SHIPLEY HOLLOW X TRIM
Shipley Hollow is the Toronto-based band that you should definitely know. TRIM first met up with Shipley Hollow after their crazy performance at a New Brunswick basement show this summer. Now that they’ve just wrapped up an international tour, they took the time to talk with us about their current album Normal Soup, as well as what lies ahead for this grouping of great minds and sound.
Q: So where are all of you guys from? How did you come together to form Shipley Hollow? How long have you been together for?
A: Fleming and I (Sean) were born and raised in the east end of Toronto. I met up with Patrick and Seamus as far back as grade 7. They were born in Calgary, moved to Van, then ended up in the Toronto east end where they were probably the edgiest kids in our terrible middle school. They really scared everyone. We existed for a while with another guitarist (Zach) until some things came up before a tour and Alex hopped on board. He had recently moved from Seattle and was honestly one of the best musicians any of us had met. He learned everything we had ever written in a weekend while mixing and mastering our record.
Q: How is Toronto’s indie music scene? What is the music scene like in general in Toronto?
A: Toronto’s scene = roving tribes battling for survival... and tons of shows every night.
But actually, the indies stick together for the most part to better serve audiences seeking one specific thing. Sometimes you’ll have a mixed bag of stuff showing up on the same show, but the electronic artists and bands stay consistently divided from my experience. Oh, and there aren’t many house shows.
Q: Why the name Shipley Hollow?
A: It’s a haunted road in Tennessee where imps used to flip your wagon and eat your kids. But, we actually just like the way the name feels when you say it. Shipley could be a character, or a place, and has an almost folkloric warmth to its pronunciation; whereas Hollow is colder as an adjective, letting everyone know in advance how sad we all are.
Q: You call yourselves “Toronto’s tropical math pirates”; why? How would you describe your musical style and influences?
A: We’re honestly just disgusting hipsters. We all really love Metal, elements of Pop, Horse the Band, Tera Melos, and The Fall of Troy. Mostly, those last three.
Q: Normal Soup is the title of both the 3rd track on your most recent album, as well as the album itself. How did Normal Soup come to fruition?
A: We were listing the food equivalent to our personalities in the credits of our last record, and it was determined that I was a lot like Split-Pea Soup. Someone else ended up being listed as Normal Soup, which was funny at first, but seemed way more difficult to grasp as a concept than Split-Pea Soup in an ominous way... whatever that means. The whole project was meant to sound more ‘Self Aware’ than our previous recordings and embrace some qualities that we felt were more taboo in our circles, like autotuned vocals and heaps of synth on everything.
Q: What can one expect to see, hear, and feel at a Shipley Hollow show?
A: Gang vocals, tapping, synth, dancey stuff, boisterous dancing; Seamus likes to get nude, Patrick is always almost nude, and the rest of us are nude under our clothes so basically lots of the nude. The feeling is almost always described to us as extreme arousal in all regions.
Q: You’ve been on tour in the US recently; how has that been so far? Has traveling and playing your music live allowed you to meet fans and get inspired to write new music?
A: We have gotten the chance to play with bands we all really dig, and check out some really raw house venues (and the people brave enough to keep that circuit alive). Our house shows were some of the best shows of the tour, which really says something about the structure of the live music industry.
Q: Are there any particularly funny/weird experiences that have happened on tour?
A: After a team corn roast on our campground in Indiana, we had an extra stick of butter. One of us decided that for 3 coffees, he would cover himself in farm fresh butter and saunter around gaily. This happened.
Q: Can we expect new music sometime soon? If so, what will be the similarities and differences compared to your past songs?
A: We're working on material for a split we're planning on doing with our homies EricArthurBlair later this year. They're scary good. The new material will be really mathy, and focus on some vibes that we haven't really explored yet. It's definitely going to have a serious focus on production as well.
Q: As an indie band funding their own tour, what is it like getting the show on the road? What advice would you give to new bands starting up that want to get out and play shows, whether that be in their own city, or traveling to other countries?
A: Make friends, don't be a jerk, and help bands you like, and ask questions. Start small and try to revisit towns that you play in to 'stoke' the fires you started last time.
Q: In an age where a lot of new music coming out is electronically produced, Shipley Hollow’s sound is still mostly instrumental. What do you think of this shift in musical production and sound? Is it simply a natural progression due to the technology driven society we now live in?
A: The great thing about a post-modernist world view is that any element that has ever existed in art can be seriously considered as either 'Valid' in its original essence, or valid as a re-contextualized phenomenon. Electronic music, more than anything, is a reflection of the process involved in making it. Our music represents in the same way the exact process in which it's constructed. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the only limiting factor in our eyes for what music can and will do is the human body.
Q: Tim Hortons or Starbucks?
A: Dunkin Donuts.