Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Born Dark”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
After our debut EP ‘Mother Father’ I wasn’t sure what to say next following an album about the grief and loss of my late parents. So I decided to take it to the beginning, my origin. I would get the question often about why is my music “dark” or would I ever write a happy song. “Born Dark” is my answer to that I suppose. I wanted write a song for the turmoil mind, the ones who are attracted to the sadness and embracing this skin.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Filming this video was so much fun. It was a 4 day shoot with multiple locations and a ton of pre-production creating the dolls/accessories and writing the story of this blood-thirsty vixen. It was such a fun experience to be in front of the camera acting out these murder scenes as well as getting behind the camera co-directing. I collaborated with Mel Castro (co-director/cinematographer) and we had an absolute blast. I never thought puppeteering dolls would be so fun. This video was inspired by a Bondage Doll photoshoot by Mel, that expanded into this Doll with a Dark secret killing spree.
How was the recording and writing process?
We spent a few months this year writing for film and tv and “Born Dark” was the final song we wrote in this 2-month span. I instantly loved the rhythm and the way it made me feel. It was clear at this point that it would be the perfect statement for what to say next. We wanted to experiment with different sounds on this single than our previous release as well as juxtaposition with the contrast of lyrics and melody.
What was it like to work with Hunter Burgan and how did that relationship develop?
We were first introduced to Hunter by a mutual and it was after he saw our show live that we decided to work together on our next release. Working with Hunter was such a great experience. He became a close friend and someone I trust and genuinely enjoy.
How much did he get to influence the song?
Having his production assistance really helped us take chances and look at our song with a fresh ear which ended up in a result we are all proud of. He helped develop the song arrangement and fine tune lyrics and melodies as well as instrumentation.
How have NIN and Yeah Yeah Yeahs influenced your writing?
Growing up I have always been a huge fan of NIN. I absolutely love the sounds Trent creates as well as the lyrical content. I always related to his music as well as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Karen O, has inspired me as a performer and songwriter. She is the total package when it comes to writing really great music from a punk perspective to songs like “Despair” that builds so beautifully and cinematically. I suppose Holy Wars has a blend of all of that. The industrial and raw lyrics of NIN with the attitude of punk and yet pristine of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?
Definitely. I always start with a lyric or melody first but collaborating with another producer/writer really opens me up where something truly great can inspire from 2 people working together. You have a way of getting out of your own head when it’s just you and another person with one instrument and one day to make magic. Music is a language so when you have someone to collaborate with you can create something bigger than yourself. I never have one way of writing a song. It either starts with a lyric or melody or even a title. I have had the great experience of collaborating with different writers in the past and learned a lot about how people create.
Does the new single mean we can expect more new material – how’s that coming along?
Most definitely. We have written a ton of songs this year and continue to write. We are going to be releasing a brand new single at the beginning of 2019.
Any tentative release dates or titles in mind?
The next song will be called “Legend.” A song that was originally written for a trailer and it received such a great response that we decided to release this one early next year.
Any plans to hit the road?
Definitely. We are planning on touring in 2019
What else is happening next in Holy Wars’ world?
We are working on a full length album and setting up a tour in support of our upcoming release.