“I had two friends (who) liked all this strange punk music. I would skip school and go to their house and listen to music.”
– Brenton Dean
By Nikki Hedrick
It would seem that Holy White Hounds are experiencing a meteoric rise, the kind that fills up the dreams of musicians the world over. Lead vocalist and guitarist Brenton Dean tells The Beachcomber how appearances are a little different from reality.
Dean and Hounds bass player Ambrose Lupercal have been playing music together since high school. The other band members–James Manson on guitar and Seth Luloff on drums—came along shortly later. As a group, they released their first EP in 2014, were signed to Razor & Tie Records in February 2016, and released their full-length album Sparkle Sparkle in May. They continue to climb the rock charts and broke the top 10 with the track “Switchblade.”
“We’re super grateful for everything,” says Dean. “But if I’m being totally honest, there hasn’t really even been time to stop and think about it. We like to keep our heads down and keep working, so when we get word that our single is at a new spot on the chart, it is exciting.
“We’re always very happy, but there isn’t always a lot of time to process it, because when we hear something like that, it’s like, Alright, I guess it’s time to get into the practice space and start writing our next single.”
The idea is that every song and every album runs its natural course. As a band, Holy White Hounds wants to be prepared to follow up on their success with the best material possible.
“There was a moment when we got signed when it was like, Man, this is so surreal. This is something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid. And when we got home, we all knew that we had to go back to what got us into that position. We are so happy to be signed, but now we have to keep working,”
True to their word, during a small break in the band’s touring schedule, the Holy White Hounds are tucked away in their Des Moines, Iowa rehearsal space making demos of new songs.
“The coolest benchmark is being able to play music for a living and knowing how lucky you are. And wanting to work your ass off so you can keep doing that.”
When it comes to writing, the focus is on a group mentality. “We are the Holy White Hounds,” says Dean. “We never put anybody over anybody. When we’re out on the road, everyone has to be away from their families–their home, their friends and their jobs–so everybody is making the same sacrifices when we’re away and on tour. We view each other as equals.
“In the end, I’m not sure anyone is going to know who wrote what, because in the end all the songs will just be credited to Holy White Hounds. They will all be Holy White Hounds songs.”
As for genre labels and comparisons, Holy White Hounds have had their fair share lobbed at them. It is undeniable that a certain grittiness presents itself, and part of that is a reflection of Dean’s connection to punk music.
“I had two friends (in high school), Sarah and Michelle, and they liked all this strange punk music,” he says. “I would skip school and go to their house and listen to music. They showed me all of this crazy music. I remember not knowing what to think about a lot of it.
“I really fell in love with those dirty tones, and that garage-y sound. And I think you can hear that in a lot of our stuff too.”
Having only been officially signed for under half a year, Dean is excited about what’s in the pipeline. “There (are) going to be a lot of announcements very soon, I’m just not allowed to talk to about them yet.”
Meanwhile, the Holy White Hounds will headline a show at Destin’s Club LA Saturday, Aug. 27. Discover more at holywhitehounds.com.
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