It’s time for us to introduce to you lovely people another band that we’ve been a fan of for a while. If you like the Beach Boys, The Shins, or Animal Collective, these guys are right up your alley. The Holiday Friends have been together for 8 years now, forming way back when the original members lived together while going to the University of Idaho. Their first band name was Shitty Pete and the Fux (seriously – band member Scott Fagerland laughed when he told me this) but eventually they landed on their current moniker. The house that the band rented in college was originally owned by a woman named Florence Holiday. She ran a boarding house for boys there, but eventually passed away in the house. Oddly enough, they came up with the band name prior to knowing about this! After their name was settled, their neighbor asked why they named themselves Holiday Friends and told them about Florence.
Their current lineup consists of Scott Fagerland on lead vocals and guitar, Jon Fagerland on vocals, keys and guitar, Zack O’Connor on vocals and bass, and Joey Ficken on drums and auxiliary percussion. Their upcoming album will be their second studio album, a follow up to their September 2014 release of Major Magic, which boasts the song ‘Spirit Girl.’ Check out their music video for the song here!
Holiday Friends – Spirit Girl from Jordan Halland on Vimeo.
We were lucky enough to chat with Holiday Friends!
What is the name of your new album?
What is the premise of this new album?
Scott: It’s kind of a self-indulgence really. I’ve gone through this love-hate relationship with 80’s pop, well hate-love to be more precise. I used to loathe that kind of music, and then I started to notice these amazing melodies and syncopated rhythms so with ‘Springsting’ we tried to channel that, and then of course we literally covered two songs from the 80’s (‘Your Love’, and ‘Tougher Than the Rest’) The covers aren’t straight forward though, we actually used other 80’s pop influences to change the production around from the original versions.
Note: These aren’t the only covers Holiday Friends have done. Check out this one, you may know the song:
How is it different from your other albums?
A few big reasons… it’s our first record as a 4 piece, it has covers on it, and it’s an EP which we haven’t done since our very first record work waaaay back in 2008. The band really wanted to produce something new before too much time went by, but we are in the process of making our next full length album right now.
How has your sound evolved since the start?
We’ve always held onto our roots (we’re indie rockers at heart) but we’ve gone through a lot of transformations. At first your sound really just reflects what you’re listening to at the moment, but as time goes on you start to draw from all of those influences. Ours include: The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Shins, Tears for Fears, Phil Colins, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Animal Collective, The Ruby Suns, Tears for Fears, The Outfield… this list goes on and on!
What is your song-writing process like? Do you write all together, in duos, or individually?
We mostly write individually. Scott wrote the all songs on this record, and arranged the covers, but composition we do as a whole. Everyone has feedback on how the parts should go, how it should sound etc. And that’s really what makes a song great. It’s not that hard to make some chords, words, and a melody… but arranging and composing all the parts that make a song pop is challenging, and usually takes all of our heads. Also, our next LP has songs from the other guys on it too!
What has been your favorite place to perform?
Scott: I love Mississippi Studios in Portland. Such a great atmosphere every time. The Crystal Ballroom shows we’ve been on have been really high energy and the crowds are bigger so that’s cool too.
Who has been your favorite act to perform with?
Scott: That’s a tough one, we’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with a tooon of great bands, including Vampire Weekend, The Vaccines, Vance Joy, Andrew McMahon… I don’t know…. I really can’t choose!
What has been your proudest moment as a band?
Probably releasing Major Magic in September of 2014. That album was a beeaaast and took forever to make/re-make. When it was done we were very happy with it and it really seemed to reward us with great opportunities following its release
What’s the coolest thing you’ve gotten do?
We got to play at the Fillmore in San Francisco once… it felt pretty legendary seeing the old show posters of rock and roll ‘greats’.
You can pre-order Springsting here and it will be released on March 16, 2016. In the meantime, you can also check out Holiday Friends on Soundcloud, Twitter and Facebook!