Holding Absence

Fast-rising Welsh post-rock quartet HOLDING ABSENCE have released a music video for new track Birdcage. The track and video mark the release of the bands 7” picture disc, which also includes last month’s single Gravity. 2019 was a massive year for the band but vocalist Lucas Woodland is determined to not let the global health crisis stop the momentum they have built. Lucas also mentions that Australia rates highly with their Spotify stats hinting at a tour in the near future.

How you guys surviving the pandemonium and the chaos at the moment?
Yeah, I think we doing all right to be honest man. I think we had a quite an intense few months. We’ve just been writing a lot of music. So, before the lockdown happened, I feel like we all needed a little bit of time off anyway. So, we welcomed it. We had three tours cancelled and whilst we have sacrificed a lot, but I feel like we’re not in the worst place compared to a lot of other people.

Have you been using the time to keep the creative process going?
We always try our best to write as much music as possible. Whenever we get home from whatever, whether we are working our day jobs or on tour we all work on stuff in our own space. I feel like there is less urgency though given we have just put out Birdcage and Gravity. So, it;s not like we desperately need to write new music. We’ve got that happy medium of being able to leisurely write music rather than having to feel like we need something new.

How exciting has the journey been since the release of your self-titled album late last year?
It’s been a really good year, to be honest. I hate even mentioning it in every interview, but obviously the three tours that got cancelled with coronavirus, and on top of that, we had two tours cancelled last year. One because of visas and one because of some political nonsense. In the last thirteen months we’ve had five tours cancelled that were announced.

So, it’s been a weird album cycle for us really because the album did exceptionally well. We are really proud of it and we have played bigger shows than ever before because of it. I’d always think to myself, I wonder how much more that album could have done with those five extra tours. Either way though, we’re ecstatic with the reception that we’ve had and we’re really excited to just get another album out now.

Were you surprised by the reaction or do you kind of feel like that the band has been building for some time?
I think we’ve always been very showered with support and love from our following. So, I feel like our growth has a band has been very gradual. Every song we’ve released, we take another step forward. You know what I mean? So, with the album we took several steps forward but nothing too crazy. We headlined a venue in London and it was like eight hundred people I think, which for us is really, really, really big. And we played our whole discography, seventeen songs in chronological order. When you stand back and look at something like that, obviously without that album, we wouldn’t have been able to do that. Stuff like that I feel makes you realise just how surreal the whole thing is.

It must be frustrating to lose the momentum you’ve built with everything that is going on?
Yeah, it’s tough because I feel being a musician it is like a real martyrdom kind of sport because you do sacrifice a lot, but you sacrifice a lot for a very passionate thing. So, you can’t really complain about it, but then when things like this come and upset the apple cart it is hard because everybody in the band is struggling for money as we weren’t expecting this. It is quite a weird one because you do live a weird life anyway and then when stuff goes wrong it’s extra rubbish.

Do you think the sounds changed much between the album and this double a-side single that you’ve released?
I think so, yeah. The production on the two new songs is way better than the album for a start. I feel like a lot of people are going to hear it and assume that we’re going down a more clean cut route or think everything’s a bit more by the book. When you look at the nineteen songs that we’ve released now, I feel like Gravity and Birdcage do fit perfectly in somewhere. I feel like maybe one or two people might think that we put two poppy tracks out, one after each other, but it’s definitely not an indication of us leaving our album sound behind.

Also having a picture disc, you don’t really see that too much of that with seven inch vinyls these days. That’s a really cool idea.
For sure. Thank you very much, dude. Yeah, that’s something we really wanted to do. Obviously the music industry is changing and the climate of like releasing music is becoming a lot more throw away and kind of fast paced. I personally, and same as the rest of my band, we all love albums. We’re all album type of people.

Seeing this new Spotify thing, where you have to release a single to get a playlist to get famous now. It is kind of heartbreaking really to think that the art of writing a good album might actually go by the wayside within the next ten years or so. We liked the idea of putting out the AA single even though it’s conforming to the industry norms at the moment but we’re still able to give people something like a AA to physically hold the same way you would with a record, putting a bit more emotional attachment to.

The band must be chomping at the bit waiting for the green light to start touring again?
That’s the thing! Like I said, back to the five tours being cancelled. We’re at the point now where it’s just beyond belief. How long we’ve been waiting. Hypothetically, the next show we’ll be playing is in Leeds, which is in August. The last show we played was December! So, nine months of not playing shows and we aren’t a band that ever takes more than three months off. So, this is a shit situation.

Is Australia in the tour plans at some stage in the future when things settle down?
Yeah, for sure. To be honest with our Spotify figures Australia is definitely one of the higher listening areas. I can’t remember which States are higher because I’m quite geographically inept. Maybe if I go to Australia, I’ll understand it all a little bit better, but I know in our top five there are two Australian cities. So, we do really hold Australia in quite high regard. It’s something that we do want to do often, and routinely, so fingers crossed.

Interview By Rob Lyon

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