Interview: Holy fuck!!

What lies behind an awesome name like Holy Fuck?

I investigated the matter a few months back and found out it's a band which don't rehearse, don't have any songs and use toy guitars and keyboards as instruments. This may sound a weeny bit suspect but I assure you it all makes sense when you see the group play live.

Holy Fuck (I don't think I'll ever get tired of saying that) are all about spontaneity; they don't plan any songs, they just set up their equipment - which includes an array of retro guitar effects pedals, mixers and a film synchronizer(!) - and see what happens. What comes out is totally unpredictable and varies drastically from show to show. My best means of describing it is to say that it usually contains at least some of the following: funk, jazz, techno, disco, rock, pop and electronica.

It's a mash up that's catching on. They've toured and collaborated with hip hop innovator Beans (Warp Records), played loads of festivals, got an album coming out next week on Dependent Music AND are set to tour Europe in a couple of months.

I thought all this called for a celebration of sorts so I got in touch with group member Brian Borcherdt to see if he'd be up for answering a few questions for blogTO. A few emails later and it's done! Here's what he had to say...

You've been gaining a hell of a lot of attention this year. Has it meant you've all been able to go full time with your music?


We wish. Whenever I spend all my time working on my music career I just go further and further in debt. I guess you could say that our jobs for the most part involve music. Graham writes TV jingles. Kevin works in a music distribution warehouse. Glenn plays full time in Blue Rodeo. So yeah, he's gone full time with his music. But that means he can't always work with us. So 'work' still gets in the way for him as well.

You've got an album about to come out but you're renowned as a very unpredictable, spontaneous band. How difficult was it for you to try and capture that unpredictability on record?
All we did was go into the studio and treat it like a live show. We set up so that we could hear and see each other and we just made up spontaneous music for a couple hours. Every show we play could be a new album, and every album would be different. The only problem with putting out this record is that it will become representative of the band, the performance, the music to the majority of the people listening to it. There will only be a handful that have seen us live and therefore have a wider point of reference.

What do you think of the music happening in Toronto at the moment? Are there any other Toronto artists you're a particular fan of?
For the most part I think that most Toronto bands still make wack music. The hype sometimes falls in the right spot. Sometimes I just scratch my head and wonder what people are thinking. I like Broken Social Scene's new record as well as the Constantines. That's pretty predictable. I've seen the Bush League play a few times and thought they were amazing. Off the International Radar are cool.

What's your favourite record store in Toronto?
It's a fair tie between Rotate This and Soundscapes. Again, pretty predictable.

You have a shed load of equipment...where do you get it all from?
Sheds. And garage sales. In southwest Nova Scotia where I'm from we have a great chain of thrift stores called Frenchy's. I should get a Frenchy's sponsorship cuz they provided me with half my gear. I got my 35mm film synchronizer from one of the editing suppliers I worked with when I was doing film editing. Now you can find them in the trash. If you do, grab it and send it to me: 806 Ossington, Toronto, M6G 3V1.

Halloween's coming up. You doing anything good?
We're going to LA to play our first show there at a party hosted by the Music For Robots website. I think we're gonna dress up as each other. I want to be Kevin.

Holy Fuck release their debut album next week (October 25th). They are celebrating it with a show at The Mod Club tomorrow night. I for one will be turning out to see what happens.

Have a listen to some samples of their music here

Pictures are courtesy of Dependent Music

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