Holy Fuck

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For other uses, see Holy fuck (disambiguation).
Holy Fuck
Holy Fuck performing at White Heat in 2007
Background information
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Electronica, electronic rock, electro-industrial
Years active 2004 (2004)–present
Labels Dependent, Young Turks
Associated acts The Remains of Brian Borcherdt, Contrived, Wintersleep, King Cobb Steelie, By Divine Right, Buck 65, Lights
Website holyfuckmusic.com
Members Brian Borcherdt
Graham Walsh
Matt "Punchy" McQuaid
Matt Schulz
Past members Kevin Lynn
Mike Bigelow
Glenn Milchem
Loel Campbell
Brad Kilpatrick

Holy Fuck is a Canadian electronica band from Toronto. They were a part of Dependent Music, a music label and artist collective that began in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in 2004 until its closing. They are now a part of the Young Turks label.[1]

The band uses live instrumentation and miscellaneous instruments and non-instruments (including a 35 mm film synchronizer, toy keyboards and toy phaser guns) to achieve electronic-sounding effects without the use of laptops or programmed backing tracks.[2] According to Pitchfork Media, "The band was formed with the intent of creating the equivalent of modern electronic music without actually using the techniques—looping, splicing, programming and the like—of that music."[3]


Since their formation in 2004, Holy Fuck have performed at Coachella (supporting Brooklyn rapper Beans who recruited the band to serve as his backing unit), the CMJ Music Marathon, the Halifax Pop Explosion, POP Montreal, the Montreal Jazz Festival, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Vegoose, Evolve Festival, Lollapalooza, Osheaga Festival, Rifflandia Music Festival, and the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In the summer of 2007, Holy Fuck performed at the Glastonbury Festival, one of the largest music festivals in the world, where they were named the No. 3 top new act at the festival by NME magazine. They performed at Lollapalooza in 2008, replacing Noah and the Whale, and returned to headline the London Ontario Live Arts Festival.

Their music can also be frequently heard in the 4th and 5th season of the Canadian comedy television series Kenny vs. Spenny.

On August 30, 2009, Holy Fuck played the Virgin Mobile FreeFest dance stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland.

Before Holy Fuck, Borcherdt was a member of the band By Divine Right, Burnt Black and Cafe' Selectronique with Doug Barron (Hal Harbour) and Phollop Willing PA.[4]

Their debut album, Holy Fuck, recorded with Laurence Currie and Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Apostle of Hustle), was named one of the Montreal Mirror's top ten albums of 2005.

Holy Fuck have toured the United States with Wolf Parade, Super Furry Animals, Enon, !!!, Mouse on Mars, Cornelius, and Do Make Say Think. They went on a European tour with Buck 65 in early 2006.

In January 2006 they were named one of ten finalists for the $3,000 Galaxie Rising Stars Award of the CBC, part of Canadian Music Week's Indie Awards held in March.[5]

The band released their second album, entitled LP, in 2007. The album was nominated for Alternative Album of the Year at the 2008 Juno Awards, and was also shortlisted for the Canadian Polaris Music Prize.

In 2008 Holy Fuck added a remix of "Nude" by Radiohead to Radiohead's remix website, where Internet users could vote for the best remix.

They also toured venues in North America with M.I.A. in 2007 and 2008. In 2008 former Enon drummer Matt Schulz joined the band during their live performances.

In August 2008, the Ottawa Citizen and others reported that the ruling federal Conservatives had issued a talking points memo regarding the cancellation of the PromArt program, funding international promotional tours by Canadian artists. The memo justified the cancellation on the grounds that its recipients included, among other notables, "a rock band that uses an expletive as part of its name", apparently referring to Holy Fuck.[6] The band took offense at this suggestion.[7] In an interview, the band said regarding their name: “It’s been pretty annoying, but it’s gotten us a lot of publicity, so we can’t complain about that." [8]

Brian Borcherdt took time away from the band to support his next solo album, Coyotes, which was released on October 7, 2008.[9]

The track 'They're Going to Take My Thumbs" appears in the first episode of Season 2 of Breaking Bad. "Royal Gregory" was used in the 2008 video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles as well used in the official trailer for the game. The song "Lovely Allen" can be heard in a Dodge Chrysler Jeep commercial.[10]

In 2009 Holy Fuck took part in an interactive documentary series called City Sonic. The series, which featured 20 Toronto artists, had Brian Borcherdt reflecting on his time at Sneaky Dees.[11]

Holy Fuck's third full-length studio album, Latin was released May 11, 2010 through Young Turks and XL Recordings. In the United States, the album reached No. 14 on the Billboard Dance charts and No. 40 on the Heatseekers chart.[12] The song Latin America was featured in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The band have been chosen by Les Savy Fav to perform at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas festival that they co-curate in December 2011 in Minehead, England.[13]

Borcherdt & Walsh have also done production, writing and extra instrumentation on the latest album by Canadian songstress Lights.

Band members[edit]



  • Kevin Lynn – bass
  • Mike Bigelow – bass
  • Loel Campbell – drums
  • Glenn Milchem – drums
  • Brad Kilpatrick – drums



EPs and singles[edit]

  • Holy Fuck EP CD and 7" vinyl (2007)
  • 12" split vinyl with Celebration (2007)
  • Lovely Allen 7" and 12" vinyl (2008)
  • 12" split vinyl with Foals (2008)
  • + Ghost (2010)


External links[edit]