MUSIC INTERVIEW: Holding Absence

Welsh post-hardcore outfit Holding Absence are at the forefront of a new wave of British post-hardcore. Lead singer Lucas Woodland’s undeniable vocal talent and the pure emotion each band member pours into the cup of every song they make makes the band’s rise truly unstoppable. We were lucky enough to grab a chat with Lucas about all things Holding Absence.

How are you feeling ahead of your set tonight?

Yeah, pretty good man, Reading was pretty good yesterday and well Leeds is you know aha. I’m really excited for Leeds aha, cus like I’ve never been here before, so it is actually really exciting to see this version of the festival I’ve been going to for so many years.

So, festivals have been back for a couple months now if you’re including the Download Pilot, so I was wondering does it almost feel normal now that festivals are back?

For me, because we’re playing Slam Dunk next weekend, we’re being very careful about Covid because we want to play that next weekend, it does feel different at the moment but I think that’s because we’re being safe at the moment, not to sound snobby but not everyone here is being safe so for most part I feel as if it’s being as normal as it could be for now really. I feel like music is something that can never change though, the second we step on that stage, or the second a band you love steps on that stage, all everything goes away.

So, for readers who haven’t seen you guys live, what should they expect from a Holding Absence gig?

Just a performance, like a big kind of emotional cathartic experience. We’re a band that puts everything on the line every show, and we always will, and as our back catalogue grows, our performance changes a little bit, the more the fans know the songs, the less we have to sweat on the stage, and the more we can bounce. Generally, for me, it’s one of those things where we want everyone at the front and the back to enjoy the show and whether that’s because they are completely immersed or whether it’s about the music and they are there in the moment and they are just banging their head along. I feel as if it’s a very illusive experience.

A few months ago, you released your sophomore record “The Greatest Mistake of My Life”, looking back on the last few months, how has the reception been? Has it been a success?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m really proud of the reception to be honest, we did something that was kinda optimistic we tried really really hard to make it an album so the songs overlap and you can’t shuffle it, so we tried to make it as much as an experience as physically possible really, and a lot of people enjoyed it. So, I’m really really happy, for me the bread and butter is playing songs and seeing the reactions, and sadly we’ve only been able to see that twice since dropping it. So, I’m hoping when touring comes back it brings a second lapse of release into the album but still incredibly proud of it and the receptions been great!

Admittedly, you’ve only played a couple of shows, but do you feel as if there’s been a difference in live show experience before and after covid?

Download was very much an obnoxious blow out, with everyone there not seen music for 18 months. Everyone there not played music for 18 months, so it was this case of unbridled joy, but I think a lot of those bands will experience those feelings in different ways, like there’s a video of Sigrid walking out on Reading main stage crying because it was her first performance back. I think for every musician it’s different and for every spectator it’s different too, but I think the first performance back makes you realise just how much you’ve missed live music – that is going to dwarf any experience you’ve ever had with live music I’d say.

Since you released your last record, would it be fair to say you guys have gone to that next level, because you guys have obviously got a huge headline tour coming up, some big support slots etc?

I’d like to think we’re stepping up every time and I do believe we are stepping up since the album dropped. We’re playing bigger venues like you said, and seeing bigger numbers than we’ve ever seen before. But for me, I just want the music to step up, and it really has so I’m happy either way, and I’m hoping that when shows come back we can step it up again and again.

So, my final question is what does the last 12 months look like for you guys?

Ugh well this is us crossing our fingers and praying to God that covid disappears. Our books are so full at the moment and 99% of it isn’t announced at the moment because what’s the point, but the idea really is from October/November onwards to just play everywhere we can, so we’re just crossing our fingers and hoping for the best!

Interview By: Joe Loughran

Holding Absence will be heading out on a UK headline tour in October and November, then supporting Creeper on their tour throughout December.

October 2021
Thu 28th – CARDIFF, UK – Y Plas 
Fri 29th – OXFORD, UK – O2 Academy 2
Sat 30th – BIRMINGHAM, UK – O2 Institute 2 
Sun 31st – SHEFFIELD, UK – Leadmill 

November 2021
Tue 2nd – GLASGOW, UK – Garage 2
Wed 3rd – NEWCASTLE, UK – Think Tank 
Thu 4th – MANCHESTER, UK – O2 Academy 3
Sat 6th – LONDON, UK – Electric Ballroom

December 2021 (Supporting Creeper)
Wed 15th – LONDON – O2 Forum Kentish Town
Thu 16th – BRIGHTON – Concorde 2 
Fri 17th – BIRMINGHAM – O2 Institute 
Sun 19th – GLASGOW – Garage 
Mon 20th – MANCHESTER – O2 Ritz 
Tue 21st – LEEDS – Beckett University Students Union