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10 Quick Ones with NICK DEES of HOLD ON HOLLYWOOD – June 2018

According to a recent press release: “Houston, TX Rock Band HOLD ON HOLLYWOOD has released the official music video for the title track off of their 2016 released EP, Save Me. Directed, Filmed, and Edited by Blake Ralston at Out of Mind Imaginations, “Save Me” introduces fans to HOH’s unique live experience in advance of their tour run with The Bunny The Bear, It Lies Within, and Dead Noise. Hold On Hollywood is a rock band based out of Houston, TX. Their sound combines powerful vocals, massive guitars, unforgettable melodies, relatable lyrics, and infectious pop hooks that will have you singing along before the first chorus ends.” We get guitarist Nick to discuss new music, influences, and more in our 10 Quick Ones…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“Save Me” is one of the first songs this band ever wrote as a whole before most anything else. For fans who have seen us live, they would notice the different ending we chose to go with on the record. When we play the song live, and how it was originally written, the song’s ending built up to a big drop with a dual harmony lead Ian and I would play on through to a big crescendo. On the record, when the song drops at the end, we go into this hypnotic, looping, clean and pretty guitar pattern that was originally made up when Ian and I would play the song acoustically at cover gigs we would do on the side.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

For me, music has always been a HUGE part of my life. My father showed me the basics of a guitar when I was, like, 5. I took it and ran with it and have never stopped, and that passion poured over into bass, drums, singing and so on. He has always worked closely with bands in many different ways and so the band life and music in general was just always there for me growing up. There was never really a moment where I suddenly realized this is what I wanted to do. It just always was.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

That’s a tough one. My all time favorite band is Taking Back Sunday. I love that early 2000’s emo/pop-punk scene and that influences my writing a lot. As a guitarist, I have always loved Eddie (Van Halen) and Slash. I grew up watching a band my old man worked with for over a decade called the Velcro Pygmies. I used to travel around with them a lot when I was a teen and that really influenced me as a performer and taught me what it means to put on a show and be an entertainer. Last but not least, the 80’s. All those big hair bands. They taught me how to write a song and the importance of a hook.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Probably Desmond Child. One of the greatest songwriters of all time whose worked with so many of the greats. When I was real young and first getting into songwriting of my own, I had heard of an interview with him at one point where he talked about some of the key things when writing a good song. It always stuck with me. I’ve tried to apply those rules to my songwriting over the years and I like to think it’s helped a lot. To work with someone on his level would be insane.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

This is the hardest question. I never know how to describe it. I broad stroke it as radio-friendly rock, like what you would hear on the radio. But, truthfully there’s influences from so many different genres and artists. I think it speaks for itself. You just have to hear it.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

For me, it’s the telling of stories. It’s being able to express myself in a unique way. To take something you’ve experienced in life and be able to express it in the form of music is a very therapeutic experience. It’s like taking photographs. Capturing moments in time, how you felt and what you went through, but in the form of a song.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a sing along?

Corey is definitely the cook! He actually went to culinary school for a while. It’s the real reason we keep him around! (laughs) Really, it all depends on the day though for the drinks. We all like to have a good time, especially when hanging out together! As far as the sing along, Ian’s really the only one who can sing decently, so hopefully it’s him! (laughs)

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I love space and the universe and just learning about all that’s out there. It would probably have to be something dealing with that. Not sure what exactly, but… in that field.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Maybe this is an odd answer, but truthfully, no. There is nothing I would want to change. It has all culminated to make me the man and musician I am today. I have done things I never could have imagined when I was just a boy. My highs have taught me a lot, but my lows taught me even more. Everything is a lesson.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

This is so hard for me to decide. There are so many amazing albums from artists I love. If I had to narrow it down… Either Dr. Feelgood from Mötley Crüe, or Appetite for Destruction from Guns ‘N’ Roses. Two absolute masterpieces that both hold a very special place in my heart as a musician. I even played in a Guns n Roses tribute band for a while covering specifically that album. Appetite’s songs taught me a lot about being a guitarist and thinking outside of the box in songwriting, and Dr. Feelgood to me was the pinnacle of being in a rock n’ roll band. That was Motley at their best to me, and they are the most true rock band of all time in my opinion.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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