Interviewed by Jade Trazo & Madison McCallister
Written by Jade Trazo
Photography by Jade Trazo
The above photographs may not be reproduced or distributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the photographer or The Good Music Collectiv.
San Antonio natives, The Holy Knives, made their way to Chicago for the FIRST TIME this last month to tour their latest album, Year of the Black Dog. The four-piece was brought together by brothers, Kody and Kyle Valentine, in order to satisfy their desire to pursue music. After numerous projects over the years, the boys at last found their sound: a fusion of “rock and roll with a tinge of desert psychedelia”. After the show, we had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Kody and Kyle about finding their sound, touring, and their visit to Chicago!
Welcome to Chicago, it was awesome seeing you guys live! Would you like to introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about your band?
The Holy Knives: “This is Kyle (lead guitar) & Kody Valentine (vocals & guitar) with The Holy Knives. We are a San Antonio based desert-dream rock band, and we just released our first album Year of the Black Dog!”
What did you guys think of your first gig in Chicago?
The Holy Knives: “It was amazing, although quite cold. We had the opportunity to meet a ton of great, new people. Especially for our first time in a new city, I think it went as well as it could have. The whole night had a really positive and collective atmosphere.”
How did you all meet? Have you worked in any bands prior to this project?
The Holy Knives: “Kyle and I (Kody) are brothers so we have known each other all of our lives. We learned to play music together and have written so much music together over the years, which has culminated in us writing Year of the Black Dog. We’ve been in a few different projects over the years that have been taken to various degrees of seriousness, but have all shaped us to form The Holy Knives and the music we are currently creating.”
Have you all always been involved in music? If not, what brought you to music?
The Holy Knives: “I (Kody) started playing when I was about 12-years-old and music has been a central part of my life ever since. I have loved music for as long as I can remember and it is something that has always spoken directly to my heart. It is something that I cannot explain my attraction to, but it is undoubtedly central to who I am.”
Did you all meet in San Antonio?
The Holy Knives: “This band was created in San Antonio, so everyone who has been part of the band besides Kyle and myself are from San Antonio. Kyle and I grew up in New Orleans, but have been in San Antonio for about 6 years now. San Antonio has been such a welcoming city for our music, and we can’t say enough about the people in the city.”
How did you coin the name “The Holy Knives”?
The Holy Knives: “The name itself is a combination of two very influential works of art in our world. The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky and The Singing Knives by Frank Stanford. We believe that music is a sacred weapon you can use to ward off the march of reality which is a core principle of this band and is mirrored by the name.”
Your band’s one year is coming up! Did you expect to be touring an album, a year ago from today?
The Holy Knives: “When this band started, we knew what we wanted to do and had plans to record and release an album in 2018. So, yes we thought we would be touring behind an album, but we did not know what the album would be or how it would sound. We knew what our goal was, but didn’t really know the specifics of how to get there. We were just following a vision we saw inside ourselves and felt deeply.”
When did you guys start writing Year of the Black Dog?
The Holy Knives: “The first ideas for Year of the Black Dog were written in October of 2017. The writing process lasted almost every day until we were in the studio recording it in June of 2018. Also, a lot of these songs were written or produced while on the road promoting our first EP Ritual Bloom.”
What is your favorite track to play at the moment?
The Holy Knives: “Personally, I (Kody) enjoy playing Hostage the most. It is a very sparse song which gives room for the vocals to breathe. I also think the message of the lyrics is something that is quite universal which allows us to connect with people more easily on this one. It’s about not being held down by your past self and always trying to become someone new.”
Do you guys have any new projects lined up for 2019?
The Holy Knives: “In 2019 we’ll be touring almost constantly to continue supporting Year of the Black Dog as well as writing our next album. We’ll hopefully be getting to a lot of new places next year as well!”
Any new years advice and/or resolutions for anyone reading this?
The Holy Knives: “Make sure to plant your dreams in fertile soil.”
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