Geelong alt-rock outfit Hold//Fire are keen to show the world their debut single ‘Safety in Numbers’. They like to think they are at the right level of loud. Not so loud where you regret not bringing earplugs, but loud enough to not be able to hear your mates. We chat to vocalist and guitarist Andy Forssman ahead of the launch.
First up can you give our readers an intro to the band – how did Hold//Fire get together?
The band has been a long time coming. Mat [Forssman, guitarist] and I played in a band (Kemp) for years throughout our teens and 20′s. But things had been quiet for 4-5 years as we were in the groove of doing the family and work thing. I think Mat and I knew that we would start another project at some point, we just weren’t sure what form it would take. I started writing fairly heavily about 18 months ago and knew it was time to piece something together. My other brother Jamie had played drums in bands around Geelong for years and Paul [Doery, bassist] is a neighbour of mine and we started to chat about music when he’d be out walking his dog! It was early in 2018 that we jumped into my studio and started to piece some songs together. We played our first show supporting really great mates Japan For at their album launch at the Old Bar in July last year.
You’re ready to release your debut single ‘Safety in Numbers’ – can you tell us about the track? Is there a story behind this one?
This one was a rare case where I pretty much wrote the whole thing in one writing session. I was doing some video production work in Port Fairy and decided to stay away a few days and focus on some writing. Musically it pretty much sums up the band. We have a few more chilled songs and a few faster, more intense songs. This one sits in the middle. Lyrically Safety explores the idea of the fragility of our lives and our existence; how we mostly live obliviously to the life changing events that could be just around the corner.
What’s your process like in coming up with a song? Is it a collaborative band effort?
More often than not I will come up with a guitar and vocal melody and bring this to the band to nut out. Mostly there is something that resembles a song, other times it’s just idea or riff that we build on together. Lyrically some songs come easier than others. Safety was an example where the lyrics were written in the one day. Other songs require more time and I often call on some legends near and dear to me to help out.
We imagine this could be the first taste of an upcoming album?
Yep, sure is. ‘Safety in Numbers’ is the first single from an upcoming release titled The Space in Between. We’re fortunate enough to have the use of a studio (Roseneath Creative) to chip away with tracking. Most of the recording is completed and we plan to mix the entire thing with Sam Johnson from Holes and Corners in Melbourne. We’ll see how the next couple of months unfold but we will likely release at least one follow up single. As for the full release, we are yet to decide if this will be an album or if we will be more selective and do an EP.
Where do you guys draw your music inspirations from?
We all have differing music tastes, but there is enough in common between us to create a style that we all enjoy playing. We’ve all got backgrounds in playing and listening to a lot of alternative rock. I guess a lot of what we do comes from my writing style and use of melody. And there’s no doubt that bands like Thrice, Luca Brasi, Balance & Composure and even old school punk bands like Millencolin have all influenced me with my writing. The ideas and lyrical content in this release really stems from personal experiences of the past two years.
You’re launching the single with a gig at the Workers Club Geelong. What can people expect from the gig?
Hopefully a bloody fun time! We’re really lucky to have a couple of amazing bands coming to party with us. Melbourne’s Bad Juju have had a solid run with their latest release, including plenty of triple j airtime and some rad supports on big tours. This will be their first time in Geelong. I’ve got no doubt they’ll deliver a cracker set. Opening is Metsik who we’ve really just recently come across and I think they’ll fit really well on the night.
You have previously performed on a few festival and gig lineups (Great Aus Beer Fest, 2 Worlds, Great Ocean Road Brewhouse). Do you prefer being live on stage or at home jamming? Does your live show change dependent on the gig?
We’ve had steady run of shows in the past eight months. Honesty, I think the four us just love playing live. I think we’ve all developed a healthy appreciation of just having fun. It’s been rad playing some of the local festivals. It’s a great way to get yourself in front of a bunch of crews that may not otherwise see a band like us perform. We’re right on the verge of being a little too loud and intense for your average daytime festival (or so we have been told) so I’d say we’re much more at home at a club gig in the evening. Usually people (including us) have had a couple of beers and the lights are down… creates a different vibe and we probably don’t feel as exposed. For this gig, we’ll be mixing things up a little bit with the set and may even throw in a cheeky version of a classic 90′s
Thanks for chatting, any last words?
Just a shout out to Sam Johnson for collaborating with the recording/mixing, Isaac Barter for his Mastering handywork and Jayme at Chicago_Banana (insta) for helping with the art and design. And most importantly, please come on Friday Night!
When & Where: The Workers Club, Geelong – March 15.