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A Dirty Dozen with TOM COLLIER of HELD HOSTAGE – December 2018

| 5 December 2018 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “New York-based rockers Held Hostage are all about helping military veterans, and will do so this Veterans Day, when their latest single, “Show Me the Way Back Home,” is released, with portions of the proceeds being donated to veterans groups. The thought-provoking track featuring iconic singer Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow/Deep Purple/Yngwie Malmsteen), and then will be followed up with a full-length CD, entitled Epic.” We get Tom Collier to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

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?

The latest release is really heartfelt and I had our good friend Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Malmsteen) sing a track. Carl Canedy (The Rods, Canedy, St James) produced it.  Joe sang “Show Me the Way Back Home” with heart and soul.  It is currently in the selection process for a Grammy Nomination. It is a song written to help all Veterans heal and realize they are appreciated and not forgotten. I actually donate a portion of the proceeds to Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 704. I am helping them build a memorial for the 27 Heroes who never returned home. As for hidden nuggets. Our song “Take Me Away,” has some hidden messages about how the band never gave up, even in the hardest times we continue to push through everything and never looked back. Actually in the second and third verses. I put these lyrics in. Don’t look back there’s nothing there, life is good but it isn’t always fair.

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

I have to say from a young age my mother always loved music and listened to it all the time at home. She encouraged me to become a musician but I think the moment I knew was probably 7 or 8 years old. Riding in family car listening to an old Three Dog Night song “Joy To The World” (I called it Jeremiah was a bull frog lol) . I thought it would great to write, compose, and create my own music so, I better get a guitar and learn to play. I bought a guitar years later and taught myself to play.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

There were two things, that I would call defining moments. The album was Ozzy Osbornes, Blizzard of Ozz. I loved Randy Rhodes playing style. The live performance was AC/DC watching Angus Young, just nonstop energy was very inspirational as a musician. When you see Held Hostage live, we are high energy and the crowd can feel it. It is an explosion from first song to last.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

AC/DC, Randy Rhodes, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath (with Dio), and Iron Maiden.

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

That’s a great question because I was lucky enough to record with one of my favorites of all time Carl Canedy drummer/producer from the Rods. So I would have to say Ted Nugent or Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden. Both would be equally a thrill to collaborate with. Ted is just wild man who I have seen many times I can relate to his music and Bruce has one of the greatest rock voices of all time.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would say our music is just great Rock n Roll. The reviews of the band have all been excellent. We have been called the new AC/DC or AC/DC meets Tom Petty Meets Def Leppard,. We are such a diverse band. Sometimes people hear our new ballad “Show Me the Way Back Home” on the radio. Then come see us live and they are like blown away by how hard we actually rock.

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

The best thing about being a musician is the freedom to express yourself and actually move people through our music.  When you look at in a crowd of screaming fans and they are singing your music or we are doing our ballad like “Show Me the Way Back Home” and you see grown men and women being touched to the point of tears. You know you are making a difference in people’s lives.

8. 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 singalong?

That’s easy I do the cooking and usually get the drinks for everyone. We are close bunch of guys. We are family. Then a few times in the summer I will have big bonfire (I own a 100 acres in Upstate NY) and my friend Linda Rowe will cook the main course we all just bring a dish to pass. As for the acoustic guitar that is usually myself or Scott Gregg the Rhythm guitarist.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Its been a very long time since I have been star struck. I would say I was in San Fran around 2002 staying at the Fairmount hotel. Met this person who asked me to a party. I went to the party on the bay and it was Robin Williams house. It was pretty cool especially since I had no idea who’s house it was.

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

My dream job would be one of those jobs where you go to exotic places review five star resorts enjoy their food, drinks and still get paid.

11. 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”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I honestly do not think there is one thing I would do to change the path of the band. I have had to make some hard choices and fired lifelong friends changed members. What I have realized in more than 35 years of Held Hostage is, people change. The band has evolved and the music has evolved. I didn’t always make the popular choice but it was always what was best for the band.  I don’t regret anything I have done in my music career. I actually shut down Held Hostage for 10 years. I was single father and raised my son and it was the greatest experience of my life. I wouldn’t change a thing.

12. 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?

That is easy one to answer. I wish I could’ve been part of Def Leppard “Hysteria.” That was the song on the radio the day my son was born and the first song he heard when I brought him home from the hospital in limo. I still get choked up when I hear it. 4 months ago my son Tom Jr and Ally made me a grandfather and when they brought home my grandson Barrett they played Def Leppard, My son said it was a tradition. If you are in Anaheim for NAMM, stop out and see Held Hostage Jan 24 2019 doing direct support for Metal Allegiance at the House of Blues.




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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