Whether you've heard of HOLYCHILD or not, you've certainly heard their music. Their breakout single 'Running Behind' was used to announce and launch Apple's latest piece of tech innovation: the Apple Watch. But Liz Nistico and Louie Diller are much more that musical providers for one of the world's most valuable companies. These two pop connoisseurs have spent the past three years pushing the boundaries of pop music and what it stands for. Together, they have become the sole leaders of "Brat Pop" which, as Liz explained to me, is sarcastic pop music but with deeper meanings than your average pop record of late. HOLYCHILD have an important message to spread and thanks in part to Diller's ear-friendly productions, they're making sure everyone hears it.

Stationed in New York City (although they're both currently living in LA), I jumped on Skype with the duo as they prepared for their day. Liz is happily eating her breakfast but still manages to perk up and answer questions where necessary. It's been a week or two since The 405 premiered their follow up single 'Money All Around' and a further few weeks since they made a rousing appearance at SXSW, all of which have conveniently happened in conjunction with their recent Apple Watch sync.

The pair recently finished their debut album and as you'd expect, they're ridiculously excited for its release. Before they kick off their day of meetings and general music industry musings, I grabbed some time with them to talk The Shape of Brat Pop to Come and its influences, creating "bad-ass" music videos and whether Apple sent them a watch for free...

I have to ask about the Apple stuff because that's quite a big deal! How does it feel to suddenly be hearing your song on TV all the time?

Liz: Yeah, it's crazy! At the end of the day, it's interesting because we definitely talk about capitalism and the role of money in our culture so it's really amazing that Apple supports what we're saying. We had a long meeting about what we're talking about with our art and what brat pop is and they were super down. It's really just an honour because they notoriously choose really great music for their advertisements so that's like 'Wow, cool, they want to use our song? That's so amazing!' It's so sweet of them.

How did that conversation come up? I'm assuming Apple didn't just call or email you?

Louie: It was a combination of things; our label initially planted the seed with Apple back in October when they were first figuring out what [Apple] were going to use for the ad. I think Apple tried a few different cuts to different songs and different themes and according to Apple, there was a cut to 'Running Behind' and it was a no-brainer. Once they saw that, it was off to the races from there.

Most importantly, did they give you a free Apple Watch?

Liz: [Laughs] No, we haven't! I guess we could ask? We haven't asked. I try to stay away from technology though. [Laughs]

You recently premiered your latest single 'Money All Around' with us! How are you feeling now that it's out?

Louie: I'm feeling pretty good. We had this really nice sync opportunity; we had Apple feature 'Running Behind' and that was amazing, then the response for 'Money All Around' has been amazing so all this has been really nice in terms of roll out towards our album so it feels pretty good; it feels like everything is building in the right direction.

Have you shot a video for 'Money All Around' yet?

Liz: Oh my god; we shot it, I directed it, we're currently having some legal issues with it...

Louie: It's TOO good!

Liz: It's too bad-ass. I've been working on it for four months, I thought it was done, it's not done; it's not over yet... It's almost done and I'm so excited about it. It's basically wrapping up all the concepts of brat pop in the song in a very concise way that is like... 'What we're doing is art, in case you didn't get it; this is all art.' I can't wait for the world to see it!

Editor's Note: It's out now! Watch above.

For those that don't know, what is 'Brat Pop'?

Liz: Brat pop is sarcastic pop music. It's essential social commentary, dealing with genre roles and expectations, power dynamics, the role of money, fame, beauty, youth and narcissism in our culture and trying to understand how to navigate through the world with all of those factors.

You're currently working towards an album. Is it all completed and ready to go now?

Louie: Yes!

Liz: The album is called The Shape of Brat Pop to Come and it'll be out on June 2nd.

You recently performed at SXSW. What was that experience like?

Louie: It was good. I think in the heat of the moment, it's so chaotic and sometimes it was a little bit overwhelming in terms of how chaotic it was but for me, looking back on it I'm really happy that we went because I just feel like our live show is feeling the best it's ever been before so it was nice to follow up the Apple Watch ad and the buzz around our new music with a show that people seemed to really connect with.

Liz: It's so raw and so real. It's so powerful to have real connections with people, it's amazing. To have the music with the live show is so important.

You're going to be touring with Passion Pit. I'm assuming you're fans of theirs too?

Liz: Oh my God, yeah! It's amazing! It's like, 'What? Huh? We're touring with Passion Pit?' It's amazing! When our manager called us to tell us, he was like 'Hey, are you guys together? Ok, so we got offered the Passion Pit tour as main support...' We were like... 'What? That's so tight!' We're really excited. I think it's going to be cool. We really love Passion Pit, we love the music and I think there will be a lot of crossover; people who dig them will dig us and vice versa because I know that we'll have our own people coming too so it's going be fun.

For people who haven't seen you live before, what can they expect from your shows?

Louie: I guess it depends if it's an opening show; for Passion Pit it's going to be different from a headline show. For this Passion Pit tour, pretty much just high energy, party time. Our band at the moment is pretty big; we have a six-piece band with back-up singers and everything and they do choreography with Liz so it's definitely a production, it's really fun. We won't have the time to dig into the deeper, slower songs so it'll be like a light, warm-up-the-crowd, party time, power set.

Liz: Yeah, it's super raw, like I said. It's so much fun!

Any plans to tour the UK and this side of the world?

Liz: We were talking about that yesterday, actually! Definitely. We're planning a trip now, we're just figuring out the logistics of it so we're definitely going to be in the UK soon and we'll definitely be playing shows in the UK this summer which we're really excited about because about half the album was actually written while we were in London. So we're super stoked to go back. The city had such an influence on us so it'll be so nice to play them out live. I think personally it's going to be a really cathartic experience.

You're signed to Glassnote Records. What prompted you to sign with them as I'd imagine you had a number of deals on the table?

Liz: Yeah, it was crazy! It's so weird, the industry is so weird.

Louie: Two years ago, we had the EP and we released 'Happy with Me' from the EP and it was right before CMJ, the festival in New York. At that point, I think we had the extreme privilege of choosing between the gamut of the industry; pretty much everyone from the most major or major labels to the indie of indie labels came out after us, wanting to work with us so it was such a nice low pressure decision to sign with Glassnote. They were like, the happy medium, if that makes sense. They have a small roster but the roster is amazing, Daniel [Glass, founder and CEO of Glassnote] definitely seemed to have a bigger picture scope than some of the other labels who seemed like they wanted dot make a quick buck so it's really nice that he's given us a lot of time to develop and find out our sound.

Liz: Yeah, when we met them, we knew we wanted to work with them immediately.

With that being said; talking about development, is there much of a difference sonically in terms of what's on the EP and what's on the album or is it along the same lines?

Liz: Oh definitely. The EP, when we wrote and recorded it, those were meant to be demos. We recorded demos and then we were like 'Oh, these sound pretty good, let's just put them out!' But they weren't done in a really nice studio, they were basically done in our bedroom. We did vocals in the studio but for the most part it was pretty low key. For the album, we were able to fulfil the dream. We co-produced with these amazing producers so the production is a major step up, which is one thing that's really elevated. In addition to that, I think the songs are so much stronger, they say something much more and the messages are broader. The EP was really a concept EP about the roles of females in our culture, we're still dealing with those things but on a much wider broader scope. So in general, the dynamics are so much larger in the album.

Who or what are some of the inspirations on the album? What were you listening to while making the album, if anything?

Louie: I feel like it's a case by case situation for the song...

Liz: I feel like it's like, Gorillaz plus Dirty Projectors plus Britney Spears...

Louie: Plus M.I.A...

Liz: Plus... Buke and Gase.

Louie: Battles too.

It sounds like a good mix though...

Liz: Yeah, those are like, all my faves! [Laughs]

Before you both came together to create HOLYCHILD, what were you working on?

Louie: Before HOLYCHILD, I'd been playing music professionally for at least, half of my life. All the projects I was involved in was mainly just in a supportive role, either just playing drums or just doing hired gun stuff so I was mainly just observing the producers and songwriters that were leading those projects creatively; kind of like, taking notes but I feel like that really informed a lot when I met Liz and started writing and producing a lot more.

Liz: For me, this is my first band that I've ever been in. It's crazy because it's essentially my first project as a lead singer, before this I was dancing, I'm a dancer. While I was doing that, I was also painting and writing a lot. But when I met Louie, we started jamming immediately and it just felt so natural. I've always been obsessed with music, I've always been scouring blogs and listening to tons and tons of music so it made sense. As soon as we started jamming, I was writing songs. One of the first songs that I really wrote is on the album now; it's a called 'Best Friends' and it's crazy because I still feel like it's a strong song, looking back its like 'Oh damn; that was the first song I wrote... Ok cool!' It's something that's so natural and necessary for me.

Louie: Liz is a really quick learner! [Laughs]

You're based in LA. I'd imagine that plays a big part in influencing your music too?

Louie: Yeah, especially when we first moved to LA, that definitely informed a lot of the writing on the EP, at least half the album was written in LA and all of it was recorded in LA. Creatively, LA is so inspiring just because everyone is killing it on all levels; commercial success, top, down, side to side, there's so many people in all mediums of art just killing it. Even just being here in New York. I love New York and I feel like I need to live here at some point in my life but for now, LA is so right for us creatively.

Liz: Yeah, I feel like we're really inspired by the places that we are when we're writing because we're talking directly about people and how they're affected by certain things, how their culture really influences their behaviour like, locale has different influences on them as well so I think it's necessary to places ourselves and find different cultures.

I discovered HOLYCHILD on Spotify a few years ago. What's your opinion on streaming sites? Do you feel like they're helping or hindering the music industry?

Liz: I think... both. I think that we're so into a transition period and we have not gotten to the place that we should be in which this is a completely fair and....

Louie: ... balanced...?

Liz: .... Balanced way of finding music and paying for music, I don't think we've gotten to that point yet. I think that it's good that we're having those conversations now because I think that we're moving towards that point. But at the same time, it's amazing the way it is now because people can find music. I'm listening to new music all the time, it's amazing. Just scouring, finding music and I know a lot of people have found us because of the current ease, which has been beneficial to us. But it's like the Wild West now; we haven't figured it out... the internet in general, like, I was realising if somebody hacks your computer and gets into all your stuff, there's no police force you can call, there's no internet police. I think until that happens, things are going to remain unregulated. Also it seems like the Government, at least in the US, it's like the least internet savvy. All the websites are amazing, and then the Government website looks like it's from 1995. It's like '... when did you do this? This looks horrible! And doesn't even work!' Everybody needs to catch up and I feel like until there's an internet law that's really in place... That's what really needs to happen. Maritime law came into effect, then international law came in after that; there's laws with radio and it hasn't made its way into the internet yet. As it stands now, we're just reaping the benefits of the Wild, Wild West while we can. [Laughs] Years ago, artists, musicians, "celebrities" etc weren't so accessible like they are today. Now they're just a tweet away...

Liz: I love that!

Really? That's interesting...

Liz: I really like connecting with the people who are listening to our music and I definitely spend a lot of time on Twitter interacting with people and on Tumblr as well, it's just so nice. I feel like with art... I was saying this yesterday but usually I'll go through the day, like, kind of lying, not completely but like, when someone's like 'Hey, how are you?' I'm like 'Eh, good...' and just leave it there and not really go into depth about my life and my emotions but I do with my art, it's so analytical about everything that I'm thinking. I feel most honest with the people who are consuming that and who are connecting with it so it's really amazing to have this really open dialogue with them on a daily basis; it's so empowering.

Don't you think it maybe... Hinders the "mystery" behind the music industry, in a way?

Louie: Yes and no. I think it's just case by case like, what the artist wants to do. You could have an artist like Rye - when Rye first came out, I don't know if you remember but it was that androgynous "is this a guy? Is this a girl?" nobody knew and he did such a brilliant job in masking his identity in such a mysterious way. Same with BANKS, I think....?

Liz: BANKS is also not really on social media either...

Louie: BANKS... Lykke Li, maybe. It just depends on how much mystery you want to have. Our goal is to connect with the world and ultimately have a positive impact on it so the more the merrier, the more transparent, the more open, the better and that's just who we are.

Liz: I also like revealing this shit. When I go through something, when I have a weird business meeting with an industry person, I go on Twitter and I'm like 'Yo, you guys, I had this weird, fucked up meeting! I have to tweet five times per hour about this. Isn't that bullshit?' And they're like 'Yeah, that's so lame!' Now that I'm going through this, it's like wow, I never realised people like that existed, I never realised that meetings like this existed and I like revealing it, it's so lame, fucked up and annoying. I love sitting in those meetings and being like 'I'm telling everybody about this' and going out and doing it.

Do you have any collaborations planned or is there anyone you'd really like to work with?

Louie: There's a bunch. Can we talk about any of them?

Liz: No, we have a bunch in the works.... But we did just do a remix...

Louie: We just did a remix for this really awesome artist, she sings in RAC, her name is Pink Feathers. I did a really fun remix for one of her songs that should be coming out in a few weeks.

Liz: Yeah, and I just directed a music video for one of my friends. It's pretty bad-ass. It'll also be out in a few weeks. I shot it, directed it and edited it!

Louie: It's so good!

What would you like your musical legacy to be?

Liz: I would love an idiosyncratic sound, style and aesthetic. I think that when you go to a museum and you see a Picasso, you know its Picasso or you see a Van Gogh, you know it's a Van Gogh; those things are so powerful to me. You know it's Picasso; Picasso has evolved so much over his work but you still know its Picasso no matter what. I think that idiosyncrasy in art and uniqueness is hard to come by and I think it's really powerful to be making something like that. That'd be amazing and to be known that it was true art and truly genuine the entire time.

Louie: Sonically, it would be really nice, as I said earlier, if we could just be remembered. One of my goals is to... Public education in the US is really bad right now, I feel like a lot of the fundamental issues that are going on right now are a result of how bad the public education system is in the US. So ultimately, it'd be awesome if we could make a lot of money doing HOLYCHILD and just give it all away to public education and be remembered for being those crazy artists that did that.


HOLYCHILD's debut album, The Shape Of Brat Pop to Come, is out on June 2nd.