While some local bands struggle to play outside the Southwest, the Bloody Hollies are planning their fourth tour of Europe.
"The first time we played Tromsö, Norway, we got there at noon and it was already dark," says guitarist Joey Horgen. "We sold out all of our merch two hours before we even went onstage." Overseas, they play venues sized "between the Casbah and a 2000-seat hall" and usually earn three times what they would make at a U.S. gig. A Holland-based agent puts the tour together. They travel with a road manager who speaks six languages and acts as a roadie, translator, negotiator, driver, and merch boss.
Horgen says the European hookup was made before he joined the band two years ago. Since 2001, the Bloody Hollies have played Holland, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Austria, France, Norway, and Denmark.
"They don't really receive a lot of bands over there. Plus, the name is a huge plus. It conjures up lots of visions. If I was some guy in Darmstadt, Germany, and I picked up the paper and saw the name Bloody Hollies, that would get my curiosity flowing."
Horgen says their gritty blues/punk/R&B style suits European taste.
"Europeans, in general, are open to a lot more different things. They don't even know what the word emo is. Europe is heavy into garage rock just as the U.S. is into manufactured pop."
The Bloody Hollies left for a 32-city tour of the U.S. on Tuesday, which includes a stop at SXSW on March 16. Their European tour begins June 1.