This Holiday Life

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Recently, I’ve had the chance to do an e-mail interview with Bobby, from one of my favorite bands, This Holiday Life. Read the interview, and enjoy it.

1) Please introduce yourself, and state your role in This Holiday
Life. Please also tell us about any previous musical projects you’ve
been involved with.

Bobby: I play the bass. Been in some bands before, namely Donkey
Talk, with Scott. Joe was in a band called Speaking of Aslan and
played the Kazoo in Pewee Herman’s side project.. And Mark played
drums in NCM.



2) When and how did THL form?


Bobby: THL fell together in 2003 in Encinitas, CA. Four comments
fell from the skies. The band became knit on dreams and creative
collaboration.



3) What’s been happening with the band between the release of
“Friction” and the release of “The Beginning of The End of the World”?


Bobby: soul searching. we made friction and then hit the road.
Since our tour with Switchfoot (which happened the previous spring)
we’ve been trying to flesh out raw songs with live energy. While we
were on tour with Waking Ashland, Brighten and Lydia last summer we
decided that FRICTION, while a great record, didn’t have the same
live translation. In September of 06 we crawled into San Diego and
immediately started writing and demoing songs with hopes of releasing
another record in 07. From OCT 06 til FEB of 07 we wrote, tracked,
recorded, re-tracked and reconstructed songs, until we had a list of
35 to 50 solid song options. We signed a record deal in Feb.
Recorded the Beginning of the End of the World in March. At one
point, in one of those months we filmed a pod-cast in the woods and
all came home diseased with poison oak. Joe, apparently is not
susceptible to it’s charm.



4) Is there an over-all theme to the new record, or does the theme
differ between songs? What inspired the lyrics behind these new songs?


Bobby: The title infers Apocalypse theology, but that is not our hope
or intention. We believe in a world where things actually
miraculously improve, though science and progress prove the
opposite. When the boat of imagination sails the seas of
possibility, the mind starts to wonder if something like this is
possible – a renewal of life, a betterment … from religion,
spirituality, politics, wars, environmental responsibility and a new
America. This is the “Beginning of the End of the World.” So, this
record starts here, at this pinnacle of living and evaluates where we
are now… living in holes, searching the cosmos for meaning, going
at it like hypocrites – all the wrong way with megaphones, judgement
and damnation, shooting each other in the back, feeding our animal-
like tendencies, loosing our drive in lilies and treasure maps,
ultimately finding spiritual regeneration, and yet learning how be
and live alone, loosing those you love and trying to figure out what
happened to the golden rule.



5) What were your favorite songs to write and record for the new
album? Would you say they are the same as your favorite songs to play live?


Bobby: A yes, Not a No and Mission Control to My Heart were very
natural. The songs changed very little upon our initial instinct.
They both carry great energy live, and A Yes, sways and swags like
some great song from the late 60’s. Animal was definitely an
Animal. It almost didn’t make the record, and now it’s a band
favorite. We haven’t tried to pull it off live yet, but i can’t
wait. Undercover is a complete blast as well. It’s got attitude.
At one point this fall, Joe picked up a megaphone backstage in
Dallas and sang through it on the “this is your last chance” lyric.
it was really fitting. like rubber gloves.



6) Do you have any tour plans in the works to support “The Beginning
of The End of The World”?

Bobby: next year should be pretty busy.  we’ve had a lot of good
feedback and excitement about the record.

7) As far as I know, THL has played every Switchfoot Bro-Am since the
beginning. Can we expect to see you there next summer?


of course. if we’re invited, we’ll be there.



8) THL has been involved in various charities in the past, including
the Bro-Am ; and a while back you slept on the streets for the
less-fortunate kids in Africa. Are you presently doing any charity
work? If not, do you have plans to?


Bobby: Yeah man, you know (I say with a sigh) this is a big dream of
mine and i wish it was a reality more. There are a few organizations
that make us crazy for life, as musicians, and standing up for them
is really needed and natural. We always speak highly about the
things that the Invisible Children are doing, as well as Carehouse in
Encinitas, and To Write Love on Her Arms. I feel like i’m supposed
to be doing more…but that door really hasn’t presented itself and
frankly, i don’t know how to knock it down.



9) THL has played with bands such has Switchfoot, Copeland, and Waking
Ashland, all of which are associated with the Christian music industry
to a degree. You also have partnerships with 7spin and Provident, both
Christian labels. Are all of you, if any, Christians? If so, would you
consider yourselves a “Christian” band.


Bobby: Depends. I decided a few months ago that i was always going
to change my answer to this question. If you’re a Christian, then
no, we’re Not a christian band and if you’re not one, then we are.
It’s a really complicated situation, and America has really fought to
put a label on this. I have a huge reverence for mystery and the
unknown. I’m tired of pretending i understand everything, by putting
a label on it We are signed to a label that pushes bands in the
Christian Market – 7 Spin. They, however, are not pushing our band
to that market. The reasoning behind that is that we didn’t record a
“Christian Single.” Therefore, we cannot exist in the Christian
Market. It’s just a matter of words and designation and
categorization By genre, we are a rock/pop/alternative band. you
might find us in a Christian book store and you might find us at your
local music retailer.

If we want to talk about the idea of Lordship and statement of faith,
then the matter is all the more complicated. yet, very exciting. To
call a band a gospel band, in that sense, seems to suggest something
deep about the band and it’s musical interpretation. I’m not sure
if that’s our band, but it’s definitely an ideal we are striving
for. I can speak for myself and my band mates. Jesus is constantly
bringing profound change in our lives. It’s a lot hardship and
tension, with a few smiles thrown in. If to be a Christian is to
say that my life is under the complete umbrella of the Lordship and
Reign of Jesus, then i feel uncomfortable, cause i know that i am in
fact a follower of Jesus…just a really bad one. I just think it
makes more sense for us to talk about our beliefs from this vantage
point. Consider us a band that. Consider us soul searchers, with
voids and doubts and people who collectively and individually need
Jesus.

I hope that doesn’t answer your question, or kinda does and kinda
doesn’t.


10) What is THL’s mission as a band? What are your long and short-term
goals you hope to accomplish through your music?


We’d love to kiss the world with our reverb. Level it with our bass
drum. Give it rhythm with our snare, kick and grit p bass
syncopation. Put a melody in it’s head with our song and a thought
on it’s brain with our lyric. Sing it awake and to sleep … but all
of that is just romantic and ideal… we just keep working hard,
making good songs that we believe in and play as many dates as we
can. Goals, resumes and that other stuff bores me. We have them,
but you don’t want to hear about it. Hope you like our songs and i
promise, we are trying to come to your town (and that’s directed to
everyone).


11) What is your favorite local venue to play? A lot of your shows are
played locally, so I would think you start to recognize a lot of
people from show to show, and maybe even get to know them a little,
which would be pretty cool for the band and the audience. Is this
true?


Bobby: Oh, hands down. The Belly Up in Solana Beach. And yeah, our
fans are amazingly friendly to us. And we’ve always aspired to be
friendly as well.



12) What occupies your guys’ time outside of music? Any jobs or
other interests?


Bobby: Scott and Joe design websites. They are both really good.
Scott is almost a dad. Joe studies wine, tea and drives a motor
cycle. Mark is Chandler Bing from friends and takes great photos.
I work with tools and write poems.



13) What’s been playing the most on your iPod/stereo/car recently, and
what is your favorite record of ’07?


Bobby: Delta Spirit – Ode to the Sunshine, Bob Dylan – Brining it All
Back Home – The Delta Spirit record has completely won my affection
this year.



14) What is your most anticipated record for next year?


Bobby: The Schwank – Joe Freeman’s Side Project


15)How did you get your nicknames?



Bobby: Let me quote Jack Kerouac, “I’ll say keys, cause, there’s
lotsa keys, but one hive for the bees.” And well, one day in the
van, after driving for an unspeakably long time, i told the boys,
“don’t mess with b hive, he’ll getcha.” and i did.


16) Last words/Final comments


Bobby: it’s amazing for us to be writing songs and explaining
ourselves to others. Thanks for thinking about us, in wide black sea
of compelling songs.


Well, that’s the interview. I hope you liked it. THL’s latest album, The Beginning of The End of the World, is well worth any money you might have, so go buy it here. One option is to buy the hard copy and the downloads for just $9.99, or only the downloads for $7.77. Trust me. It is way more than worth that money.


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