The Holdup formed in early 2008 when drummer Danny Flores and lead vocalist Mike Garmany recruited local bassist Kyle Christensen. They began writing songs and performing small local venues around town. It wasn’t long before a fanbase gathered and the request for an album began to spread. Not having any recorded material the band decided it was time to hit the studio to record their first EP. Later that Year, the band recruited Clev Stiles as DJ/Band Manager, the chemistry and fit were undeniable and The Holdup was finally complete. The group would later release Stay Gold & Confidence.
Today, The Holdup is currently celebrating the release of their new album Still Gold that was just released today, April 26th, 2011. This is their 3rd album since last years Confidence. Our very own Norcalchika caught up with Mike & Clev of The Holdup to discuss their new album, the song One More Day & what else is in store with the Norcal natives for the rest of 2011.
The Pier: First and foremost, CONGRATS on the release of your new album Still Gold! Still Gold is your latest album, in terms of writing and production, how is this album different from Stay Gold?
The Holdup: (Mike) I feel like I have a go-to writing process now. It’s easier to find things to write about. I’m more comfortable writing about real life experiences.
It’s kind of a “no holds barred” thing for me now. I feel like I can say anything I want now as long as it’s real, no matter how dark or embarrassing it may be. The production wasn’t the same “No holds barred” theory. I definitely found a smoother way to intertwine the very different sounds with the reggae stuff. It needed to be familiar to the fans but have sounds different enough to stand apart from the rest of the bands we play with.
Whatever our sound is, I think it’s much more concentrated on this album and more apparent. I think more than anything it’s like Stay Gold in that way as opposed to Confidence, which was very experimental for us.
The Pier: In your song One More Day you talk about the dark side of the music industry and touch upon several personal experiences which have made you feel differently like “outgrowing the bands [you] were a fan of” and heading for the mainstream rather than staying underground. Can you share with us what inspired you to write this song?
The Holdup: (Mike) It ultimately came out of frustration. I couldn’t bottle it up and act like I was happy about everything anymore. I grew up a lot. Emotionally and Musically. Suddenly I found myself “outgrowing” my peers and it made me feel like we were alone in this industry. I just wasn’t content with being underground and only a part of this scene. I love too many other types of music to ignore them. I feel like we got a lot of backlash from the reggae fans for some of the songs on Confidence. That hurt me a lot. I opened up and got criticized by the majority of our peers and a lot of fans. It made me feel like ‘if people are gonna hate us for growing and progressing, then I don’t want to be a part of this scene’. As for the bands I was a fan of…I just saw them creating the same music and it bored me. I wanted to move on. It made me feel like a lot of these kids hate on mainstream music just because it’s mainstream. They weren’t even giving the actual music a chance. That’s ignorant.
The Pier: Where do you guys find your inspiration to make the music that you make?
The Holdup: (Mike) Everyday life. Anything that makes me emotional or excited.
The Pier: If music was a drug, what drug would it be?
The Holdup: (Mike) Most drugs eventually leave me feeling sick or unhealthy. Music never does that to me. So none I guess. Haha Sorry.
The Pier: Who are your biggest musical influences?
The Holdup: (Mike) For me, I mostly listen to hip hop R&B or Indie. I just got into this singer Frank Ocean from the group Odd Future. I love Drake. I love Kanye. I love the new Peter Bjorn and John album. Musically I try to do different stuff all the time so it’s lyrically that most artists influence me.
The Pier: Since your debut album in 2009 you guys have shared the stage with some legendary artists as well as other amazing bands like Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Yellowman, Inner Circle, Soja, Beenie Man, Eek-A- Mouse, Junior Reid, Dirty Heads, The Aggrolites, Tribal Seeds, and Collie Buddz to name a few, is there anyone you guys would love to share the stage with in the future?
The Holdup: (Clev) Most of the artists we would love to share the stage with seem to be out of reach at the moment. It would be cool to play with Mac Miller though that kid is on fire right now.
The Pier: Aside from creating fabulous music, what do you guys do when you’re not doing anything band related?
The Holdup: (Clev) We really don’t take a break from music. We are consistently working on multiple projects. Running our label (Dub Rock Records) and clothing line (Dubby) as well as doing management and production for other up and coming artists in the bay area. Seems the only time away from music is sleep and we hate sleep.
The Pier: Now that your album is out, what do you guys have in store for 2011?
The Holdup: (Clev) We will be touring most of the 2011 but our main focus will be back in the studio recording more music for our label. We feel like in this ever growing business of music our priority is recording. With the power of the internet and street teams music travels faster over the net then any tour stop. We don’t really take a break from recording, it’s an ongoing process throughout the year. Since our debut in 2009 we have released over 40 tracks to our fans and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.