For a week in September, Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley becomes the focal point for the Australian music industry as the BIGSOUND Festival kicks off. Hundreds of industry members, punters and musicians assemble to see the next wave of acts perform live across several official and unofficial showcase performances.
Weirdo Wasteland, in conjunction with photographer Jeff Andersen Jnr. and Jet Black Cat Music, put a call out to some BIGSOUND artists we admire to enlist them for a series of portraits taken at Bloodhound Bar throughout the week. The latest in the series is of Brisbane’s Holiday Party. We pitched Holiday Party’s Mel Tickle some questions about the band’s journey so far, as well as the ideas and concepts that are informing their sound currently. Have a read and check out the gallery below.
Take me back to the beginning – who is in Holiday Party and how did it begin?
Holiday Party was formed by Luke McDonald and myself a couple of years ago – Luke was working on a film soundtrack and asked me to sing some vocals on one of the tracks that was in consideration. It was such an enjoyable experience that we decided to keep writing and recording between touring with our other bands and see what we could create.
Members of Holiday Party have performed in different outfits in the past; was there something in particular that you were looking for in a new outlet that was different than what you’d done before?
The biggest difference between Holiday Party and our other bands (The John Steel Singers, PYNES, Robert Forster, Little Scout) is the songwriting process – our other bands have guitars, bass, synths and drums, which we absolutely love. We’re now constructing songs with samples of those instruments from iPhones and dumped sessions, reworking them and processing them to create something completely new from the stuff that usually just ends up filling hard drives. It’s gonna sound cheesy but there’s a tiny glimmer of a memory attached to every sample. From there we’ve worked out how to play them live – our friends Peter Bernoth (synths, piano) and Scott Bromiley (bass, samples) have joined Holiday Party! They’re both lovely and incredibly proficient musicians and songwriters, so we’re especially lucky to have them join in.
How long did it take before you honed in on a sound that excited you?
The first song we created for the film was definitely the defining moment. It didn’t quite make it into the movie and we’ll probably release it in 2018.
For the uninitiated, how would you describe the type of music Holiday Party creates?
Luke’s friend described it as ‘junkyard pop’ – I really like that. We’re influenced by artists that make interesting electronic pop music like Beach House, Animal Collective, The Avalanches, J Dilla, and lots of other stuff.
What ideas or concepts are you using Holiday Party to express?
Our concept was to create an album based around a teenage house party gone wrong. We want to make off-kilter pop that you can either dance to or recline to.
What do you notice fans are catching on to the most with Holiday Party so far?
I’m not really sure! Hopefully the amount of fun we had making these songs in the studio have translated into the music. That would be sweet.
Check out the gallery here: