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A Dirty Dozen with HOLD ON HOLLYWOOD – April 2020

| 30 April 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Houston, TX Rock Band HOLD ON HOLLYWOOD has released the official music video for their single “Movies.” Directed, shot, and edited by Blake Ralston, “Movies” is off of the band’s Valentine’s Day released EP, Love Stories. 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. Since debuting in April 2015, HOLD ON HOLLYWOOD has built a dedicated fan base through their steady stream of live shows, and active social media presence.” We get the band 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?

Nick Dees: Love Stories is our second EP which features our single “Movies” that we just released the music video for. The songs on this EP are very straightforward rock/pop tunes that tell stories of the different shades of love, hence the title of the EP. There isn’t really hidden nuggets so to speak, we laid it all out for you to see right in front of you. Raw and real.

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

Devin Holden: The movie Drumline with Nick Cannon. I remember watching it in 5th grade and I loved it, became obsessed.

Ian Dartez: My Dad showed me a Boston Greatest Hits album when I was like 4 and I asked him to buy me a guitar, the rest is history.

Corey Morgan: Got kicked out of my parent’s house when I was 18 so I went over to my buddy’s house to a party. We were hanging out drinking and a friend of mine asked me if I ever played bass before. Said no, and he asked if I wanted to learn. Next thing you know, they’re teaching me a song, and I’m a bass player now.

Nick: My dad played guitar so it was just kind of always around me growing up and I started playing when I was like 5 or so on and off. I started going around with him on the road as a teen with a band called the Velcro Pygmies that he worked with, and I really fell in love with it out there seeing the business at work and being a part of the behind the scenes as this young teen.

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

Devin: Probably Blink-182. They helped get me more into the rock side of music and I grew up alongside their music as it was coming out. Travis Barker really inspired me on drums when I was first getting into it.

Nick: The Velcro Pygmies as I mentioned before. I spent years traveling around with them and my Dad on weekends and holiday breaks from school, etc. It really shaped my whole outlook on the music industry and music I was into.

Corey: I started getting into Green Day like I said and bands like Lamb of God. So you can see how I bridged to the bands I like today knowing that, following the natural progression of music.

Ian: “By-Tor and the Snow Dog.” That song made me really want to get into true song-writing and shaped my influences early on.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Ian: It’s too hard to pick just 5 for me. I love all kinds of music ranging from like the 70’s to now in all genres.

Nick: For me, it would be bands like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Fall Out Boy etc, those early 2000’s emo/pop-punk bands. I also have mad love for the 80’s bands like Crüe and G’n’R.

Devin: I’m really into the Pop/R&B stuff, I grew up on a lot of it. Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, artists like that, and it carried over into the modern pop artists as well.

Corey: Post-Hardcore/Emo stuff to some metal really does it for me. I’m a big Falling In Reverse fan personally.

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

Corey: Post Malone. We’re all big fans of his work and think it could be really cool together. He’s also bridged the gap with rock artists like Ozzy already, so I think he’s probably open to the concept!

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?

Ian: It’s always hard for us to describe our music. We just try to write stuff that you can sing along to and dance to in the first listen, that makes you feel good. Most people would probably cringe at this comparison, but we were once called the “Nickelback of Houston.” Uh – hell yeah. We’ll take it.

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

Devin: The answer will vary depending on who you ask for sure, but to name a few – being on stage playing to hundreds or thousands of people, the awesome music you get to create, traveling around the country or world with your friends, meeting your idols, playing alongside them, hearing your songs on the radio. So much of it, it never gets old.

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 sing along?

Nick: Corey is definitely the go-to cook, he’s phenomenal. Dude needs his own restaurant. If the band fails, or hell, especially if we make it, he definitely needs to take it up as a career and open one up. We’ll all get the drinks in depending on the night, we love a good party.

Ian: Nick definitely would get the guitar out first, he’s that guy for sure.

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

Corey: We were all hanging out at Dirt Bar one night downtown in Houston, and Fronz from Attila was there. I’m a huge fan of him and his band. They were in town playing and the after party for the show was there, so he was just hanging with people and drinking. Good times for sure!

Devin: Tony Royster Jr. I worked at House of Blues Houston for a while and he came through there. Definitely could say I was star struck.

Nick: We’ve been blessed to meet and play with a lot of our idols and people we grew up listening to, but Bon Jovi definitely takes the cake. Definitely the most notable and legendary artist we have shared the stage with, and he was cool enough to take some time to talk to us and take a photo. Still down to earth after all these years and success.

Ian: I don’t feel like I get “star struck” so to speak, but if I had to say a time… It would probably be when we first met Justin from Blue October when we played with them at The 94.5 the Buzz Bud Light Roast. Blue is one of my all-time favorite bands that I’ve listened to since I was a kid. Couldn’t believe we got to play with them. They later invited us out to headline the second stage of their first hometown Houston Music & Arts Festival, and Matt Noveskey produced our new EP Love Stories. It’s crazy how life changes!

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

Devin: Probably an athlete. I was doing basketball before Nick and I started jamming together actively, and my family is all very athletic types.

Corey: As they said, I’m a cook as well. I would like to be a chef/owner of my own restaurant. I love cooking, it’s definitely my second passion up there with music.

Ian: I’m really not sure. Music is my everything and I couldn’t see my life without it. This IS my dream job.

Nick: I would probably still be doing something in entertainment. I feel like being an entertainer is at my core. I’ve always wanted to be a “Renaissance Man” in the sense of people like Donald Glover and stuff. They act, do comedy, make music, since and dance, etc. I also love gaming. Maybe combine the two and be a famous streamer.

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?

Nick: I don’t know about y’all, but we’ve seen enough movies about time travel to know that the first rule is you don’t go back and change anything.

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?

Ian: I would love to see the making of Thriller in it’s entirety. From the first conception to the finish line. Being the biggest album of all time, there’s got to be a lot to learn from that experience.

Devin: Purple Rain. Prince was a genius, a truly unbelievable talent, and I would love to watch how he works. The process.

Nick: Dr. Feelgood. That album was something else, massive sounding, and flawless from front to back. It was so bad ass that when Metallica heard it, arguably one of the biggest bands at the time and even till this day, they were like, “That’s who we have to record with. Get us with Bob Rock.” Then they did, and released arguably their biggest success of an album ever.

Corey: I think it would be Green Day’s Dookie album. That’s the first rock album I was ever truly exposed to, the first album I bought for myself. My family all listened to country so that was what was pushed on to me. I bought this album and had to hide it from my Mom because it was explicit and he said “shit” on there somewhere and stuff.





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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