Thursday, June 3, 2010

Q&A: Holdfast

It's always great to come across a young, newly-formed band that bursts out of the gate running and makes it clear they have their sights set on big things. Chicago five-piece Holdfast certainly fits that description.

The band formed just this past winter as students at DePaul, and they've already accomplished quite a bit in their brief time together. They've opened for Guster, Ludacris and The Cool Kids as winners in a DePaul battle of the bands competition, are nearly done recording an EP and are already planning a full-length.

Holdfast will play their next show this Saturday, June 5, at Jerry's in Wicker Park (1938 W Division St.). Their set will start at 11:45 p.m., so if you'll be at Do-Divison fest prior (or even if you won't be), be sure to head over and show these guys some support.

The band took some time to answer a few questions for WCR, so read on to get to know them better. And while you're at it, preview the forthcoming EP by grabbing a free download of one of their tunes at the link below.

Download mp3: Holdfast - "Lollipop"

WCR: First off, tell us about how and when Holdfast came together and your time as a unit so far.

Chris Ash (vocals, guitar): I come from Edwardsville, IL, a suburb of St. Louis. I knew I wanted to go to a college in a larger city so I could be part of a large music community. When I came to Chicago, Derek, my friend from home, Easton (Gruber, bass and vocals), whom I met at DePaul, and I started Holdfast. We played one show. Then Derek eventually left the group and Danny (Cohen, guitars and vocals), David (Curtin, guitars), and Anthony joined in that order over the next couple of months. We started recording before David and Anthony (Martins, drums) joined, but we did some backtracking and now we're almost finished with our new EP Like the Sun.

What kind of styles/sounds can we expect to hear on the EP?

Danny: We all come from different musical backgrounds, and we're all into different things. The EP is essentially going to be a rock record, but there are a lot of elements that come into play from each band member that don't necessarily fit into that world. There are a lot of folk and country aspects, I think, as well as some pop.

You're currently offering one track, "Lollipop," for free download. What's the story behind that song? Where did you record it?

Chris: We recorded the whole EP at DePaul University where we go to school, with our friend Andrew Scherer. He's in the music school as a sound recording technology student. As for the song, the lyrics came out of my need to focus on the present.

What are some other bands or artists you get inspiration from that might come through in the music? What about influences that would be less obvious?

Chris: Radiohead, The Shins, Andrew Bird.

Danny: I think those are the ones that stand out in the music. I listen to a lot of Jon Brion.

Easton: Dr. Dog.

Although you guys just came together recently you've been able to play some gigs, including a set at Subterranean. How have they been going?

Danny: Its been great! We got to open for Guster last Friday at DePaul, and they were the nicest guys. I'm excited to be playing shows like this one on Saturday, I want to keep meeting local bands and making friends with them.

For future shows, which venues would you most like to play? What bands - either local or beyond - would you most like to play with?

Danny: Having grown up going to shows in Chicago, I'm always really excited when we play places like the Subterranean. There is a possibility of a Reggies show, although we haven't finished figuring out the details yet. If we ever got to play a show with This is Me Smiling or The Hush Sound, I would be thrilled and honored.

What do you hope Holdfast will have been able to accomplish by this time next year?

Easton: We're hoping to have a full length album out by that time, and we'd also love to be playing with other bands and just being a part of a network of musicians.

Where can people go for more information and to keep up on the band?

From there, you can find links to all of our other pages, like Facebook and Reverbnation. You can join our mailing list at, and we'll keep everyone updated on upcoming shows.


  1. Shredding article, Great job Holdfast!

  2. People always feel glad and excitement about musical show. I also like to watch live music show.