We interviewed Holding Absence, the masterminds behind The Greatest Mistake Of My Life, one of the finest rock albums of 2021. The guys from Wales are today known as one of the most noteworthy bands in the scene. With their signature sound, emotional lyrics capable of connecting with the public, and immaculate execution, this band has a lot to offer to the world. Holding Absence met with us to talk about their last release, success, expectations, and upcoming music. Read the full interview below!
Holding Absence’s last album titled The Greatest Mistake Of My Life was released last year. This marked a new era for the band’s career and made your fanbase expand. How was the process of making this album different than previous releases?
Honestly, making this album “different” from LP1 wasn’t really at the front of our minds! We had a lot of things go wrong during the release of our debut, so The Greatest Mistake Of My Life was all about doing things our way without compromise the second time around.
Why did you think the album resonated so much with your fans?
We’ve always had an insanely passionate fanbase who’ve shown us a lot of love, but I just think The Greatest Mistake Of My Life was a step up on every account and people could really tell. The songwriting stepped up, the production stepped up… I think it just made being a Holding Absence fan easier than ever before!
When making The Greatest Mistake Of My Life, did the band have any goals to achieve? If so, did you guys do it?
Like I said earlier, it really was just about doing things on our own terms without any hurdles to trip us up this time. We simply wanted to write an epic, emotional album, and I’m really proud of how it panned out… Now it’s just a case of looking forward to album 3!
Emotional capacity has always been a key component for Holding Absence, and in this album, you guys take it to another level. How personal would you say this album is?
Incredibly personal! My lyrics aren’t always 100% autobiographical – I kinda view them as my experiences from life shaped into different narratives – so our music will always have the capacity to be real, without feeling too monotone on a narrative level. Every lyric on this record comes from the heart, and I think that’s a big part of why we connect with our fans so much.
When it comes to the aesthetic, we also witnessed a change in Holding Absence’s style and artwork. How did you come up with the concepts?
We felt like The Greatest Mistake Of My Life was a richer and grander sound than the self–titled, so it was important to portray that visually too. We took a lot of inspiration from 80’s bands like The Cure, and just tried to apply it in a palatable, modern way!
How did the idea for your upcoming collaborative EP with Alpha Wolf come about?
We’ve been a band that’s released music often – annually, even – since our inception! So the idea really came from the thought process of “how can we drop new music?” and “what’s the most exciting way of doing it?” As big fans of Alpha Wolf, and label mates with them too, it just felt right and ended up being an absolute breeze.
Lucas, in an interview you mentioned that during lockdown you were working on a comic book and writing lyrics for the new album. Can you give us any details of that?
Yes, that’s true! During lockdown I wanted to keep my mind stimulated on a literary level, but we’d just recorded TGMOML, and writing lyrics felt a little counterproductive at the time, so I delved into comic scripts! I really enjoyed it creatively, and have about 12 issues written and scripted. Maybe they’ll become something someday, but now the music is back and rolling, I don’t have much time to keep doing it, sadly!
Holding Absence has been around since 2015 approximately, what is the most significant lesson you guys have learned in the music industry?
My advice is to just be nice to others, write good music you care about, and work hard. That way, if it all goes wrong, at least you have your morals intact. I’ve seen a lot of people fail in this industry… Doing it graciously always looks a lot better!
It’s not a secret to anyone that The Greatest Mistake Of My Life took you guys to another level, and cemented you as a band that we should keep an eye on. Based on that, what do you think about the direction rock and metal are taking nowadays?
Right now, we’re amongst a large movement of bands trying to modernize genres like emo, shoegaze and goth, and I’m excited to see what will come of that! The UK scene right now is popping too, irrespective of genre… The bands around us are definitely the most exciting they’ve been for a while now in my opinion!
What was it like finally touring in the U.S. for the first time?
It was insane! Personally, it was hugely enriching and eye-opening… Professionally, it was both inspiring and a whole lot of hard work. It’s an odd place to be, six years into your career and feeling like you’ve just unlocked a whole new map, but we can’t wait to go back already. Especially after all the love we were shown out there.
Lucas, in an interview you mentioned that you have turned down hundreds of guest vocal requests, as you didn’t want to spread yourself too thin. Are there any other musicians or bands you would love to collaborate with?
Hundreds may have been a little bit of hyperbole, but I’ve definitely had my fair few requests over the years! There’re many bands I’d love to work with, but for me, it’s just a case of knowing that I can benefit from the song and gel well with the band. I’ve had my fair share of pros and cons recording for other bands, and there’s nothing worse than getting it wrong and letting down a band you love… So for now I’m trying to take it easy and only agree to things I know will be perfect for me.
What’s next for Holding Absence? What can we expect from you guys in the future?
We’re working very hard on LP3 right now and can’t wait to start recording it. Our goal is to always release as much music as possible and play as many shows as possible too, so if you’re a Holding Absence fan, rest assured we’re doing everything we can to do right by you guys and make this fun for everybody. Cheers!
Starting this August, the band will be on tour all over the U.S. with The Amity Affliction and Silverstein! Don’t miss getting your tickets before they sell out, a full list of cities is found on their website, and we’ll see you there!
Get immersed inside the creation of The Greatest Mistake Of My Life, filmed in the isolated and almost magical setting of Middle Farm Studio in Devon, U.K.