World Held Hostage


Not following the crowd, any specific genre or target audience, the high energy post-apocalyptic sound that is World Held Hostage aim on doing things their own way, focussing their music on the feeling it creates, based on experiences and emotions to share with the masses with themed stories. And although not quite fitting in with the genre of many bands during shows, this is a band that display a full arsenal of unique versatility, with a strong view that they simply don’t want to be like everyone else, and so, putting the cat amongst the pigeons, they interpret their music in a way that everyone can connect with, like a conversation between the band and their fans, resulting in every track being part of a much bigger picture and aesthetic.

Formed in 2019, and based in Stockport, Manchester, here in the UK, World Held Hostage make their presence known at venues all over the North and the Midlands including Leeds, Wigan, Bolton, Warrington, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Doncaster, and have since gone on to play some well-known venues, such as The Deaf Institute, The Star And Garter, Club Academy in Manchester, The Mulberry in Sheffield and Percy’s Cafe in Whitchurch to name but a few, supporting acts such as Ryan McCombs from Soil and Drowning Pool and Ben Kenny from Incubus, with a lineup that now consists of-

Paul Sellars – lead vocals, Olivia Dee Lauder – lead guitar, Chris Dougherty – rhythm guitar/vocals, Adam Grainger – bass and Matthew Giles on drums.

Paul, inspired by Thursday, Blink 182, The Offspring, Linkin Park, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, A7X, Enter Shikari and A Day to Remember, came from a school band background and in just about every Orchestra, Choir and Jazz group he could find from the age of eight. Vocally, his singing transition goes from Opera to Rock, getting hooked on Matt Bellamy of Muse by the time he was 16 where his journey into many bands started.

Chris, originally a drummer for Punk band Stomping Ground, started focusing more on guitar and writing music in 2012 after suffering memory loss through a mental trauma. With nothing specific holding his inspiration, Chris tailors his style around aspects of a genre influenced by the energy of Punk along with any band that has both clean and screaming vocals for more diversity in the sound.

Olivia, aka Dee, first picked up her axe when she was 13, but only started putting it to good use in 2020 when she joined the band aged 23, drawing inspiration from a great many Pop, Rock, Metal and Country bands.

Adam, first picked up bass and vocals in high school, starting a band with friends that led to the love of old school Punk and a passion for music. Inspired by the fact that he could be in a band with little or no talent later, Adam later drew influence from Pop/Punk and the Emo scene and soon his inspiration grew formed by MCR, Billy Talent and Mayday Parade.

Mathew, with a natural born talent for drums since high school, took lessons to refine his style in his college years.

After acquiring his first kit from an uncle, work soon got underway in creating a style of his own, resulting in joining various local bands, and as many as 5 at any one time inspired by Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Coheed and Cambria, Dance Gavin Dance, My Chemical Romance, Fallout Boy, Tool, Blink 182, Sleeping With Sirens and Bring Me The Horizon.

In a recent interview, I asked the band what are their favourite venues to play, they told me;

“Performing at The Joiners in Southampton, because of the nostalgia from all the shows we’ve played, and been to over the years. It’s a very special venue, and we have played alongside Harmef, The City Is Ours and Palm Reader, all we’re so sick LIVE”.

I went on to ask what drives them as a band, whereupon Sam told me;

“My drive really is wanting to relate to people the way bands relate to me and help me, as cliché as it sounds. Our lyrics are always super honest, as I’m normally not in a good mood when writing them, as they touch on quite heavy subjects like mental health. But, although the lyrics are dark, there’s always an underlying theme of hope, and to keep fighting”.

Lukas followed this up by telling me;

“What I believe that drives us the most, is the constant growth and skill for ourselves individually, and as a whole band, albeit from our LIVE shows, recordings and behind the scenes work. We try to use this to make Dreameater more relatable and enjoyable for all of our fans, and anyone that discovers our music”.

Gareth added;

“Success from gaining new fans, and reaching new listeners”.

So I asked the band if they had the same persona of and off stage, they went on to add;

“Our personalities, both on and off stage are sociable and confident. We always stick around to interact with the other bands and see their sets. Often become that rowdy bunch at the front cheering the bands on. We love music, both being on stage and watching as fans. Part of what we love about the industry is forming new friendships, supporting each other and the feeling of being part of something bigger while you do it. Adam, however, is a totally different person, almost walking into a shell of his stage character to perform a gig. This does sometimes leak off stage too.”

with that said, I asked what they have learnt about themselves as a band on their journey so far in the music industry, they told me;

“As the majority of people in the band have been in several bands over the years we have learnt a lot already along the way.

When it comes to World Held Hostage we have learnt that it’s not enough to just focus on the live sound and trying to make decent songs anymore. Being in a band that wants to progress and be heard, requires just as much time creating everyday material and interacting with your audience with an online presence, as it has writing music and practicing your craft, and often takes more time. As musicians, we strive to find new sounds, write new music and push to be able to play something more difficult all the time.

But all of that hard work becomes nothing if you cannot get your music heard. The scope of the industry has changed. Gigging outside of your local area has become harder because promoters and opportunities are focused more on the online presence you have.

So if you don’t put your time into that side of the industry, you suffer when it comes to trying to get decent gigs. This has been shown even more with the recent Covid Pandemic. Adam and Chris have been through many iterations of many bands before settling with this line up, for me the journey is never ending and always expanding. I wasn’t keen on a heavier sound when we started, and preferred a more Pop Punk style, but as time has gone on we have learnt to absolutely love the unique style that we have managed to create.”

Finally, I asked them what they enjoy most about being in the band and if there was anything they wished they had known before starting a career in music, they replied;

Chris – “Being in this band is literally a coping mechanism for me. After my memory loss, music was the one thing that I was able to focus on. Being able to put my all into something other than therapy really allows me to deal with what I have had to deal with, and the issues that still plague me today. The band was able to take me from a passive member just filling a role, to being a big part of the writing process, allowing me to get my Shit out essentially.”

Adam – “For me, it’s the absolute buzz of gigging and socialising. I can’t get enough of it.”

Dee – “What I enjoy most about being in the band is being around like minded people as I’ve never really had many musically minded friends, so it’s nice to be able to talk and jam with people who understand the lingo.”

Mathew – “I like to play and enjoy playing something new or different. Sometimes I think of something beforehand or it’s in the moment and everyone’s buzzing.”

And that brings me nicely to the album in question here The Collapse.

Dominating the psyche, this band rips through the airwaves like a rabid dog with a brash unadulterated medley of raw power, stirring the senses, along with the nervous system, before slam dunking you into submission.
Like a well-oiled machine, this album breaks from its cellophane and heads straight for the jugular, not letting go until the album is spent and every last one of us is lying twitching on the floor.
Saying it as it is, each line is loaded with enough raw attitude and dominance to raise heads, and enough passion to keep the air constantly punched with delight.
Throughout, you will find many interludes and breakdowns to lull you into a false sense of security, and taming you before the gates open once more, and the pedal is pushed to the metal for a roller coaster ride at breakneck speed.
Lyrically, this album takes you on a thought provoking journey from the incredible creativity and pen of Chris Dougherty.
Musically, this action packed production ticks all the right boxes in a multitude of genres, but unique unto themselves, what lies on display here is a master class of musicianship, ready to set any stage ablaze, straight from the footlights.

To close, I asked the band if there was anything else they wanted our readers to know, they wrapped things up by telling me

Paul – “Don’t buy second hand or budget equipment. You’ll be forced to replace it after 1-2 gigs, if it makes it that far – buy cheap/buy twice is definitely true.”

Mathew – “Don’t be afraid to play left handed if you are left handed! My guitar teacher tried to make me change right handed, but I flat out refused and stuck with being a weird leftie.”

Chris – “The music industry at the moment is a little chaotic. And every musician out there really appreciates the support reads and listeners are giving us and we thank you for that. At the end of the day, we can’t play gigs if you guys don’t exist. Well, we can but it’s never any fun playing to the one drunk regular and your mum.”

Mathew – “Don’t look now, but I’m behind you – made you look.”

So why not clear a space in your collection and give World Held Hostage a try for 2021.”

                                                                                                               © Stargazer Music Magazine 2020

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