When I heard HOLY SERPENT’s latest record I was totally blown away by it. So much that I had to interview the band. Answers by Nick Donoughue (lead guitar ). Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-We hope people like it obviously!..but I think that hopefully people who are already into the stoner/doom/heavy psych genre can get into it, and maybe find that it’s a little different to other bands they have heard.
We have had some positive reactions from people who generally don’t listen to this kinda of music or heavy music in general which is really cool too. I hope people can get into the transcendal head space we want our music to take people too. They’d be better off being stoned while listening if they really want to get our vibe. Haha.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-We thought quite hard about a band name. I think Scott and I had made a couple of rough demos and we were still trying to figure out our sound when we decided that we would actually seek out other members and turn it into a full fledged band. So we were kinda of thinking of a name that would fit the sound… we wanted something epic sounding but not mucho. Holy Serpent popped into my head after alot of other possibilities and we thought it fit our sound so far so we stuck with it, and I’m glad we did.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-When we started I guess we were listening to some of the more modern bands like Witchcraft and Witch, we were into Pentagram and stuff, that 70’s stuff we would just delve into and take little ideas from here and there. T-Rex and the Beatles I would say are big influences on all of us for this band..weather people can hear those influences in our sound or not I don’t know.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-The name came after we we had some idea of what our sound would be. I had some song ideas that I recorded on guitars and sent over to Scott. He laid down some vocals and maybe some guitar or bass. We had a rough idea what kinda sound we would have after that. The combination of my riff oriented long progressions and Scotts melodic etheral vocals was something that sort of took us both by suprise by how much it just fit together and sounded fresh.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-I’d have to disagree with you there. Maybe in some genres, dance music or pop there may be a tendency these days to release singles. I think in gereral for rock and metal bands the idea of a complete album showcases what a band can be, where their sound is coming from and where it is going. An album is the traditional way to see your music and asthetic as a cohesive work of art. A single to me only gives you a small idea of what a band is capable of.. also making a full album is hard, it takes a vision and a commitment to that vision. Sometimes its hard to make your vision into a reality.
There will always be fans who want the full album experience from a band..including us.. plus you can’t roll doobies on an mp3.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-Artwork has always been a colaberative approach for us..none of us being artists in that sence..
Making an album is always a collaboration between the band, the engineer, mixer/master the visual artist ect. sometimes you have to have faith in people and their artistic vision. you have to trust that.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-In a way yes, social media is the new way to get to people. These days everyone has there face stuck to their phones all day. If you want to get noticed you have to get in their face. The old ways of putting up posters, radio play and word of mouth are still effective though.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-in a way yes. You tend to start playing with like minded bands in your hometown/country. Friendships and mutual respect for each others music developes and fans start following bands that they see playing with another band they were originally going to that show for… bands and fans connect and eventually something you would call a scene developes. After a while it can feel like you are playing to hundreds of new friends and familiar faces. It’s great and it’s inspiring.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We tour pretty consistently. Australia isn’t an easy place to tour as drives between shows can be very long and hit and miss in terms of turnout to shows..that being said we have definitely increase our fanbase by touring often.. its a great way to see the country, meet new people and have a lot of fun along the way. Of course touring is still a great way to expose yourself to new audiences..after a while you really notice how much each show grows in attendance as you revisit each town or city.
What will the future bring+
– We would love to tour Europe in 2017 or 2018, we might release another album first…we will see what happens but whatever we do I’m sure we are gonna have fun doing it and fans of ours can rest assured that the best material from Holy Serpent is yet to come.