Skinny Hobos

By Ben Doy

Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin (see full dates and venues below). 

I caught up with drummer Texas Holdom to talk about the tour, their new single Suburban Living, and their long awaited debut album. 

How did Skinny Hobos form? 

The band formed in 2014 when we were working together in a music store. Alex wanted to try a guitar so we stayed late in the shop one day. At the same time he said 'Do you want to jam while we're here?'. So I pulled out a drum kit, we had a jam, and that was it. For that first jam there was something there that we felt was cool, different and something we could work with.

We never intended to start a two-piece vibe, but once we started it it just kind of made sense. 

Do you think you're limited just being a two-piece? 

It can do, it did in the earlier days. As a drummer I'm not necessarily limited but as a guitarist Alex was limited with what he could play because of the sounds he could make. We always wanted to be just a band, and none of this 'Oh, you're just a two-piece band'. And we sound like a full band. So certain stuff we were playing didn't come across with the gear we were using in the way we wanted. So as he sort of built up his sound, it definitely opened up more and more with what we can do. Especially using things like loop pedals, so now he can loop a bass line and play the guitar over top of it.  Then all of a sudden we're a three-piece band.  He can then lay a loop down with his guitar and play a rhythm line and then we are a four-piece band. 

So we're not as limited as we use to be, but it took months of experimentation. 

You've recently released your latest song and video clip Suburban Living, which is chapter three in a video saga. Are there more chapters planned?  

Well... I wouldn't say there are more chapters planned, we haven't really thought that far ahead.  We definitely had the aim to keep all the visual aspects connected that way. I don't think we quite anticipated it to be chapters like it has been, but it was always the talk of keeping things connected. 

As for future chapters, we can't give away just too much yet. 

Who was the brains behind the video? 

That was Stefan Coetzee. He was the director and directed all three of videos. He came up with the concept for the first one 'The Merchant Of Tirau' and made up a storyboard for us. We loved it and ran with it. And I think he obviously looked at it and thought 'There's more to this story, where does it go?' and kind of created the story as it's gone along. So Stefan and his partner & producer Alani Lewis, they were the two behind making the videos a reality. 

Is there an album in the works?

Yeah, there will be an album before the end of the year. We've been saying that for a long time now (laughs). It's been a bit of a process. We had plans and then things happened in the way we didn't anticipate. But it is there and it is waiting, and it will be out before the end of the year... I can definitely promise that. 

Where do you guys do the majority of your recording?

The recordings for the singles are all done at Roundhead Studio. We've done a couple of pre-production sessions at smaller studios, but everything you've heard from us, well the good commercial releases from us, are all from Roundhead - mixed by Nick Poortman and mastered at Kog Studios by Chris Chetland.

We talked about keeping people as local as possible, we're big fans of New Zealand music and what it has to offer. There are a lot of really talented people here so it made sense to keep it as local as we could. 

You've got a tour starting with Decades, Dead Favours and Bakers Eddy. Have you played with these bands before?

We've played with Dead Favours and Bakers Eddy; our first ever tour actually was with Bakers Eddy - back at the end of 2015. So we've known them for a long time now and they're great friends of ours. We know everyone from Dead Favours from previous bands and we've played a few gigs with them. We haven't directly played with Decades but we both played at Homegrown earlier this year although on different stages. It will be cool to get out on the road with them. We did do four dates around the country will Villainy last year and Emma, the singer from Decades, she tour managed that. So we have that history there. 

What can we expect from your shows?

A whole lot of noise and a whole lot of facial hair! That's the easiest way for me to put it (laughs). But it will just be a good set of bangers really. It's one of those things where we've got the singles so we'll be smashing those out, but we've got a couple of surprises in there. 

And following this tour, what other plans have you got for the rest of 2017?

Pretty much the focus after the tour will be the album. We'll do this tour and then smash out the album, get it released and tour around the country. Make a whole lot of noise and make a whole lot of people happy because people have been asking for our album for over a year now


ALL OUR TRUTHS tour – featuring Decades, Skinny Hobos, Dead Favours and Bakers Eddy

Friday 14 July - Gravity Bar, HAMILTON
Saturday 15 July - Galatos, AUCKLAND
Saturday 22 July - Meow, WELLINGTON
Friday 28 July- Blue Smoke, CHRISTCHURCH
Saturday 29 July - Refuel, DUNEDIN

Tickets on sale Thursday June 1 at 12pm from www.wearedecades.com