Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oh Holy Diver

There is magic in a Holy Diver show. Blessed little flakes of magic actually fall upon your face like freckles of heaven. Well, not really, but everyone sure has a damned good time.

The tunes are familiar, but played so big and over the top that even the snobbiest anti-cover hipster can't hold back a smile for long. Their instruments are ridiculously tiny (have you ever seen a guy crazy enough to attempt Tom Sawyer on a mini kit?). Their on stage banter keeps you rolling between songs. In a town plagued with crappy cover bands, Holy Diver stands out as an anomoly because they are actually good.

Holy Diver is made up of guitarist Lee May, bassist John Hardy and drummer Joe Hardy... and a lot of imagination.

Recently Lee and John answered some earth breaking questions to unveil the true nature of their collective beast. Oh, and one word of advice: don't call Holy Diver a cover band. I've heard that Lee May eats superheroes for breakfast...

Tell me about the birth of Holy Diver.

LM: Holy Diver was born with Hell Hounds on their trail. We’ve been running ever since to protect the miniature instruments that give us power.

SR: Why is Holy Diver important to the universe?

LM: That’s a catch 22. Without Holy Diver, there would be no universe, and without a universe, there would be no Holy Diver. And without Holy Diver, everyone is dead inside.

JH: 42. Follow me on this one... There are three members in Holy Diver. Each member thinks with his own brain. Each member is part of a human body. Each body has a brain. Thus, Holy Diver actually has 6 brains in 3 bodies.

That's a rarity on Earth. Actually, that's rare anywhere this side of Orion's Crotch-Cluster Nebula. So, 42. 4 plus 2 is 6. 6 brains divided by 3 bodies is 2 brains apiece. It's that simple... also our drummer is almost 42.

SR: What is Holy Diver made of?

LM: Mostly carbon, with trace elements of true grit.

JH: Mostly flatulent gas... mostly.

SR: How do you feel when people call you a "cover band"? What kind of stigma is attached to that phrase?

LM: It wouldn’t matter really. We’re just 3 guys who love music and love playing music. Besides, haven’t you heard “I’m in love with a mannequin man again?” That ain’t no cover.

JH: It doesn't hurt our feelings, as we do currently play mostly covers ...mostly. But the truth is, we're more than a cover band because we're still original. Not only with the visual spectacle of mini-instruments, but we're transitioning into a completely original act.

In the meantime, we play a slew of cover tunes and take them to new places. Think about all the greats... Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles... they all started off playing 'covers' of classic blues tunes like "Dust My Broom", "Love in Vain", "Travellin Riverside Blues", and they all put their own twist on 'em. So, we're doing the same they did with more modern material... elaborating on songs like "Sunshine of Your Love", "Hey Joe", "Team America", and more.

Take our version of "Holy Diver" for example. It's all ours, and let's just see Ronnie James Dio try and take it back.

Can you tell me about some of the other bands you've each been in?

I used to be in a band in High School called Downfall, where we played mostly Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins.
JH: Well, we've all got our own long stories, so I, Johnny, will just speak for myself. In the year 2000, My brother and I were half of a progressive instrumental rock act called SolarSoundSystem. It was a bitchin band, but our creative differences took over and the group stopped seeing things the same way.

Soon after, Joe and I were right back on the horse with a long time friend playing bass, and I started singing. We formed a 3 piece along the lines of Helmet, the Melvins, and HUM, called HARDIS. Again, a very promising act, but we just couldn't keep it together.

All the while, Joe, Johnny, and Lee may, were playing house parties and such with tiny gear, and it eventually took on a life of it's own.

What exactly is it that makes your shows so fun? Do you give out really great drugs? Do you employ a magician? Are you magicians?

You don’t need drugs. Our shows are fun because we are having more fun than anyone, and that’s contagious. And I could make the Statue of Liberty disappear if I cared to. (magician)

JH: Since we possess possessed instruments, our notes possess our audience. They can't help but cheer and dance and flash their boobs and make out hard and simulate sex in the frenzy that is created. So, in a way, Holy Diver does invoke Voodoot doot doot doot to take everyone to the Wishing Tree and, and that's a magical place.

SR: Is Lee May a human?

JH: Now that's a question we aren't asked too often. The most frequent query is, "Is the Crotch Machine really a machine?" But, I guess we'll have to save that for another interview since the question was about Lee May's humanity.

He is a human, but it's questionable whether or not he's been modified with high-performance parts. The first thing his mother said when he was born was, "What's wrong with his head?!" And his father asked, "What's wrong with his feet?!" So, the answer is yes, he is an authentic human. Only slightly smaller-than-standard, and improved with modern technology of braces.

LM: No.

SR: Where are some of your favorite places to play?

Dyer St Bar, Lakewood Bar and Grill, [and] the Cavern.

On the local level, we really dig the Dyer St. Bar and the Cavern. We've had some bitchin shows at the Lakewood Bar & Grill too.

But I think we're best at atypical venues that aren't used to hosting bands. Not only are we a slightly smaller-than-standard self-contained, self-sufficient unit that can fit in any corner, anytime, anywhere, we're also the fastest set-up break-down band this side of the Sirius Star System.

So, I'd say our favorite place to play is outside-the-box. Private parties, house parties, weddings... them's are always a riot. We're especially on fire when there's cake. We love cake... and eating it too. We shine at big parties when we can live up to our Rawkus-n-Roll reputation. We love playing for strangers in strange lands, so we welcome out of town gigs when they're offered.

Recently, we had an F-ing blast in Winter Park, Colorado. In fact, we almost caused an avalanche from the rowdy crowd cheering and chanting and stomping all those happy feet. That's where it's at. Life on the road. Love in an elevator
SR: Who are some of you favorite local acts?

LM: White Light Fever, Hello Lover

Electric Brown, and the PaperchAse, are my top two.

But I tell you what, every act at the latest Obscenely Unseen show was outta sight! Every one. Record Hop, Bridges and Blinking Lights, Laura Palmer... and all the others whose names escape me. Also, gotta give a salute to Victory March. Those cats have come along way and hold promise.

Oh yes, and MUTHER is a massive juggernaut of outrageous power and a behemoth in the mire of psyche-sludge.

How on earth do you guys play so many damned shows?

Again, we are only vessels for the instruments we possess, which possess us.

LM: Where there is a demand, there is Holy Diver. We’re taking over 2008, and we’re super excited about the future. We have almost an entire album of original material in the works, and will be recording soon. That’ll show em’.

Holy Diver is playing this Thursday (3.20) at Amsterdam Bar for Taking Shots For Art with The Kul and The Grassfight.

-all pictures taken from Holy Diver's myspace page.


Alison said...

I would like to give Johnny props for his Douglas Adams reference..

Kate Andria said...

Kick ass interveiw.I love those guys.Ride the tiger!