On December 16th, Holy White Hounds opened for The Struts at their show at the TLA. Holy White Hounds is made up of Brenton Dean on lead vocals, James Manson on guitar, Ambrose Lupercal on bass, and Seth Luloff on drums. The group is from Des Moine, Iowa, and has been on tour almost all year after releasing their debut album Sparkle, Sparkle in May. Their infectious, guitar driven riffs have quickly given them attention on radio stations across the country, and they even earned a spot on the Bonnaroo lineup this past summer. The guys sat down with me before their show to talk about the band.
When was your first show with all four of you?
James: It was with a band called The Envy Corps, but when was it?
Brenton: Like three years ago, in October in Des Moines. And Envy Corps is our producer’s band, he plays guitar for them, so that was pretty cool.
Did you do some touring after you put out your EP, “Oh Mama” in 2014 or mostly focus on completing the full album?
Brenton: The EP was like a preview of the full length album we were putting together. The songs from the EP are there for the most part, well four out of the five are on the full album. We mostly did some legs, which was basically us branching out to nearby cities. We would go from Des Moines to Omaha and then go back home, and the next weekend would be Des Moines to Chicago. We branched out away from Des Moines over weekends to try and build an audience in those places so we could go out further next time. We wanted to do smart touring, because touring is pretty hard.
You guys have been touring almost nonstop this year, what kind of experiences or takeaways did you get?
James: It has been extremely good for the most part, great times in our little white van. Forty square feet of space, smells like farts and it’s awesome [laughs]. No but it’s awesome, it’s our job and we’re extremely lucky to be able to do it. It’s a great way to see the country.
Ambrose: Great way to stay in shape.
James: Not really, you’re sitting for eight hours a day [laughs].
What was one of your favorite shows you’ve played, or just a really special one?
Seth: We played a show in Rochester recently, a basement show that I really liked. That was rad.
Brenton: Philly is always a good time, we’ve played here twice before. One was our own headline show, and we played with The Cult earlier this year at the Electric Factory–that was rad. I still have really fond memories of the basement shows we played at our friends’ houses. The first show that me and Ambrose ever played together was in high school, at this guy Eric’s house. He was a good friend of ours and he had a band called Janitors of the Apocalypse. We played a show in his basement, which he called the Death Star, and it was the coolest venue to go to with friends. Still have a lot of fond memories of those shows.
Do you guys plan new songs on the road or do you prefer to wait for some off time to write?
Brenton: The intention is to always write on the road. You never know how much time you’re going to get at soundcheck or something to try out new ideas, but we definitely do writing.
Seth: There’s plenty of inspiration on the road, but not a lot of productive writing. Maybe some lyrical stuff, but musically, it’s a lot harder.
Brenton: Yeah, a lot of experiences that come from the road end up getting written about when you’re home.
What is your favorite band to listen to right now?
Brenton: Tame Impala, definitely. Or the Beastie Boys.
Ambrose: I keep going back to NOFX.
Seth: I agree with Tame Impala, always been big with me. Since Currents came out, I can’t stop listening to them.
Brenton: Lonerism was a masterpiece, such a weird vibe. I wasn’t expecting Currents at all, I had to think about it for a while, and all of the sudden I was like damn, this is beast.
Any plans about touring for next year that you can share?
James: We have a few shows in January and a couple in February, but nothing really set yet.
Brenton: Probably some sort of festival circuit for the summer, but nothing concrete as of now.
Your full length album Sparkle Sparkle came out earlier this year, but do you have any new songs written? Any new plans moving forward?
Brenton: We actually have like forty songs written. We’re thinking about a whole new direction, thinking about scrapping everything when we get home and starting new. We also have the feeling to scrap everything we’re doing because we’re always trying to top what we just did. But we definitely will have a new album. We’ll see what happens.
Keep an eye out on their website for future shows and news about the upcoming album.