comes to us when the music feels good, and that's really great to hear that it's evident. The songs have always felt malleable to us, and in that sense we are able to work within parts and make changes while we move through a song, if the spirit leads...haha.

Holiday Shores are playing Kung Fu Necktie next week (Nov 17th). Don't miss it.

--Phones Don't Feud--

1 comment:

indielawyer said...

love those guys!!! great interview.