MUSIC INTERVIEW: Holding Absence

Photo Credit: Fraser Taylor

At Download 2017 we sat down with Giorgio Cantarutti and Ashley Green from Holding Absence. The Cardiff outfit are making big waves on the live circuit, and from line-up changes to signing to SharpTone Records things got big and exciting extremely fast.

You’ve just played Download 2017 earlier today, how was it for you?

Giorgio: It was sick, it was way more than we could have ever imagined.

Ashley: Download’s one of those things which is almost like the epicentre as a musician, growing up and into music you’re always like “I’d love to play Download or these big festivals.” I remember exactly when we got asked, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. We were so like honoured and humbled to be asked to play.

G: It’s my first time at Download and to be playing it is absolutely ridiculous.

A: It’s honestly great we’re so thankful for the chance to be playing it.

Your journey has been quite an interesting one to Download, could you tell us a bit more about it?

G: We had Permanent and Dream Of Me, then SharpTone approached us really early when we had Lucas in. It was really cool we played a show in Bristol and they rung us and asked to speak to us later, it was really cool. From the moment it was like sick.

A: SharpTone has always had a really strong and passionate belief in us not just as a band but as people. They really got to know us before they took the chance on us which kind of showed they’d taken on more of what we wanted rather than we can offer you this. It was more what do Holding Absence want and it was really nice of them to.

How do you feel your career as a band has changed since being signed?

G: It’s got a lot more hectic.

A: We were doing long days before.

G: It’s got pretty full on in a short space of time. I mean playing Download, that’s mental.

A: We’re really strong believers in making the band work for us in a way that the first two singles we self-produced and the videos we did ourselves. We’ve now got a team behind us and it’s like that’s how you do it as a job. Instead of waking up and thinking “oh I’ve got to go to work” it’s like “oh I’ve got more band stuff to do today, it’s going to be wicked.” It’s definitely a lot more day to day hectic in the respect it’s more like a job, but at the same time it’s so worth it and today is a perfect example of how it can and has been.

Have you had to balance work, life and music together at all?

G: I was in my final year at uni. I was at uni, had a part time job and was in the band so it was like a lot to cope with. It’s been pretty full on but sick, really enjoyed it.

A: Me and the other boys finished a year before and graduated last year. Once I’d finished uni I was studying in Nottingham and I moved to Cardiff for the band. I’d always had music and work. This was the first time I only had to do the band for most my time, that’s kind of how we made it work. We wanted to go and make this something which is really good for ourselves and we love touring so let’s just book a ten-day tour. We want to put some music out, let’s go shoot a video and record it ourselves and just put it out. It’s like a really weird lifestyle. I work in a bar so does Lucas. James is like an artist manager so he’s like the brains of the band so he can transfer his skills to this so day to day it works really nicely. He’s a really strong asset to the band. Fez we’re very fortunate as he’s like a producer as well, he works with us doing the live sound and everything he can kind of emulate that through rough demos. Lucas and I working in a bar really only have the transferable skill of heavy lifting. Hopefully one day it can be full time and I won’t have to work in a bar and serve people drinks, I want to be on the other side drinking!

You’re supporting Young Guns on their tour later this year, how did this happen and are you fans?

G: I used to love Young Guns. I’ve grown out of them a bit now but they’re still sick and still smash it. Fraser took photos of us in London and it was kind of surreal.

A: They’re a great example of a great band with great songs and great motives to what they want to do. They’re very sincere playing, they know what they want to be playing and singing about. When we got the offer it was more like Young Guns were doing this tour, I think because of the things we did with Fraser he maybe had put out name forward. I’m not too sure how it got put around but when we got asked to do it we couldn’t say no because it’s some of the biggest stages we’ve seen on our UK circuit, so we had to do it. And it ends in Cardiff, we can all just walk home everything. It’s going to be class.

Who would you love to dream of you?

G: Who would I love to dream of me?

A: That’s a bloody good question isn’t it. I could talk about all the people I have celebrity crushes on.

G: I used to have a massive thing for Hayley Williams, so I’ll just say, Hayley Williams.

A: I dunno. I used to be a massive Doctor Who fan in college.

G: Of course you did.

A: That was like the time Billie Piper was the doctors assistant, she’s so pretty. Probably her in the least misogynistic way possible.

What would be your festival anthem?

A: When I came to Download for the first time Aerosmith played and when they did the song which goes “I don’t wanna close my eyes” that song it absolutely ruined me. It’s the best live song ever. It’s so good. That’s going to be the song I wish I could see this weekend.

G: Mine’s probably going to be The Killers. What’s that massive one?

Mr Brightside?

G: It’s like the perfect live festival song isn’t it? Probably that. I’ve seen them at V Fest that’s the only other festival I’ve been to so that’s like quite a contrast. They were so good there.

Finally, what’s coming up for you this year?

A: We do have an album that we’re working on. We have new music that we’re releasing this year that we’ve already got things for. I’m not sure if I can give a date but the first one’s coming out on the 16th June so next week following this. Obviously our tour with Young Guns that we’re so excited for. We’re doing a big run of shows during July and August, we’re out on tour with bands like Rainfalls and some of our other friends, I’m really excited for it. They’re going to be some of the best shows we’ve ever played. An album this year, new music and we’re going to play all the shows!

Interview By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar