Holiday Parade is a name that is slowly popping up more and more throughout our scene and 2011 may just be their year. The band just recently finished recording their new album with Matt Malpass (Lydia, Cute Is What We Aim For) and will be heavily pushing it in the spring. Andy Albert took the time to answer some questions regarding Holiday Parade’s last EP, working with Malpass, a release month, and touring, among other things. Enjoy the read!
Holiday Parade released an acoustic EP, Tickets And Passports, last spring. How has the reception to that been nearly a year later?
It’s been great. The feedback has been awesome. We did a similar thing in between the release of ‘This is My Year’ and ‘Tickets & Passports’ and it was very well received. To us it was the perfect segue into what we were doing next, and also could help tide everyone over between releases.
Was there any reason that the band decided to record acoustic versions of the tracks instead of getting into new material last year?
I’ve always been a big fan of stripped down/acoustic renditions of songs I love. I feel often when you cut down all of the layers of production and are left with the song in its most simplistic, bare bones form, you can really get a feel for the heart of the songwriting. That EP was such a pleasure to make because of this. A good bit of it was done live, and the rest was all performance tracked, to maintain feeling. It was a nice departure from the versions on ‘Tickets & Passports’, which had a much more polished feel to them.
The band only did some minimal touring last year. Was there any specific reason for that? And how were the select dates?
Honestly, we have shifted our focus as a band a bit. We have always operated independent of any label support. Unfortunately, one of the few drawbacks being a true independent artist has is the lack of tour support. We toured pretty regularly for about 2 years, and got to a point where we all found our time was better spent writing than killing ourselves on the road for several months out of the year. We have tried to do a few tours every year for our fans, among some international dates, but our focus is not currently on touring as full-time as it was a few years ago. The shows we did do last year were incredible. We went to Japan for the first time, which was totally eye-opening. We also did a few college shows around the US which were also great. Other than that though, we have been hard at work writing and perfecting this new EP.
We’re chatting now because the band is finishing up their new record. When did the writing process for it start?
It’s interesting, this group of songs has been a work in progress over the past few years. The oldest being a song we decided to cut from ‘Tickets & Passports’ for various reasons (Gone), was written in late 2007. The bulk of it however was written last fall/winter.
How would you compare the writing to prior releases and Tickets & Passports specifically?
I feel like this time around we all have much firmer of a vision of exactly what Holiday Parade is. In the past we kind of just wrote whatever we felt like, without much of an overall vision. This time around, having so much time to put these songs together, and really assess what we liked and didn’t like throughout the process, we had the chance to really define ourselves as a band. These songs are more ‘HP’.
What about more of a general sound? Will there be a lot of acoustics on this as well, like in the acoustic release of Tickets & Passports?
Actually not really at all. There are 4 songs (out of the 7) that have an acoustic guitar, but it’s far less featured than we have in the past. This record as a whole is a lot more electric driven.
Holiday Parade is working with Matt Malpass for this release. Matt has of course done work with Lydia, Copeland, and Cute Is What We Aim For. Both the band and Matt are from the same area, but how did working with him come together?
I had the chance to do a song for this compilation called ‘Rockin Romance’ last spring, and it called for us doing a cover of any love song we liked. The label releasing it gave us a budget for it, and I found it was the perfect opportunity to finally work with Matt. The song turned out great, and we loved his style and attitude in the studio. So we decided to do 4 of the 7 on this release with him. We also did 2 with Paul Reeves up in Athens, GA (Micah Dalton, Nathan Angelo) and 1 with Paul Barber in Bethesda, MD (My Favorite Highway, Steve Moakler). I think all around the combination of producers made the record more diverse and well-rounded.
How was your time with him in the studio, and is there anything in particular that you took away from working with him?
Our time with Matt was amazing. He is such a pleasure to work with, and such an incredible engineer/producer. I would highly recommend anyone to him. Matt’s production has a great balance between being polished and natural/real. I learned a lot about how to find that balance and make it work.
The band started a Kickstarter with a $5,000 goal to be able to create the record, and the goal was actually beat by over $1,000. How did that feel when you saw that, and was it at all surprising?
Kickstarter is a great program that is going to reshape the music industry over the next few years. I was blown away by the amount of support our fans gave in making this album come to life. In the future, as labels fall deeper and deeper into this endless pit, programs like this are going to help usher in the age of the independent artist. Bands are going to be able to build a following/tour/fund releases on their own easier than ever. It will bring the fans and the artists together in all sorts of new ways. Thats why we found this whole campaign so intriguing. It gave us the chance to put together exclusive opportunities for fans that we could never afford to do on our own.
This isn’t the first time Holiday Parade has worked with a distinguished producer. In the past, the band recorded with Zac and Kenneth, who have worked with many popular artists and bands in the scene. How would you compare working with them in the past to working with Matt now?
Work with ZK and Matt has been nothing but pleasurable. They all know exactly what they are doing and handle themselves super professionally in the studio. They definitely have different approaches, but are each amazing at what they do. Nothing but love for all of those guys.
How many tracks should we be looking for on this release?
There will be 7 on the US release and 10 in Japan.
When would the band like to have it out by?
We are shooting for a release date in mid-late April. The single will be coming out real soon though.
Has there been any label chatter for this release? Is that a road Holiday Parade would consider going down?
We have had some talk about releasing it through a label. But nothing too serious. It will be coming out on Twilight Records in Japan, and potentially on a label in the UK as well, but as far as in the US we will most likely release it independently. Who knows what will happen though, we are certainly open to offers if the right one comes along.
As we mentioned before, the band hardly got out on the road in 2010. Should we see that changing any time soon for 2011?
We are doing a good bit of international stuff this summer, which I can’t release the details of yet, but it should be very exciting. As far as the US we don’t have plans for it at the moment, but that all may chance very soon.
Thanks so much for your time, is there anything else that you’d like to add or that be should be on the lookout for?
Thanks Zack for having me. You have a great site here. The single will be out in a few weeks! Can’t wait to show you all what we have been working on.