Lexington’s psychedelic pop-rock trio Sour Cream has been creating a buzz lately. They certainly caught our attention with their new single and video, “Hey Holly”. Check it out below. I also spoke with the band’s guitarist/vocalist Harlan Cecil about the catchy power-pop gem and a little bit of history about this young up and coming band. Keep your eyes and ears on them!
Congratulations on the new single “Hey Holly”. We’re really liking it. It’s catchy, and very much in the power-pop vein. Tell us a little about the song, how it came together, and who wrote it? HC: Hey, thanks for the support! “Hey Holly” is actually a song written about a little over fifteen years ago by my uncle Ric Cecil. He wrote this song and some other tunes and got together with some friends and relatives to put together a small album called “A Million Suns” and recorded it with Otto Helmuth, the same guy we recorded with. The album has some great songs, “Hey Holly” being one of my favorites. I always looked up to Ric because along with all of my other musical family members, he inspired me to live the musical life. Sadly my uncle passed in 2007 and never got to see me perform. Years later, my cousin Jon McGee, Colby Grant and I formed Sour Cream. After playing with them for about two years I thought it would be fun to cover “Hey Holly,” as we were wanting to further shape our riffy psychedelic pop-rock sound. We re-arranged and adapted the song to be a bit faster, and I added a small guitar solo, but other than that it is true to Ric’s original version.
You guys are a relatively new band, correct? How did the group originally get together? Were any of you in any other bands prior? HC: The group came together when Colby joined, me and my Cousin Jon had been jamming and writing for years before, never playing out much. I remember getting the name just from looking at Jon’s big old white Chevy van, having a color like sour cream. At the time, we were experimenting with recording in a basement. Colby played in a prog-rock trio at the time, and we invited him over to jam one night after one of his gigs. We instantly connected through playing all sorts of riffs for hours and hours without stopping, and recorded it all! That’s what gave birth to Sour Cream.
You’re also pretty young in age, but I get the sense that your influences go pretty deep into classic ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s bands. Who do you consider your influencers? HC: I get asked what my influences are a lot, and most of the time I say what most other guitarists say, Clapton, Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, the three Kings, Peter Green, Paul Kossoff, you know, the normal guitar legends from that era. But my influences draw deeper than just guitar gods. When I heard The Beatles, The Byrds, The Kinks, Big Star, NRBQ, and other 60’s and 70’s pop-rock bands, I fell in love with the way they all wrote songs. But the people I take most inspiration from are the people I am closest to like my friends and family. I feel extremely lucky to have grown up in a very musical home and to have known the people that I did. And in the past three years, I have seen this town of Lexington explode with musical talent young and old and I am incredibly grateful to perform with them and call them my friends.
Your debut album did really well in Lexington. Do you guys get on the road much? How do your ages affect touring? HC: While trying to battle school and college, touring doesn’t happen much for us. Our shows are mostly made up of regional shows at clubs up to two times a month, sometimes more in the summer. Our debut self-titled was recorded with David Barrick, who really knew how to complement our sound with his amazing skills with mixing and recording.
With the new single out, I have to ask… is there another album in the works? HC: Recently we have spent some time recording some new material with Otto Helmuth in Lexington. With “Hey Holly” already released, it will also be released along with a bundle of other songs on our next album coming out in probably March or April. After that, we get right back to work on writing even more songs, and continue the process!
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