Hellaphant is an angst-filled powerpop band out of London Ontario made up of seasoned musicians. Get to know them, below…
What are the origins of Hellaphant, how long have you been playing together?
Hey, thanks for having me! I’m Jay Holmes and I play lead guitar for Hellaphant. The band has been around for a few years, but the current lineup is almost a year now. I auditioned after seeing an ad the guys posted on IG almost a year ago and was in the studio with them the next day.
What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe Hellaphant?
High Energy fun! We enjoy ourselves on stage and try to project that energy.
How did you feel performing your first gig as a band, and how was it?!
My first gig with the band was booked with short notice. Someone asked us to play because another band had to bail last minute. It was a good show, we played well. It allowed me to shake the cobwebs out too. I felt like we gelled pretty quickly. It was very easy for me to find the right energy/vibe with these guys. Right from the first song, it felt like I had been in the band forever.
The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?
I think you need a lot of things to go right. It’s so easy now to get your songs out there, but it’s tough to break thru all the noise and have your stuff stand out. You really need to work hard to push the band in every way you can and also get some lucky breaks. We try to play shows with bands that might be a degree or two outside of our “core sound” so we can expand our audience.
What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?
We released our LP Crumble & Rise in February, and are working hard to promote it. Making this record with Simon Larochette at The Sugar Shack in London Ontario was a fantastic experience and we’re very proud of it.
In terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel Hellaphant would be best suited to open for?
I think we cross over a few genres, so that’s a tough one. Personally, I’d love to open for Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Bad Cop Bad Cop, or The Foo Fighters.
Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?
There are a lot of really good bands coming out of Ontario Canada right now. I’d like to see Trash Puppets, Choices Made or Debt Cemetery break out.
What are your own first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
Opening for A Whilhem Scream was a highlight for sure. Incredible talent and had such positive energy! I think the lightbulb moment for me was the first time I heard Guns N Roses – Appetite for Destruction. Slash’s playing blew me away and still does.
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan? I saw a Primus tribute band called Frizzle Fry. Absolutely incredible! Tonight I’m actually going to see A Wilhem Scream and The Menzingers. Really looking forward to that one!
What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?
Basic human rights definitely tops the list, particularly LGBTQ+. I believe every human being has a right to be treated as just that… a human being. The fact that not everyone sees it that way absolutely baffles me.
The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
I have a very wide variety of music in my collection and playlist. The Beatles, GnR, Frank Turner, Extreme, Megadeth, August Burns Red, The Offspring, and even some Weird Al Yankovic!
What new music have you been enjoying so far this year?
I am loving the new tunes from Extreme. Such a huge fan of Nuno Bettencourt’s playing.
What does 2023 hold for Hellaphant?
Playing as much as possible. We’ve started writing some new tunes and hope to put another album out next year.
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
We’re very active on IG and FB.
@hellaphantband on IG and Hellaphant on Facebook
And Me personally:
@jhomey16 on IG and Twitter