The new track is just a taste of what is to come from their highly anticipated debut full-length, EAT IT UP/SPIT IT OUT, which drops in early 2022.
Holy Wars are the project of Kat Leon (vocals) and Nick Perez (guitar/production). The group formed in 2017, cutting their teeth in the Los Angeles rock and alternative circuit. They soon put out their powerful debut EP, Mother Father, and a series of critically acclaimed singles, continuously expanding their sound with every release. With their latest single “GET MINE,” the band once again stay true to their signature brand of raw honesty and heartfelt lyrics that touch on everything from grief, loss, politics and being unapologetically yourself. Sonically, the track ventures into new and uncharted territory with the inclusion of dark and pulsating synth arrangements that feel tailor-made for an underground, industrial rave.
“GET MINE” is a bold artistic statement, with Leon’s snarling vocal delivery and lyrics that call out posers and the unauthentic aspects of today’s musical climate. Additionally, the song shows the internal struggle within Leon to keep these feelings of aggression at bay. In the moments where she cannot contain them, her confidence and ferocity shine in truly captivating ways. Meanwhile, Perez takes a step back from his primary instrument of guitar to create an unsettling electronic score inspired by Nine Inch Nails and HEALTH. When the guitars eventually make their appearance in the song, they soar like a classic solo from rock-legend Tom Morello, a testament to Perez’s strength in his craft, who also serves as the current touring guitarist for multi-genre superstar Poppy.
The music video for “GET MINE” is equally dark and aggressive. It allows the viewer to be confronted face to face by Leon as she stares into the camera with a sinister and almost maniacal gaze, as her black-clad entourage joins in on the immediate darkness the video portrays. Additionally, there are synchronized dance bits that hit with every last pulse of the booming 808s and drum impacts, coupled with intense lens flares, strobes and glitch effects, courtesy of the video’s editor Fre Pacheco and cinematographer Arden Fisher.
We sat down with Leon and Perez for an exclusive interview discussing their latest single, dream collaborations, their upcoming tour with electronic duo Night Club and more.
What was the process behind writing “GET MINE,” and where did these darker and synth-heavy elements come from?
KAT LEON: We wrote it right as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. I had done some visuals and interpretative dance sequences with our cinematographer Arden Fisher, and I wanted to write a song inspired by the visual. We put it on the screen in the studio, and it immediately inspired Nick to write the whole instrumental track around it. What was coming out of me in that world visually is what created the sound of this song. The visual is actually featured in the music video as well. Even though our prior music has touched on darkness, it hasn’t fully leaned on our love of industrial music. For this one, we just got so sick of trying to write within the parameters of what we think this band is perceived as and decided to write whatever the hell we wanted to.
NICK PEREZ: As soon as I saw the visual, I came up with the bassline, and the song came together super easy and really quick, which is funny because we’re chronic overthinkers, but we didn’t ruin this one by over-tweaking things. [Laughs.]
One of the strongest elements of the song is your ability to create tension and the way that every part builds up to a larger climax. Was this artistic restraint intentional?
LEON: It was, but I actually disagreed on doing that when we first started writing the song. I wanted the guitar parts to come out more within the song initially, but Nick just kept building this tension and wanted it to really come alive at the end of the song. Nick and I had a lot of back and forth on how we built that tension, but it worked out for the best, and he won. [Laughs.]
It’s so cool to hear that you wrote the song while watching a visual because to me, it really does feel cinematic. With that being said, if this song could be featured in a movie, what would it be?
LEON: I would definitely say The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It’s easy because it also has a female protagonist, and the whole pacing of the storyline comes from a person who had really dark past and struggles, but you are rooting for them even if there are some things about them that are jarring.
What inspired the lyrics to “GET MINE”?
LEON: With the lyrical tones in the verses, it’s all about someone who feels like they’ve gotten fucking shit on, and they’re done waiting on what it is they need to get. The overall tone is centered around obsession. I enjoy that if you are looking at this song like a movie, you don’t know if this girl is good or bad. It’s almost like, “Should I be rooting for you, or should I not?” I wanted to write this song through the eyes of a stalker, and that’s why the video itself shows me in a dark alley.
This song is also about how I have been a late bloomer and how I’ve seen people ripping off either me or others and, dare I say it, posers. I’m a water sign and an emotional person, so I always have that darkness in me that I need to keep in check. I feel like have to keep this tornado safe inside me.
What can fans expect from your upcoming record, EAT IT UP, SPIT IT OUT?
LEON: We want to keep people guessing. This album is multifaceted and almost schizophrenic, where it shows every side of us. Sonically, we love when fans have no clue what we are going to do next. The album title is a response to consumerism and the capitalistic society we live in.
PEREZ: We have always loved to write different types of music. We have evolved as songwriters, where we are creating stuff that is for everybody and more relatable. The main throughline is my guitar work and Kat’s vocals, but everything else can change sonically.
Obviously, you must be extremely excited to go on your first national tour next year. What are you looking forward to the most?
LEON: So much excitement. We waited a long time to tour, even before COVID, because we always wanted to make sure it was the right opportunity. We’re excited because I feel like we have made our most hardcore and long-lasting fans through our live shows. People can expect a lot of energy and emotion. I’m really excited to meet our fans across the country who may have discovered us online or on a TV show and really connect with them for the first time.
What would be your dream collaboration?
LEON: Working with Shirley Manson from Garbage would be a dream. As a songwriter, she really gave me a voice. At that time, these dark-hearted girls were coming onto the scene and saying shit that was bold and fierce. I had never heard a frontwoman sing like that before because we were always taught to be chipper and sweet as women. I would also love to work with Dennis Lyxzén from Refused, and luckily, he’s actually been a supporter of us in the past, so maybe one day.
PEREZ: I would love to work with an orchestra one day. I have a lot of ideas on how that could work.
What is the most fulfilling part of playing in Holy Wars?
LEON: Nick and I have been through so much together, including the loss of my parents, and that’s why our music has always had this dark tone because it’s all about real shit. I feel like you see a lot of other artists simply go into a room with a bunch of producers with the intention of just writing a cool track, but not about their whole story. With us, this whole band was started because of our story and wasn’t created to just write a bunch of hits. We had to write this music. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be here. It’s almost survival to me.
You can watch the video for “GET MINE” and see dates for their appearance on the 2022 Die In The Disco tour with Night Club below.
Die In The Disco tour:
03/19 – Sacramento, CA @ Goldfield Trading Post
03/21 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
03/22 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
03/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
03/25 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater
03/26 – Denver, CO @ HQ
03/27 – Kansas City @ Riot Room
03/28 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
03/30 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
03/31 – Louisville, KY @ Diamond Pub Concert Hall
04/01 – Hamtramck, MI @ Sanctuary
04/02 – Cleveland, OH @ HOB Cambridge Room
04/03 – Buffalo, NY @ Rec Room
04/04 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Crafthouse
04/06 – Providence, RI @ Fete Music Hall
04/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
04/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ TBD
04/09 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd Music House
04/11 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade*
04/12 – New Orleans, LA @ Santos*
04/13 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio*
04/15 – Austin, TX @ Come And Take It Live*
04/16 – Dallas, TX @ Amplified Live*
04/17 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street Collective*
04/19 – El Paso, TX @ Rockhouse*
04/20 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad*
04/21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
04/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
04/23 – San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick
* = no Holy Wars