Band of the Day: Hold On Hollywood

Nick Dees (guitars) and Devin Holden (drums) take on today’s Band of the Day questions on behalf of Hold On Hollywood…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Devin: We are based out of Houston, but most of us are from either Louisiana or Texas.

How did you meet?

Devin: Surprisingly enough, we all met at a small local club in Houston called BFE Rock Club where a few of us would host the open mic night. That stage definitely birthed this band.

Nick: Yeah, we came together there for sure. Devin and I knew each other from 6th grade and had played together in our first band. We were looking for a new project when we ran into Ian and Corey at BFE. It’s become our home as a band.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Devin: We debuted in April of 2015. Started writing together late 2014. That would put us around the midpoint of our fifth year as a band.

Before you get sick of being asked… Where does the band name come from?

Devin: The answer you get will vary depending upon who you ask, but I believe it came from a little back n’ forth banter between Nick and Ian.

Nick: It’s a great mystery. Some say I told Ian to stop mouthing off one night like Devin said by saying, “Hold on, Hollywood” because he has a Hollywood smile. Some say it just came into existence. It always was, and always will be. There HAS to be a Hold On Hollywood. The conspiracies run rampant.

What are your influences?

Devin: Probably just sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. But honestly, genres ranging from 80s glam, to 90s grunge, to 2000s punk, to current pop. We try to take influence from all over the spectrum.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Devin: I think the answer from the previous question can apply here as well. Our blend of tastes can take us down obscure paths with our songwriting at times, but over time we have begun developing our own way of formulating songs. Never with the intention of following someone else’s lead, but always finding a way to make an idea your own.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Nick: I think the strongest theme in our lyrics is love and the different shades of it. From first falling, to break-ups, and everything in between. It’s something that everyone can relate to and comes from the heart for us when we are writing the words.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Nick: Our live show, we look at it as a very important part of what Hold On Hollywood is. When we are headlining and doing our own shows, we try to do as much as we can to make it massive and larger than life. Imagine trying to bring an arena/stadium level of show production/performance into a club/mid-level venue.

We’ve played hundreds of shows by this point. Couldn’t tell you honestly off the top of my head.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Nick: We regularly have Magic Mike level dance sessions during or after shows? Get enough shots in Corey and it’s like Step-Up is playing on stage. Ladies, if you ain’t been to a Hold On Hollywood show yet, why are you waiting?

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Devin: Tama Drums with Zildjian Cymbals.

Nick: I play mainly Gibson Les Paul’s, but I am a huge fan of Fender Strats and Teles as well. Marshall Amps all the way, particularly I’ve been playing a Mode 4 full stack for years now, and I’ve always been big on the Line 6 Pod X3’s for my pedalboard. I’m a very active performer, moving around a lot, using a wireless system, which can make it tough to “pedal-dance” as I call it, constantly activating and deactivating multiple different pedals. I like the freedom to dial in a tone and save it to one button with all the effects already on it, etc. One click and I’m good to go!

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Nick: Definitely pushing our new EP Love Stories right now, which we recorded last year at Orb Studios in Austin, TX with Matt Noveskey of Blue October producing. Specifically, we just dropped the music video for the single “Movies” off that EP back in mid-April. It’s on our YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram, etc. We would love it if you checked it out!

What are your plans for 20?

Nick: Everything is a bit of a mess right now with the state of the world during the Coronavirus, so things aren’t really too set at the moment. Everything has kinda gone into a play-it-by-ear mode, so. We’ll just have to see.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

Nick: Taking Back Sunday would be a dream for me to support on a tour as they are my all-time favorite band. I’ve gotten to meet the guys a few times at shows and such, and they have always been so cool and down to earth. I really appreciate that. Other than that, Motley Crue hands down. That would be a trip. Especially if I could jump in a time machine and go back and tour with them during their prime, like late 80’s. There were these dudes called When All Is Lost a few years back. Young local Louisiana band. We had the pleasure of meeting them and performing with them a bit, and they were just unreal. Not really sure what happened to them, but man. I would have loved to have done some tours with them. If they could have kicked it off, then us, followed by TBS or Crue… Unreal.

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