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Posted October 3, 2012 by Jeff in Tunes
 
 

Holly Golightly talks about life as garage rocker, homebody and horse-rescuer

Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs
Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs

Singer-guitarist Holly Golightly got her start in the early ’90s with Billy Childish’s Thee Headcoatees, and the garage rocker hasn’t looked back. She now records and tours as with the Brokeoffs (the backing “band” is really just multi-instrumentalist “Lawyer” Dave) and has just released a terrific new album, Sunday Run Me Over, a collection of old-timey-sounding blues, country and garage rock tunes.  We interviewed her via phone from her Athens, Georgia home for a feature story we’re writing for a weekly. Here’s more of our conversation.

I was going to say that you have been really prolific the last couple of years but you have always been prolific. Talk about your approach and how you’ve been able to keep churning out music so quickly.
I don’t know really. It’s what I do. I suppose my culture in as much as there is any, comes from having a punk rock ethos toward the whole thing. It’s instant and a record is just a moment in time. I think that’s where it comes from. Most of the people I worked with in the past are of the same mindset. [Lawyer] Dave is not as quick to do things because he has a lot more to do because he’s playing with his feet and his hands and his mouth at the same time. It doesn’t happen as quickly as it would if I had my regular band and we could knock something out over the weekend. I work with labels that want to put out records out. They’re not bound by some ridiculous strategy. That’s what it is. I don’t think about it. Some years there might be three and four singles. The next year there might be nothing. If you spread it out, it’s about one record a year with an extra one squeezed in here and there . . . That’s respectable. That’s not flooding the market. I like it to be more instant. It’s not by design; it’s just by default.

I’d be curious to go around the “chitlin’ circuit. That would be appealing to me. Everything that happened since is pop music and that isn’t of much interest to me.

Have you gotten a better understanding of old-time blues and garage rock music since living United States?
No. I’m not doing anything any differently. The same music that influenced me [in London] is the same music I’m listening to now. Some of it comes from the South, but I didn’t come here to absorb the music. I don’t spend any time in Athens at all. We live outside the town. The Athens scene is of no interest to me. I would have been interested in about 1958. That’s the extent of my fascination with it. I’d be curious to go around the “chitlin’ circuit. That would be appealing to me. Everything that happened since is pop music and that isn’t of much interest to me. There’s no social aspect to our lives.

Was there a time when you did have a social life?
When I lived in London. I was born in London and grew up outside the city. I had a flat in London but I always had the option of going outside of London. I traveled so much and was only home for two or three months. Now, I don’t want to leave home at all. I go away very sparingly. The problem with people in bands is that they want to be where the other bands are. They want to live in L.A. or New York or London. They work their tits off to pay their rent and they have a ton of competition. That doesn’t make any sense. It’s better to live cheap and have time to do what you want to do.

Talk about some of the cover songs on Sunday Run Me Over. What made you want to cover “I Forgot More”?
I got asked a little while back to do a Skeeter Davis song for an advert that I didn’t end up doing and it reminded me of that one. Wanda Jackson did a version of that. The combination of having to listen to Skeeter Davis songs, which I wouldn’t ordinarily do, and having opened for Wanda Jackson made it a nice homage. It’s just a good song.

And what about “Hard to be Humble”?
Oh, Dave picked that one. That wouldn’t have been my choice. It’s one of his favorite songs and he always wanted to do it. When we came to looking at covers, it’s nice that one of us gets to pick one and he wanted to do it. It’s just a song he knew really well and had fun playing.

Talk about the studio where you recorded.
That makes it sound better than it actually is. Dave built it about three years ago. It’s his den. The word “studio” conjures up this image of this amazing room with all this equipment. It’s a den that has loads of stuff and it doesn’t have any windows. I don’t like to spend a whole lot of time in there unless the door is open. The house isn’t very big and the option was the spare bedroom. Dave wanted something separate so he built that.

You’ve said Lawyer Dave doesn’t work well with others. Why does he work so well with you?
I’ve managed to work well with him. There’s no concession on his part. I have worked out that there is a way of doing it so that there can be an end result. Otherwise, there would be months and months of procrastination. We don’t really have tight deadlines. Everybody we work with is very understanding, but there is an outline from the inception. Deadlines are something he never had to work to. Having the studio next to the house does help. You’re not paying for studio time. I have my own band in the UK. I’ve always played and recorded with them. It’s ultimately been all my opinion and when you do something like this it can slow things down if you have to agree on something that you can’t agree on.

Do you two have similar tastes in music?
None. He played bass in my touring band for years and that might have been the first time he was playing stuff like that. He didn’t know who I was. When somebody said this girl from England needs a bass player, he was the only guy there and he got slung into it. He just got on with it. That’s how we met and over the course of time, there are places here and there where our taste runs parallel closely, but then he veers off into a land of absolute shite. He can stomach a lot more than I can. He’s musically more open than I am. We cultivate what we share rather than think about what we don’t share.

How long have you been rescuing horses?
Did it in the UK when I could over the course of many, many years since I was a teenager. It never occurred to me that I would be in the position to buy land. I would have never been in that position in the UK. Being here has enabled that to happen on a regular basis. Now, it’s more of a regular thing and there’s a steady stream of strays that eventually get re-homed and then another one comes. We can do it officially and we’re justified in asking for donations. It’s such a tiny thing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a big thing to each horse. We can’t make a huge difference but we can do what we can do.

Tour Dates

10/03/12

10/04/12

10/05/12

10/06/12

10/07/12

10/08/12

10/09/12

10/10/12

10/11/12

10/12/12

10/13/12

10/14/12

10/15/12

10/16/12

10/17/12

10/18/12

10/19/12

10/20/12

Baltimore, MD: Metro Gallery

New Haven, CT: Café Nine

Boston, MA: TT the Bear’s

Brooklyn, NY Rock Shop

Arlington, VA: Iota Club & Café

NYC, NY: Rockwood Music Hall

Asbury Park, NJ: The Saint

Philadelphia, PA: The Fire

Cincinnati, OH: Northside Tavern

Louisville, KY: New Vintage Showcase

Toledo, OH: Mickey Finn’s

Cleveland, OH: Beachland Tavern

Detroit, MI: Farm and Garden

Chicago, IL: Beat Kitchen

Lawrence, KS: The Jackpot Saloon

St. Louis, MO: Firebird

Chattanooga, TN: JJ’s Bohemia

Atlanta, GA :The EARL

 


Jeff

 
Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.