Holy Liars
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Holy Liars

Athens, Georgia, United States

Athens, Georgia, United States
Band Rock Classic Rock

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"Musicians advocate genre blend of ‘countretel’"

Musicians advocates genre blend of ‘countretel’


By HOLLY YOUNG on December 1, 2011





If Brad Paisley could go back 35 years and collaborate with Thin Lizzy, the resulting music would sound something like Holy Liars’.


Not content to play country or rock sounds, Holy Liars mixes both in its songs and sets. Lately, however, the band has been scaling back — focusing more on powerful single shows than tours to ‘faraway’ places. JESSICA BANES/Staff

The trio of friends combines their different influences of rock, country and classic metal to play heavy rock riffs with a twang.

“We try to tow the line between metal and country,” said guitarist and vocalist Carter Ross. “We’re big fans of ’70s metal, and we’re also big country fans. If you put the two together you make … muntry … or countretel.”

Though drummer Peter Van Schoick holds down the rhythm with simple countretel beats, Ross and bassist Asa Leffer contribute classic rock guitar work with a southern twist and hints of gloom.

“I like music that has some darkness to it lyrically,” Ross said. “But I also like really extreme kind of sounds. I always found myself listening to a lot of crazy metal and experimental stuff.”

The band formed in 2006 after Van Schoick and Ross moved to Athens from Boon, N.C. to focus on making music with their previous band.

After producing two albums for Holy Liars, Leffer completed the group when he formally joined as the replacement bassist.

In the beginning the group enjoyed touring and partying, but it’s since settled into a slower-paced, more laid-back phase of making music.

“All my rowdy friends have settled down now,” Leffer said. “We’ve decided to have real houses and relationships.”

Leaving the party days behind, the Liars have embarked on a path of maturing into a music-producing machine.

“By choosing to not go on these expensive faraway tours and focus on making music here in town, it reinvigorated us and made it more fun,” Van Schoick said. “And it took away the pressure of having to make enough money for gas.”

The financial strain is also lessened by self-producing music at an in-home studio.

“We can record awesome music at an extremely low cost because of the knowledge, skill and equipment we have here at home,” Van Schoick said.

For the past several months, the band’s members have temporarily halted local performances to focus more on music production.

The Caledonia performance will be their first show since AthFest, and will be followed by a CD release show shortly after at the Georgia Theatre.

“In the meantime, we’re very productive because we’re recording and making a product,” Van Schoick said.

And the new focus on this product promises music that’s more polished than ever, which will be showcased less frequently at shows intended to entertain audiences rather than themselves.

The trio agreed the transition from mostly touring to focusing on writing new material was a good move.

“It’s better this way because [performing live] is a special event,” Leffer said. “Not like, ‘Oh your band’s playing again, I’ll try to make it.’”

HOLY LIARS

Where: Caledonia

When: 9:30 p.m.

Price:
- Red and Black


"Holy Liars Heat Lightnin Album Review"

Record Review
Holy Liars
Heat Lightning
Independent Release

Critics of modern country music (and really, pop and rock, too) often lament the formulaic nature of songwriting which makes the tracks so predictable. Upon first listen, many tracks on Holy Liars' most recent album, Heat Lightning, seem contrived to fit the mold shaped by Nashville suits, a crime against Athenian ears. While the catchy lyrics, twangy accent and instrumentation of Heat Lightning prove that Holy Liars are aware of the necessary ingredients in this formula, a closer listen makes it apparent that this Southern rock band has no fear of forcing the boundaries to incorporate a view of the more illicit side of country life. Even better, this perspective seems genuine. Thanks to anthemic, heavily rock-infused tracks, it is impossible not to picture members of this band "passin' a bottle in the afternoon/ passin' joints in your Suburu," habits that highlight "the way it was at home" in the song "Kick in the Pants."

Listening to this album makes you want to rip off the sleeves of your Waylon Jennings t-shirt, cut off the legs of your Goodwill jeans, light up a Marlboro, and drink Budweiser on the tailgate of a truck you stole to peddle drugs. Holy Liars give a well-deserved double middle-finger salute to the bubble gum country songs being churned out some 300 miles northwest of Athens.

Jodi Murphy
- Flagpole Magazine


Discography

Holy Liars "Smoke" 2008
Holy Liars "Dirtbag" 2010
Holy Liars "Heat Lightning" 2012

Photos

Bio

Holy Liars plays dark, intelligent, heavy Southern rock. Led by Carter Ross, whose strong songwriting draws from a well of Southern angst and joyful rebellion, and whose guitar is mean and loud, and rounded out by Asa Leffer on bass and Peter Van Schoick on drums. Holy Liars is a whiskey-fueled force to be reckoned with. In 2008, Holy Liars released their debut album SMOKE, which captured the band’s midpoint between country and rock and roll. Their follow-up record, DIRTBAG, was heavier and more muscular. Their newest record, HEAT LIGHTNING, will be released on January 20th, 2012, at the Georgia Theatre, and explores darker territory than their previous work. HEAT LIGHTNING includes appearances from several guest musicians, including Heather McIntosh of Gnarls Barkley. You’ll find banjos, fiddles, harmonicas, a string section, and a horn section, as well as the heavy guitars and wailing solos that defined the previous records. You can find SMOKE on iTunes. HEAT LIGHTNING will be available at the Georgia Theatre and on iTunes on January 20th, 2012.