Holy Wave Q&A On New Album: “It’s For Mad Ones Only”

Garage-psych rockers, Holy Wave, have their next album Adult Fear which is out March 30 via The Reverberation Appreciation Society. The Austin based band, originally from El Paso, have been working on this album for a while and have toured all over the world since their last release in 2016.

Although now living in Austin, Texas, Holy Wave has continued to represent their hometown of El Paso through their album artwork. Though none are fluent Spanish-speakers, the band has several songs with Spanish titles. They themselves credit their border town upbringings as huge influences on them culturally and musically.

In an email interview, Ryan Fuson, who signed off “Ryan Klienspeigleman <3,” he spoke about the band’s origin in the Sun City of El Paso, as well as their upcoming album.

Holy Wave consists of Kyle Hager, Dustin Zozaya, Julian Ruiz, Joey Cook, and Ryan Fuson.


Question: How and when did you guys meet? Are you all from El Paso?

Answer: We all met in El Paso around 2004. Half of us were in a band called Bbbbbbbenny and the Jets and the other half were in a band called Sidwell Friends. We all hit it off pretty quickly and have been playing together since.

Q: What schools did you go to and where around the city would you hangout?

A: Kyle, Dustin, and I were all from the North East [of El Paso]. We used to hang out at Crossroads Cafe in the NE. Then we all saw Soma and pretty much hung out wherever they were playing.

Once we met the sidwell dudes we would all normally kick it on the westside at the House of Rock and Roll or Kyle’s apartment on Argonaut. Or hang at Surges.

Q: Your album and EP covers, as well as some song titles, have been in Spanish. Why is this? Do you all speak Spanish?

A: We like repping El Paso. A few of us are of Mexican decent but none of us speak fluently. We can hang though.

Q: How did the border culture impact your style and your music?

A: I’ve thought about this a lot, and I still feel like I don’t know a damn thing about it haha. I think we have a tendency to play songs of the heart, whether they are dark, or beautiful, or light hearted I think there is an element to our music that is very open and unassuming. I think that is a very El Paso quality. We wanna make people feel, we have always been more interested in that, than what Pitchfork will say. Which they still haven’t said anything haha.

Q: Do you still come back to El Paso often?

A: Yeah El Paso will always been our home. We try and come back as often as we can.

Adult Fear, artwork.

Q: How long has this upcoming album been in the works?

A: This album has actually been in the works for a while, we recorded it over a year ago. Some songs are a couple years old. We have come to realize that it takes quite a lot of force to move quickly in this business. We are trying more actively to do that. I think the El Paso in us makes us a little chiller than we should be at times in this game.

Q: How did you come to work with Burger Records?

A: Our label the Reverberation Appreciation Society has a deal with them so we were automatically lumped in with them. It’s been fun though they are great guys.

Q: What were the major motivations and themes in this album?

A: We were all a bit more introspective when writing this one. I think it deals with growing pains but the pains of becoming adults, of not being a child anymore and trying to rationalize it all. The whole process can be quite strange and it’s one we must all experience.

Q: Being originally from El Paso, a city that’s big on metal and now indie/dance rock, how did you end up getting to this dreamy, garage-psych sound?

A: Haha don’t be fooled there was always a scene there you just had to look deeper. We used to watch a band called Gypsy Cab Company that really shaped us in our early years. We would watch all those crossroads guys, Phillip Tubbs was playing there in those days, he’s one of the dudes in Cigarettes After Sex. Gregg was always playing pretty dreamy stuff, even inextruence had it’s dreamy moments. We also always soaked up music from outside. I would spend hours a night at my computer illegally downloading music haha.

Q: Why the decision to have the El Paso mountains on your cover and Chico’s Taco’s on the back? Is that your favorite place to eat in El Paso? Will we see more of El Paso on any covers?

A: Some dudes in the band might say yes but I’m not really a Chico’s fan, it is iconic though and we wanted people to know exactly where we came from. Also we all grew up lookin at those mountains everyday, we thought it would be better to see our name on them instead though haha.  Also to go back I’m more of a Kikis guy, or The Clock. Oh also… There will always be El Paso references.

Q: Any other thoughts or comments on the upcoming album?

A: It’s for mad ones only.

Ryan Klienspeigleman <3


By Antonio Villasenor-Baca

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