Holy Springs must have gotten hold of a time machine somehow. I don’t see how else they picked up that perfect 90s dream tone of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, and Spacemen 3. Yet upon their return to the present they added even more fuzzy wool to the mix, making E.A.T. into a mega hazy experience that will make you feel like the walls are made out of cotton candy and your chair has come alive to swallow you whole…
The voices whisper sweet and nasty things in your ear while the songs leech their way into your subconscious. Get ready to hum along to Surprise, Believe It, and I Want You, whether you like it or not. Sure, you know this sound, you know the good old shoegaze adagium, but this performance is so spot on, so damn well executed that if you had any apprehension meeting yet another ‘gaze band you will let it go immediately after that guitar hits your cranium.
You will swallow those horse size pills and that chair will swallow you, and you will like it that way. Holy Springs will EAT you, and you will savor every bite.
So let’s meet the band! Here’s Neil Atkinson Jr, Maria Bellucci, and Suzanne Sims introducing themselves and explaining how E.A.T. got so freaking awesome…
Hi Holy Springs! How are you doing these days?
Neil: We’re good thanks. Excited about the album being out and playing live. Also relieved it has had a positive response!
Can you please introduce the band; where are you from, how did you meet?
Neil: I’m the guitarist and somewhat singer! Maria plays bass and keyboards and Suzanne plays drums. I was born in Hampshire but have moved around quite a bit. I’ve known Suzanne for a long time playing music and going to see bands. Me and Maria met in Italy at a music festival (Beaches Brew).
Maria: I’m from South Italy.
Suzanne: Neil and I have been playing music together about ten years or so.
What are your musical backgrounds?
Neil: I started playing guitar in my late teens. I grew up listening to punk and garage bands as well as the classic rock bands. Then as I grew up I discovered bands like the Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Spacemen 3 etc and they really influenced how I play guitar and write music now.
Maria: I used to play the keyboard when I was a child. I’ve only recently started playing the bass (a few years ago).
Suzanne: Bit of a late starter, I didn’t begin playing the drums until my mid/late 20s. I play in Dead Rabbits and have been in a couple of friends’ musical projects. Before drumming, I played clarinet at school and guitar at college. It’s better for everyone that I don’t sing.
Where do you live, and how would you say that influences your sound?
Neil: Me and Maria live in South London. It’s hard to say if it influences the music. I think a band’s sound usually comes from their musical tastes.
Suzanne: I live in Southampton. I don’t think the location influences my sound, but there’s a really good community of musicians, all various styles, and it’s nice to hang out and support each other.
What does a typical day in your lives look like?
Neil: We all have day jobs. I work from home mostly and a typical day is sitting in front of a laptop.
Maria: I’m an NHS nurse so my day can be quite hectic! I try to relax with yoga and some sports.
Suzanne: Oversleep, intense workout session, arrive slightly late to my office job, work overtime, drink too many beers, doomscroll, repeat.
What can you tell me about the writing and recording process of E.A.T.?
Neil: We made demos for most of the songs on an old multi track. We start with recording some guitars then add a bassline. After that the hard part is lyric writing and finding some kind of melody or hook. When the demo is nearly done me and Maria will work on it at home before taking it to the rehearsal room with Suze. We recorded E.A.T over 2 weekends at Press Play Studio and Hackney Road Studios in London. I enjoy the studio and that whole process. Working with James Aparicio was great. It’s cool hearing the songs gradually build through loudspeakers. Those 3 instrumental tracks on the album were recorded at home afterwards feeding a synth through my guitar pedals. That was fun to do.
Maria: We also love hanging out in between takes and going for a drink at the end of the sessions.
Suzanne: I usually panic as soon as the click track starts and that red light goes on. There’s a lot of sitting around waiting when you’re in a band, but it’s worth it to capture a track.
How do your lyrics usually come into being?
Neil: They’re usually the last thing I do. I try to find a melody and will usually mumble nonsense into a mic until the right words come. Sometimes lyrics can form while playing a guitar unplugged and watching TV. I remember watching quite a lot of Abel Ferrara films and reading David Foster Wallace at the time. Maybe that seeped in?! Who knows.
Can you tell me what music’s on the daily band playlist?
Neil: I’m currently listening to Hotline TNT, Toner, Bloody Head, Spiritualized, Bowery Electric.
Maria: Minami Deutsch, Horsegirl, Tamaryn, WEED, Mo Dotti, The Gories.
Suzanne: Kikagaku Moyo, Tess Parks, Beach House, Genn, looking forward to checking out the new Goat when I can.
What is “the dream” for your band? And what are your immediate future plans?
Neil: I guess the dream is to record more albums and play shows in as many places as we can.
Maria: Have fun playing and hanging out together.
Suzanne: I prefer playing live to recording, so as long as I get to travel about meeting people, exploring places and making a racket I’m quite happy.
What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?
Neil: Start a band!
Maria: If you haven’t already heard our album please check it out!
Suzanne: maybe re-read and look for secret messages, I mean there aren’t any but you can put off everyday life for at least 10 mins.