ALTERNATIVE MUSIC FESTIVALS - Slam Dunk 2018 preview: Holding Absence take on the festival A-Z challenge!

Our second act to take on our festival A-Z challenge is Holding Absence! The South Wales based group have become rising stars over the past 12 months and are set to grace the Slam Dunk stages this year! Here frontman Lucas Woodland tackles the new and improved A-Z and tells us about his favourite things about Slam Dunk.

A song that made you want to make music?

Personally, Orchestra Of Wolves Gallows was the song that made me want to make the music that I do. I owe a lot to that band.


Best rider you’ve had?

We played Nottingham a while back and got free burritos, which was pretty sick. We’re on day 2 of our EU tour with Loathe, and apparently Europeans give good riders – So I’ll hopefully have a better reply for you in a couple weeks.


Craziest festival experience?

Y’know, I’ve been to SO many festivals. Reading fest 4 times, Download 3 times, Slam Dunk twice and even Sonisphere, but I honestly can’t think of a good answer for this one haha. I guess the first time I ever played a fest was the craziest – Those memories stay with you forever.


Dream festival to headline?

Either Download or Reading for me. Having seen Paramore headline Reading a couple years back, and Avenged headline Download, two bands I grew up listening to – That really inspired me to think that the world really is there for the taking.


Easiest song you wrote?

That’s a tough question, because even the easy Holding Absence songs to write took us a lot of thought. One of the songs we’ve written for the album springs to mind though – Lately we’ve been trying to write music in lots of different ways.


Favourite festival moment?

It’d have to be Download 2017 when we played. I’ll never forget that day.


Guest you’d most like to join you on stage during Slam Dunk festival?

Brendan Murphy or Keith Buckley. I LOVE those two vocalists, and they really inspire my heavier vocals. So those two for sure.


Hardest thing about doing the festival circuit?

There’s countless frustrations when being in a touring band – Right now in the UK there’s a snowstorm and it’s -6 everywhere haha, so that’s making all the stupid little annoyances from previous tours seem like nothing. I think in the long run, it’s not the floor-sleeping or the gear-lugging, but more what touring does to your home and social lives. You leave a lot behind, and have to sacrifice a lot of normalities. All that being said, we’re more than happy with the toll this lifestyle has on us, as it’s all we want to do.


Interesting fact about one of your members?

Most of our band are vegan, so that’s cool.


Jokes you have in the band?

WAY too many to list haha. We have a garden gnome in our merch box called “Schmee”. He’s awesome.


Key to surviving a festival?

Pack wellies, waterproofs and shorts! Super simple dress code that works in all weather.


Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?

To be fair we’ve only toured the UK as of now. I guess the longest was when we played AFTER a metal to the masses competition, at 1 in the morning, and got home at 6. Or the time we drove straight home to Cardiff from Glasgow. Both horrendous drives.


Muddiest festival you’ve attended?

Gotta be Download! Every year it’s just a mud bath. Guess it’s a testament to how much the punters love that festival.


New band on the Slam Dunk line-up you love?

Stand Atlantic man. I love that band. Deffo worth your time.


One dream act you’d like to see alongside you on the Slam Dunk bill?

Thrice would be a great band to headline 2nd stage at SD fest.


Previous festival performance you’d most like to have watched?

Probably Nirvana at Reading in 92. My parents were there, funnily enough, but I just feel like that performance was so iconic.


Question you most dislike being asked?

Well if I answer that, I’m sure more people will ask me the question in future.


Reasons why Slam Dunk is so great?

I think Slam Dunk is just the perfect example of a grassroots festival. It’s gone from nothing to competing with the majors, all the while supporting UK talent and musical versatility.


Secret set at a festival you were most surprised by?

I saw Green Day in a tent about 4 years ago now and it was wild. It was a secret set, and security had made like a perimeter around the tent, about a mile away stopping anyone else getting in. Every now and then somebody would run through them and I said to myself “If they play Brain Stew, Longview or St Jimmy I’m just gonna leg it over there”. Lo and behold the next song was St Jimmy. Had a bunch of security guards chasing me but it was so worth it.


The festival scene has evolved over the years, what’s the best thing you find about festivals?

This is a tough question because I’ve grown up a lot since first attending festivals. At first it was to see bands and hang with friends. It’s always going to be that deep down, but nowadays I see festivals as an escape from the real world.


Uncomfiest camping experience?

I’ve had some real stinkers. This years Reading fest I got way too drunk every night and it was SO hot, every morning I’d wake up roasting and hungover in a stupidly small tent – Was no fun.


Variations of festival lineups you think should be included? (i.e. comedy tents, films etc)

The UK comedy scene is great right now, so I think there could easily be an ever bigger comedy tent at Reading fest. Even having Bill Bailey/Tim Minchin etc doing music based comedy performances.


Worst/weirdest festival experience?

Honestly my worst experiences at festivals have been getting to and from the festivals. Lugging all your gear with you for miles can be so annoying.


X marks the spot – where would be your perfect location for a festival?

Over the last few years Wales has had The Full Ponty, Cardiff’s Big Weekend and Merthyr Rocks. All awesome festivals. I think patriotically I’d love to play a good welsh fest someday.


Year you most wished to have been on the bill at Slam Dunk?

I think 2 years ago was an awesome festival.


Zombies – who is the most drained after a festival?

We all put SO much into shows, so I don’t think there’s a clear winner there.


Slam Dunk Festival takes place on the following dates;

Saturday 26th May – Leeds City Centre

Sunday 27th May – Hatfield Park

Monday 28th May – NEC, Birmingham

Slam Dunk 2018 preview: Holding Absence take on the festival A-Z challenge! - LATEST ARTICLES

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