INTERVIEW: Newcastle based band, Holding Out discusses their new EP 'FED.UP'

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Photo Credit: Nico Drysdale

Holding Out is a punk band based out of Newcastle who just released their latest ep, FED.UP. The band combines harsher punk-leaning vocals and impressive instrumentals within this new EP. We got the chance to talk to the about their cover art, musical inspiration and more.

First of all, the cover art of your new EP, FED.UP, is interesting and suits the tone of the EP very well. Did the idea to use spray-painted letters on a building originate from the band? If not, who inspired that album art idea?

The cover art is purely coincidental. We found it spray painted on a wall in our hometown and, at a risk of sounding unprofessional ‘we though it looked cool’. In retrospect I’m glad we chose it as it really does reflect the sound we went for and the fact it was a photo we took ourselves, in our hometown, grounds it a little if that makes sense.

Is there an overarching theme tying the six songs on FED.UP together, or are they all aimed at different situations?

We try not to box ourselves in too much, so our songs are really open to interpretation. While the lyrics can be blatant and about one specific subject, we really leave it up to our audience to take away what they want from our music. My intention was to just write about the world around us and the situation we’ve found ourselves in over the past few years, so a number of the tracks play off our personal demons while others capture the wider context of social or political issues. But like I said, take away from it what you want.

Here’s the cliché question – what or who inspired the songs on this EP and its darker tones and lyrics?

I feel I’ve pretty much covered that with the previous answer. In terms of inspiration it’s hard to pinpoint it. I’m always writing and don’t tend to remember what specifically spurs on the process, especial the more emotionally driven ones. Songs like Machines, With Enemies Like These and Sleeper are all attacks against the systems in our country that aim to drive us apart and how you should stay true to yourself in the madness that’s around us. So there’s that.

“Behind the Eyes” is a bit more dialed back instrumentally than the other tracks. Can you tell us what went into creating this particular song, or what it’s about?

Behind the Eyes was actually very last minute and could have easily not made it onto the EP. After finishing the long months of recording the first 5 songs with Joe Cooper, I had time to breathe and while I was proud of the EP and all the work that went into it, I felt something was missing. We needed something raw and stripped back, hiding behind as little post production as possible. Behind the Eyes was created in around a day. I wrote it early one morning and headed into the studio with my good friend and peer in the local music scene Steve Waltl on the afternoon. Steve helped me flesh the song out into something way bigger than originally intended and I couldn’t be more grateful. It’s now easily our most popular track.

FED.UP is a very recent release for Holding Out. From your perspective, how well has it been received by your fans so far?

The response is everything we could have hoped for. Our fans, old and new have been really enthusiastic about the EP which is truly humbling. Having the crowd singing our songs back to us on tour, that we had only released a week prior, was heart-warming.

What song off the new EP is the most fun to play live?

Probably ‘Sleeper’. Given that it’s the opening track of not only the EP but our live set, really sets the tone for what the audience is in for, so we really give it our all. The song shows everything we’re about and it’s awesome to play such a high energy song to an audience.

This is always hard to nail down, but where would you like to see your band progress to over the next couple of years? Do you have any further big projects planned at this point?

Honestly, as long as we can keep playing shows and doing what we love I’d be satisfied. Whether that’s to 100 or 1000 people is irrelevant. We have some ideas in their conceptual stages but nothing we’re ready to talk about given that we’ve just released an EP!

Lastly, if you could tour with any of the bands you have been inspired by, or simply love, which would it be?

Against Me, 100%. I have nothing but respect and admiration for them and Laura Jane Grace is a truly inspiring person. Let’s make it happen.

Keep up with Holding Out on Twitter and Facebook and listen to their Fed.Up now.