Upon hearing that electropop duo Holy Ghost!, comprised of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel, would be DJing an American Rag event I was attending, I jumped at the opportunity to interview them. As far as I am concerned, everything they touched turns to musical gold having remixed the likes of Moby, MGMT, and Cut Copy, and created their own tracks, which perfectly fuse the eclectic group of genres which influenced them growing up. Getting the skinny on their music, style and travels, I’m excited to share my pre-party conversation with the duo. Be sure to listen to their new single of their new record, “It’s Not Over”, remixed by Dimitri From Paris!
LV: How does music influence your fashion and vice versa (if applicable)?
AF: These are always really tricky questions (laughs).
NM: In practical terms… I mean, I don’t play drums anymore. My fashion, when we were touring a lot, was almost entirely dictated by comfort in playing on stage. I played in canvas shoes and jeans. Beyond that, we’re pretty boring fashion wise.
AF: When you’re on tour, you don’t get to wash your clothes very much. You’re in public everyday so we usually wear uniforms, as in one good, really solid outfit. A really nice jacket, white t-shirt, something that’s disposable- like Hanes t-shirts- one good pair of jeans, that you wash never.
NM: Our dream merchandise is disposable.
(at which point they point out their dressing room stash comprised of Heineken six packs and a few sealed package with Hanes white tees and boxer briefs)
I want to make a tissue box that has just white v-neck t-shirts.
LV: Sounds like that could be a very lucrative idea. I take it, in that case, that you don’t have a stylist and you guys are your own stylists?
AF: Well, there’s my Mom, my friends……
LV: A far as music goes, you’ve made tons of great remixes of other artist’s songs, do you have a favorite remix of one of your tracks that another producer’s done?
NM: Actually, there’s one that’s about to come out. The last single on our record called, “It’s Not Over” which was remixed by Dimitri From Paris. I think that’s probably my favorite remix of one of our songs.
AF: Yeah, that and Eli Escobar’s remix of “Say My Name”.
LV: What artists influenced you most significantly growing up?
AF: Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, Fleetwood Mac, stuff our parents played in the house. A lot of rap music, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Biggie and then all the DFA stuff, like LCD Soundsystem.
LV: Are you guys going to South By Southwest?
AF: No, we’re going to Australia tomorrow morning. We’ll be touring there and Southeast Asia, like Japan.
LV: Anything in particular you’re looking forward to most or just the whole journey?
AF: Tokyo, Tokyo for the shopping.
LV: So, you guys have been there before?
AF: Yeah, the stores are crazy.
LV: The people, the places, it’s like another planet, right?
NM: It is. We’ve traveled a lot and Tokyo, and Moscow too, are the only two places I’ve been where I really felt like I was on a totally different planet. And the shopping…. there’s just everything. They have these specialty shops for everything – there’s shops for every niche of everything you could possibly imagine. For records, there’s like a record store just for Elvis records. You can get carried away and spend a lot of money.
LV: How long are you guys going to be there?
AF: In Japan only two days, but the whole tour is about 23 days.
LV: When you’re not on tour, what are your favorite spots in New York City? Nightlife, restaurants, parks etc.
AF: This restaurant just opened up called Jack’s Wife Freda on Lafayette and Kenmare. Also, Le Baron, a club that just opened up – and Le Bain – those are really the only two clubs.
NM: Also, here. W.I.P is good. Though I second Le Bain and Le Baron, The Frenchies got it right.
LV: Where do you guys shop?
AF: Surface to Air, which is a French shop. I also have a shoe store by my house which sells everything really cheap and without the tax. Like, $30 for Converse or $63 for Ray-Bans.
LV: To buy new?
AF: Yeah, there’s some shady sh*t going on there.
NM: I’ve learned there’s a family that owns all the sneaky stores in New York. It’s all the same crew. Also, I used to be really into sneakers and you can go there and ask them about something that came out 4 years ago and be like, “How much?” and then they’ll go look in the back into their secret stash of stuff.
LV: Are you guys into vintage or thrifting?
NM: If I see a cool looking store, I’ll go in . It’s tough in New York because everything’s so combed over. Anywhere that has something nice, you’re not really getting a deal. I used to when I was a teenager. I was obsessed. All my clothes were from like, Cheap Jacks or Army/Navy stores. I used to get all my jeans at this place called Bobby 2000 which had the best vintage Levi’s. They were all really reasonable, like $40.
LV: Has your style evolved?
NM: Embarassingly enough, I just saw an early press photo of us and I’m wearing black jeans, black cons (converse) and a black button up shirt. That was 5 years ago, so, not to much. Keep it simple. It’s hard to get too adventurous as a man.
AF: On tour it’s all black, all black t-shirts.
LV: Right on (I’m wearing all black)
AF: Black never goes out of fashion. It’s funny though, because when I’m in L.A, I can identify other New Yorkers by the all-black ensembles.