Holy Fuck performing at White Heat in 2007
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Electronica, electronic rock, electro-industrial, noise rock|
|Labels||Dependent, Young Turks, Innovative Leisure|
|Associated acts||The Remains of Brian Borcherdt, Contrived, Wintersleep, King Cobb Steelie, By Divine Right, Buck 65, Lights|
Matt "Punchy" McQuaid
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 were then a part of the Young Turks label and in 2016 they signed with Innovative Leisure.
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. 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."
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.
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 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. The band took offense at this suggestion. 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."
Brian Borcherdt took time away from the band to support his next solo album, Coyotes, which was released on October 7, 2008.
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 as in the official trailer for the game. The song "Lovely Allen" can be heard in a Dodge Chrysler Jeep commercial and in the 3rd episode of Season 2 of "Mr Robot".
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. The song "Latin America" was featured in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The band were chosen by Les Savy Fav to perform at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas festival that they co-curated in December 2011 in Minehead, England.
Borcherdt & Walsh have also done production, writing and extra instrumentation on the album Siberia by Canadian songstress Lights.
A new album, titled Congrats, was released on May 27, 2016 on Innovative Leisure and Last Gang Records.
- Brian Borcherdt – keyboards, effects
- Graham Walsh – keyboards, effects
- Matt "Punchy" McQuaid – bass
- Matt Schulz – drums
- Kevin Lynn – bass
- Mike Bigelow – bass
- Loel Campbell – drums
- Glenn Milchem – drums
- Brad Kilpatrick – drums
EPs and singles
- 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)
- Bird Brains (2017)
- Hakimzadeh, Dara. "Holy Fuck Interview" Archived 2006-11-13 at the Wayback Machine., Truth Explosion Magazine, March 12, 2006.
- Currin, Grayson. "Holy Fuck So Good" Raleigh-Durham Independent Weekly, April 12, 2006.
- Tangari, Joe. "Holy Fuck, Holy Fuck", (review) Pitchfork Media, January 13, 2006.
- "Soundscapes - 572 College Street Toronto - Feature Interview - HOLY FUCK - October 16/07". Soundscapesmusic.com. 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- Villeneuve, Phil. "Canada's 10 Best Independent Albums" Chart, January 19, 2006.
- PM defends Tory track record on arts, David Akin and Juliet O'Neill, Ottawa Citizen, August 27, 2008. Republished on the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting website.
- Don't blame us for Tory arts cuts says Toronto band, CBC News; published August 12, 2008; retrieved April 6, 2016
- "The Lumičre Reader ť Arts » A Holy Fuck Interview". Lumiere.net.nz. Archived from the original on 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- Brian Borcherdt Steps Away From Holy Fuck For New Solo Album Thiessen, Brock, "Exclaim!", September 25, 2008.
- "Holy Fuck Help Chrysler Build A New Car Company". Stereogum. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Watch Brian Borcherdt (Holy Fuck) at Sneaky Dee's Video | City Sonic Films | Toronto Music Mobile Video". Citysonic.tv. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- Latin at Billboard.com
- "Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Battles/Caribou/Les Savy Fav - All Tomorrow's Parties". Atpfestival.com. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Holy Fuck". Holyholyfuckfuck.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2016-06-27.