Thrash Hits Verdict: 8 songs. 11 minutes. They’re the basic facts about HOLY’s debut, self-titled EP – out today. If that doesn’t tell you exactly why they piqued our interest then all might be lost. There’s rawness about their music that really hits home. The anger in their songs is so bloody furious that you can’t help but take notice. And they’re Italian. We love pizza. Brutal pizza.
How did you meet?
Holy originally got together as a side-project band. We had all been friends for some time so it seemed natural to start talking about putting a band together. So after talking about it enough, we finally just did it.
What made you want to start a band?
It all began in the summer of 2011. We didn’t have any money or time to go on vacation, so we used our spare time to rehearse and write music. The idea was to do something different from the other bands we had been involved with. Something powerful, catchy, noisy, fast and slow, all at the same time.
Where did the name come from?
We wanted to find a name was striking. Simple. Short. We thought that HOLY was the perfect term to represent the dichotomy we were aiming for. While our music is the farthest thing from religious, the notions of holiness and sanctity are so intrinsic to all things human. It just seemed like a perfect name, as well as a starting point to what we feel we want to communicate.
HOLY – Monday by HellYes
What are your musical influences?
There are a lot of bands that have influenced our sound, as we all listen to different kind of music. We’re all in love with the 80s classics and the 90s new school hardcore, but we also listen to a lot of faster stuff and crusty bands. I would say His Hero Is Gone, Infest, Unbroken. We all love what these three bands have created, so we wanted to created something equally intense. We just want fast, angry music, but strong and communicative lyrics.
You have ‘vegan’ in your URLs etc and you are active about animal rights. Is this a major lyrical theme in your music? What else is there?
Music is one of the best ways to communicate, especially as a vessel for a deeper message. It creates the space for us to share our personal views of right and wrong, whether in practical or abstract terms. Hopefully inspiring some to, at the very least, reflect. In our lyrics we speak about human rights as much as animal rights, because we feel that we all are part of the same fucked up world. The difference between us and the non-human animals is that they don’t have a voice to speak for themselves. Although we are not about self righteous in-your-face vegan lyrics, we would definitely like to use our music as a way to convey our beliefs in equality and justice towards all living things.
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
I think that making good music, releasing records, playing shows and simply spending a lot of time in the van on in the rehearsal room with good friends. Music as an incredible thing. If you’ve never been in a band you will never be able to understand how important it can be. The energy you feel before the show. The satisfaction you feel having your record in your hands. All these are great feelings that I would not be able to live without.
With which band would your dream tour be?
Well, we would love to tour with Minor Threat for example, but they broke up almost 30 years ago…that’s probably why we can call it “dream tour”.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played?
We have only been playing for a few months so we don’t have a very long gig list. Anyway, I feel that every show we have played is memorable. We prefer to play in smaller places, where you can actually connect with your audience. There is that energy and community vibe. You tend to lose that when you play in larger places.
What is the Italian hardcore scene like?
Unfortunately, the Italian hardcore scene is not that strong. We have been doing shows in some squats here in Milano for 4-5 years, but in the past few months it seems that this city is dying week after week… less shows, less bands, less people involved, less community. In the other Italian cities it’s pretty much the same. There is that feeling like the scene is fading away…You know, when I was a kid and I started to going to shows there were bands playing almost everyday. Now you’re lucky if there is a good band per month.
What bands do you see as peers or part of your scene more broadly/internationally?
We played with a very cool Italian band, called LEFT IN RUINS. They play very good music and they are super nice guys and longtime friends. In March we’re playing with WITCH CULT from UK, and we’re really looking forward to share the stage with them.
What other band should everyone find out about?
If you don’t know them, check out HOAX. They are from US and they have released a couple of 7″s on Deranged and Youth Attack. They are fucking great.
What is the most metal thing you’ve done?
I used to play in a metal band a few years ago and I have tried to do some tapping sometimes, but I’m not very good at it. I think I’m not metal enough for it!
HOLY are in the throes of writing their debut album and have also started booking their first European tour. They’re going to be trotting over the continent from May so expect to hear more about them in a few months. In the meantime, go check them out on Facebook and click Like etc. The usual stuff. They’re good.