The Holy Knives is composed of brothers Kody and Kyle Valentine, born and raised in New Orleans and now living in Los Angeles. The Holy Knives have toured extensively over the past few years, playing 125+ shows across the United States and Canada.
Last year, they released two EPs including a remix by Jamie Hince of The Kills. Currently, they are working on a new album as well as forthcoming singles. Their latest single Born to Die, was produced by Ian Hultquist (Passion Pit) and is out now.
What first got you into music?
I think the simplest answer is just through listening. Music has always been very central to my identity and has always helped me feel less alone, so when I was a kid, I listened to music at almost every opportunity that I had and would sleep with headphones on every night. It was something that helped me escape. Then, I got into playing music and my love for music only grew from there.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Visceral, dreamy, powerful, honest, emotional.
What is your creative process like?
We typically start with an instrumental or something as simple as a drumbeat or chord progression. Then we explore that idea by doing long, improvised vocal takes over it while Kyle plays keys or guitar or whatever the song needs. We sift through the takes for moments that we like or felt like are important to the song’s identity and we look for that defining lyric or direction and try to build the song from there while focusing on expanding that core and asking ourselves why we think it’s the core in the first place. Then there is a lot of fine-tuning from there and a lot of trial and error, but it starts from finding the emotional center and then building everything out afterward.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Cliff Martinez or Mike Dean.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Be yourself at all costs.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
These are the main ones right now:
I Put The Blue In Her Eyes – Frankie Miller
The Mercy Seat – Nick Cave
Whole Life – Perfume Genius
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
The Young Machete Rides Again
What makes you nostalgic?
I’m a fragile person, so a lot of things can make me nostalgic, but since music is the most important thing in my life, I often get nostalgic by listening to songs that I was attached to at certain points in my life or lyrics that take me back to a specific moment or feeling.
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
What’s your skincare routine? You look good for an old man.
On a more serious note, it’d hopefully be something like, how’d you make it to where you are now? Because I hope that I’d be in awe of my future self who has gotten to where I want to be in life and figured out the things about myself that I don’t like and learned how to be better.
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Don’t listen to anyone else’s bullshit and stay focused on music. And never let the bastards get you down, of course.