Tim Holehouse Interview

Tim Holehouse comes from Portsmouth, UK. He’s probably one of the most active musicians you have ever met. Playing music since the age of 14, and with a solid background in various guitar-oriented genres, for the past six years he’s been almost constantly on tour, spreading his solo music. His September ’13 tour is bringing Tim on the Balkans, and we wouldn’t miss the chance to ask him several questions before witnessing him perform live in Sofia.

*Tim Holehouse is playing in Sofia on 06/09/13. The show will take place at RUBBER Gallery (‘Gerlovo’ str. 13), starting at 20:00 with a free donation entry. The opening act is the local electro-acoustic project |14|.

First of all who is Tim Holehouse, what’s he’s been playing all around the globe and what’s his background both in life and music?

I have been in various bands of different forms, from the more progressive band Shima to the metal band Among the Missing. Basically I started playing music when I was 14 years old. Starting on the bass and being a singer, bass player or guitar player for various bands. I never intended to be a solo artist… Always been the guy in the band.

I did some solo stuff for fun and then it sort of took over from there. In 2007 I kind of focused on my projects a bit more as initially I was doing the ambient and sound collage stuff with the Blues Material. So that is when I split myself up. Now I have Tim Holehouse and I do songs based on the old delta blues style. TCH (timothy c holehouse) is my outlet for doing drone/noise/folk/doom/ambient soundscapes. However, on 27th September 2014 this project will be ended, as I have plans for starting something new under a different pseudonym, because people seem to get the two projects mixed up. I’m also now writing a lot for Vaelium, a friend’s drone/doom band, where I play the guitar. I will keep playing the blues stuff under my own name.

In your website you state, that for the past several years you’re constantly on tour, how did you decide that and how is it working for you?

I have always wanted to just hit the road and do my music. And I guess a lot of things in my life ended at that period you are referring to, and I just felt it was now or never the time to take the risk, and just do it. It’s been up and down financially I guess, but then that’s always going to be the case when you are self-employed. However, lately it’s been going well. I think the main reason to have this kind of lifestyle is because you enjoy what you do. I love music and I love playing it for people all over the world.

How long do you think you would be able to maintain this nomadic lifestyle?

I guess the original reason to leave is very different from the reason, currently making me go on. I’ve always wanted to make music for a living and tour with few friends who lived this way. I’ve always toured and played lots of shows with various bands I have been in, and I was always the guy who was sad when we came home when tour was over, unlike the rest who were happy to be back. I guess this decision just made sense for me. I don’t know how long will continue. I’m booking up to June next year. I guess one can never tell what health and life things could happen sometimes. Maybe at some point I’ll slow down a bit, and maybe open a recording studio, as that something I’m pretty interested in. Maybe also do film soundtracks… But still no end in sight.

We’re a zine extensively promoting and fascinated by incorporating the DIY ethics in our everyday lives, are you sharing this lifestyle principle and if yes what are you doing yourself?

Yes very much so. I book my own shows, I drive myself,  it’s all down to me. I have come from the DIY hardcore/punk scene and that has really been a big thing to me. When I was growing up, one of my favorite bands were the Minute Men and their motto was “We jam econo!” Sometimes it’s nice to have somebody help with all the booking, and maybe somebody else to drive me so I could concentrate on the music more. I mean, I spend a lot of time doing all that stuff, being a full-time touring artist is a job at the end of the day. But the bit at the end (and the bit I get paid for) is really fun. I love playing shows and making music. I feel very honored the world has allowed me to do something I love for a living.

Besides music what is on your mind? Are there any causes that you’ve devoted your life to?

I’m a vegetarian, I dislike people who are racist, homophobic and generally make others’ lives difficult. I don’t believe in any religion, but have no problems with those who do. I guess supporting my football team is quite a cause too. My home town team Portsmouth has a strange history but last year became the first British club, fully owned by the fans, which was cool. They are in the bottom league now and lose a lot, but I stick in there ha ha!

Can you share some music, art, books, something we should definitely check, because we may have missed?

It’s a long topic, depending on what you are after, but I love the films of David Lynch, the books of George Orwell and Albert Camus, the music of Swans, Neurosis, Slint, Howlin’ Wolf, Captain Beefheart, etc. From my friends… Gipsy Rufina from Italy is cool, Juhana Iivolen from Finland, Oldseed from Canada and Fate vs Free Willy from Russia and Finland. I have played shows with so many great musicians over time. Gokkun from Sofia was awesome, a real showman and some of the harshest sounds I’ve ever heard. He impressed me!

What can we expect from Tim Holehouse in the future, maybe share something secret you haven’t told anybody yet or just always wanted to say?

Erm secrets… well I told you earlier I’m ending the TCH project. There is a final 3xCD album for that coming out next year. Tim Holehouse is releasing three new CD’s too, three new albums! I have the final TCH tapes on the way. Lots of releases and touring are already planned for next year. Secret… erm maybe that I could have been a professional football player but gave that up to do music.

Thanks, Tim, see you in Sofia!

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.