Walking onstage in their signature red monochrome Western-themed ‘fits at Baby’s All Right, Razor Braids gripped audiences with their electrifying and dynamic performance of soulful rock ballads and infectious indie rock anthems like “Nashville” and “She.” Hollye Bynum (bass/lead vocals) and Jilly Karande (rhythm guitar/backing vocals) both showcased heartfelt vocal performances on ballads like “Megachurch,” and Syd Nichols (drums) and Janie Peacock (lead guitar) both impressed audiences with electrifying solos and punching rhythms throughout the set. Having recently released their queer crush rock-pop hit “She,” the band wrapped up their national tour in NYC where their journey began.
the groovement met up with Razor Braids after the show to catch up about their new projects, tour, and reflections on their growth on the road and in the recording studio.
Thank you guys so much for meeting with ys. So, just to start, what is your immediate post-show reaction? What is your body feeling, what is your heart and mind feeling after laying it bare onstage?
Hollye: This isn’t a super long run, we’ve done five weeks before, but nine shows in a row…we’ve had a pretty intensive few months of just doing a lot of things that I cannot speak about. But ultimately going to new cities is always a little scary–you never know what to expect–and we had a really good run… but there is nothing like coming home. Seeing that full room and seeing people super engaged and getting to play with these people that I love playing with was so much fun. My heart feels really happy and very supported by just the warmth that we’ve been given. It’s like the ultimate “We are coming home, and we’re coming home to open arms!”
Janie: Yeah, I mean, I feel like I’m just feeling a little bit emotional about this show. There were just so many fun moments on stage. Like when Hollye and I balanced our instruments on our heads at the end. That was like, that was probably my favorite moment, because we both nailed it at the exact same time.
Hollye: [Bending her arms behind her head and mimicking guitar] And we were going like this, which is insane.
Janie: Our arms were like that, and it was just balancing! And I was like, damn, we did that. Then we both looked at each other in shock that we were able to do it. I know, I think I was like, ah!
Hollye: But we did it.
Jilly: I’m so happy to be able to see so many people there, so many friends. And, um, I was definitely nervous. I was like the most nervous I’ve been on a tour because it feels like higher stakes than what we’ve done [before]. So many people in the crowd.
Jilly: I’m just feeling really good and sleepy and happy. It’s like a killer combo for my brain. Where it’s like, whoo! [Then does] a big exhale.
So you guys just finished this massive tour. What were the highlights?
Hollye: Okay, first off, we went to Portland, Maine for the first time, which personally I feel like was such a lovely place to be. Like, the town is so beautiful, the food was so fucking good, the Oxbow Blending and Bottling Company where we played at, that was a beautiful space in the dance that we played with. [Openers] Sequela and Dark Soft were amazing. And then we stayed with Sequela and a couple of them lived together. And so we stayed with them, and they were like, “Hey, do you guys want to go to the sauna?” And we’re like, what? What does that mean? And so they live in this kind of little grid of four buildings that are back to back, and they call it “the Compound.” And somebody who lives there built a sauna, and it’s beautiful. So we played this show, we’re hanging out, we go to stay with him, and we all just went and sat in the sauna and detoxed. It was amazing.
One of the impressions we were left with after the show was your natural chemistry and synchronicity on stage which really packed a punch during the more emotional numbers of the show. How do you guys build your stage presence and feel connected to each other each night?
Hollye: I think my favorite thing about music, and I’ve done music in such different capacities for a large part of my life, and the best part is just getting to do it for someone else and see their reaction and feed off their energy. And now there’s this whole other dynamic of being in this band where we all love playing with each other and it’s like, cool, I’m going to play with you, and I’m going to see what that does to you, and then I’m going to let that influence me. And at this point, we’ve done it a good amount, so we know the pathways where we can go, and yet we each still challenge each other in different ways. I mean, us balancing our instruments on our heads, like, Janie’s done that at least one time, but we’ve never done that.
Hollye: On this tour, there was someone who came up to us that was like, “I just really admire the fact that you keep it like super real and human on stage”, and I was like, “well thank God, because I genuinely don’t know how else to be.” I’m not the type of person who’s going to be super chic and super put together and be this person who feels untouchable. I am giving you a lot, but I’m ultimately going to be like, “what the fuck is up, you guys?” We’re all just people. I think the foundation of this band is we’re just trying to connect with people and provide a platform for people to connect with whatever we’re putting out. And in a world where everything feels kind of curated, this is just us being human, we are all flawed. We are flawed…it’s fun to embrace that. Like normal human things happen and it feels fucking amazing.
How is working, touring and collaborating as true indie artists/an indie band?
Hollye: It’s tough, it’s a machine, it’s a business. I mean, we just recently started an LLC together. It’s pretty exciting. I mean, the beautiful thing about this band and this is that we’ve each been a part of, like, either a band or a different, smaller organization before, but in this particular group, we all are hustling in this band and outside of this band. Business owners, people that are working multiple jobs, in all different areas. And so we all have the ability to bring our skills into this. We are all working very hard. I mean, ultimately, without label support and without some sort of money flow, we are all digging out of our pockets. We’re all putting our time and energy on the line. And that’s a lot, but also we’re pretty fucking good at it. And I’m like, genuinely all the time, like every other day, I go, “What the fuck? How are we doing this? This is so cool!”
Last question because we know y’all have so many friends and family members here.
Jilly: My mom came, so sweet. She has no idea what to do at shows. I heard her go, “Oh, you guys have matured.” And you know what? I love that.
Hollye: She’s not wrong. I love when anyone sees growth and they don’t eternally be like, I see it and I feel it and I love that.
Speaking of growth–we interviewed you guys a year ago, and a year later, what are some things that have developed out of this fruitful and chaotic year?
Jilly: It feels a whole different thing. I think, at the core, we’ve been the same band, but we’ve done so much together. We’ve gone on multiple tours in the last year, which really changes how we interact with each other and how we work as a band. It feels so much better because we know what we want to say together with the music we’re creating. It feels so fucking good. I’m very proud of it. I look back on the things that have happened and I’m glad we continue to do that.
Hollye: I mean, it’s like, we’ve toured, we’ve played, we’ve written new songs… I just think about the beginning of this band, or even when Jilly and Janie jumped on board, or even when Syd jumped on board, and just where we were songwriting-wise or performing-wise. I think the cool thing about this group is that each person individually always wants to be better, always wants to do more, always wants to be more engaged with what we’re creating or what we’re sharing with people. That hunger is very special to me as a person in the band and as an audience member. We want to be a space that feels good, and we want to be a place for people to come and connect. And that always takes change and growth and time and patience and effort, and we are always getting there. It’s never-ending, our efforts. And I personally will take this time to say thank you to my band. No, genuinely. I’m just really proud. We have grown because we want to grow. And I think that’s a very, very beautiful characteristic about a person.
📸: shot by Abbie Abraham