The Holy Soul are very much the drunken uncles of Sydney’s music scene. Always popping up here or there with kind words and slurred encouragement, the individual members are, I would say, some of the most well liked figures in the music community as well as some of the most well respected.
Their music, a snarling blues riddled mixture of backwater swamp vocals and filthy rock and roll, has earned them a dedicated fan following, that extends beyond our fair shores, with the band having toured to South East Asia on multiple occasions, with another tour planned for this year.
Really this is all a bunch of wank though, The Holy Soul are just a really good band that know how to do their jobs, and who do them well. Not to slip back into wank again, but their is a certain honesty, an absence of veneer or pretense in what they do and how they carry themselves both as people and as a band.
Living up to their reputation of helping out up and coming bands, they’re supporting new talk of the town Reckless Vagina at Good God this Friday Aprils 1st, so we caught up with bassist Sam Worrad to a, ask why, and b, see what’s new with the band and how they’re next album is shaping up.
Music Feeds: So, you guys are supporting Reckless Vagina this Friday at GoodGod for their first ever headline show, what made you want to do that considering how much longer you’ve been around and better established you are? Is it a case of helping out the new kid?
Sam Worrad: Not at all! We are doing the show so we can stand at the back of the venue, count our fee, and perform thorough character assassinations of each member of Reckless.
MF: One thing that has always struck me about you guys as a band is that you have a great attitude toward Sydney’s music scene being a community of sorts, and you’ve always been supportive of younger bands coming up the way you did, why is that?
SW: Shucks, Mikey. Nice of you to say. I’m not sure if we’re particularly altruistic per se – I suppose we just tend to play shows with bands we like/that we’re likely to have fun at.
MF: As well as getting involved with plenty of local bands you guys also have a bit of a reputation for working with musicians from across the world, as with your work with Damo Suzuki from CAN and Pere Ubu’s David Thomas. Would you say you tend to thrive when surrounded by other bands and artists, cross pollinating you if you will?
SW: I guess so. I think those experiences rub off somewhat on our “regular” material. And for the benefit of those who came to those shows, I hope we thrived! Regardless, it’s cool to have the chance to do things like that occasionally. It’s excellent war story fodder.
MF: You released the Dead Man Has No 2nd Chance album with Damo late last year, how has that been received?
SW: Seems to be going well! The reviews have been good, and Chris from Repressed Records appears to have been eating okay. I quite like it – it feels a bit like an esoteric spiritual jazz record. Hopefully somebody is giving birth with it on in the background as we speak. I hope we get to do another LP with him.
MF: Last time we spoke you mentioned you were planing on working on a new album early this year, has that started to take shape at all yet? Did Jon end up getting his studio back together?
SW: Yeah, it appears the Magnetic Recording Council will be back in action pretty soon. There’s a chess board, and it’s very nice to see the couches (that we spent much of 2008 loafing on) come out of storage.
MF: With the recordings are you trying to capture that live feeling or are you going for a different sound altogether? Is this next album going to be recorded at all differently from the last one?
SW: It’s kind of hard to say. I suppose we like doing things pretty live, but at a session we had a couple of months ago one song went from a garage rocker to some kind of Hawkwind via tropicalia thing. I guess the plan is for it to be done quickly, but we are VERY easily tempted by pretentious flights of fancy.
MF: Where are the songs at, are they ready for recording or are you still working on them?
SW: We’re getting pretty close. Hopefully fully ready to roll in a couple of months.
MF: How does the songwriting process tend to work, does Trent tend to come to the band with ideas that you then all flesh out? Do you like to have everything together before you go into the studio or do you like to mess around a bit?
SW: It’s pretty much Trent coming in with a song and us fleshing it out, yeah. Last time we did a bit of winging it and/or deconstruction with a few songs, but generally that’s how it goes.
MF: What should we be keeping an eye out for from the band in the future?
SW: We’re playing around a bit in Sydney and Newcastle in April, and there’s a show with Kim Salmon at the Excelsior (r.i.p?) on April 29. We’ll likely put out a single a bit later in the year, too. Maybe some Damo Suzuki shows in Europe in October, and of course the special April Fools Day show with Reckless Vagina this Friday.
The Holy Soul play with Reckless Vagina at Good God this Friday April 1st