Holly Hunt's Gavin Perry on Singing for the Band: "The Barry White Sessions Are Coming Up"
Monica McGivern at Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale
Genesis 6:4 hints, in that cute, sci-fi Biblical manner that giants might've once roamed the earth. The Cardiff Giant turned out to be a pretty good hoax back in the 1860s, but make no mistake, Holly Hunt's Gavin Perry is neither hoax nor Biblical prophecy -- and he's giant through and through.
A visual artist who gravitates towards a psychedelic patina of vibrant colors, he's a coconspirator with artist/drummer Beatriz Monteavaro in South Florida's Holly Hunt; one of the heaviest and sludgiest entries into the genre of the recent years.
We spoke with him before their much heralded gig last week at Gramps in Miami with fellow heavies Shroud Eater and Black Cobra, and prior to tonight's show at the Bubble in Fort Lauderdale with Death Talisman VII, the Killing Hours, and Manifest Test Subject. We caught up with Gavin about touring, his height, and the ballsy move of releasing a double LP as the band's first album.
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How tall are you and how is that an advantage in creating droning chaotic doom?
Gavin: 6'8". Advantages and disadvantages... I'm never in an obstructed view. Natural imposition. Hanging monitors and low ceilings hurt.
Explain to us the über ballsy move of releasing a double LP as the lead full-length salvo in what we hope can only be an ever growing catalogue.
We had recorded everything we had to that point. We were discussing what and how we would release the material with Other Electricities (Emile Milgrim) and Roofless Records (Matt Preira) and they offered to release it all. We felt that releasing it at 45 rpm offered the biggest headroom, deepest groove on vinyl but that it would have to be on two discs. They agreed and we were stoked. Hopefully we didn't start at the apex.
You and Betty are both visual artists, how does that affect the musical creative process for you guys, if it does at all... Or even vice versa, how does the musical process affect your visual disciplines?
It does. Vice versa. It's hard to describe tangibly, it's a bit abstract. The ideas and aesthetics come from the same place. The executions are different. Music/sound is immediate. Binary. Art/visuals are more transient. Less triangulated.
You've had some exhibitions recently, Houston, if I remember correctly, so on that artistic note, what prompted last week's triumvirate of South Florida's finest heavies to pummel the evening sky during Art Basel and moreover, what are your feelings on what the "event" has become over time?
I've been a huge fan of Black Cobra since I started playing music again. After a very long sleep I'd found myself trying to catch up and digest as much heavy music as I could. BC was in constant rotation.
When Holly Hunt first started, we met and played with Shroud Eater, fill in duty for Betty's other band Beings. They ran the now defunct Beelzebub's Cave. They put on shows of heavy music from bands all around the country. DIY. It was magical. We became good friends and supporters of each other. We love them.
We met Carabella at one of our shows in Miami and then again in New York. A few months back he mentioned Black Cobra and his desire to bring them to Miami. We were stoked. A couple weeks back he called to see if I could help make that happen. We were stoked. I called Gramps and got the ball rolling. He was stoked. We were stoked. Everything has happened in a very truncated time, mostly smooth, if a bit stressful.
Everyone involved has been so enthusiastic. We just wanted to see Black Cobra play, here or anywhere else we could. We (were) thrilled and humbled to share the stage with both them and Shroud Eater.
When will you record that angelic voice of yours in a Holly Hunt track?
The Barry White sessions are coming up.
Year One is a solid listen from beginning to end, though at forty minutes, I'm left wanting more. Any other tracks that didn't make the recording cut or that simply didn't fit given the space limitations of wax? If so, any chance of them surfacing on comps or an EP?
No, not really. Year One has pretty much everything from year one. We are always writing. Sometimes it's a bit difficult with various other obligations but we are committed. We've released some variants on comps and tapes.
You've had a few road jaunts already, any fun/horrible experiences you'd like to share?
All experiences are horribly fun.
What does 2014 bring for the band as far as recording and/or touring?
A whole lot more horrible fun. An EP in early spring on OE and Sonic Titan. An East Coast tour with our friends Hollow Leg in late March. As of yesterday (Wednesday), Rick Smith booked us on two epic shows, Jucifer in February and GODFLESH in April. We will pick up the pieces after that and start recording for a full length.
Holly Hunt, with the Killing Hours, Manifest Test Subject, and Death Talisman VII. 9 p.m., Friday, December 13, at the Bubble, 810 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $5. Visit facebook.com/iwanthebubble.
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