Thursday, 22 March 2018

Top Tens: Holly of Kiss Me, Killer and Hell Hath No Fury Promotions Top Ten Punk Rock Influences

Hey, I am Holly, front brat of Kiss Me, Killer and promoter at Hell Hath No Fury Promotions (Bristol, UK).

People often see me and immediately box my vocals and stage presence as a “Kathleen Hanna” Riot Grrrl type, which is a huge compliment. However, I didn’t come into this world screaming “girls to the front” as much as I would’ve loved too! So here is an honest insight of my top ten vocal/front person influences:

Davey Havok (AFI/Xtremist)
I absolutely adored AFI growing up, I saw them several times and adored Davey’s unique and distinctive vocals – going from Pop-Punk/Melodic notes to holding perfect screams for seconds on end. His ability to reinvent his style was always one I admired. I once got compared to Davey which was probably the best thing I have heard in my life.

Lou Koller (Sick of It All)
Lou has this amazing skill where he can execute Hardcore vocals flawlessly using just 50% projection when performing and I love his passion on stage. You can feel how much he loves music and his fans. I still melt when I meet him. Some of my lyrics are a direct nod to Lou and the gang.

Gwen Stefani (No Doubt)
Tragic Kingdom was always on repeat in my CD player when I was a teen, I knew and still know all the words. One of my first front woman idols. I loved Gwen’s style, I loved the way she came across as absolutely adorable yet likely to rip your head off – not to mention her vocal range is incredible.

Jamie Searle (Adequate 7)
Impending cringe fest – this is my big brother, I could not write my top ten influences without including him as I idolised him (still do) and often hear and see how much of an influence he is on my vocal and stage presence. Jamie also had a significant impact on my political and social views from a young age, thus influencing a lot of my lyrics and socialist shit posting.

Morgan Lander (Kittie)
Brackish was one of the first albums where it hit me that woman could sing and scream as well as, or better than, their male counterparts. I love the juxtaposition of being able to hold a note yet scream the house down in the next. Morgan wasn’t typically ‘femme’ back then either, which made me feel a lot more comfortable with myself as a teen.

Ray Cappo (Shelter/Youth of Today/Better than a Thousand)
Ray Cappo, what can I say? The creator of Krishnacore! Ray wasn’t afraid to sing about his beliefs, he was a pioneer of the straight edge scene and I have so much respect for that. I can listen to any song featuring or fronted by Ray and I immediately can tell it’s him by his distinctive voice. His vocal technicality is one I aspire to.

Brody Dalle (The Distillers)
I was late on the Distiller bandwagon. I think the first song I heard was stereotypically “City of Angels”. Everything about Brody blew me away – I envied her grit and gravel, her lyrical content and the way she performed on stage.

Zach de la Roche (Rage Against the Machine)
I was very much into politics and Rage Against the Machine taught me that anger about the injustices of the world could be penned down and released through song. With this, Zach also has an incredibly powerful stage presence and knows how to work a crowd.

Beastie Boys
Again following on from Rage, I loved the rap/metal/punk hybrid. I like singing fast and putting mini raps into our songs to mix it up, I like the challenge! I also enjoyed the lighter and fun vibe that the Beastie Boys portrayed. It’s a reminder that you can care about the world but you don’t have to be serious all the time.

Gorilla Biscuits were a huge musical influence on me growing up. CIV sings hard and fast (I’m sure you can see a pattern by now!) with a mixture of political and non political lyrical content. A fun fact is that CIV never wanted to sing at first and faced the wall when performing at gigs. At my first gig with KMK my eyes were to the ground (I have a thing about eye contact and suffer from social anxiety). I often briefly turn to face the back of the room mid set if I become overwhelmed. But I think to myself – if the legend that is CIV, who two years ago called out the bully security at a London show for acting like a police state at their gig, started off like that then I’m going to own it and work with it.

Check out Kiss Me, Killer here and Hell Hath No Fury Promotions here.

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