Q&A: Laura Patiño of Holiday Mountain

Holiday Mountain

Have you ever tried understand the trippy effects of drugs without ever having to take them? Well, Austin-based psych-dub trio Holiday Mountain, comprised of Laura Patiño (vox/synth), Zander Kagle (drums/electronic percussion), and Bradley Will (synth/bass/vox), is like going into a candy store as a kid, and being given the chance to try an unlimited amount of colorful flavors…and experiencing the sugar rush that follows. For non-drug users, listening to them/watching them perform, is what I imagine tripping out would be like. The band’s general attitude is like David Bowie and Lady Gaga’s younger cousin, who just happens to be hyper all the time, encouraging fans to be themselves.

The band recently collaborated with Grammy-nominated producer CJ Eriksson to help blend genres on their forthcoming EP, You Be You, Pt. 1. Laura Patiño sat down to answer some questions about the new EP, touring, and the band’s crazy, cool style:

Planet Stereo: Thanks so much for doing the interview. How are you?
Laura Patiño: Hieeee! I’m pumped to be cyber chatting with ya’ll and I’m feeling in the zone as we’ve had a lot of exciting, but hard work to do recently. 

PS: How have people been responding to your new music?
LP: There have been a broad range of responses, but a frequently occurring comment is that our music makes people feel like they are tripping  on psychedelics, except they get to stay sober!
PS: Do you have a favorite song from the upcoming EP?
LP: My favorite song is “Get Really Freaky,” as it was written about a couple different strong females in my life, and it continually inspires me to think about the strength they found in their personal relationships. We will also be debuting a music video for this song in the near future as well.

PS: What is your favorite part about going into the studio?
LP: I love the marathon amounts of time: spending a solid ten hours in the recording studio allows me to go deeper into my mind and creativity than I could otherwise. Usually, after five hours, I feel tired and unpleasantly sassy, but then I turn a mental corner, and I just feel giddy, and my inner child comes out to play! It’s pretty tough/unenjoyable to leave this fantasy world once you’re in. 

PS: Would you mind walking me through the creative process?
LP: It has evolved in the time we’ve been writing together, but what’s been working most effectively for us recently is for our drummer Zander to email us a beat, and from there I drive around in my car listening to the beat and I’ll think of vocal hooks, verses, raps, or whatever comes naturally. After I lay down a rough vocal track, Brad finds his synth parts and/or bass lines. From there, we basically have the track and it allows us time to creatively digest an idea in whatever way/time of day works best for us individually.

PS: Not too long ago, you released the video for “Motion Sickness.” What was the filming like?
LP: It was super fun! It was pretty low maintenance for us- it mostly just required us spazing out in front of a green screen!

PS: How much input did you have in the concept?
LP: Our manager, Aaron Brown with Onion Creek Productions, had the concept; he was inspired by visual hallucination videos on YouTube and we already had a song about motion sickness so it was an easy fit. 

PS: You guys play a LOT of shows. How do you manage to find time to write new material?
LP: Yah we love to play shows!! Usually Zander stays up late working on a beat in Ableton out of necessity to not lose his mind, and then I work on the idea once I wake up in the morning. I think Brad usually finds his inspiration at night. We can usually get a song demo’d in a day or two. 

PS: What would you like people to come away with when they hear your album?
LP: We want our listeners to feel excited, motivated to express themselves, and above all we want them to dance hard!

PS: Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
LP: I love playing “Feelin’ It” live; there are mega levels of sass in this song and the chorus groove is pretty inspired by bounce music like Big Freedia. It’s always awesome to see how people choose to dance to this one!

PS: How did you get involved in music?
LP: My mom got me into classical piano when I was five years old, along with choirs and plays, and all that, so I really owe a lot to her for always seeing potential in me. 

PS: If you could work with any artist, past or present,who would it be and why?
LP: All of us in the band completely love Major Lazer and really anything Diplo does. His understanding of sound and production is so next level and aspirational. All his sounds just have a huge a$$!

PS: When looking at the current music scene, do you think social media is helping or hindering artists?

LP: That’s a great question! I think artists need to try to adapt to the current social climate- a lot of successful people I admire understand the art of being relevant and connecting with their audience. That being said, it’s easy to value wanting people to like you to an unhealthy extent and it sucks to perceive your own life experience as better or worse based off how many people like it. Personally, I just try to prioritize making the best art I can and trust that I will get to share it with everyone and get the recognition I desire when the time is right.

PS: Any Last Words?
LP: We love you, and we can’t wait to group hug so many new friends this May and June on our two-month US tour in support of our new EP, You Be You Pt.1, out April 28th!! Keep shining, being weird, and scaring squares!
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