By Harriet Kaplan
El Paso, Texas-based Holy Wave, a band of multi-instrumentalists including Kyle Hager, Dustin Zozaya, Julian Ruiz, Joey Cook and Ryan Fuson, are known their “unique blend of sun baked surf-psychedelia.” The group has been compared to 13th Floor Elevators, The Black Angeles and Night Beats. Their work owes a stylistic nod to “shoegaze influences like My Bloody Valentine and Spectrum. The band released Knife Hits, The Evil Has Landed, and Evil Hits, a compilation featuring select tracks from the band’s prior output, and its first release on The Reverberation Appreciation Society. The band’s second LP, Relax, was released in 2014 and band expanded both their sound and recorded as a five-piece. Holy Wave followed up Relax with Evil Hits Part II, a collection of B-sides and demos, released as a limited edition 10″ EP. Holy Wave released its 3rd studio LP, Freaks Of Nurture, in March via The Reverberation Appreciation Society with producer Erik Wofford (Explosions In The Sky, The Black Angels, My Morning Jacket). Holy Wave recently spoke to BoC giving entertaining responses back to a series of straightforward questions that were funny and offered good laughs in the process. The “colorful characters” in this band don’t take themselves so seriously they aren’t above “yanking your chain” in a playful way.
How did the band come up the name Holy Wave?
Holy Wave: It’s named after our friends John Holy and Ted Wave, kinda like a Hall and Oats kinda thing.
How did everyone meet and come together?
Holy Wave: “Bottle of red, bottle of white, whatever gets me laid tonight” – Billy Joel
It sounds the band is very seasoned releasing a lot of music and touring. How do you keep things fresh and exciting?
Holy Wave: We all met playing in bands in El Paso about 11 years ago. We all just had really similar taste, I guess. Then we all decided it was time to get out and start our band in Austin.
I mistakenly asked the band if played SXSW and here’s what they had to say!
Holy Wave: We’ve been in Europe for the past couple of weeks but we were happy to skip the shit show.
How does the songwriting process work? Do you all collaborate together?
Holy Wave: It’s usually John Holy and Ted Wave conducting from the grave.
What are your musical influences? What inspires your lyrics?
Holy Wave: Our music is influenced by way too many things to try to list. Lyrically I’d say Sherman Alexie, Isaac Babel, Shel Silverstein, and Kilgore Trout.
Can you tell me about the new LP Freaks Of Nurture. Where did that title come from? Does this album have a theme?
Holy Wave: We decided not to blame God anymore and start blaming our parents. For everything.
What was it like working with Erik Wofford? How did the band come to work with him? Is this the first time the band has worked with a producer or is the band self produced previously?
Holy Wave: Erik Wofford is the Scottie Pippen of the recording game. We’ve worked with him three times now and it’s a blast every time. As far as producing it’s always us, though we always have open ears when working with Erik.
Does band like recording more versus touring more? Is one more interesting and fun versus the other and why?
Holy Wave: Well those are two different beasts for sure but both definitely have highs and lows. Plus they’re both very necessary. Recording songs is something we take great pleasure in and it’s not nearly as physically torturous as being on the road so maybe we prefer recording.
What doesn’t your fans not know about you they would be surprised to find out and why?
Holy Wave: I think our fans would surprised to find out that we’re all moving to Mexico in the event of a Trump presidency.
Photo Credit: Alison Scarpulla