INTERVIEW: Holly.

Picture credit: Mike Markes

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Whattttup! We’ve been really good. Appreciate you hitting us up!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Don’t You Break My Heart”?

This is the first featured track on our EP “Letters from Lawndale”. Ironically, it was the last song we recorded for the album, and wrote a lot of parts of it on the spot in the studio. But it’s one of our favorite tracks! It’s one of the rare one’s where we don’t think we COMPLETELY screwed it up!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Don’t You Break My Heart was written over the culmination of a few months and a few influences. The goal was to kind of capture that feeling of a gone-bad relationship and the up down process of getting out of one. That was the point of having a couple different stylistic changes within the song and why there’s slow and steady feel as well as a pick-me-up outro with driving rhythms. It’s clashing.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We have a SUPER talented friend named Wale Sanni and he was kind enough to join us on a little tour we did in Boston in December of 2018. He sort of just filmed random happenings for the duration of the whole trip and put them to that song and we think it turned out really cool. He’s the man.

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

We practice/record/live at Rafe’s house on Lawndale Ave. It’s a special house with a lot of great memories/origins of the band, so when we were determining what this EP was going to be named and what we would try and pay homage to it was a no brainer!

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a lot of taking old songs written in college and them demo’ing them in the basement/playing them live to hash out parts and ideas. Then we took them to our pal Trevor who engineered the whole project for us. It was fun to get back into the recording/producing world after being away from it for so long. To be honest, it was just a learning experience and way to dive deeper into writing for the future and creating better future content. We understand we write pretty mature songs but we’re pretty goofy dudes so it also taught us to not take ourselves so seriously.

How do you go on blending your classic roots with your much modern influences?

We all draw so much influence from older soul artists as well as jazz, latin, rock and punk groups. I think our next project is really going to reflect how we are influenced from a melting pot of R&B music and new age content from genres across the board. I don’t think any of us really like boxes for genre placement and that’s why you’ll catch any five of us at a Lee Fields show one night, a Cuco show the next and a PUP concert on the third. Genre bending is kind of what it’s all about while paying respect to those who paved the foundation before you.

How has Sam Cooke and Tame Impala influenced your writing?

Haha! This is a funny question. Sam Cooke first of all, is probably the greatest singer and live performer of all time. And Kevin parker is the spirit animal of DIY musicians as well as a perfect example of showing that some of the most amazing music means creating something completely different than what anyone’s ever experimented with and that it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks about it as long as you love it at the end of the day. Everyone in this band is on a pretty ridiculous Tame kick right now to be honest..

What role does Chicago play in your music?

Chicago is home base for us. People in this city love local Chicago artists and have been super receptive of us so far which we’re super grateful for. The scene itself is certainly vibrant and alive right now. I think one unique thing about Chicago is how supportive artists are of each other too, that’s been really cool. We’ll go see a show of some of our local favorites and then the next week we’ll see them show up at our show. Whether it’s another band, hip hop artist, sound engineer, booking agent, or just a dedicated fan, everyone is out here to support.

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

Most inspiration comes from personal experience for sure. We’re all definitely trying to figure out relationships, so there is an obvious emotional bump and bruise that comes along where we find inspiration to write our feelings down. One of our biggest influences and challenges lies within trying to contextualize ourselves and our take on love into a heart & soul style song.

Any plans to hit the road?

For now we plan on getting out to the East coast again this summer hitting up Ohio, New York City and Boston. We’ll probably be traveling a lot more come the Fall though because we really need to work on recording right now..

What else is happening next in Holly’s world?

Staying busy! Surprisingly, we’re not sick of each other yet! We have been building up so much material for the last six months and we’re super excited to start getting it recorded and hashed out completely. We’re starting to solidify our local summer shows as well and will have some fun announcements to make over the course of the next month. Life in the band is pretty chill and fun right now.

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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