The title of Holland’s new record, Photographs and Tidalwaves, upon first glance, evokes something of an ethereal, poetic mental image. That is, until you actually absorb the word “tidalwaves”, and visualize giant, Jerry Bruckheimer-esque mon-soons wiping out modern civilization as we know it. “It’s a metaphorical song about California falling into the ocean,” bassist Josiah Holland explains.
Suddenly, you’re talking about a different band. “The record is about change and how we respond to growing up in this messed-up world… Photographs and Tidalwaves really reflects the fact that when change comes, its up to us how to respond, and what attitude we're gonna face it with. We want to have a good one.”
Change appears to be a reoccurring theme in the lives of Holland members as of late. Between a new name, record label, and relocation to Nashville, among some personal tragedy (“Losing Jim”, “Bring Back July”), Will (vocals, guitar), Josiah (bass), and Yogi (drums) have had plenty to write about. But it’s this change that makes the best rock songs, and the best rock songs that make the change a little easier to deal with. Holland maximizes these difficulties as art, and turns them into infectiously hooky, four-on-the-floor rock anthems of surprising maturity and substance. Citing influences such as Superdrag, Foo Fighters, and primarily, the Beatles, Holland’s sound and message make perfect sense upon first listen. “Its just that there's such a hungry world out there, starving for any answer. I feel like we've been equipped to tell them something good; that life doesn’t really have to be so hard.” Songs like “The Whole World”, featuring an immediately memorable chorus, make clear that Holland intend to drive that positivism home with a vengeance. And, perhaps a subliminal message or two. Will Holland’s lyricism is well developed and thoughtful, but his melodies, for sure, are what will cause the widespread epidemic of whistling. Should Holland have their way, it’ll be one of the non-exclusive variety. “The bottom line for us is that we don’t want to be stereotyped and called one thing or another...we just want to make good music, be a good band, and make people happy.” The love isn’t just for the fans either: “[Will’s] the heartbeat of Holland, and personally, I think he’s a genius,” says brother Josiah.
Having been playing together for two years, Holland (formerly Somerset) was courted by several labels before deciding to make Tooth and Nail their label home. Recording their debut with Aaron Sprinkle (Kutless, Demon Hunter), a man of similar pop-rock leanings, yielded a synergy between producer and band that speaks for itself on record. “I think it was just right to use Aaron [for this record], he really let us be ourselves. He let us keep a lot of arrangements and was all ears when we expressed our ideas and concerns. He worked hard to make this record sound like us.” Photographs and Tidalwaves does sound like them, and, even more, it sounds like real people struggling with issues that aren’t altogether too uncommon. If only all the answers could sound so good. “Making people feel important is the key. Loving each other is the key.”
Source: Tooth & Nail