Who: Graham Walsh and onetime By Divine Right guitarist Brian Borcherdt, two music geeks from Toronto who started Holy Fuck as a side project aimed at approximating the sound of electronic music with real live instruments.
Sounds Like: A hip Seventies stoner dance party come to life. The band's two official members plus a rotating rhythm section create ambient but spastic (and strangely groovey) instrumental electro noise rock with an array of what Walsh affectionately terms "toy keyboards and junk and things that made weird sounds." Onstage, they hover over keyboards, pedals and even what appears to be an old film projector, twisting knobs and pounding at keys while a drummer and bassist help hold together their improvised jams.
Three Things You Should Know:
1. Holy Fuck travel with a lot of gear, and their live show looks like a potentially dangerous electrical closet. "That's my way of nerding out and getting my gear jollies," Walsh explains of the band's messy, wire-covered stage setup. "Initially we were put across as a band that plays toy instruments," he recalls. "I think our music goes much deeper than us playing toy instruments. I don't want to seem like the Blue Man Group."
2. If you bring Holy Fuck your favorite weird instrument, they'll try to play it. "A fan once had a cool toy keyboard at home they weren't using so they brought it out and we're like, 'Hey, I thought you guys could use this.' And it actually turned out to be really cool instrument that I use a lot," Walsh says. "We initially had this idea where we would invite fans or people if they wanted to bring something out we'd try to incorporate it into the set that night. That was more when we were fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants improv and now we have more of a set. We'd still do it though."
3. The group has been playing together since 2004 and toured extensively the old fashioned way: by driving crap vans from town to town. "We are four dudes driving in a van together but it's awesome," Walsh explains. "I'm starting to worry that I'm the worst driver. There seems to be a lot more questioning going on when I'm driving. I get really distracted. But Brian can be a bit of a lead food on the pedal too."
Get It: Holy Fuck's sophomore album, titled simply LP, is due October 23rd. You can also check out the band's sound on their MySpace page.
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies