Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Held Hostage was formed by Tom Collier in 1984 along with Paris Hansen, Mike Murphy, Ray Dorgan and Ron Waterhouse. That was the first version of Held Hostage. As of this article the current lineup is Tom Collier founder/lead guitarist/singer, Scott Gregg rhythm guitar/backup vocals, Ian Evans drummer, Joe Reppert bass guitar/backup vocals, Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth) special guest vocalist. Held Hostage is a national recording/touring artist. While on the road we earned their reputation as a hard working band with a genuine compassion for those in need raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in Charity events across the USA. Their compassion may be rooted in the many adversities and tragedies the band has endured for the past thirty five years.
Since it's inception in 1984 Held Hostage had six members pass away. (Don Averill, Mike Tondeur, Doug Bennett, Andy Phillips, Ray Mcdermott Scott Columbus (Manowar)) The losses had profound effects on the remaining members that brought forth soul searching as well as fortitude. Forging ahead, Held Hostage has made the decision to no longer mourn but to celebrate and honor those friends/brothers who have passed on. By continuing to rock harder than ever.
Current, past members, and special guest artists include Tom Collier Founder/Lead Guitarist, Producer, Singer, Tim Ripper Owens Singer (Judas Priest, Dio Disciples, Yngwie Malmsteen), Joe Lynn Turner, Singer (Deep Purple, Rainbow), Mike Lepond Bass (Symphony X , Ross the Boss Band) Carl Canedy, Drummer (The Rods, Canedy, St James), RIP Scott Columbus, Drummer (Manowar), Freddie Villano, Bass Guitarist (Quiet Riot, Dee Snider’s Widow Maker, American Mafia), Giorgio Mongelli, Bass Guitarist (Ethan Brosh), Scott Gregg, Held Hostage Rhythm Guitarist, Ian Evans, Drummer and Joseph Reppert, Bass Guitarist.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
I guess really one word describes us is, “diverse”. We can rock with the best of them. We are a hard rock/metal band Held Hostage has endured the test of time. We have been able to maintain our musical principles by not selling out yet allowing the music to evolve in way that everyone knows and recognizes our unique sound. We work together as unit. Influences there are so many. I would have to say ACDC, Ozzy (Randy Rhodes) Ted Nugent and of course my brother Ross the Boss Manowar.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
That’s easy answer we are a hard rock/metal band. We pride ourselves on being a crossover band. We have never really been ones for labels. That is some of our formula for success. I have always felt that you need to be diverse in this crazy world of music in order to survive the test of time. Also Held Hostage always brings in some of the biggest rock stars in the business. Our new album “EPIC” features one of the greatest metal singers of all time Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Three Tremors,Yngwie Malmstien) Ripper sings all 12 songs on the album.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
In the last 3 years we have 3 releases. Prior to that we did an EP in 1990. We had two songs on the rockshop USA radio that made the top 90 of 90. In 2016 we returned with self-produced album fallen brothers is sold thousands of copies worldwide and is still selling. In 2018 I released and EP Show Me The Way Back Home, with Joe Lyn Turner singing (Deep Purple, Rainbow) that got is in the finally selection round for a Grammy and that sold thousands of copies also. On December 15 2019 we released Epic digitally worldwide and January 17 2020 we just released Epic on CD in stores. The presales were tremendous and sales are going incredible we are very happy with the success of Epic. The media and radio stations have been unbelievably supportive of all of our releases. We have gotten rave reviews on for Epic has been getting so much attention. We released with only 2 weeks left in 2019 and many magazine/webzines have it in the best of 2019 album releases. I am very honored. The radio stations here in USA such as Castle Blakk, Boston Rock radio to name a few and around the world have been playing songs from Epic nonstop.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
Yes we play live and we are getting rave reviews and great responses from the crowds. We did direct support and toured with some of the biggest bands on the planet. We were in California did direct support for Metal Allegiance for the Namm show. The crowds went crazy for us. We did USA tours/concerts with Ross the Boss, Joe Lyn Turner, Uli Jon Roth, The Rods, Molly Hatchet , Quiet Riot to name a few. This band is high energy from the beginning to end of our concerts. We are constantly putting on a show and we always interact with the crowds.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Labels/promoters/zines should know we are not just one of those bands that is one and done. We have survived the test of time over 35 years in the business. Now are getting more popular worldwide than ever before. We have helped ourselves though perseverance, dedication and true love for the music. I have told all the members the same things throughout the years. If you are in music for the money. You are in it for the wrong reasons. The focus has to be the music and everything else will fall into place. We have helped so many people in need throughout our career for the right reasons. Meaning we have never asked anything in return. If you want a genuine real to life band of true musicians then you need to talk to Held Hostage.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
The future for Held Hostage can only be described as limitless. We are gearing up for some major touring. We are in talks with going out with some of the biggest bands in the world as direct support for USA tour. We are also talking about doing some European festivals in 2020 and 2021. We have many fans around the world who have been waiting for us to play live in their countries. We have several big outdoor concerts we are playing in the USA this summer including a big album release party which will be a sold out show. Held Hostage is also planning a follow up full length album to Epic. We have already wrote the next record and plan on doing some of our never before heard music on tour this summer. I think it is important to always be writing new music. I have a 24 track digital recorder that works great for writing music. In this day and age people can get inexpensive digital recorders. Bands make mistakes trying to live off past success. I am always looking for the next road to success.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Tom Collier, the release dates for all digital/streaming and presale are December 15 2019. They have been going incredible for us. We have a lot of digital sales of the album and individual tracks and thousands of streams around the world. Streaming services have really hindered record sales but we have been very lucky. Our CD presales have been fantastic. We are being presold on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Apple music, Itunes, CDBABY, Spotify, tik tok, and several outlets around the world. The numbers have been in the thousands for presales. The physical CD releases on January 17, 2020 in Stores in the USA. We are expecting big sales in the stores. Through our social media every day we get hundreds of requests to buy the record. At our live concerts we always sell have sold thousands of CD’s and expect that number to go even higher with Epic. We are also being told sales are going so well. We will more than likely be going to vinyl in late April 2020.