20 Questions: Holopaw

Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness.
Bakery Outlet

Holopaw’s twisting, nervy brand of indie guitar-rock has assuredly not gone unnoticed – but in the last couple of years, it certainly has been missed.

After releasing two albums on Sub Pop (2003’s Holopaw and 2005’s Quit +/or Fight), the band — featuring the long-standing duo of Jeff Hays and Ugly Casanova’s John Orth — suffered from touring fatigue, eventually making way for the departure of all the other members. But losing some long-standing music makers gave the band a chance to infuse it’s soud with some new blood, including guitarist Patrick Quinney. As many wondered what had happened to the band during their four-year hiatus, the answer came in the form of 2009’s Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness. Greeted with a host of glowing reviews, the band is now back in full swing, and couldn’t be happier about it.

Enter Patrick Quinney. Taking some time out of his schedule to answer PopMatters famed 20 Questions, Holopaw’s axe-master reveals a secret love of Twin Peaks, a deep knowledge of all things Craig Biggio, and the 7″ he’d love to argue with you about …


1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

The latest book or movie to make me cry is typically the latest book I have read or movie I have seen, I’m sorry to say. To make matters worse, the same can usually be said of the latest sporting event I’ve watched (in this case, UF’s loss to Alabama ought to qualify, but for some reason I kept my composure, even if Tim Tebow didn’t), the latest conversation I’ve overheard, the latest commercial I’ve seen on television, and so on. Before I can add “latest survey I have filled out …” to the list, I’ll try to answer your question. The last book or movie that made me cry that I can recall was, if this counts, one of the discs of the Ken Burns baseball documentary. The moment I’m thinking of occurred in number four or five, I believe, but I can’t be sure. The exact catalyst for the crying I will not mention, for fear of embarrassing myself even further.

2. The fictional character most like you?

Does anyone answer this question honestly? How about the fictional character I would most like to be like? That’s easy: Special Agent Dale Cooper, Federal Bureau of Investigations.

3. The greatest album, ever?

Civil Disobedience, “In a Few Hours of Madness”. Okay, it’s a 7″, but still. Just to clarify, I am one hundred percent serious about this, and if anyone anywhere is interested, I am always in the mood to discuss this record.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

I’m not really crazy about either, honestly. They both seem … fine. Star Wars.

5. Your ideal brain food?

There are two substances I tend to turn to when I want to feel like I can engage with the world in a particular, special way. They are both legal but I refuse to mention one of them because I would be annoyed with and skeptical of anyone who did. So: coffee.

6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?

Very little of the pride I have ever felt really stands up to close scrutiny. This question fills me with dread.

7. You want to be remembered for…?

Me, or the band? The real answers to this question feel a little bit earnest for this type of a survey. It’s the basic virtues I’m thinking of; I can’t really conceive of, like, making a mark, you know?

8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are…?

Since the “come before” part of this could go any number of ways, I’m going to keep a narrow focus here. Greg Ginn and Chuck Dukowski.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

There are so many! The one that comes most readily to mind right this second is the Underground Railroad to Candyland song “Square Ball”. That song is so good, and it’s so effective, and so simple and perfect. “I don’t want no round ball, I just want my square ball”: Fuck yes.

10. Your hidden talents . ..?

I can run out infield singles on a softball field with astounding consistency. I have maintained a roster spot on a Monday night league through heart and hustle alone; but I am working to improve my hitting and defense and hope to be a more complete player next season.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

I’m not sure, but it probably came from the fictional character I would most like to be like.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

I just bought a really nice amplifier before our last tour, and I got a great deal on it, and it prevented me from feeling like I wasn’t pulling my weight at our shows. That was a good thing to do.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or . . .?

I have never once to my recollection felt consciously good in any particular clothing. Nothing seems to fit me properly. I have a favorite green shirt, but it has developed a sort of irregular shape with time, plus it has grease stains from work. I have a Craig Biggio Houston Astros shirt that I sometimes wear and hope that people will ask me about, but I guess people don’t want to hear about Craig Biggio.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

Flannery O’Connor.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

Houston, Texas, June 28th, 2007, for Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit. His 2,998th, 2,999th, 3,000th, 3,001st and 3,002nd, actually. Add to it that the game ended with a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning by Carlos Lee, and that is one baseball game I really wish I had seen in person.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

None of these sound that appealing to me, really. I’ll take the spa vacation, thanks, but I’m a little skeptical about its soothing powers. I’m already worried about missing work and who I have to tip and how much. Can I get the hit man to come to the spa and kill me?

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or . . .?


18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

Country. The most beautiful place I can recall being and imagine ever finding again was in northeast Wyoming, just off of I-90, if I remember correctly. It probably had more to do with the people I was with and how I felt about being there at the time, but it’s a powerful place in my mind and I choose it.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

For some reason, it’s hard for me to think of this one in hypothetical terms — I keep coming to the conclusion that I have nothing at all of value to say to him, and it seems like a very real problem for several reasons, some personal and some political. I’ll have to give it some more thought.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

We have a big batch of new songs we’re working on, and we’re also trying to get a good set of older material together with our new drummer, Andy, both of which we are really excited about. Only a couple of the new songs are really fleshed out right now and I think they are two of our best ever, and Andy is a joy to play with, and things are looking good. Thanks for asking!