Holy MTN
Gig Seeker Pro

Holy MTN

Frederick, Maryland, United States | SELF

Frederick, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Jam


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Troubadours: A Fresh Sound In Frederick (The Holy Mtn Interview)"

If you hit venues in Frederick on any given weekend, you are bound to hear a mix of americana, rock ranging from pop to hard core, and electronic dance. It’s a trio that creates our local staple of live entertainment. That’s why I was instantly hooked when I first heard the fresh new wave-esque pop style of the recently formed but completely solid band, Holy Mtn. It feels good to have a new genre in town and supported by a band doing it so well. Holy Mtn just released a well-produced 5 song EP entitled Delicate Man Thoughts (listen on bandcamp). Of course it’s easy to pick up on the dramatic vocals, eminent synth sounds, and keys on Delicate Man Thoughts, but the depth of sound doesn’t stop there. Delicate Man Thoughts is a perfectly moody evening escort that applies the stealthiness of a new wave pop veil to take your auditory nerves on a journey of jazzy drum riffs and down funky guitar wormholes. Listen loud. Listen intently.

I had a chance recently to visit Holy Mtn at the band’s favorite practice space and ask them a few questions about breakfast cereal, the band’s sound, and summer fun. Check out the interview below and don’t miss the show this SUNDAY NIGHT (7/7/12) at Church St. Pub! It will be an epic line up of Holy Mtn celebrating their EP release, Old Indian, and Silent Old Mtns hosting their official CD release party. - Cassandra Mullinix - Bucket of Rock Blog - Frederick News Post citizen blogger

"On the Horizon: Holy MTN"

MOUNT AIRY -- "This is where it all started," Danniel Knight said last week, sitting in the windowsill of a tiny springhouse-turned-studio that Holy MTN calls home. Sage burned, a large chalkboard (which the band later found does not erase) was covered, layer upon layer, in musical notations and sketches, and mysterious animals made noises between the walls. Outside, the night was starry on the family dairy farm of lead vocalist and lyricist Sam Tressler IV.

The small space can get chaotic sound-wise, when five musicians are packed in with instruments. They're all tight, longtime friends though, which makes being in a band -- and the small space -- easier.

Holy MTN will share the bill with Old Indian on Wednesday for a show at Flying Dog Brewery to celebrate a mural unveiling.

In addition to Tressler -- who also contributes on synth -- and Knight on guitar, the current lineup includes Devin O'Donnell on bass, Pat Harman (O'Donnell's stepbrother) on drums and Tristan Wasley on keys. Their former synth player, Britt Bailey, joined the Peace Corps in the fall.

The band name (also a '70s Spanish film and a '20s German film -- and a stoner metal band based in Florida) was chosen for its sound, mostly, its epic ring, with no specific meaning behind it.

"It kind of fit," Knight said. "Our original sound ... it was darker."

"Super dark," O'Donnell said. "No, I'm kidding."

Imagine a cross between the Talking Heads and Joy Division.

And then take note that Tressler recently got divorced.

"I didn't think I wrote lyrics about my own life, but now I kind of think I do," said an intense Tressler, with dark hair and eyes, who complements the rest of the group's affable lightness.

In its third year together, the band has gone from a more electronic feel, with a drum machine, to a punchier sound produced by a live drummer -- a switch that everyone is welcoming with open arms, allowing them to perform and practice without the interruption of "stop, hold on -- let me put 20 minutes of programming in," Tressler said.

The shift has allowed them to step into themselves as a band, creating a more complete, cohesive unit.

"We felt like it (a drum machine) was limiting, like we could only go so far with that," Knight said. "The live show is a lot better, too. ... I have more energy when I play with a drummer."

They still play older songs, but they've undergone new arrangements and the overall sound is a little different -- more straightforward -- "cleaner and sharper," Knight said.

They debuted their drummer at a Metro Gallery show in Baltimore and played Artomatic@Frederick shortly thereafter, last fall.

Drum machine or no drum machine, and heavy synth or no heavy synth, there is a new-wave thing happening -- and there is something somber about their sound.

The lyrics are "serious and reflective on life," Tressler said, "rather than just entertaining."

Even as he sings a chorus of "Happy Birthdays," it's bittersweet. This is not the Beatles' "Birthday"; think more along the lines of William Burroughs' take on a holiday in his "Thanksgiving Prayer." OK, maybe not that dark.

I've been thinking for quite some time
I never really know how to talk to you
I should've come up with words that are clich?
on a day like your birthday
so Happy Birthday --
just Happy Birthday.

The mood of the band is enhanced by Tressler's somewhat distressed and simultaneously careless voice, as if it's hanging on by a thread that could snap at any moment.

Not surprisingly, Tressler studied film and philosophy in college, and he's in the midst of applying to grad school for film. O'Donnell, meanwhile, studied religion. And Knight is studying music education at Shepherd University. Add everyone into the mix and the name Holy MTN suddenly seems fitting, if for no reason other than the members seem to be journeying, taking their paths -- be it musical or otherwise -- seriously, in an existential sense.

The band seems to walk the line between light and dark in a balancing act, producing catchy hooks, but never venturing into the extremity of bubblegum.

"We want it to be, like, a skilled pop music," Tressler said.

"We try to be progressive ... without being too redundant," O'Donnell added.

Compared to other bands, "I feel like it (writing) is a slower process," he continued. "We don't come and write five songs. We come to practice and tone songs."

Knight described composing as a free-form experience, with the occasional scratch recording done on someone's phone to remember what they just came up with.

"Would you say they're mood pieces?" Knight asked openly, to mixed responses and mutterings. "It's loose," he said. "It's very loose."

Tressler usually comes up with lyrics on the spot and refines them later.

Friday, they'll meet with Paul Mercer of Mobtown Studios in Baltimore to produce their "Next Time" single. With about 30 minutes of new material recorded to date, an album may be on the horizon.

Listen to Holy MTN at holymtn.bandcamp.com.

written by Lauren Larocca - Frederick News Post

"Dirty Beaches - Ice Cream - Holy Mtn -- Black Cat"

Not the Jodorowski film here, but rather a four-piece featuring guitar, bass, keyboards, and keys/electronics/vocals. The first song was a real grabber as they had a great balance of old-school progressive sounds, modern electronics and a British postpunk vibe. Great complexity and a strong sense of motion came through. They then mixed it up a bit, to somewhat of a lesser effect to my ears. They got a bit more rhythmic in a ska-like fashion, but it was not ska. The vocals were decent, but they had a bit of that strong David Byrne/Ric Ocasek sound which can be a bit tiring without some variance. Some of the songs were decent and had a nice flow to them. The closer was a rouser and it shows me that they probably understand their best material. It is now a matter of playing and writing and they may do just fine. - DC Rock Live


Delicate Man Thoughts-ep



Two years ago four friends started playing music in a stone springhouse on a farm to a drum machine and called it Holy MTN. With degrees in topics such as religious studies, film, philosophy, art, and music composition, each member brought unique talents and tastes to the mix, creating an interesting blend of genres ranging from electronic new wave to progressive jazz. After playing out for about a year and experimenting with some recordings, Samuel Tressler IV, Devin O'Donnell, Britt Bailey, and Danniel Knight laid the drum machine to rest and invited another friend, Pat Harman, to play on drums. Two shows later, Britt left his roll on keys for the Peace Corps and Tristan Wasley stepped in, completing the current five piece line up. Complexity and volume have increased as the five continue to fine tune their own style of pop music, where introspective lyrics meet intricate instrumentals.