It’s been awhile since we checked in with the fellas from Holy Smokes! When we last touched base with the Fort Smith punkers, they were on the verge of releasing their very killer, very excellent debut LP “FRAMEWORK.” In the time since, they had a roster change at drummer, played scores of shows and are prepping their debut’s follow-up.
The band just released a new single, an absolute juggernaut of a track called “Garbagio Christmasi” and they just wrapped up a quick spring tour with more shows to come. Guitarist and songwriter Stan Soultaire had a chance to catch up with us via email to give us a taste of what’s next for the band.
Shindigmusic: 2018 was a big year for the band. In February, you released your first full-length LP “FRAMEWORK” and toured and played a bunch of shows. We’ve listened to that record so much that it seems like the songs on it are almost second nature to us at this point. That record had a little of everything: great melodies blended with elements of punk and hardcore. The new single, Garbagio Christmasi, sounds like you guys are getting a little heavier on this time around. What can we expect from your new music?
Yeah, we wanted to simplify some and really invest our focus into writing songs that make you wanna shake your ass and bang your head. “Garbagio” is a heavy boy for sure. Not sure there is a sweet way to play that song. The rest of the album isn’t nearly as heavy, as a whole, but we’ve got some ball busters in there. Lots of squirrelly guitar business on these upcoming releases too. I really wanted to have fun and rip on this record. Way more punk influence this go-around. I don’t think there’s a song on the record so far that goes over three and a half minutes. But yeah, we just wanted to have fun. 😉
Shindigmusic: We mention new music: will there be a new Holy Smokes! album soon? If so, does it have a title?
“Soon” is super relative. There’s another single being released in the coming week, but a release date for the record hasn’t been set in stone. Been tossing around the idea of crowdfunding to get it out into the world quicker but we’ll see. The new record is called “Ghost Memorial” and the artwork is finished. It’s sick as fuck.
Shindigmusic: The band has a reputation for energetic, explosive live performances. One of the things we always enjoy about Holy Smokes! shows is how tight and well-rehearsed you guys always sound. The transition of drummers seems to have gone seamlessly. How is playing with Justin Reed different from Michael (Dicks)?
Well thanks! We’ve played some half-assed bullshit shows in our time and that’s never a good feeling so we’ve always made it priority to be on top of rehearsal and really knowing the music through and through. We don’t like to waste people’s time. Energy and keeping up has been a non-issue with Justin. We threw him in the mix of shows and recording and writing immediately. There was a bumpy moment or two, but we all settled and he knocked it out of the park! And yeah, there’s a distinct sense of chemistry that we had with Michael that just really can’t be replicated, and no one can fill that spot in our hearts; but we easily found our new groove with Justin and his approach and we’re very proud to have him with us. He’s always down to try new ideas and be as stupid as we’re willing to get.
Shindigmusic: We talked influences last time, but we know inspiration and motivation changes. What is the driving force behind HS! tunes for this record.
We just want to make music. Our motivation is getting what’s inside outside. Nothing more.
Shindigmusic: What are you guys looking forward to in 2019?
We’re looking forward to shooting a new music video and doing a split with our homies in Envious View out of Springfield, Missouri that we just wrapped our Spring tour with. Those dudes are tits
Photo Credit: Rachel Rodemann Photography.