Mu­sic

Esquire (Singapore) - - Front Page -

Har­vard is a way to take my re­search into a prac­ti­cal form,” says Hol­land, who is mar­ried to Am­ber Sasse and has a daugh­ter Lex Land from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage who is also a singer/song­writer.

“I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in vi­rol­ogy and wanted to con­trib­ute in some small way to the knowl­edge which has been learned about HIV and AIDS,” he says. “Over 35 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide are cur­rently in­fected and liv­ing with the HIV virus. Over one mil­lion peo­ple a year die from this dis­ease.”

Hol­land was just 29 at the time of mak­ing Smash with his band mates at Track Records in North Hol­ly­wood. They had USD20,000 to make the al­bum and did it in 10 days to keep their record la­bel Epi­taph [founded by Brett Gure­witz of Bad Re­li­gion fame] happy.

“The songs were com­ing more eas­ily for us at that point as we had al­ready re­leased Ig­ni­tion, but the record­ing process felt rushed,” re­flects Hol­land. “Epi­taph re­ally wanted it out at a cer­tain time and we were all jug­gling jobs and school. It was a crazy thing to do by to­day’s stan­dards. Nowa­days ev­ery­one has a stu­dio at home and you can work on some­thing for two years if you want to, but back then we were a small band on a small la­bel and that was all we could af­ford. I re­mem­ber feel­ing like I needed a cou­ple more days but got it done any­way. Our first al­bum sold 15,000 copies and this went on to sell 11 mil­lion copies world­wide. It was mind­blow­ing and life chang­ing.”

When it came to writ­ing the songs, Hol­land says the ideas came to him away from the stu­dio.

“Be­ing in­spired to write a song isn’t easy and they don’t al­ways come to you when you want them to,” he ex­plains. “I re­mem­ber writ­ing ‘Self-Es­teem’ and the melody pop­ping in my head when I woke one morn­ing. It was al­most like I dreamed it in a way. Some­times when you’re barely asleep you have your most creative ideas. I wrote the cho­rus in my car com­mut­ing to school.”

Hol­land says his par­ents wished his band would be noth­ing more than a phase, but he’s proved oth­er­wise and forged a suc­cess­ful tour­ing ca­reer ever since.

“My par­ents were sup­port­ive but they did hope I would get over the idea of be­ing in a band,” he says. “No punk bands ever re­ally made it. It was un­heard of. I did think I should stay

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