Hold Fast Hope
How long have you known each other and where did you meet?
DJ (Vox/Guitar) & Dan L (Guitar/Vox) were both a part of a previous band called Rebels Fighting Robots for a year or two which fell apart. Dan L & Dan S (Drums) met while playing for a friend’s solo project back in 2013 and we found Nick (Bass) through a Facebook post trying to find a bassist for the band when Hold Fast Hope first started.
What can you tell me about your sound and how it was created?
We all have a lot of different influences when it comes to writing which I think helps keep us fresh. A big part of our writing focuses on dynamics and creating music that moves. We also love adding additional ambient textures through reverb & delay. DJ uses a violin bow on his guitar to add deep, overarching waves of sound and we also have additional floor toms set up on stage for bigger parts where we all play drums.
What are the plans for the future?
We are planning now to film a music video for our single “Fade” and to release that at the beginning of summer coming up. We also have about 5 new tracks ready to record during the summer that will likely be coming out this fall as a follow-up EP to Traitors!
How did you come up with your name?
We’ve always been a fan of nautical imagery as a group and decided on using the phrase “hold fast”, then settled on including “hope” because we felt it conveyed an image that even in the darkest storm you can hold out for hope.
What’s your favorite song off the new EP “Traitors”?
Our favorite track as a whole is probably “Fade”, but “Traitors Pt. 2” is definitely a close second.
Why did you decide to play the genre or genres you do?
I think it’s really just what comes naturally to us. We want to write music that we would want to listen to ourselves, and our writing is just the amalgamation of all the music the four of us consume regularly.
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?
We find each other sharing new music with each other all the time, out on the road is always a great time for that. Our influences come from the music we’ve been listening to for years and new groups that we’re just finding out about, we love to pull from a wide range of music.
What is your songwriting process?
Nothing too crazy, usually one member will bring an idea to practice or will come up with something as we fiddle around with our different effects and set up at the beginning of practice. From there we will explore the song and if we don’t like it at the end of the day we move on to something new. We always make sure that everyone is on board before going deep into writing a song.
Do you think that online presence is important for fans to find you and critics to find your music to write about?
I think so at least. Although so many social channels are limiting “free” access these days it’s definitely starting to take up more of our budget in advertising. But in any case, it’s certainly an avenue to reach new and active fans!
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Our biggest influences as a band probably would be Thrice, Pianos Become the Teeth, Norma Jean, Brand New, Glassjaw & Circa Survive.
Who writes the songs?
It’s a mix, but usually, DJ will bring new riffs or ideas to the table that we all will then build off of. There’s not really one person though who writes everything.
Describe your show, visual and musically.
Visually I would say we definitely get pretty into it haha, a lot of flailing guitars and movement on stage. A ton of energy. We are working now on adding lighting rigs to our live set to help expand the experience. Musically we have a lot of fun stuff going on live between group drum parts & a lot of bowed guitar. We like to build sonic loops & reverb driven interludes to keep people interested between songs.
What do you think about downloading music online?
Personally, I would rather people pay the couple extra dollars to download, but I think the writing is on the walls for digital downloads. It’s clear people prefer streaming to digital downloads, but you still have a good chunk of audiophiles who will purchase the vinyl or CD in our scene.
What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
It’s everchanging and difficult to keep up with. I think that in order to stay alive in the record industry today you need to be able to follow the trends fervently and understand what your customers want and how to package it for them. With the expansion of the internet & home recording tools, there’s just so much clutter out there, it’s all about finding a way to break through it.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Music has always been a passion for the four of us. We’ve all played through numerous bands and groups and have come together collectively to really put in the work this time. I think we’ve really found something good here with the four of us and we need to see it through.
What advice would you give fellow bands?
Work your ass off and make sure you’re doing it with people that you can trust, because you’re in it together for the long haul.
Anything you would like to share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
We just put out some new merch & CDs of Traitors on our label’s site which you can check out HERE. Aside from that, we will be playing Saturday 5/19 in Philly at The Grape Room, and we’ll be part of Sticks Fest July 14-15 in New Jersey. Make sure to stream or download Traitors wherever you listen to music! Links below for popular sites.