Originally published for Wonderland.
They may have only been together for a couple of years but Glasgow four-piece Holy Esque have quickly wowed crowds with their unique sound and enthralling live performances. Since the release of their first EP last year, the band have received regular airplay from Radio 1′s Ally McCrae and Huw Stephens, all of which resulted in their first ever Glastonbury performance on the BBC Introducing stage this summer. Wonderland spoke to frontman Pat Hynes ahead of the band’s upcoming mini-tour at the end of the month.
How did you all meet and decide to form Holy Esque?
Myself and Keir had been speaking of starting a project for some time. We met through mutual friends: Hugo worked in a bar with me and Ralph went to art school with Keir, so it all fell in to place fairly smoothly.
Your latest single ‘St.’ was released in March, so what have you been up to since then?
A whole lot. We came out of March with that single and SXSW behind us. Since then we’ve doubled our back catalogue, recorded new material and played a few festivals, including Glastonbury, so we’re on the right track.
You’ve had a lot of praise since the release of your EP but you’re still unsigned – has it just been a case of not finding the right label to fit and just taking your time with it so you know you’ve made the right decision?
Everything in music is a mystery within a mystery so it takes a great deal of time to see through that and make sense of simple situations. I’m sure when the time is right everything will be clearer for you and us.
How do you deal with all the attention – are you one of those bands that thrives on it or do you try and detach yourself from it and not really think about it?
I wouldn’t say we thrive on it or detach ourselves. It’s never been a thing that we try and focus on. Obviously when you’re given praise for something it’s natural to feel good about it but I think it’s very easy for bands nowadays to get caught up in a storm of their own self-importance, in turn forgetting what they’re actually there for in the first place. That being said, I think it’s healthy not to over think attention.
It’s very difficult to come across bands with a truly unique sound anymore but a lot of people talk about the uniqueness of your music – how did you come across and develop your sound?
There was never a set plan or blue print for Holy Esque when we began. It was more like a garage band to begin with, in the sense of noise in an empty space but it’s progressed so much since then. I can’t explain it, I guess it’s the result of four people getting together and literally seeing what happens.
You just played Glastonbury for the first time on the BBC Introducing stage, which I can imagine is a pretty big moment for a band – how was it?
Glastonbury was amazing. It’s not like any other festival I’ve been to. Ally McCrae at Radio 1 was kind enough to put us forward for the BBC Introducing stage and I think we made the most of it. Hopefully we’ll be back next year.
Have you been working on putting together an album at all?
We’ve been recording a lot of new material recently which sounds really good. It’s all quite progressive. As far as albums go, who can say – the songs are there.
You worked with Kevin Burleigh (Glasvegas, Simple Minds) on the EP and on ‘St.’ – do you have any plans to work with him again in the future? You seem to make a pretty good pairing.
We share a mutual understanding over what the band is trying to achieve. It can be very difficult to find a producer who simply ‘gets’ the band and when you find someone who can truly bring out the best in a project it would be careless to look elsewhere at such an early stage.
You have a few live dates coming up quite soon – will you be debuting any new material at these shows?
There’s a big possibility that the next set will be dominated by new material.
Holy Esque play Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in London on 29th August. holyesque.com