With their debut album imminent, a successful tour in 2016 and more dates coming up we thought it was about time you learned more about Love Zombies…
Hollis is originally from Pennsylvania and Davey is originally from New Zealand… but we now both currently live in Los Angeles, California.
How did you meet?
Hollis met Davey one night when she was on a trip to London to do some recording with a few producers out there. She happened to end up somehow at The Windmill in Brixton where Davey was playing with his band The Sharks. She ended up at an after party at their house that was called “The Dentist” – because it was upstairs from a dentist’s office! We wrote a song together that night… and the rest is history!!
How long have you been playing as a band?
We have been playing together for over two years now at least.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We actually don’t get sick of this question! Hollis likes to answer it because she has the chance to explain really what a Love Zombie is and why we decided to call the band that! Basically Hollis feels that the world these days is becoming more and more full of technological zombies – people plastered to screens and phones. We feel that it distracts us from more important things in life like real connection and love.
Love is the answer to so much. We all have obstacles and arguments and get mad at each other sometimes, but if we hide behind phones and have this courage you would never have in person it really disconnects us and dehumanizes us, making us all become robots.
So Love Zombies are kind of the answer to what’s happening to the world and the zombies walking around not even knowing they are zombies!
We all like our iPhones, but I think it’s important to not be asleep through out your life! Wake up World! See what is going on and look up – we need each other! Things are not getting better out there!
What are your influences?
Blondie and the Ramones are a big influence on Love Zombies’ music and we have been compared to them a lot. We love great melodies and music that has a kick and punch and really rocks and make people happy and fired up and I think both those bands really did that. The Beatles were a big influence on both Davey and I as far as songwriting goes. As far as front women, Hollis always looked up to strong unique women like Gwen Stefani and Cyndi Lauper. We love the punk attitude. Davey loves Joe Strummer from The Clash and Johnny Thunders from The New York Dolls.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I would describe our music at first listen as fun, upbeat and catchy – but I think what makes us unique is that no one can really place us totally into a set genre because we have elements of a few different genres (rock, pop, punk, new wave etc.) going on musically, combined with a bit of a wacky front woman who again can’t totally be “defined or placed into a box” either.
Hollis is a cross between Iggy Pop, Cyndi Lauper, Gwen and Blondie, but can also bust out the piano/keytar and harmonica and make you cry with her realness and rawness… which again totally brings a different side to the show, so that in itself is unique. There isn’t “another” Hollis out there. All this in some ways has actually worked against us in getting a record label or support who can really push us to the next level with some kind of backing and mass distribution. We do it all ourselves currently.
You would think not being a clone of everyone else would be a good thing, but these days we feel there are not a lot of visionaries left because the music landscape has changed so much. They want the guaranteed quick thing – easily definable. Country, pop, dance, rock, metal, R and B… whatever, really. Record labels and the gatekeepers of the industry wanna make sure their jobs are safe and their pockets are lined at the expense of missing out on truly unique artists because they are scared to take a chance and invest or develop people like they did back in the day.
How many times have “industry” people come to our sold out shows with fans going crazy but still stand there with their thumbs up their a$$holes not willing to lift a finger because they can’t place what we do into a specific genre? Don’t wanna be bothered thinking outside the box and don’t wanna invest any money, God forbid, so we can buy a van or get the proper equipment we need to really keep going and continue to grow our fanbase on a bigger level. Love Zombies is their worst night mare! HAHAAH!
The fact is that Love Zombies is a smorgasbord of love and music and the fact that we have fans and demographics of all ages from 5 years old to 65! We have soul, fire and passion. We know how to play our instruments well enough and can write good songs. We play with different members sometimes cuz that’s just what we gotta do! We play what we want, how we want to! That’s what makes us unique. We actually could not give two f*cks about anything except about writing good songs and caring about our fans. Simple as that!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
We do. I mean we are working class artists/people who have been developing our music and bands for a long time – it doesn’t happen overnight. I wouldn’t say we’ve had loads of “breaks” or got things handed to us. We work our asses off for what we have and can relate to the struggle. Cuz’ the struggle is real! So we talk about things like that.
Hollis has frustrations because she feels a lot of Earth’s problems and people’s struggles can be answered with more love and if people woke up to what’s really going on and realized that, if we united and cared about everyone, not just our own families but viewed everyone as a family, this world really would change for the better. If we said noooo to the small percentage of people ruling the world making us all suffer and live in fear, ego and confusion.
Unity, rebellion, self-responsibility and improvement, taking our power back. Laughter. These are all themes that you hear throughout our music. Hollis loves to escape into magical worlds and realms because she feels this Earth is a very heavy and dense reality. She wants to try and bring some light into what could be at times a very dark world.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live shows are fun! We love having the audience involved! Hollis likes to make special packages and different handmade merchandise options available at shows and have a special outfit for each tour or set of shows. Hollis likes to touch people and hug people in the front. We have played a lot of shows. I mean as Love Zombies we played loads but Davey and Hollis – we have probably played hundreds. Of course we want to play more!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We saw a goat get groomed on stage while being held by a woman bouncing up and down on a trampoline.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Davey plays a Gibson non Reverse Firebird and a 1963 Gretsch. We like Marshall Amps.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Well we are recording another album, called No Slow Songs. It’s going to be a live studio album and we have fans coming in for a day to be part of the live studio audience at a very special studio we are renting. You can check out the pledge link to support as it’s still going on for a few more weeks! We are also planning to start doing shows in Los Angeles and California and the start to tour the U.S and get our album Passionfruit out there!!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I would love to support No Doubt some day, that would be such a dream come true! I would have Shirley Levi open for us. Shirley is an amazing artist and her music is getting played these days all over Europe and the U.S. I’m sure someday hopefully not far off we will do a co-headline tour. I can’t wait to tour with her.
Courtesy of previous Band of the Day artist Ruben Hultman: What part of the creative process do you find the most difficult and how do you deal with it?
I ( Hollis) find recording, dealing with the technical stuff and social media the most difficult. I guess that isn’t really the creative part you’re probably asking about, but it kind of is as it’s so important these days to get it out there on the social media or whatever!
I guess being creative in how to do all that yet isn’t my strong point. I find balancing it all a bit difficult which is probably why we don’t have more followers yet. I find sitting in front of a computer or on a phone hashtagging things all day torture. I know it’s necessary and I try, but something still hasn’t clicked for me yet.
SHAMELESS PLUG: If anyone enjoys doing social media, likes our band and wants to help us grow our numbers etc., please let me know and email [email protected]
Header image by Ki Price.