Brothers Kyle and Kody Valentine formed psychedelic inspired rock band Holy Knives with the purpose to “ward off the march of reality” through dreamy compositions and compelling lyrical content. From their debut album Year of the black Dog to now, the band has begun to accumulate new music and are looking towards the new year to release a new EP. We got the chance to dive into how the duo creates their unique sound, what inspires them and their music, and what exciting new things to look out for in 2020.
1. What inspired you two to form the band? Did you grow up always knowing you wanted to be in a band or was there a defining moment that solidified it?
I don’t believe there was one defining moment that made me (Kody) want to start a band and pursue music. It was something that happened over time and became a self-propelling wheel. As I learned to play music, and began listening more and more, the connection continued to grow, which is why I still make music today.
2. Being from both New Orleans and San Antonio, how do you think both places influence your music? Do you think your sound belongs to one over another?
I don’t think the music belongs to one place over another since New Orleans shaped most of our formative years as musicians, but San Antonio is where this band began and still is currently. They both have influenced us tremendously that it is hard to quantify or put in words. The experiences of everyday living in these places compounded create who we are & create our music in turn.
3. If you had to make a playlist that explained your sound to someone without using your own music, what would be on it and why?
Portishead, Leonard Cohen, Massive Attack, and Arctic Monkeys. These artists have all inspired and shaped our sound so much that I believe they would represent our sound well.
4. We know you are very visual in expressing your sound, referring to Twin Peaks and The Holy Mountain as references to your work. If you could create the perfect visual backdrop for your music, what would that look like?
Jodorowsky’s El Topo crossed with Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives. Stark western imagery combined with surreal neon lighting.
5.You released your debut album Year of the Black Dog almost a year ago today, how did you go about creating the album? Walk us through what your creative process looked like.
The album was written over a one year period where we wrote about 100 song fragments that we then distilled into 10 songs. Each idea helped get us closer to the defined sound we were looking to create with the album and allowed us to discover who we wanted to be musically.
6. Looking back on this album and your EP Ritual Bloom, what songs stand out to you and what do you hope listeners take away from your music?
Personal favorites: Hostage, Lucky Day, Stray Dog, I Guess It’s Enough. We hope that people can find something beautiful in our music that speaks to them. Most of these songs are very personal lyrically, so if people can connect with them in any way, that is wonderful.
7. We know you’re currently on tour with Esteromance. Do you have any funny moments or backstage stories from tour life you can share with us?
I can’t think of any funny moment in particular because we’re always having fun. Touring with another band that you’re friends with and admire as musicians has been a life-affirming experience. Our past six tours we’ve done alone, so being on the road with Estereomance has been a welcome change of pace.
8. Our name, REVOLT, means to Revolt against anything holding you back and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. We know your name has a lot of meaning behind it too, how did you go about choosing your name and what does it symbolize?
Our name is a combination of two works of art. The book The Singing Knives by Frank Standford and the film The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky. It comes with this message: we believe music is a sacred weapon we can use to stave off the march of reality.
9. What does the future hold for Holy Knives? What should we be looking out for?
Lots of new music in 2020! We’ve already recorded a new EP. The first single should be out early next year, and we’re already working diligently on more songs.
10. What advice would you give others who are on similar journeys to make their own dreams a reality?
Have blind faith in yourself, and create every day. Inspiration is for amateurs. Sit down and get to work, so your muse knows where to find you.