Conrad Bird discussess Holy Moly and The Crackers’ new album, ‘Solid Gold’

By Brett Herlingshaw
By February 26, 2023 February 28th, 2023 Culture, Features, Interviews, News

Dom Smith sat down to talk to co-vocalist and guitar player Conrad Bird to talk everything from success, the new album Solid Gold, revisiting their early years, and much more!

With the band continuing its rise, what does success mean to Conrad? Especially over ten years removed from the first record, which began this whole journey. “I’m getting to the point now where success is becoming a bit meaningless,” he retorts. Playing in front of 200 people in Newcastle was considered to him a success. But when you reach a goal, it always shifts into, “that’s not enough – I want more.” He compares it to having to climb more and more ladders. You reach the top of one to start on the bottom rung of another. Conrad is very self-aware of this and always tries to stay grounded. What is his current idea of success? “Right now, my idea of success is playing to 2000 people in an O2 Academy, and that feels like a long way away, but it also feels like if we push it over a few years, we might get there.”

For those who may not know, Holy Moly and the Crackers are a band that can do it all. They blend folk, Americana, and indie while still making a sound that feels distinctly their own. The new album was recorded during the pandemic, and is a distinct piece of work that fans may not be expecting. The band started when Conrad met his now wife Ruth Patterson, a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for the band, at age 16 – along with other band members like Rosie. Ever since, they have expanded from a trio to a five piece and have traded in playing intimate settings like pubs, open mic nights for playing bigger and bigger venues. Conrad is the band’s co-leader and plays multiple instruments, including acoustic guitar and the trumpet. With three albums to their name, including 2012’s First Avenue, 2017’s Salem, and 2019’s Take a Bite, the band is ready to welcome a new album to the family.

With the new record being released in less than a month, excitement is in the air among the band and its fans. Conrad feels enthused about the new release, saying, “Super excited – it’s always like that when you release the record.” Some of the ideas they’ve had for songs have been running around for years and have only during the recording process in 2020 come to fruition. “It’s such a multi-layered journey building an album, and we’re here now.”

The band have been more adventurous on this new release, exploring sounds they haven’t tampered with before, like on the single ‘Skyline’ drive. Skyline is a bit of a flash in the pan, with the band saying they’re also trying to look back to their earlier folk sound while also looking forward to songs like Skyline Drive. “We’re also trying to reconnect with ourselves as a band from where we’ve come from, and there’s a couple of songs there that are folk songs.” The new album has many influences, including Bob Dylan, Jack White, and even super producer Danger Mouse.

Looking back on their new record, how does it feel for Conrad to look back at that earlier material? Material that was written when they were young, naïve, and just starting. Conrad admits that the early material was written in café’s, at open mics and at a little local studio the band used, and that time has a “sweet energy.” Asked whether he’s tempted to revisit that sound as a lot of the fans of Holy Moly love the era of music, he responds, “I think you have to make what you are at the time you can’t just try and replicate stuff cause it becomes inauthentic.”

Solid Gold will be released on March 17, 2023, and live UK and European tour dates are available from the website –