In 2007, Holy Ghost! (DFA Records) burst onto the scene with only one record to speak of. Now, three years and a few remixes later, HG! are back with an EP, an extensive multi-city tour with LCD Soundsystem, and an album on the way. In anticipation of their first appearance in Montreal, LOOKOUT recently got the chance to wax poetic with the group about their remixes, their new sound, and dangerous endangered species.
LOOKOUT: There were some fantastic HG! remixes over the last while. How does your approach to remixing other artists differ to your approach to your solo creations?
NICK (HOLY GHOST!): Sometimes it's similar, but in general as we've been working on our record there's overall concern with making something that is aesthetically cohesive. With remixes we're not thinking about a larger body of work. Each remix only has to function as a single, one time piece of work because they are for a different artist every time, are usually for stand alone singles, etc. So with remixes I think we often to go to certain sonic and/or aesthetic extremes that we don't necessarily go to with our own solo stuff.
How do you feel the new EP compares sonically to the music you were making when you first signed to DFA?
HG!: When we first "signed" to DFA the only completed song we had was "Hold On." There were a bunch of very rough demoes but nothing finished really, so there isn't a lot to compare it to. We've spent our time since then trying to figure out what we wanted Holy Ghost! to be. However, a song like "Static On The Wire" has been more or less done for almost two years now and doesn't differ drastically from the demo version that we did way back when. Sonically all the same elements are there - big, live, drums, poppy vocals, synths galore, heavily delayed guitars, etc.
Have you had any experience with Montreal before? How do you think it fits in with your overall idea of this select cities tour?
HG!: We haven't as Holy Ghost! actually, though our old band Automato played our last and perhaps best show there in the 2005. I've been through there a couple times with The Juan and we always had a good time.
Is it true you guys were among the pandas in LCD's "Drunk Girls" vid? If so, what was your favorite part of terrorizing your labelmates?
HG!: True. Alex and I are the first two pandas you see on screen. The whole day was really fun but the worst/best part for me was spraying Pat in the face with fire extinguisher. Worst because when I first did it I really thought I'd hurt him and almost ruined the video by taking my mask off to check on him (which you can see if you look closely). Best because he was fine and, well, I got to spray him in the face with a fire extinguisher. Payback for years of being made fun of for how softly I play drums.
Interviewed by Rowan Spencer (Paper Route)