Monday, 13 May 2013

The return of Holiday Murray

 This interview was originally published in Perdeby on 13 May 2013.

                                                                                                                                                PHOTO: Christelle Duvenage

“With any creative relationship, it requires some time to get perspective. That’s definitely made us realise how important it is to play music together and also to give us time to soak up more inspiration.”
Holiday Murray’s bassist Chris Carter is talking about the Cape Town band’s six-month hiatus, a sabbatical of sorts, while he ventured off to India for a while.
Soak up inspiration they did, and now, with mysterious Tanzanian stick man traveller Murray in tow, and a 600 km journey through the night from Durban behind them, they are at Park Acoustics. Arms woven together, the band huddles ritualistically before taking to the stage.

What’s the huddle all about? “It’s a secret,” says lead guitarist Justin Davenport later with a mischievous smile. “Something happens.”
Whatever it is, the foursome delivers a labyrinth of intricate sound, a declaration of intent, an invitation to go on an illusory journey.
Their particular journey started when the band released their self-titled debut album in 2011. Two years later, Holiday Murray is five tracks into their follow-up release. The band is toying with the idea of recording two EPs this time around, with the money from the first one intended to fund the second. A limited vinyl edition is also on the cards.
“I think it’s going to be a double-headed album and we want to look at the interplay between two different styles,” explains Davenport.
                                                                          PHOTO: Christelle Duvenage
The band wants to delve into two worlds with these different styles, the one exploring a velvety, complex sound while the other dips into a bigger, boisterous, rock ‘n’ roll one. “We’re still exploring, we’re just playing. We’re not too serious. We’re still young,” says Davenport.

                                                                           PHOTO: Christelle Duvenage
They’re recording their new material with producer TeeJay Terblanche at his Coffee Stained Vinyl Studios in Cape Town, but they are thinking of experimenting with their own recording methods too. The band is still throwing around the idea of
having a more produced sound with bigger, edgier songs and then taking a DIY approach to the rest of the material.
Either way, they are steering their sound into a direction quite different from the one that their immensely popular first song “Jirey” pushed them into.
“It’s not necessarily that we don’t want to make happy music, but there are a whole range of devotions and ideas that we want to come through that aren’t just happy-go-lucky, make-you-dance music,” explains Carter.

“As different as it is to us, it might be different to other people and that’s cool. We want to keep on surprising people. We’re going to continue making music that makes us happy and if it makes other people happy, then it’s an absolute bonus,” says drummer Ellis Silverman.
When it comes to lyrical content, Davenport says, Holiday Murray’s music has always been quite metaphorical. A lot of the time it gets lost in the spaces between the band’s multi-layered sound.
“We talk about a lot of things that have relevance to us and the way we see the world,” says Davenport. “They often come out quite ...”
 “... abstract,” offers Carter.

Overall, though, Holiday Murray have never chosen to tackle any specific topic through their music. “It’s just a journey of words and poetry,” says Davenport.
And to finish this new journey that they are embarking on, they are heading back home to Cape Town. Rather unconventionally, they’re doing so by train.
“The scenery is absolutely unbelievable,” says Silverman. “The number of times you look out into the absolute nothingness and just think, ‘F**k!’ That’s all you really think. Well I do, at least.”
“I had a few deeper thoughts,” retorts Carter comically. “I bet you did. Do you care to share?” says Silverman looking back at him.
“Not really,” is the reply he gets.

Watch a live performance video of Holiday Murray playing two of their new songs at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town, courtesy of we-are-awesome. 

BOOTLEG | Holiday Murray - Live at Kirstenbosch from we-are-awesome on Vimeo.

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