Interview with Holly Vincent

Interview with Holly Vincent

(Originally appeared in Mutant Renegade Zine #4, Fall 1994)

What!? You never heard of Holly Vincent? She’s a lengend. She’s toured with The Clash and The Ramones. Hell, she’s even recorded “I Got You Babe” with Joey Ramone. Her song, “Tell That Girl to Shut Up.” was a hit for the group Transvision Vamp.

Well, don’t be too hard on yourself. I had no idea of who she was either. But I recently caught up with her as her new band, The Oblivious, rolled into town to support their new album, America (and boy was she) Wasted.

MRZ – How long has the band been together?

HV – We’ve been together since June ’93. Steve was with me in Holly and the Italians, and I just recently hooked up with the rest of the band.

MRZ – What sort of scene were you plaing in out in L.A.?

HV – Well actually with this band I went specifically into the studio to make a record. These gigs with Concrete Blond are the first one’s we played. We never actually played the L.A. club circuit. We are doing some small clubs now away from Concrete Blond. When they have a day off, we’ll head to some club and play.

MRZ – Did you start out with a particular sound in mind that you wanted for the album or did things just happen?

HV – It just happened. That’s the way it usually works for me. I just pick people because I like the way they play. I get them together and see what we can come up with.

MRZ – What made you decide to go for the violin and mandolin thing on your CD?

HV – In 1982 I had a band. It had the same line-up; guitars, bass, drums and violin. After that I started using a lot of cello. When I went to do this record, I knew this violinist. I hadn’t actually played with her and I didn’t know if it would work.

We invited her to the studio one night and we cut three tracks with her not even knowing the songs. We just gave her a chord chart and had her just go for it. It sounded great, so I had her come back and do more and now she’s part of the band.

MRZ – Where do you enjoy playing most?

HV – I like the bigger places actually. I prefer a little bit of distance and ambiguity. The intimacy of smaller clubs is sometimes unnerving. So for me it’s easier to play in front of a lot of people.

MRZ – How did you hook up with Deamon Records?

HV – It’s Amy Ray’s record lable. She’s one of the Indigo Girls. She was a fan of mine from my earlier days with Holly and the Italians. A cello player I was using a few years ago was touring with the Indigo Girls and she introduced the two of us. Amy asked if I wanted to make a record and I said yeah.

It gave me a chance to start with a clean slate, a new band. Most of the stuff on the CD was written in the last six months. I wanted it to be a band. It evolved very quickly. We rehearsed tow weeks and went in and made the record in three weeks. We did everything really fast.

MRZ – Why did you name the CD “America”?

HV – There’s a song on the album called “America, I’m Wasted” and I really like that song. I wanted to call the whole album that, but I have the reputation of being really wasted a lot, so I decided to leave the ‘wasted’ part out and just call it “America”.

MRZ – Who’s the kid on the cover?

HV – That’s my son.

MRZ – What does he think of his mom being a rocker?

HV – I think he likes it and he hates it. I haven’t seen him in two months, so he probably hates it right now. He likes to play instruments himself and he’s really into Frank Black. My brother plays drums for Frank Black.

MRZ – Who do you like to listen to?

HV – Early Sabbath, Ramones, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Breeders and other types of music that’s not really rock n roll. All sorts of stuff. Stuff that rocks.

Steve – She really listens to Yes and Genesis in the back of the bus.

HV – I do not.

Steve – I would like to ask a question. Holly, do cowgirls really get the blues?

HV – Sometimes they do… Once a month.

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