Review Fix chats withThe Holy Gasp’s Benjamin Hackman, who discusses his origin in music and the band’s single, “Beat Wave,” which is a part of their upcoming album.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Benjamin Hackman: I fell in love with a Fisher Price glockenspiel in junior kindergarten. We fell in love with each other I should say. It was mutual. I asked him to marry me right away, and he said yes. We were impulsive and carefree in those days. At first, it was all C major scales, up and down, then up again. Later we looked at the pictures in the Kama Sutra together and introduced simple melodies into our repertoire: Mary Had a Little Lamb…The Alphabet Songs… it would be ungentlemanly to say more. Suffice it to say there was seldom a dissonant chord heard in our happy home. But soon I met other instruments–at garage sales, or in the bedrooms of my friends’ older brothers: there was a pair of Cuban bongos I recall, and a Roland combo organ with a built-in drum machine. Later I encountered a long plastic tube that whirred when I spun it. The glockenspiel grew jealous. His low D began to lose its luster and eventually stopped sustaining altogether. (D is the saddest note, you know). Eventually, my mother gave the glockenspiel away–to a neighbor girl, perhaps, or the Salvation Army… who can recall? But I never forgot that Fisher-Price glockenspiel. I’ve been chasing him ever since. In my dreams. In my heart. Sometimes I think I can hear him. I run towards his little twinkles. But he is never there.
Review Fix: Why does Indie music still matter?
Hackman: The genre of indie music has always confused me. I never quite know what people mean when they say that, and I don’t think The Holy Gasp belongs to that genre, whatever it may be. But independent music–now that matters!–music made by people with a DIY attitude, and without corporate intentions or support from international teams of industry fatcats trying to tell you how big your tits should be in any given year or how many times you’re allowed to smile before you’re considered unfashionable… that matters. Doing it yourself matters. Doing it yourself will always matter. (And that’s not a masturbation joke, ya dig?)
Review Fix: What’s the standout track? How was it written?
Hackman: The standout track is Beat Wave, the only track we’ve thus far released off the forthcoming new record. It was written at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island with a pen and paper. Later my collaborative life partner Sebastian Shinwell interpreted what I’d written and orchestrated it for 17 musicians and vocalists. He’s good that way.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Hackman: I’d give them a deep and meaningful (consensual) hug, and say, “You feel that? It’s nice, huh?” And then I’d quote Marvin Berry from the major motion picture, Back To The Future, who said, “You know that new sound you’re looking for? Well, listen to this!”
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?
Hackman: Tour tour tour. Release release release. Drink more water.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Hackman: Vast amounts of uncertainty and crippling depression. Way to rub it in, Patrick!
Review Fix: Anything you’d like to add?
Hackman: I liked your interview with RL Stine. Like, a lot. I devoured Goosebumps as a child. RL Stine has the same birthday as me. He also has the same birthday as Johnny Ramone, who’s everyone’s least favorite Ramone. So I’ll have to reconcile myself to sharing a birthday with everyone’s favorite YA horror novelist, and everyone’s least favorite Ramone. That’ll take some time.