theaussieword.com catches up with Oscar Dawson from HOLY HOLY.
Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music?
Queen. Queen had me first interested in music. Then my parents bought me a guitar. They probably assumed I’d turf it aside, but once I got over the initial hurdle (‘what does this thing do?’), it swiftly became an obsession.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
It’s hard to tell these days. Sometimes it’s hunger; sometimes it’s sadness. Sometimes it’s the need to escape. I think it’s important to have something outside of yourself to drive you forward; something immaterial. So, thinking about it that way, music is like a companion, and songs are like conversations. Most of the time, maintaining that relationship is enough.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
To never stop moving forward. Not sure if that counts as a goal, in so far as that it’s ever-changing.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
Yes. We are touring through January, within Australia. Sydney; Melbourne; Brisbane; Newcastle; Adelaide and Perth. In support of our latest single ‘A Heroine’. Then, toward the middle of the year, we’re doing some shows with Vance Joy. They’ll be massive shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. He tends to sell a lot of tickets. After that – I’d like to get back overseas again.
Success, what is the secret to it?
The biggest secret is that there isn’t a secret. No magic route there. Some people hit gold on their first outing; others toil for years. Some people are naturally gifted; others less so. Most successful people work hard. A lot of successful people fail a bit too. I have had plenty of failed attempts, and I’m always aware that there probably won’t ever be a moment where I’ll sit back and smell the roses. With that in mind, in a sense, there is no success; just movement.
What has been your biggest career highlight?
Hard to say. I haven’t really thought about that too much. Selling out our recent show in London was pretty cool.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
To take the question in its stricter sense, it’s hard to answer. I don’t generally find the bigger stars inspiring. Not to say I don’t think they have something to offer – in many cases, they do. I suppose I do have a soft spot for Sia. She is one of the bigger names who I have a lot of respect for. She seems to be a strong writer and has an incredible voice.
Any new projects in the pipeline?
Always. Both Tim and I work away at other things – he runs a festival in Tasmania named ‘A Festival Called Panama’. I work in production and song-writing. I do a bunch of music with my partner, Ali Barter. We have a new single coming out soon, and an album to follow next year. Also I work with Ben Wright Smith, an artist local to Melbourne. A single coming out for him too. Aside from that, I try to write with different people. It’s always enjoyable seeing what other people bring to the process. Everyone’s different. It’s a wonderful thing.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
If only I could plan it. I’d like to spend some more time collaborating with different artists. Writing more. I’d like to score a few feature-length films over the next couple of years. Spending some more time writing overseas would be grand. Continuing the never-ending project that is ‘building my studio (man cave)’ is another desire.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Fave Aussie musical artists – Nick Cave, Kevin Parker.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
I feel great about certain things, and not so great about others. Overall, however, I don’t really think about the industry in any one specific way. It’s so varied, for starters, and either way, I can’t exert a great deal of influence over it. Most of the influence is wielded by the desires of the music listening public, which is a great thing. For example; streaming. I am pro-streaming. I love streaming. It’s great. It’s convenient. Sure – we don’t earn heaps from it, but if it was more expensive, people wouldn’t do it, and then we would earn even less. In any case, I don’t really think of my band as a profit-making entity (not that I’d be opposed to it). I try to earn money other ways, and use that to feed the things I really love doing.
HOLY HOLY ‘A HEROINE’ AUSTRALIAN TOUR
FRI 15 JAN | OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY NSW
SAT 16 JAN |THE CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE NSW
THU 21 JAN | THE ROSEMOUNT, PERTH WA
FRI 22 JAN | FAT CONTROLLER, ADELAIDE SA
FRI 29 JAN | CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE VIC
SAT 30 JAN | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD