Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
The inspiration behind of Epic are true to life memories. “Lightning” I wrote because I wanted to show people that Held Hostage can rock with anyone and I also went to cut time in the middle of the song. That’s one of our biggest songs live the crowd goes nuts. That song is 267 BPM’s. “Tonight’s The Nite” is a dedication to the late/great Bon Scott a straight ahead bluesy rocker. “We’ll Rock For You” I wrote when I was on vacation in Southeast Asia. I was on top of Mount Eden and I realized I was on the other side of the world. That’s where I came up with the line. I climbed a mountain turned me upside down. I was truly upside down. “Hollywood” is just fun song about someone trying to make it in the entertainment business. I’m all over you”. It’s about going out and seeing someone for the first time and thinking I want to be with her. I wrote that song 4 days before we went in the studio to record Epic. “Hot Night In The City”, Paris Hansen and myself wrote that about run away kids. That was a big thing here in USA in the eighties. “Rock n Roll Explosion” it is kind of our battle cry about returning to the music world. There are so many great stories about each song. I could go on for hours
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sounds like anything we might have heard before?
I can only describe it is Hard Rock Heavy Metal. It is fresh with unique sound. I guess if I had to describe sound of it as other bands. I would say it’s like Judas Priest meets ACDC meets Def Leppard. All the songs have great hooks in them and they stick in your head. All of our concerts get a lot of crowd participation.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
Epic is our third release since 2016 and our fourth overall. Epic was recorded in Syracuse New York at Subcat Studios a multi-million dollar state of the art recording studio. It is an amazing facility owned by Ron Keck. I felt it was important to stay true to the Held Hostage sound so I (Tom Collier) produced Epic myself. I did have one of the best engineers in the business Ron Keck who was invaluable asset in the process. He did an incredible job and we worked together fantastic.. Major bands from around the USA go there to record their new demos and records. The one thing I did was get the band prepared. We rehearsed every day with click tracks. That is the most important aspect of recording a record. Pre-production is the key. Do not go in without a plan. We were fully prepared to record the whole album I had the BPM’s for each song and we rehearsed it just like we were going to record it. I wanted to be able to capture the raw power and energy of Held Hostage. When we went in the studio we were all in different rooms but we recorded together at the same time to click tracks. We were able to capture the true sound of Held Hostage. We knocked out 14 songs in two days. I wanted to have 12 on the Epic and that is what we did. We still have two songs in the hopper for the next record. Ripper recorded his vocal tracks in his studio in Ohio and dropboxed them to us. What an amazing artist and so professional to work with. We were out on tour and doing shows with Metal allegiance when Ripper was recording his vocal tracks. The editing mixing and mastering took about 2 additional weeks. The first few records I produced myself. Then Show Me The Way Back Home we brought in a producer. He did a good job but is changed the sound of the band. I felt it was important to stay true to the Held Hostage .I see so many bands go in the studio waste time and not be prepared. The recording studio is a whole different world then performing live.
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics? What are the topics of your lyrics?
For the cover artwork. We brought in the best of the best. Scott Braun who in the USA is the photographer to the stars. He shots all the major bands From Judas Priest to all other high profile bands Scott was the art director and highly recommended, famous artist he knew from France. Stanis W Decker. I looked at some of his artwork and the bands he had done artwork for Blue Oyster Cult, Megadeth, Ross the Boss, to name a few and I knew he was the guy. Yes the artwork is tied into the music lyrics. When I spoke to Stanis about the album cover. I imagined Held Hostage music smashing the earth. He came up with the hammer with our HH logo on it smashing the earth and lava oozing out the earth. This based on a song Don Averill and Myself (Tom Collier) wrote called Rock N Roll Explosion. It was about the band taking some time off vowing to return and when we did return it was going to be a Rock n Roll Explosion of the music. The song actually uses names of other Held Hostage songs (hot night in the city, rockin the nite away, tonight’s the nite, long hard ride. Etc.) as the words. All of our lyrics are true to life stories. It’s all about life and what it can be or what you want to make of it.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
I think the main thing to gain from this release is to get our music back out there, for the whole world to hear. We as a band have always stayed focus on the music and helping people. The overwhelming outpouring of support for this new album Epic along with Ripper Owens singing on it has really brought the band front and center in the music world. We aim to get out do live shows and have fun and show people rock music is far from dead.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
It being released in multiple formats. The release dates for all digital/streaming and presale are December 15 2019. They have been going incredible for us. CD release date was January 17, 2020. We are also being told sales are going so well. We will more than likely be going to vinyl in late April 2020. I believe the first pressing was 2500.
Where and how will you promote this new release?
Our record label Metal Mania Records/MVD (Music Video Distributors). Have been handling all the promotion and they hired a publicist online metal promo. We are also getting so much radio airplay around the world. When you bring in one of the greatest singers in the history of rock and roll, Tim “Ripper” Owens. It takes the interest and recognition of the band to a much higher level. Ripper has been helping us promote through his social media. He truly is a great guy.
Where can we order it from?
Currently it is available in CD or digital on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Apple music, Itunes, CDBABY, Spotify, tik tok, and several outlets around the world. If you type in Held Hostage Epic you will see it for sale in almost every country around the world. Thank you for the interview.