Holy Casio keyboards

Chris McCluskey makes some noise.

While some of our summer plans are being ripped apart by the forces of capitalism, those of one eclectic artist are going right according to plan. Yarmouth’s Brian Borcherdt is hard at work in Toronto on his experimental lo-fi project Holy Fuck’s second album, which will show influences from a fresh perspective experienced only once the band began playing material live.

“Yeah, it’s a pretty major progression just because the first record we did we just had a concept to work with, so we went into the studio just to capture that concept. Now the second time around we actually have a live show to capture,” he says. “It’s still improvisational, it’s still experimental, it’s still going to sound munched up and fucked up but it’s got a little bit more structure just because we know what the audience is going to respond to and what they’re going to dance to.”

While there has been a noticeable expansion of the Canadian electronica market within the past year—citing specifically MSTRKRFT and Shout Out Out Out Out—Borcherdt thinks Holy Fuck doesn’t really fit that label. “People put us in that category because they think that audience is going to respond well to what we’re doing. But I think we’re doing something entirely different in terms of the way we’re approaching the concept behind it,” he says. “Right now we’re running into a lot of people who are using big equipment, weird pedals and stuff. We’re keeping it lo-fi, avoiding the laptops and avoiding the sequencers and all the expensive stuff, but I think it’s only a matter of time before people separate who is making dance music and who is making the experimental noise, and I think we’re somewhere in the middle.”

Holy Fuck performs on July 21 at Stage Nine with SS Cardiacs and Museum Pieces.


Not only is Brian Borcherdt concerned with the production of a new Holy Fuck record, but he’s focused on his alternative rock band as well.

“I like the songwriting, it’s one of my favourite things to do, pick up a guitar and just write. It’s what I do with all my spare time, and Holy Fuck doesn’t take up a lot of that time,” he says of The Remains, now three albums in. “With Holy Fuck, we get on stage and make it happen live. In the studio we don’t rehearse and sit around and work on tone structures and be like, ‘OK now we’re going to go to the bridge then I’m going to do this little thing on the guitar.’ It’s coming out way more free form and we all have an equal share in it.”

The Remains of Brian Borcherdt perform on July 20 at the Attic with The Hourglass Class and Rebekah Higgs.

Bastid’s back

This year’s Shoreline Festival in Rollo Bay, PEI, is attracting talent from the Halifax area—and attracting Halifax talent back to the area. Local spin legend Skratch Bastid, who’s been living in Montreal, is excited about plans to come back east.

“I’ve turned Shoreline into a summer trip this year, as I did last year. PEI is beautiful in the summer and you can’t beat the vibe at the festival,” says Paul Murphy. “I’d say the best part about the experience is getting to see world class acts on our own beautiful east coast turf. And that I get to test out my camping cooking skills. Currently taking orders…”

Look for Bastid’s marks in the near future, all over an album produced with Buck 65.

make your mark: scene@thecoast.ca

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