The Holiday Collective have travelled far from their respective homes of Launceston, Argentina, and London, nestling into a Byron Bay studio to bring their vibrant sophomore single KRIYA, out now and to life. The five-minute musical journey is beautifully layered with dynamic percussion and gentle harmonies from front man Jesse Higgs (Party In The Paddock Festival), and band member Kimi Brown (In The Flowers), floating above a driving bassline that leads into an epic flurry of rock n’ roll at the track’s close.Hi Fi Way gets to know the band in a quick Q&A.
How has the build up to your new single KRIYA been?
Jesse: Pretty intense to be honest, not in a stressful way, but in the process of actually “mastering”/finishing the song and sharing it to the world. It has marked a significant time in my life and in that regard the song has been a beautiful nemesis. KRIYA is written as an allegory, but in honesty it has mirrored this super introspective time in my life where I’ve been processing a natural end of a chapter. I’m still kinda in the metaphorical storm-like transition phase in its ending, but simultaneously I can feel the new beginning birthing and a lot like the song there has been some strong themes around life, death and rebirth – and seemingly, from the micro to the macro, with global collective consciousness shifts clearly present. This song being set free to the world feels like a bit of a rebirth moment…so yeah, intense but in growth, rewarding.
Can you tell us a little bit about the recording process?
Jesse: From the process of inspiration, the song came quickly. After briefly hearing on a podcast the sanskrit philosophy behind the word Kriya, I rushed from the car and into the garage studio where the percussive beat and driving bass-line followed in succession and that guitar chorus line sitting on top of the loop; with the lyrics “I wanna find, I wanna find my way to the day, I see the sunrise, I look with new eyes…” That’s some life-death-rebirth shit right there.
A few months later we hopped into a local Byron Bay studio (Old Dog Studios, with Allen Pegg) and recorded the track as a full live band. I’m pretty sure it was the second take, we’d played it right through a couple of times and then something special landed. At 3:55 minutes you can hear the raw live energy of THC let loose, it’s this unplanned end section play-out that came together in the studio to become the unrehearsed magic that solidified the end and transcendental experience of ‘KRIYA’. We all looked up and around at each other from our instruments, in a proper jam daze and we knew that we had the take.
Sonically, how would you describe The Holiday Collective?
Jesse: THC musical pallet is broad, pulling from a diverse group of backgrounds, but sitting somewhere between AUS indie pop, Northern Rivers mystic rock, with an additional hint of world music, namely the psychedelic underground scene of Argentina. Previous track Island leans more towards our experimentation with EDM world music, with inspiration from groups like Milky Chance, Bonobo and Marquee Moon’s Argentinian upbringing. But KRIYA really sits in that Northern Rivers mystic rock category, with tonalities of Dope Lemon, Angus & Julia Stone but from a purer derivative of idols/super groups like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fleetwood Mac. You can clearly hear us exploring our sound in this genre-melding excursion in our recent releases, but it’s the conceptual theme of our coming album *In Holiday that creates the cohesive experience of the coming debut album – set to land in October.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
Jade: Wow this is a hard one for me. I have been constantly listening to a large variety of music from day 1. Thanks Mum! Being raised by musicians armed me with a curious and keen ear for sweet melody. My drumming style was born by listening to and heavily influenced by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, and recently; Bad Bad Not Good and Khruangbin. I try to find harmony between complex and spacious time feels, there’s a state of flow there that I could happily live in.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Kimi: To live unapologetically as yourself and honour your own journey in life.
Meg: Once you stop consuming you’ll start creating.
Isaac: Ya should try and love everybody. But you don’t have to like everybody.
Jesse: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear (*we can be simultaneously the student and the teacher).
Jade: “You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world and after you walk through those doors today, you will only ever have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.” – Jim Carey
Marquee: “Record like there’s no mix and mix like there’s no master.” – Eric Coelho
How did the band get together?
Jesse/Jade: We all met in the random share-house experience of Byron Bay and soon after started making music together in a garage. The songs and songwriting are based and expanded from my musical moniker ‘Holiday’, but now have a strong sense and taste of bandmate Marquee Moon’s production flare. Marquee has a background in the well known Argentinian outfit ‘In Corp Sanctis’ who are big back in South America. Marquee and his partner Kimi Brown feature in the THC but originate from Byron DJ duo ‘In The Flowers’, Kimi’s hip hop/MC vibe bringing a lot of steeze to the collective.
Seemingly the best-known method of finding bandmates; we then moved into another share-house with 24-year-old Meg Hitchcock, a power-house vocal/80’s pop priestess from the UK. Meg brings another dimension to the THC, with a voice that soars alongside and comes from the same school of fellow Celtic witches Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine) and Hannah Reid (London Grammar) – Meg is set for big things and features in coming THC singles, including a small vocal appearance on Island.
Myself, my brother Jade and Isaac were all in the Tassie band ‘Younger Dryas’, we grew up cutting our teeth on wild east coast pub tours and returned home one year to start the Tassie favourite ‘Party in the Paddock’ music festival. YD had a great innings and we became notorious for an outrageous live show.
A lot of this existing onstage connection has transitioned into the backbone of a really tight live band for THC. Having performed together live on multiple stages for over a decade, Jade and I have been playing music together since we could wield our parent’s instruments, born into a party house of 70’s vinyl and extended family; it didn’t take us long to join the family band, with Jade on drums and me on my first instrument the harmonica, we spent most of our childhood on tour and in and out of studios with our parents and now it’s our turn.
What’s on your playlist at the moment?
Meg: Airbag – Radiohead, Holiday – Madonna, Ti-de – KOKOROKO
Isaac: Red Rocks – Carla geneve. (On looooop) Such a powerful songwriter with the ability to dissect current issues and this tune is a great example of that.
Jade: Khruangbin’s new album Mordechai, Late Night Tales by The Cinematic Orchestra, Alicia Keys Tiny Desk performance, Coldplay’s new album, Scott Mathews, Earth Gang and of course Jaja Ding Dong.
Kimi: Nont For Sale – Sudan Archives, Time – Khruangbin, Disco Hi – Life – Orlando Julius, See You Again – Tyler, The Creator, Kali Uchis, Starry Night – Peggy Gou, No Scrubs – TLC
Jesse: Whatever the THC gang is expanding into, but lately; 53:49 – Childish Gambino, Needed Me – Rihanna, CYANIDE – Daniel Caesar, Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers, Follow God – Kanye West, The Slow Rush (full album) – Tame Impala & DENNI’s latest *unreleased album – Runaways (out soon!)
Can you tell us a fun fact about each member of the band?
Kimi: I love going to dancehall classes! Any reason to shake my booty and I’m there!
Meg: I’m a black belt in Taekwondo
Isaac’s full name is: Isaac George Harario Cuthbert Chiselberry Horsefeather Williams
Jesse: Represented the state of Tasmania in AFL football
Jade: Is an actor in quite a few short films and TV ads
Marquee’s guitar is named ‘Yoshimi’ after the Flaming Lips album – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Interview By Rob Lyon