The Low Down on Northern California ‘Gold’, The Holdup

By Goldi Schiffner
Photo By: Christine Elise / Angel Fiester

The Holdup is a band that has emerged from San Jose, CA, and in less than two years has put out a lustrous album (Stay Gold), gotten play on radio stations, and made headway in a genre that is the least common denominator in their hometown.  The Holdup is one of those bands that you begin listening to and feel like you already know all the words to the songs, while your body naturally moves to the music.  With a blend of melodic reggae music fused with soul, The Holdup is an unsurprising crowd-pleaser.

The Holdup blends with the cannabis culture and even – dare I say it – mainstream appeal.  With obvious influences like Sublime, you can hear the unique California mix of reggae and hip-hop, pop and everything in-between on their records, and it is amazing…

The band garnered a following for their uplifting live shows that pushed them into the studio with fans longing for recorded material.  And when the band released Stay Gold on their new deal with Dub Rock Records, it immediately jumped to the 34th spot on I-Tunes Top Reggae Albums for six weeks, which is quite a feat for the band’s first album.

After someone at NUG Magazine had their mind blown when they saw The Holdup live, we had to get some answers from the band.  The list of acts they have done shows with is expansive; Yellow Man, Rebelution, Afroman, The Expendables, Iration and the list goes on.

In a pit stop after their East Coast tour with Bermuda reggae sensation Collie Buddz, and booked shows in Las Vegas, we got the low down on The Holdup.

You guys are from California right, what part of the state did you grow up in?

Northern California.  All of us are from San Jose, but Kyle.  He grew up in Gilroy, which is only 25 minutes away.

How has the California lifestyle influenced your music?

I think California, in general, is a big party state.  At least where we’re from, the party scene is huge.  A lot of people go clubbing in other cities, but I think being so close to the beach inspires a lot of partying.  Reggae, or at least reggae rock, goes hand in hand with all of that.  Honestly, I think the place that we grew up, kids started smoking weed a lot younger than others.  Then, there’s the obvious factor that Sublime is beyond huge allover Cali and they’re responsible for the whole scene.

How did the band initially start?

In October 2007, Danny was in the band with two other people before The Holdup had a singer or ever played shows.  We all had a mutual friend and at the time I was recording my own songs.  She gave them my number, I tried out, and it worked.  We started playing small local gigs and that’s how our manager Clev heard about us.  He signed us to Dub Rock within a year. The line up changed over the years and now we’re here.

Why are you guys called The Holdup?

Danny made it up because it sounded cool. It was before I [Mike] actually joined the band.

What genre or music influences help to carve your sound and the creative process?

We all obviously began with reggae because that’s the core of our sound, I would say.  It has a heavy influence, but I definitely wouldn’t call us a “Reggae Band”.  It was just the common factor with all of us.  We all listen to very diverse music.  I do all the production on the albums and I kind of learned producing through hip-hop, which is where our obvious hip-hop influence comes from.  Clev and I love a lot of mainstream music, so we kind of got our catchy pop hooky sound from that.

Is there a particular city that really helped you guys to achieve such starting success?

We love our hometown, so we’ll always say San Jose, but Santa Cruz has a very strong reggae scene.  The Catalyst in Santa Cruz has kind of become our “home” venue.  That helped us a lot.

NUG Magazine is based in San Diego, do you have love for our city?

We love San Diego.  We love all of SoCal in general.  We’re actually playing at the Belly Up in Solano Beach with Collie Buddz next week [September] and are very excited.

Reggae is closely identified with the cannabis culture.  In November, California is looking at the legalization of marijuana on the ballot. How do you guys feel about that?

We’re all pro legalization.  I don’t even think we should have to say why.  It’s kind of a no brainer. Politically, Socially, and Medically.

What is next for The Holdup?

New music, we are back in the studio recording our junior album.  We want to make sure we stay busy.  The momentum we have is only growing and that is due to our strict work ethic. We want to keep the fans entertained with music and more shows

Finally, how can people get to know or keep up with The Holdup?

Facebook is the #1 way to stay up to date with all your Holdup News.  We update our Facebook multiple times a day with pictures, news, tour dates and more.  We also make sure to answer all the questions or inquiries from the fans that drop by our wall.  So if you haven’t become a fan on Facebook, add us now!

The Holdup is a new band for our culture to identify with, as their sound blends perfectly with the live-it-up lifestyle; and their most popular song is in fact called “Good Times.”  As a prediction, The Holdup may very well be the next sensation for the generation of calm, cool and collected stoners, peace-lovers and new age hippies to embrace.  Definitely worth the time spent to check them out.  Take a moment to investigate this hard working band that is likely going to be around for awhile…you won’t be disappointed.

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

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