Who are you and what are you doing here? (what is your name, what is the band and what is your role in the band?)
My name is John Miller and I write, record and perform under the moniker The Holy Dark. My new record Pretty Little Bird represents my work as a singer/songwriter but in a full band outfit.
How did the band start?
While my solo work has been a major focus in my life for the last 9 years The Holy Dark was a new concept built around the record Pretty Little Bird. During the writing process I knew I was walking into unfamiliar territory and that something much bigger was around the bend. I come from bands, it’s in my blood and it was really only a matter of time before I expanded my work to include other performers.
How would you describe your band?
While The Holy Dark is a bit experimental I think the genre Gloom/Folk best describes the overall sound. Lyrically The Holy Dark is all about tough conversations and relatable issues about growing up. Musically I like the descriptor Gloom because it sets the tone for the band whereas Folk covers a pretty wide range of possibilities. One could expect an acoustic/electric band like Bright Eyes to fall under this Genre. It’s hard to compare your work to others but so far Gloom/Folk has helped bridge that gap in a really significant way.
If you had to choose one song you’ve written that best defines your band which one would it be?
“Sleeping In” from Pretty Little Bird is a song that I think best defines The Holy Dark. Musically and dynamically it takes you all over the place with lush organic acoustic tones, dirty distorted guitars, huge punches and smooth calming harmonies. The lyrics are extremely personal and touch on things like mental health and ideology. “God damn, I am what I am!” “My faith is gone, I’m lost and adrift. I’m sleeping in, I don’t exist.” This song was actually what inspired the concept for the full band record and in a way is responsible for the existence of The Holy Dark all together.
In this day and age where anyone is pretty much able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets your band apart from the rest?
I create music written from my own personal perspective of walking through life. Maybe I have a lot more in common with other artists than I realize but certainly my experience is unique just as yours would be for you. I also firmly believe in community over competition, I think this idea bleeds into my writing and my overall message. While there are many artists who write about their relationships or how they like to have fun it’s really important to me to talk about difficult issues like mental health, sexuality, ideology or lack thereof. I can’t say that sets me apart from the vast majority of artists in the music industry but it’s definitely something that I think is lacking and I’d like to see to hell of a lot more bands and artists share their stories.
Where are people able to hear your songs?
You can listen to Pretty Little Bird on all of your favorite streaming platforms including Spotify, iTunes and many more. CDs and digital download are available as well. My personal favorite way to introduce someone to my music is at a show but maybe consider checking this out first, it’s a great place to start: http://smarturl.it/theholydark
Are you playing any shows anytime soon?
I am days away from hitting the road for a California tour but there will be many shows and tours coming up in the very near future. Check out www.TheHolyDarkBand.com/Tour to stay informed.
What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a band?
My greatest achievement as a band has been finding (or being found by) Dodgeball Records. I have mostly been a closeted musician for a very long time. Much of this was due to my depression, anxiety and fear of never being accepted. Dodgeball Records has given me this unique and amazing opportunity to tell everyone who I am and to start some serious conversations through music. It’s a really beautiful thing what they’ve done for me and the adventure is really only just beginning.
Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?
Do yourself and favor and (PLEASE) check out Field Medic, Night Riots, and last but not least Derek Ted. These bands/artists are truly amazing and will be your new favorites.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I love talking to people, I actually talk way too much, and I’d like to encourage anyone/everyone who either struggles with mental health issues, or is just curious, to come out to my shows. I want to hang out with you, I want you to feel safe, heard, understood and equal. It’s really easy to stay home, and that’s totally fine but please remember there are others like you out there trying to create a positive environment. I’d love to meet you