Celeste Macdonald talks to Holland’s Jarryd Klapper about the Australian band’s EP, playing live and how his Mum is his biggest fan:
A clichéd phrase that I profusely hate is ‘down to earth’. Usually strictly reserved for desperate personal ads, I’m going to use it just this once because it fits so well. It’s a quality I notice immediately when speaking to Holland’s frontman, vocalist and guitarist, Jarryd Klapper. When I apologise for being flustered and sheepishly explain the phone troubles that have caused this, Klapper offers to bring one of his spares to Holland’s upcoming Sydney show with Set Sail. It’s a warmth that’s typical of bands hailing from Brisbane (and dare I say lacking in certain Sydney/Melbourne groups) and such genuineness transpires beautifully into Holland’s music, from their delicate lyrics to their live recordings – two of which, For You and Interlude, are featured on Holland’s newly released EP, No Control.
When I ask what the response to the No Control EP has been like, Klapper is at first hesitant and finally responds, “My mum loves it, she’s stoked on it, she tries to give it to everyone.” I mention how much we’re loving the exclusive live video of Interlude at Bobbysix, which causes him to laugh. “I hope you’re not just saying that to make me feel better. We weren’t even sure if we were gonna put it on the EP.” Klapper describes the track as “a bit of a throwaway,” which the band arranged just a few hours before it was recorded. I reiterate how much we like it, to which he responds, “It’s not actually that good if you listen to it. I’ve listened to it a few times and it sounds worse every time I hear it.” He is of course, entirely wrong. There’s something about the unpolished quality of Holland’s live recordings – a certain brutal honesty about the live medium that creates the perfect synergy with the very nature of the band and what they’re trying to achieve. Klapper manages to agree with me on the unpolished comment, mentioning modestly that it only took about two or three takes to get it right. If you’ve already checked the video out, you’ll know that’s a pretty damn amazing effort, more so when you consider that it’s shot in a single take. “I’d rather have a bunch of flaws.”
It’s no wonder then that Klapper considers Holland primarily a live performance band. “We love playing live, it’s why we do the whole thing.” It’s a statement that you’d probably hear from 99.9 percent of bands but in the case of this quartet, you get the feeling it’s actually true. “Going to the studio is a bit of fun,” he adds. And as for his favourite Holland gig, it’s a slightly unusual venue: Sydney’s Old Manly Boatshed. The singer mentions that they’ve always played well there. Again, with his usual brand of modesty, he is careful to add that the gigs he has played there have been his favourites in terms of sound. He laughs, there were, “never many people there.”
I’m intrigued to know, being a Brisbane boy, Klapper’s opinions regarding the sometimes ‘cliquey’ Sydney and Melbourne scenes. He admits to feeling the geographical distance but insists the band will remain in Brisbane for now, crediting the “better quality of life,” that the sunshine state’s capital has to offer as the main reason. But like many Australian bands, Holland haven’t ruled out an eventual move to London. As for now? Expect plenty more live shows. “Playing to crowds,” Klapper confirms when we talk of the short-term future. He pauses, then corrects himself. “Groups,” he laughs. “Groups are smaller than crowds.”
Take our word for it, it won’t be long before Holland are playing to some seriously big crowds.
Interview by Celeste Macdonald