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Holy Fuck

Holy Fuck! a chat with Graham Walsh

Holy Fuck hits the road with a new expanded lineup

By Dustin Ellis

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If you haven’t heard of Holy Fuck, you may need to check your pulse, or ‘The Pulse,’ a track from their 2007 album, LP, which was a shortlist nominee for the Polaris music awards in 2008. This heralded and sensational album has now been followed up by their third full length, Latin.

Holy Fuck are composed of four members, including drums, bass and two sound artists who play keyboards, pedals and whatever else they can find at antique, thrift, and toy stores. Together, they make fast moving instrumental music characterized by colossal ambience and drive.

One piece of advice I would tell any band that is starting up, to play absolutely as much as you possibly can. That is what we did.

I got a chance to speak to Graham Walsh, one of the founding keyboard and effects players in Holy Fuck, and asked a couple of questions about what the band has been up to, his thoughts on the making of Latin, and, more abstractly, the soundtrack of his life (see side bar).

Holding up in a jam space in London, Graham reported, the band had been in Europe “just over a week now. We just had two festival shows, last Friday and Saturday, and we have two shows [Leeds and Reading festivals] this Saturday and Sunday.” Though not officially touring, the band has been happily playing a leisurely show schedule.

Holy Fuck

When asked about what was happening in their studio hangout, Graham said that “there are a couple ideas that we’ve had over the last little bit that we kind of wanted to flesh out,” and explained that the band was messing around and just having fun. Since their first album, Walsh commented “literally, we’ve just been getting busier. It has required more of a commitment, the band, to make it work.”

The line-up of the band, formerly a grappling issue, has been solidified by former Enon drummer Matt Schulz and bassist Matt McQuade joining the band in late 2008. Since its 2005 inception, the band has always sought a solid lineup, “but under the circumstances of everybody’s lives and other bands that people played in and our desire to play with certain people, that is how it had to go,” Walsh explained.

Latin, released earlier this summer, is a quick moving joy ride yielding funky bass-lines and slippery dance elements into eight cohesive tracks briefly introduced by the song ‘1MD’. About the album, Walsh says it is “a little more controlled,” than previous works.

[Side Bar]
Interesting Facts about Graham Walsh:

Walsh formerly worked as a jingle writer. “Once ‘Holy Fuck’ started touring a lot more, I wasn’t around enough to do it. It helped pay the bills for sure. It was [more] an exercise in song writing than anything creative.” He said that “you don’t really get much creative satisfaction from it. They’ll usually hand you a popular song that they can’t licence, but they’ll get you to match it as close as you can.”

Walsh thinks that the sound track of his life contains tracks such as ‘Spanish Flea,’ the Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass version, and a lot of kroutrauk inspired drum beats of various tempos and forms, most notably, “boom boom chick, boom boom boom chick.”

His first tape was the Police album, Regatta. As a child he remembers liking and still enjoys Seasons of the Abyss, an album by Slayer. He likes newer bands Suns, Tame and Power, and Beach Fossils.

He holds Miles Davis and Herby Handcock in highest regard, thinks that Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan make a hilarious comedy duo, and likes some Elvis songs, but mostly prefers the Beatles.

About the process, and how it compares to albums in the past, Walsh says “the first record we made in the studio completely unrehearsed, and just went into a studio and jammed out ideas, and then brought them home and just edited them into sort of pieces. The second record we made kind of in-between tours. That was a little more reigned in than the first one because we had song ideas that we worked on, on the road. So it was a matter of capturing those.”

Now, we�re maybe more or less just trying to write badass songs.

In Latin, the band’s membership was no longer in transition. “We wrote most of the songs on the road. A couple of them came together in the studio, but we recorded it all at one studio, as opposed to the other records that were done in different places with different people.”

Holy Fuck have proved themselves as a live act. They have played a host of large festivals, such as Montreal Jazz festival, Coachella, SXSW, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury, and come highly recommended as an act to catch. With flailing animation, and bursting stage presence, Holy Fuck meld electronic and rock music into an unusual explosive and exciting concert experience.

In support of Latin, Holy Fuck are playing Canadian tour dates in London, Ontario, in late September. They will tour westward into the United States through October after playing various Canadian dates.

Canadian Tour Schedule:

Sept 27th


London Music Hall

Sept 28th


Studio Theatre

Sept 29th


The Phoenix

Sept 30th


E Space Reunion

Oct 1st


The Red Dog

Oct 2nd


Capital Music Hall

Oct 3rd


Little Montreal

Oct 5th


Pyramid Cabaret

Oct 6th



Oct 7th

Calgary, AB

The Republik

Oct 8th

Edmonton, AB

Pawn Shop

Oct 9th

Edmonton, AB

Pawn Shop

Oct 11th

Victoria, BC


Oct 12th

Vancouver, BC


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