AAN: Let’s get the “duh” question out of the way first — how excited are you about this? Did you have any expectations that the band would be in NME, on Pitchfork, playing three shows at CMJ, and the like?
Holmes: Positively thrilled, particularly about the chance to see the world and to play to more than 30 people at the local bar. As for my expectations, I’ve always thought that Reggie’s (our singer/guitarist/chief songwriter; we’re longtime friends) songs are pop gold, that “success” would merely be a matter of people getting the chance to hear them. Having said that, the trajectory of this whole thing has been much more rapid than I would have anticipated. It’s like, give us a moment to record a proper album, you know?
AAN: Leaving a full-time gig at an alt-weekly can be a tough choice to make. Was the decision to leave to pursue the band hard, or was it a pretty easy one? How long have you been mulling it over?
Holmes: The decision was both clear and incredibly difficult. Being a reporter at Folio has been so much more than a job to me; it’s been a chance to help make Jacksonville a better, more progressive city on a weekly basis. As excited as I am about what the future holds for the band, I’m terrified of being less directly involved in city issues, of not being satisfied on that deeper level. But I realize the opportunity the band presents is quite rare and time-sensitive, and I suppose there will always be City Councilmembers who refuse to pay their child support and industries that dump crap into the St. Johns River; I would love to return to the alt-weekly world whenever the band might become less busy. I can’t imagine how else I’d fill my days.
AAN: How has working at an alt-weekly hurt or hindered the ability to work on your music?
Holmes: Working on cover stories from Friday nights straight through Monday mornings has generally limited time available to noodle on a bass guitar.
AAN: What will you miss most about working at Folio?
Holmes: My co-workers — I’d be embarrassed if they knew to what degree I consider them family. And bomb threats issued in response to provocative stories.
AAN: After CMJ, what are the plans for Black Kids?
Holmes: In November we’re doing some shows in the UK and independently releasing a 7-inch. The following six months will be filled with touring, playing festivals and recording and releasing our full-length album. (One of my personal goals, by the way, is to get name-dropped by Barack Obama. In a recent interview he said he listens to Eminem and Beyonce. He obviously hasn’t heard Black Kids.)
Black Kids are playing this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in New York City as part of the CMJ Music Marathon. Check the band’s MySpace page for details.