Written by Anthony Lawrence
Have/Hold have been producing emotionally deep melodic rock since 2014. So far 2018 has been quiet for the Melbourne four piece, Lighthousekeeping is their first release since the haunting, sprawling ballad of The Bells back in mid-2017. Anthony sat down early on Sunday morning over some tasty coffos and spoke to Luke Shields, singer and songwriter of Have/Hold about what has been happening for the last 12 months and what to expect with the new single and corresponding single launch tour that will see them playing at Crowbar alongside the awesome Bloom Parade, the enigmatic Astral Plane Parade and the evergreen punk awesomeness of Apparitions.
"[Lighthousekeeping] is one of my favourite songs on the new record by far. Lighthousekeeping was one of the first in the new batch of songs I brought to the band that became the new LP to the guys. It's a big rock song that has a similar feeling to one of the singles from last year, Stoic, but has a feminine energy in tonality.
With this single release (Stoic and The Bells last year), we wanted to create an ebb and flow with the way we presented this part of the new record. Lighthousekeeping is a builder to the last single in this series which will follow towards the end of the year. As far as the rest of the new songs go this one took the longest to come into its own as a song. I really like the way it feels..I would like to wander down this path further next time I start writing new material."
Part of the reason why Have/Hold have been lying low for the better part of 2018 is because a deliberate decision to "not saturate people" but also because drummer Ryan had an unfortunate accident which saw him recovering from a fractured elbow, "bit of a spanner in the works"
Luke talks about having to play shows solo to pass the time:
"Playing solo made me rediscover the original arrangements that I had when I first played them on an acoustic guitar in my room...it rekindled the writing process that we follow as a band which is to purposefully keep our chemical reactions cooking. It was disruptive because we couldn't get back in to that sweaty box and workshop things. It starves you a little bit, makes you hungry. It was interesting playing solo because it forced me to go back to the way the songs sounded like at the start. As opposed to relying on the other guys to flesh out the sound I had to remember what I was getting at. It was refreshing for me to do that for a while then go back with the guys realising how much they do; it makes me play less when we are all together because I can focus on on part, like a solo arrangement for example. Going between those two settings made me realise a song is something that happens to you and is not of you. You are trying to do the best for it like it is a separate person. You made it and once you have the song down you can do whatever the fuck you want with it."
Now the band is at full strength Have/Hold are audibly excited to be on the cusp of releasing new material and taking the show on the road, especially Brisbane which is a place they haven't been to for an extended amount of time.
"We are all really excited to be playing Crowbar again. We played there last time and it felt so natural and that only good things can happen there. We are also really excited about the line up. We played a few shows with Astral Plane Parade's last group Toy Boats so we know what to expect from him and I caught Apparitions down here earlier this year and they are amazing, especially the drummer who is a bloody sawdust machine!"
I ask Luke what else he is looking forward to doing in Brisbane when he is up here:
"Every time I am in Brisbane I love to sit on the top of Ann street. The people watching there in the Mall around twelve o'clock is amazing. All sorts of people stumbling out of RG's trying to kill each other! Beer is a great leveler...no matter who you are or where you are from if you drink beer you will get drunk!"
Consider it a rare opportunity to see a band excited to back on stage after a lengthy set back playing material they are proud of, in a city they haven't been to in five years with bands that are equally excited to be sharing the stage with.
Have/Hold play Crowbar June 29th with Apparitions, Astral Plane Parade and Bloom Parade.
Listen to the new single, Lighthousekeeping exclusively below.