Denver’s hard rock hook masters Hold Me Hostage have dropped their new 12 song album Metaphors For Captivity and it is a monster! Hold Me Hostage have also released three new music videos to support Metaphors For Captivity and will be taking it all on the road. Vocalist Chris Thomas joined us for this email interview.
Let’s get started with the basics. What’s the meaning behind the name Hold Me Hostage?
When you walk into a room and everyone is staring at their phone, it’s hard not to feel like we’re all holding ourselves hostage with our own technological innovation and progress. The name Hold Me Hostage is a taunt. It means go ahead and try to hold me hostage! Yes, it’s easier to stare at a screen like a brainwashed robot and fall in line than to engage an actual human being. But don’t stop thinking for yourself. Our brains are still far more advanced than any super-computer and there’s a beast in all of us that refuses to be held captive.
Who are the band members and what are their roles? Who does the song writing?
Christopher Thomas: primary writer, producer, lead singer; Bryan Stacks: bass guitar, back-up vocals, keys, co-writer; Patrick Searcy: lead guitar player; and James Opiteck, drummer.
The new album Metaphors For Captivity just dropped. How do the songs represent captivity metaphors?
I was hoping to leave this open for interpretation, but the title actually has some amount of double meaning. Yes, the songs and lyrics are jam-packed with metaphors like “she’s a time bomb” and “I captured the beauty,” but we also view the world itself as captivity. So, the title is also a metaphor for our band name and the songs are metaphors for how we see the world. Make sense? The main theme throughout the record is breaking free, cutting ties, moving on, and transcending oppression. For example, in the song “You Only Live Once” we compare society to a “factory … Where we all line up to die” and we are basically saying, “No, fuck that!”
Please describe what the album sounds like as a whole and any specific songs you think that stand out among the rest.
I’m proud of how well-rounded the record turned out. The songs have a wide range of tempos, dynamics, and emotion. There’s some playfulness here and there, but overall it’s a brooding rock record. It has the toughness of metal, but it’s vulnerable, too. People are gravitating toward three songs so far: “That Was Then,” “Hatred” and “Time Bomb.” They’re all so different; I’m curious to know what our fans and listeners will think.
Why do you feel that people really need to hear this album?
It’s different. There’s a lot of great music out there, but there’s also too many bands who sound like shitty versions of Seether. The idea of every song on a band’s record matching a specific Pandora sound is disgusting to me. What happened to artistry? Kids nowadays can tell the difference. They appreciate the “greats” and that’s what we’re striving to be.
Lyrically, what were some of your most personal moments that are discussed in the songs?
Good question! The opening track “That Was Then” is very personal for me. My past is colorful to say the least, but I’ve adapted and kept grinding. I refuse to be held hostage by people from my past or by people who won’t let me move on from mine. That song even summarizes the tracks to follow! Also, the song “In A Dream” is me basically admitting to being a total space cadet as a child; I hope the listener can feel some of my pain. The world has a way of snuffing out imagination with routine and regularity but I’m over here living in a dream, ha ha … I’m sharing my imagination and I don’t care if it hurts – and that’s very personal!
Hold Me Hostage is very prolific in the music video realm with three already released. How did you decide on the narratives and directorial style?
Our coolest video so far is the one Kyle Lamar directed for “That Was Then.” He shot us at rehearsal in 8K and blew our minds. Definitely check out his company Digital Myle. Other than that, it’s been me and my friends having fun. The video for “Hatred” is just a slide show of uncomfortable faces. It’s social criticism working off the lyrics “everything that you hate about me is a reflection of you. And when you look in the mirror it’s all your fear staring back at you.”
Stop motion is a very difficult process to film. Why did you decide to go with that style of the “Shit Hits the Fan” Video? How long did it take to make “Shit Hits the Fan”?
Believe it or not, the video idea for “Shit Hits the Fan” was conceived before the actual song. I wrote the song to serve the soundtrack for the video idea … I liked the idea of perfect idealized barbies getting shit on. The idea of the bully victim figuring out how to utilize the brown note to mastermind his revenge was a fun brainstorm that I couldn’t resist bringing to fruition. It took a little over a year to complete, knocking it out in chunks, but it was fun and well worth it.
We are now over half way through 2018. What are your goals for the rest of the year as a band? More writing? Touring?
We’re focused on preparing our live show, looking at our options to jump on a tour or two, and looking at possible dates for a record release party in our hometown of Denver. We’re also well into writing our follow-up record.
You also run a youth music charity. Please give us the details on that and any way for people to help out.
Yeah, I started at 501c3 in Denver back in 2012 with some cool friends of mine. We do quarterly youth music showcase, raise money for school music programs, and do an on-going instrument drive. You can find more information (including how to donate) on our website http://www.milehighscenesters.org
If there’s anything else you would like to add please do so.
SkullNBones seems to cover the heavier side of metal. Since we’re primarily a rock band with heavy moments, we certainly appreciate you guys listening to our music for what it is and we’re stoked for the interview. THANK YOU!