INTERVIEW: Holy Golden

Can you talk to us more about your song “Arrival”?

Arrival is the second song on the album and the entrance into “Otherworld.” It’s a moment when you arrive somewhere you’ve been trying to reach for a long time, you’re taking in new surroundings. “My soul is in your eyes” speaks of the idea that sometimes we see ourselves best through the eyes of others.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

When a stranger or a person you know stares at you, you can sometimes ‘see’ in their eyes how you are making them feel.

My friends Mom once took us to this convention to see a guy called “Braco” (look it up!) who stared at this crowd of like 1,000 people and half the crowd started hysterically crying. It was really funny but interesting. The sheer power of being watched!

When we started recording Otherworld, I read something about how they use staring in therapy, to get people to let go of their perceived image of themselves by watching the eyes of someone staring at them. That’s how the song came about – blended into this new world the album is presenting – which is kind of a vulnerable and crazy place.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

So fun! We had  two friends  come up from NYC to film the music video and also our friend Jesse from Newport to style it. The filming location was best reached by boat – so when our motor wouldn’t start the next morning – we thought we may have to trek all the way out to the end of the beach. We decided to ask our neighbor to borrow his canoe and he was totally excited to help. The clouds were unbelievable. We rowed back at sunset, hung out for a few hours, made a big dinner, and then went back out to the beach at dark and made a bonfire to finish filming. It was a special day.

The single comes off your new album Otherworld – what’s the story behind the title?

Otherworld is a place reached by imagination. It’s not completely unlike our world, but it’s pure, different stars, different creatures, you can walk on top of trees, see farther. You have access to more parts of yourself, like in dreams. The main location is a castle by the sea, a place i’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl. It’s not all moonbeams and sunshine though – it’s a very challenging place that pushes you to confront your demons and learn to love them. I believe that through daydreams we can create a world of our own to better exist in this one – hence ‘Otherworld.’

What made you want to do a concept album?

I wanted to make music about this place I had been dreaming of for so long, as a way to overcome a dark time I was going through. In the process, it became a universal story. Most people can relate to the feeling of the world that lives within them, that they are trying to embody.

There’s an image I describe that represents the album – a young girl in a nightgown walking down a stone staircase into catacombs. She has a small candle and she’s protecting it from blowing out. There are skulls and bones all around, but at the bottom you can see a golden treasure chest – she also holds the key. It can only be reached by descending into this place.

How was the recording and writing process?

We started recording the album in my friends attic. We were living in her house while she was working in Paris. Soon after, we were introduced to Steve Rizzo, an amazing music producer who works out of a horse stable near Newport,RI. He was great to take a chance on us newbies and over the next two years we developed such a great friendship with him. The writing process was emotional and constant, we completely lived in “Otherworld” and our own lives started reflecting the world of the album. It was very healing.

What role did Rhode Island play in the writing of this record?

Every inch of Newport and Rhode Island in general is steeped in history. This sense of history really got us thinking about time and place. You drive to the store and pass gilded age mansions, cliffs that cascade down into the ocean, and mystical towers in city parks. We became close friends with the people who own Maison DNA, a vintage designer shop in a historic building downtown. Our conversations with our Newport friends helped guide our interests which we explored and put into the album. If you ever have the chance to visit Newport you should, wandering the streets and cliff walk – it’s so beautiful and unique for the US!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Two main books inspired Otherworld. “As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams” by Lady Sarashina written in Japan in the eleventh century – she wrote diaries of fantasy to escape her emotional pain and isolation.

The other is called “The Blazing World” by Margaret Cavendish in 1666. She is known as the first female to place her name outright on a science fiction novel. All sorts of mythology, fantasy, and psychology inspired the themes. The idea of the album started when I decided I wanted to document through music my experience with using creativity to deal with emotional pain.

Any shows coming up?

Our record release show in NYC at the Park Church Co-op is happening on Friday February 16th! We hope to do another tour after that and really want to go to Europe this Spring/Summer.

What else is happening next in Holy Golden´s world?

Two more singles and music videos from “Otherworld” are coming before the release. We’re also starting to record the next album! There’s a whole lot more coming.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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