(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #97: Pat Hynes of Holy Esque

By on Wednesday, 24th February 2016 at 11:00 am

Ahead of SXSW in Austin in mid-March, just as we have in the past 2 years of our preview coverage of the big dance, we’ll be bringing you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2016 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. In the first of these, Pat Hynes, the frontman of Scottish band Holy Esque and the owner of a quite unique set of vocal pipes, gives us some insight on his musical upbringing, including a seminal punk band he was introduced to through his father and surprising choices for the songs he wishes he’d written. Holy Esque will be releasing their debut album ‘At Hope’s Ravine’ on Friday on Believe Recordings. You can read my review of the long player here.

I chose to start this year’s Quickfire Questions with a member of a band who have already been subjected to and survived the annual March music madness as SXSW, but as you will read on in the next few weeks of these, SX is not old hat to everyone. So let the games begin…

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Melodic. Innovative. Thunderous.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Sharing our debut album in all its glory, live to new people in new places. Aside from that, there’s so much to do in Austin. This will be our fourth year attending SXSW so we know what to expect. To be honest, more than anything we’ll be sitting back and enjoying the moment.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
In the past, we’ve always looked at the list and found artists we’d like to check out but once you get there you really get caught in the whirlwind of SX. I’m sure there would be countless acts I could dig into and go to see but I think one of the best parts of SXSW is being able to roam the city freely and stumble onto something new, unexpected and ultimately enjoyable!

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Thai moonshine. My dad recently returned to a trip from Thailand and gave me a bottle of this pure grain Thai alcohol. Keir and myself have had one experience on it before and it’s probably the last thing one should take to SX, but there is fun to be had and this stuff sure helps.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
Guinness or rum. Most of us will drink anything, mind you! [Duly noted…::grin:: -Ed.]

What advice would you give other bands who have never played at SXSW before?

There’s nothing that can really prepare you for it. It really does consume you on arrival. Be prepared for madness, but on a serious note – know exactly where you’re playing, how you’re going to get there, how you’re going to get back and watch out for 6th Street!

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
When I was younger we stayed with my dad at the weekend. He’d always have music blaring in his car, so that was really my first introduction into real music and being in his company created the passion I have for it today, amongst other things. He is a massive fan of The Clash and one day played me a song called ‘Complete Control’. Nothing was the same!


What song makes you laugh?
Mac DeMarco – ‘Salad Days’.

What song makes you cry?
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – ‘Open Invitation’.


What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Bon Iver – ‘Beth/Rest’. He did a live solo version of this song years ago now. It was recorded as part of an interview with World Café where he used a piano unplugged and nothing else. I’d recommend checking it out.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
I don’t have any negative memories like this associated with music I can recall. I’m sure there have been several distressed moments sound tracked by something but they’re not coming back to me, maybe for good reason. A song that I think might calm me down would be ‘Sad Waters’ by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
This list could probably go on forever but from the top of my head. ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast has got to be one of the greatest songs ever written and to contrast that, ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’ by Roxy Music.


Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
I always struggle with favourite questions as there is so much to choose from but some of the best thing’s I’ve ever read have been by Yeats, Ginsberg and to throw someone from music into the mix: Nick Cave is phenomenal.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I’d still be lost somewhere along the way.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
I’d ask him why he only let me bring one and continue onto Hell with as many as I wish! If that doesn’t work out then it would either be ‘Unknown Pleasures’ by Joy Division or ‘Howl’ by BRMC. Sometimes in life you stumble across music that truly speaks to you, in ways that can’t be conveyed through language. When you experience moments like this you know it and feel it within you. It resonates with some distant chord that you very rarely get to play or hear. Songs that you truly connect with. These are examples of these moments in my life and for that reason I’d take them with me.

Massive thanks to Pat for answering our Quickfire Questions!

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