Artist of the day: South of Holly
South Of Holly is a genre-blending quartet whose style changes not only from song to song, but between members as well. One tune may showcase flamenco guitar licks over a ska beat, while others mingle punk rhythms and tempos with harmonies and melodies a la Simon and Garfunkel.
The group, whose members’ average age is 21, have wasted no time since forming in November. They are in the process of recording a six-song EP, slated to be released in March. On Friday, they'll be performing as part of the 15th annual Rockus Maximus Battle of the Bands at the Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. And on March 3, look for them at the Orpheum. Tickets are available here.
The lineup is Bobby Creighton on bass guitar and vocals, Kyle Goodrich on rhythm guitar and vocals, Will Crowley on guitar and harmonica and Isaac Evans on drums.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Crowley: It started with me and Kyle. We met on campus. We started jamming together for a while. Just playing covers that we both kinda knew. We just kinda jammed on campus. I saw him playing with another guitarist, actually. I just walked up to him, asked for his number, and if we could jam sometime.
Did you think he was hitting on you?
Goodrich: (laughs) Probably.
Crowley: (laughs) It was definitely odd, I just felt compelled to talk to somebody.
Goodrich: It’s just something with musicians — when you see another one, you feel obligated to talk to them. We felt the need to take it further, and we started searching for a singer. We put up flyers and we eventually found a female singer, which is obviously no longer with us. Did we find Bobby through the flyer?
Crowley: I met Bobby my freshmen orientation, before I even came to USF. I didn’t know he sang, I just knew he played guitar. We just kept running into him. It was like alright, we’re auditioning for a singer. ... As soon as we heard him sing, we knew we had to have him in there.
Goodrich: We found Isaac through the flyer.
Were you looking to join a band?
Evans: I’ve been drumming for a long time, but I hadn’t been in a band for a long time. It was like two weeks into the semester, and my lab partner in my chemistry class was like, “Hey, you play drums, right? I saw this flyer, you should check it out.” I didn’t think anything would come out of it; I just assumed it would be horrible musicians. I showed up to their practice and it went really well. We jammed for like two hours and didn’t talk at all.
Crowley: We jammed with him on top of the parking garage. We had to cut it short because one of the campus security guards told us we had to cut it out. That was another situation where we knew instantly that it was definitely Isaac that had to play with us.
At that point did you start writing songs together?
Creighton: When I joined these two guys, I already had a handful of songs that we were starting to go over. Before we had Isaac, we were just three acoustic guitars and two singers crooning. When Isaac joined, that changed our whole sound completely. It went from an acoustic, mellow, chill band to something with a lot more sustenance and substance.
Crowley: With a drum set, we all had to plug in.
Creighton: That changed our dynamic in a huge way.
Goodrich: Then Bobby picked up bass, very reluctantly.
Did you find it challenging to play intricate bass lines and sing at the same time, as opposed to strumming simple rhythms on the acoustic?
Creighton: Initially, yeah. When it was us three, they wanted me to play bass so when we found a drummer we would be ready. I didn’t wanna do that. Like, who wants to play bass?
Did you guys fist fight over it?
Goodrich: No. We were very impressed, ’cause he pretty much plays lead guitar on the bass. And I don’t understand it.
Creighton: It’s training your fingers to do something, and training your mind to do something else, and figuring out how those patterns fit together.
Speaking of fitting together, how would you classify your music? It seems hard to pinpoint any particular genre. When I saw you it seemed like four people playing four different songs simultaneously on the same stage.
Crowley: We all have different tastes. All of us listen to completely different music.
Goodrich: That’s kinda the balance we’re going for. ’Cause all of us listen to completely different music.
Creighton: Every one of our songs we all of and it’s a part of us.
Evans: We try to take all of our own personal styles, and blend them, which could either crash and burn or could be awesome and be a new type of music.
-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*