Fusing folk and emo/punk/pop derived sounds, acab rocky of Victoria, British Columbia, first began as an experimental project between two close friends and has since grown into a more serious channeling of emotions, thoughts, stories, and imagination. Since their beginning in the summer of 2013, the Canadian duo have released 3 EPs and an album together. Today, acab rocky features those old friends 17 year old Sam Wells (vocals and guitar) and 16 year old Oliver Hollingshead (drums and cello) as well as their new friend, Glen Hollingshead (bass and recording) and together they are working on taking listeners through different poetic tales with their sounds. This August, they will be heading over to Vancouver to record the follow up to their well-received February release, Sara.
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Dear acab rocky,
Hi there, who are you ?
Sam: I’m Sam Wells I play guitar and sing in acab rocky.
Oliver: I’m the drummer, Oliver Hollingshead.
Where does the name acab rocky stem from ?
Sam: Last july, when we formed the band, it got tiresome having to take everything so seriously, so we did what a few other bands I liked at the time were doing and went under a parody name. The name itself is just a play on asap rocky, where acab is an acronym that stands for “all cops are bastards”. It was just this typical punk thing me and Oliver always thought was kind of funny so we adopted it into our band name.
How do you feel about A$AP Rocky ?
Sam: Honestly pretty neutral. He’s Not someone I spend a lot of time listening to.
Your first EP, Disgusting, came out late last year ~ How did you create the band and decide where to start with this first release ?
Sam: Its interesting that you bring that up because when disgusting came out, our first major release (Sara) had been in the works since the previous July. We wanted to put more time into recording sara, but also needed material to put out, so we used these 5 home recordings I had recorded out of sheer boredom. As for the band forming, me and Oliver grew up together and have played in a bunch of different groups through the years, this was just the first one we took seriously. After I wrote the song, which eventually turned into “sara pt. 1”, some time late in June 2013 we made the band official.
Oliver: I think Disgusting, as well as Orchard were interesting, as they were an outlet just to experiment a bit and create songs in a style we liked. As Sam said, they were originally intended just as material for the sake of giving people something to listen to, but in the end, they really helped us hone our songwriting and had a very positive effect on us.
What is the ideal setting to listen to your latest album/release/ep/etc ?
Sam: I’d say the best way to listen to the recent split we did with our friend Kneedlez would be sitting in your room late on a summer evening.
Oliver: I would agree with that. “Laundry” at least is a very summer feeling track, really fits that melancholy type of setting.
Tell us the story behind one of your songs ?
Sam: Most of my songs are story based. For instence the whole album, Sara, was about a schizophrenic teenage girl finally breaking down and drowning herself. Each song looks at and reacts to sara’s passing from a different perspective. It ranges from her parents to someone she barerly knew throughout the albums story.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go for inspiration to finish whatever it is you are writing right now ?
Sam: Honestly I would love the chance to just go bum around Washington state for a while. It really seems like my kinda place and I think towns like Anacortes and Olympia would really feel like home to me. I’m not super into huges cites after growing up in Vancouver.
Oliver: I’d be down to go to Anacortes and search for Phil Elverum.
What have you been listening to recently ?
Sam: I’ve been listening to a bunch of different stuff lately. Swans, Sunn O))), Kevin Drumm, Oneohtrix Point Never, Burzum, and My Bloody Valentine are a few of the bands I’ve been listening to non stop lately. When ever we write a new album I end up listening to more ambient, and experimental stuff.
Oliver: The last few months I’ve been really been into bands with interesting guitar work like Women, Unwound, American Football and some shoegazy stuff that Sam was also liking. My favourite recently though would have to be this poppy Japanese math-rock band called Uchu Conbini (宇宙コンビニ ).
What are you most excited for this last half of the year ?
Sam: Musically, like I said, i’ve not been paying much attention this year, and now that the Swans and Attic Abasement albums are finally out I’m not really excited about anything. As for with the band, In August we’re going to record our next record in Vancouver, as well as having several shows coming up that i’m very excited about.
Oliver: Recording the album is definitely going to be a really interesting experience. I think we’ll be able to create something we can be really proud of.
What is one of your first memories as a group ?
Sam: I can pretty vividly remember the first few months we were a band back around August 2013. We had maybe 2 or 3 songs at the time, but we were so excited about the stuff we were doing that we would practice almost everyday playing those few songs over and over again.
Oliver: Even earlier than that, we had tried to write some garage-rocky stuff under another name. It never really went anywhere, but that was probably the first project that yielded some decent songs. I believe some ideas we had from then actually went on to become more developed songs under the acab rocky name.
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