WORDS: SARAH SHODIPE
It’s almost an oxymoron these days for a band that finds its following through social media to be humble and earnest. Let’s face it, Twitter and its ilk can be a breeding ground for over-inflated egos. However, every now and again, a band comes along with such honesty and passion in their music, that the devoted following they’ve amassed makes total sense.
Enter Holding Absence, led by frontman Lucas Woodward, and their unique brand of expressive guitar-based music that’s clearly on the cusp of something special. As Lucas himself so accurately puts it, “Holding Absence is a very passionate, very sincere band that I think speaks to people a lot, emotionally” It’s here – and pretty much anytime the topic of Holding Absence’s close-knit, dedicated fanbase comes up – that Lucas beams with pride and sincerity at the same time. A fine line to walk, but something that the band does in their music expertly.
The band’s discography already consists of hearty yet intimate songs that brim with vulnerability. Then there’s the relentless touring schedule that takes them up and down the country with barely six songs to their name. So, with a career that many bands can only dream of, an album’s the next piece of the puzzle. It’s a project that wasn’t a light undertaking for Lucas and the band. “I wanted this album to be a huge kind of landscape of emotions,” Lucas explains “from love to hate; to be lost, to be found. I wanted everything to be covered.” A big task indeed. But the album also serves as a point of unity for all who come across it. “A lot of people who listen to music, myself included, do like to feel like they’re not alone and they’re can relate to people” expresses the singer “…and that’s why music is such an important tool. Because people can listen and go ‘Wow, that isn’t just me, this guy feels the same way!’”
“The goal for me is to kind of say things on behalf of people that maybe they haven’t said to themselves yet and give them an outlet to really embrace their emotions.”
It’s clear Lucas is happy to have his music be the gateway for his fans – and anyone who comes across the band – to experience their own emotions. It feeds into the tone of how “The album is kind of conceptual because it’s based around a story of a relationship and it looks at all the fine details in between”, as Lucas explains. “I felt like that was the best way of really, really getting to the kind of recesses and the little cracks in certain topics that people maybe don’t have time and patience to speak about within a song”
In the eyes of the frontman, the mission statement of Holding Absence is very clear: “Music is the most emotional, passionate, cathartic thing in the world, and I think singing about nothing that you actually mean or care about is just pointless.” As a result Lucas describes how “The goal for me is to kind of say things on behalf of people that maybe they kind of haven’t said to themselves yet and give them kind of an outlet to really embrace their emotions.” It’s this philosophy and the band’s authenticity that people from all walks of life seem to have gravitated toward, and rightly so.
“there should be no excuses why we can’t just take over the world.”
Maybe part of that authenticity stems from how organic the band’s success has been. Lucas admits how “To some people it might seem like we’re very, very lucky and things are happening incredibly fast. But we’ve taken every step.” He then goes on to recount the days when the band would struggle to fill a room with twenty people. But Lucas recounts them with joy and pride in this voice, grateful for every moment and every pain-staking experience that has brought them where they are now.
All the signs point to a bright horizon for Holding Absence. Any band that can define a style for themselves so early on in their career is on to something special. But more than that, this is a band where their fans live at the heart of all they do. Lucas is filled with pride as he states that “To think that something that I did selfishly, to try and heal myself, helped other people – that’s the most incredible, humbling, inspiring thing in the world.” It’s this very spirit that is responsible for everything Holding Absence has achieved, and every that’s to come for them. As he ruminates on the past, Lucas contemplates on how “All your life as a musician, you keep getting told why you can’t do the next thing. When I was younger, I was told I was too young. Now with Holding Absence, [I] kept getting told you need an album.” Well, they’ve done that. So now what?
“Now in my mind, there should be no excuses why we can’t just take over the world”
Headline UK Tour Dates (w/ Luke Rainsford and THE NIGHTMARES)
21st – Southampton, Joiners
22nd – Birmingham, Flapper
23rd – Leeds, Key Club
24th – Hull, O Reilly’s
25th – Glasgow Garage
27th – Manchester Rebellion
28th – Cardiff Globe
29th – London Underworld
June 29th – Hop Fest, Northampton
July 11th – 2000 Trees