SUNDAY CLASSIC GTC: The Sounds of HOLIDAY SIDEWINDER [Q&A] +  FOREVER OR WHATEVER LP
Debut LP Forever Or Whatever is available @ Apple Music.
by Walter Price
Holiday Sidewinder has already traveled many journeys in life and career. Part of indie darlings Bridezilla, being raised in a nomadic family of artists and setting up what is already a sturdy foundation which to build on as a solo artist.
Nothing seems too rushed with Holiday; her music doesn’t feel forced or overly produced in ways to please the confines of popular radio formats. It’s what it is. Smart, distinctive, astral in character and neatly whimsical pop songs. Refreshing in a time when formulaic is the norm and arrogance in music rules the tabloids.
As an observer, Holiday Sidewinder portrays who she is, a student, perhaps a willing passenger of life. She is a music artist traveling the lands without too much in the way of plans for world domination. That can destroy the soul.
Sidewinder will make the music she feels and let the people decide. Her music, lifestyle, and purpose are in her blood and no need to change what is.
In other words, Holiday Sidewinder is cool.
First off, thanks for helping to keep pop music viable.
Hey Walter, thanks for the Qs!
I really haven’t heard the full story about why you went all solo.
I’ve always written on my own since I can remember. I have endless Dictaphone, Talk Girl, 8 Track, and Garage Band Recordings of songs I’ve been writing since the age of 3.
I have lyrics and songbooks from before I could even write, dictated to my mother, and hilarious fake solo album covers wearing feather boas and business cards from the 90s. It’s simply in my blood. I was always going to be a musician and a performer. I was always making a solo record.
Back to the top, there is a growing disdain for what has been shoved in our faces, down our ear canals on mainstream pop radio. Would you say this is the perfect time for you to get your full debut out?
I’d like to think that whenever you put anything out if it’s good enough if it connects, it will fly, word of mouth. Especially in this day and age.
I’ll just do what I do defiantly, with a spring in my step and a laugh in my heart, and hope for the best.
The two singles (Carousal/Born On The Wind) you’ve released have been wildly peaking the interests of people worldwide, is this most encouraging or eagerly daunting?
If people like it, in Mexico or Texas, in nursing homes or blue light discos, dishwashing or standing in an elevator. I’ll be happy and encouraged.
I enjoy what I do, and the greatest gift of all is when I can give to others.
I dig this quote from you, “I’m hoping to make a record in 2014 that will increase the national birth rate by at least 1%, have security guards whistling to themselves in a quiet hour and factory workers humming in the line. I hope all of the singles become wedding songs and karaoke classics. I hope it will be a musical landscape upon which to dwell in thought and prayer. I hope you dance. I hope you well up and then beam with joy. But hey, I don’t ask for much.” …do you want to add or subtract anything from this statement?
I could write war and peace, but I believe as much as my skills and experiences subconsciously inform my music, I am honestly a conduit, for miraculously appearing lyrics and melodies. You can’t depend on creative productivity, it comes and goes as it pleases, much like love, life and death. To have a voice that people empathize with, that moves people is a gift I’m grateful for, one I I try to hone, and use with some sense of purpose and meaning where I can. Never take anything for granted. Especially that which we cannot keep under a lock and key.
From the outside looking in you seem to be certain romanticism about the way you live your life. Going where the wind takes you, landing in foreign destination and staying unexpectedly, making music of your free will, thriving in observations… What’s the view like from the inside?
I don’t think too much about anything until I’m asked, though there are certain philosophies I remind myself of time to time as a guide when I hit walls. To make mistakes, take chances, practice love and compassion, and to find comfort in knowing that the universe is unfolding as it should.
You’re not the only one in your family that has entertainment in the blood. What sort of childhood did you have growing up in Australia?
I had a very unorthodox childhood. My family unit is too complex to explain, but it was colorful to say the least and I’m very lucky. I was surrounded by an infinite group of creative, passionate, talented people, who all cared and continue to care for me as if I were their own blood. I was sleeping in suitcases beside stages in pubs, while my mother sang. I was the baby passed around the room at parties. When I was two weeks old my mother snuck me into a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins concert under her jacket. I traveled a lot, following my parents who were working in the film industry. I fancy myself as a Saffy from Ab Fab kind of character.
What perceptions of the world did you have as a teen that absolutely devastated you once you got out and about and learned some truths?
Despite growing up surrounded by it, I never acutely realized that many of the people I knew were victims of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, and the whole bohemian lifestyle hangover from the 70s and the artistic world. That shocked me when the fluffy dreamy rose-colored veil I saw the world through was drawn from my eyes. I encountered people treating me badly and taking me for granted for the first time in my life too. I started to become less carefree, more judgmental. I think that happens to all teenagers. You recover!
You seem to carry a proper sense of humor…After navigating the music business for some time now have become jaded or just thick skinned?
There’s no use being jaded about the industry, because at the end of the day making music is entirely separate from business and you will continue to do that regardless, in spite of, the industry. You should never feel like you have to justify or compare yourself musically. Music is subjective, transcendent and holy. Music isn’t (and shouldn’t be) an industry, selling it is. Selling music in 2014 serves the same purpose as a collection plate that goes around at the end of a Sunday service. It is hard to entirely financially sustain yourself on music, as Iggy Pop and Leonard Cohen will testify! I’m lucky I’m not on the streets, to be honest, but I’m not afraid of a bit of elbow grease.
Would you say you’re more Stevie Nicks or Agnetha Fältskog?
The best of both thanks very much. How did you know?! My favourites!
When will your full length be out for us to love on?
Fingers crossed for 2015.
What are 5 things that the world should (and doesn’t) know about Holiday Sidewinder?
- I’m not a real blonde.
- Holiday Sidewinder Carmen-Sparks is my real name on all of my official ID’s and my original birth certificate, much to immigration’s amusement.
- I can whistle and hum at the same time. Still trying to find a good use for that
- I wanted to be an astronomer and study the stars, then I wanted to be Australia’s first female President. Unfortunately for my bank thus far, I make a better musician.
- I own one of the few Hammond C3 Organ’s in the UK. Bought from a Gospel Church Pastor down south, after a bidding war with a Kenyan Church, by an extremely generous fan in Australia that I have never met.
[26. October 2014]
SOUNDS of HOLIDAY SIDEWINDER
Holiday Sidewinder’s debut full-length, Forever Or Whatever, is out now.