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Hold Me Hostage Interview

27 March 2018 No Comment

HMH SHOT 2Hold Me Hostage is breaking out of the Denver music scene with new management and a new album in the works. The hard rock/metal quintet are preparing to rock your face off with their brutal, crushing melodies and powerful lyrics that touch upon the ephemeral nature of human existence. Christ Thomas (vocals), Bryan Stacks (bass), and Patrick Searcy (guitar) took a moment to answer some our questions about what the band is currently working on, what inspires their music, and how the music industry is evolving.

 

How did the members of Hold Me Hostage meet? Have any of you ever worked together on other projects?

Pat Searcy: I’ve been very excited for this project with my good buddy Chris Thomas. I’ve worked with Chris in the past (who I consider a phenomenal singer/songwriter) in many projects and definitely think this incarnation will be awesome. The songs are great and will rock your face off. Come ride the wave.

Bryan Stacks: I’ve been musically collaborating with Chris in various iterations since the early 90’s. Though we’ve since grown up, both literally and musically, there’s always been some constants along the way. Namely that Chris is a multi-talented artist with a critical eye.

Chris Thomas: I met Bryan in a church youth group, believe it or not. We were both sorta the “bad kids” so we hit it off right away. We had similar musical interests. Being 14 years old, music was so important to us. We have a good musical bond so I’m very grateful to be playing with him still. Pat and I also hit it off right away, jamming together in a band called Random Friend Generator, ironically. On top of that, I’m also a talent buyer for a popular music venue in Denver, so I get to pick-and-choose members a little bit. Jacob Cade came up through the youth music charity I help run. He’s a shredder! And our drummer James Opiteck is also the sound engineer for the venue. I’m a lucky to jam with these dudes.

 

Can you tell HMM about the songwriting process? Who writes the lyrics? The music? How does the process usually start? Does the band work together at the beginning, or is it collaborative throughout?

CT: With exception to co-writes on a couple of the bonus tracks like “Jaded” and “The Fittest,” I wrote most of the lyrics and music on our debut record. The other guys did get their two cents in on it though, and It was fun to run the songs through the gauntlet and get their takes on a few of the tunes. I enjoy doing co-writes a lot, and I’m looking forward to doing more of that; two heads are always better than one! I like to record my ideas on an app on my phone as I get them. Sometimes the original idea makes the cut and ends up in the actual mix.

BS: I’m a fan of what CT writes and love what we write together as well. CT wears a lot of different hats and wears them well. In sketching a song idea he will write and perform the drum parts, guitar parts, bass parts, and handle a lot of the over-all pre-production. And then he gets to sing over it. It’s been really cool seeing him become the amazing singer he’s blossomed into. I hold talented singers in a very high regard because it just seems like a musical superpower to me. Musicians are seemingly a dime-a-dozen, but singers that can give you the feels with their vocal chords are a rare breed and the ingredient I think that often sets a band apart from others.

 

Have the band members been involved with music since childhood? Was it mandatory 5th grade recorder renditions of Hot Crossed Buns that turned you onto metal and made you want to start a band?

CT: For the most part, it seems like we all “grew up” with either a strong musical family upbringing, meaning our parents were musical, or we were encouraged to play music at an early age.

 

What are the main topics you write about for your songs? Where do you draw your inspiration for the lyrics?

BS: The songs have a lot of personal meaning for me. I will say towards the end of last year I was battling some personal demons and this music has been like a life jacket at times. I’m sure CT wasn’t intending that lyrically per se, but I think it’s pretty cool when humans can connect to music on that level because really it’s all about that connection. Hold Me Hostage aims to capture the beauty and brutality of our brief human existence.

 

How does the band feel about categorizing your sound within a specific genre? How does HMH see itself and its sound fitting into the increasingly vast musical expanse?

BS: I’m particularly excited for the new Hold Me Hostage music for the following reason: It’s not safe music. We live in an obviously dangerous world, but for some reason mass-produced and consumed music these days comes across as pretty regulated and tamed. HMH bucks this trend in the spirit of original rock and roll. As an independent artistic entity, HMH is beholden to nothing but its own artistic conceit and therefore does not give a fuck about trying to assimilate into a music corporate culture in the name of “successful” mediocrity. And that’s very rock and roll.

 

How does HMH ensure that its sound is fresh and its lyrics’ subject matter is new and interesting when there are so many bands out there trying to do something similar? What makes HMH original and authentic?

CT: As a lyricist, I’m increasingly concerned with speaking for the times. I’m not a spring chicken in this biz so I don’t get the luxury of wasting time. I have more of a responsibility to the people who look up to me. If I do well, it’s not going to hurt the Denver music scene. I might be my own harshest critic and I do expect a lot from myself. So, content is important. I’m doing my best to keep it real and punch people in the heart.

 

The HMM staff trolled the band members’ Facebook pages and it looks like you guys have enough guns to defend the Alamo. Can you tell us about your workout regimens and how that fits into the band’s image?

CT: Haha…Yeah, a couple of us have a gun show as part of our visual show. I know Jacob and Pat both work out. I’ve been training for a 40-50 min set, meaning I’ll go hard on cardio for 3-5 minutes at a time, like the length jumping around while singing/screaming a song with short breaks for segues and hype between songs. We do want to look, sound, and be strong! Thanks for noticing!

 

How long have the members of HMH been involved in the music industry? How has the industry changed over the years? Are these changes for the better?

CT: Pat’s our senior member, haha. He’s been rocking since spandex was hot (the first time). Just kidding! I’ve also been a talent buyer in Denver for a decade now so I’ve seen the business from a few different angles. The industry is more competitive than ever, and technology has leveled the playing field a bit. Ultimately kids can tell whether something is real or not. At the end of the day the cream always rises to the top. We have to adapt to survive. Those who do it well create more of a legacy.

 

You guys are currently working on your first album. How far along are you in the process? Can you tell us more about what fans can expect musically and lyrically?

CT: We’re actually very excited. We’re working on bonus tracks now and we’re almost finished. Musically we have a wide range of thought-provoking lyrics over driving melodies. I called it “optimism cloaked in anger” when discussing the record with our management. Also, I had to represent where we’re from. Topics range from burning bridges, having thick skin, only living once, moving on, and owning a competitive spirit.

 

You guys have some pretty intense imagery on your Facebook page? How did the band decide to use the creepy shadow screamers as your main images?

CT: It’s a placeholder for what we’re currently holding back.

 

Please share some adorable kid photos of the band members and their very first instruments.

CT: Haha. Maybe next time! Gotta run. THANK YOU!

 

Connect with HMH:

Facebook | Instagram | Band Profile

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