AN AXE GRINDER
They are fond of a good guitar solo and don’t mind letting rip about the merits of some other big-name artists – just call them Judge Shred
Holy Holy are up for killing sacred cows. Tim Carroll and Oscar Dawson may be in a serious band with serious band shots and a commitment-to-bow-beforethe-song that rivals Arcade Fire but the two musicians from Brisbane and Melbourne like to shred.
“It’s surprising when my bandmates say ‘Yeah, play a guitar solo!’ because over the course of my career I’ve been conditioned to think that guitar solos are just what wankers used to do in the ’70s and ’80s,” says Dawson, composer and guitarist in the earnest folk rock band that draws other comparisons to Mumford and Sons and Radiohead, particularly for the stand-out track History on their debut album When the Storms Would Come.
“I was taught that tasteful guitar playing should be about being understated and serving the song but f--- it, guitar solos are awesome. Killer Queen has my favourite guitar solo, I love how Eddie Van Halen shreds on Michael Jackson’s Beat It too.” Dawson has an issue with Kirk Hammet’s solo in Metallica’s One though. “It’s so unmusical.” Dawson’s partner in the band is singer and composer Carroll, he of the bushranger beard. Holy Holy’s numbers swell to five when they hit the road with drummer Ryan Strathie (Hungry Kids Of Hungary), bassist Graham Ritchie (Emma Louise), and Brisbane-based producer Matt Redlich on keys.
Time to slay a few more sacred cows. “In the early 2000s when the retro-rock bands were really big I always thought all of them doing the Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin style of music were doing the rock’n’roll I’d grown up with … but without the good bits,” he says.
Name names. “If I wanted to listen to retro rock I would listen to the real thing ... not Wolfmother and Jet,” he says. Holy Holy and Govs, Elsewhere, Surfers Paradise, tomorrow night
Holy Holy love few things better than a decent dose of guitar solo.