[Exclusive] HOLYCHILD: Photos, Interview & US Tour Playlist
Speaking on the phone from who-knows-where in the Midwest, I recently had the chance to chat with HOLYCHILD in the midst of their first North American tour. You’d be hard pressed to find more sincere, thought provoking, and fun music than what Liz Nistico and Louie Diller have created fresh off of their new EP “Mindspeak.” Crackly sounds from both ends of the interview on speakerphone, they told me how their first tour was shaping and unfolding, an unexpected restaurant gem of a find, and a strange dance they do before each show that I’m still trying to imagine.
KKS: To begin with a more basic question- how’s tour going so far?
Louie: It’s been good! The east coast was crazy in terms of everything happening all at once. Just going to all these new cities and towns we’ve never been to- I’m still learning a lot of new things in terms of the US, well, I’m definitely a nerd in that way about that stuff.
KKS: I think that’s cool- there’s a kind of self-reflection in driving and being on the road and you can’t really get away from that.
Liz: Yeah, exactly.
KKS: Who’re you also touring with?
Liz: We’re touring with two bands. Opening for us is Pagiin who are so awesome, and then after us is Sleeper Agent- their live show is great.
Louie: The other bands are really nice people, too.
KKS: Louie, you mentioned cities earlier- were there any in particular that you loved? Any standout shows?
Louie: A standout show, and a highlight so far, was playing the MoMA in New York. That was pretty special. To have your art accepted into the MoMA…I don’t know it still feels like a dream- I don’t know if it happened. The whole thing was very magical.
In terms of a city Lansing, Michigan, has this really awesome diner called the Golden Harvest. If you ever find yourself in Lansing, Michigan, you must go to the Golden Harvest. It’s kind of a punk rock diner if that makes any sense? There’s lots of garage punk, ska, and hip-hop. The foods amazing- yeah, it’s just an awesome vibe.
KKS: How did you find that? Was it just a hole-in-the-wall?
Louie: Just on Yelp!
Liz: That was the first time we had eaten a meal in four or five days.
KKS: Oh my gosh-
Liz: I know- it’s crazy! Since then we’ve made it a point to eat meals. That was the beginning of the tour. We had stocked up on food before leaving- rice cakes, fruit, boiled eggs, kale- which we’d been picking on, but finally when we were in Lansing we were pretty exhausted and we just….needed to eat. It’s been cool just getting to know the cities when we do have a little time after we get to venues. The venues are usually in pretty cool places.
KKS: Has there been a favorite venue so far? You mentioned the MoMA, but anywhere else in particular that was just really beautiful?
Liz: The MoMA was definitely a highlight of my life (laughs). Beyond that we played at this really crazy venue last night. It was the old building built in the 20s. It just had this really haunting feel to it. I don’t know how large it was in terms of stories, but it was huge! It took up an entire block. In the very basement there was a pool and we went down there- it was so eerie. We’d heard from people who would say, “Oh, you’re playing at The Rave,” you know? People had told us about the pool and about the maze below. There were so many different passageways to get from one place to the other, so that was cool to explore that building last night.
KKS: That pool just makes me think of the scene in “It’s Wonderful Life” where everybody falls into it at the dance.
Liz: Yeah! This pool was really weird. There was no water in it and it was all white, but an old yellow white.
KKS: You were talking about how you brought snacks before- is there anything else you brought that’s been helpful? Anything you didn’t realize you’d need?
Liz: Hmm, my suitcase is so small this time, but I think I still brought too much clothing. I end up wearing the same three outfits, but then my show outfits are different. I definitely over packed normal, day clothing. I don’t know, what do you think?
Louie: Yeah, she packed some weights, too, I guess to do some lifting?
KKS: You packed weights?!
Louie: Actually the weights have been kind of awesome!
Liz: The ones I bought in Philadelphia are only two pounds, but when Rafi, our bassist, put my suitcase in the car the next day I was like, “Hey does my bag feel heavier?” and he was like, “Yeah, it does,” and I just started laughing as I told him I’d put weights in it.
Liz: It is nice being in US- my mom actually came to Boston and brought me this amazing, white faux fur coat that she wore on her wedding day.
KKS: Oh, that’s so special!
Liz: I know! I’m still so paranoid about getting it dirty.
KKS: Do you do anything before you go on stage?
Louie: We try and do a group huddle and we take a shot for more special shows. We play some pre-show music (see playlist below!).
Liz: This is what we do: when we can, we put on “Second Summer” by YACHT and we all dance around the room. There’s this crazy dance that we do that includes having one arm above your head as if you were hanging-
Louie: As if your head was attached to your arms-it’s kind of an original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dance.
Liz: So we do that dance, but sometimes it’s so rushed that we can’t, but we try to do that before every show.
KKS: Well you should definitely consider putting that into the choreography for your next video.
Liz: Oh, totally- I should! It’s pretty crazy. When did we start doing this? Right, we started doing this at CMJ.
KKS: And, lastly, what inspired these photos?
Liz: We did a photo shoot with this amazing photographer, Shayan Asgharnia, who I admire, but his style is very different to ours. It was fun because we essentially got to style it ourselves. It’s just another avenue for us to collaborate and work with other people we respect and to see what comes out of it.
Check out the photos below, the tour playlist they made for Kick Kick Snare, and catch HOLYCHILD on tour: