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Interview: Greg Holden

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Hailing from the UK, Greg Holden is a singer songwriter who is unabashedly himself. Greg grew up in the UK but moved to New York to pursue his music career in 2009. Upon moving to New York he was unfortunately dropped by his record label and he started to question who he really was. Greg is most notably known for writing songs for other artists like Philip Philips’ “Home”, “The Lost Boy” which raised money for the Red Cross, and “Boys in The Street”, which was written for an LGBTQ organization called Everyone is Gay. Gregs music was getting noticed, but not in the way he had imagined. For his newly released album World War Me Greg decided he wanted to take matters into his own hands and self record the album himself as well as do his own press photos and bios. World War Me is a very personal album for Greg, which he wrote in a time of self reflection. Standout tracks on this album are “I’m Not Your Enemy”, which was written after the 2016 election, “Something Beautiful”, and “Chase The Money”. The album as a whole is honest and raw and paints a beautiful picture of Greg Holden’s story. Greg kicks off his tour in Boston on April 25th at The Red Room at Cafe 939. We got the chance to chat with Greg about his new album, the story behind it, and plans for the future so check it out below!

Hey Greg! Tell us a little about yourself for those who may not be familiar with you.

I’m a British-born singer-songwriter, and up until a couple of years ago was in New York City working hard for my New Yorker Badge of Honor. Now I’m in Los Angeles enjoying the slightly easier life as a Californian. I’ve released 4 studio albums over 10 years and I’ve toured the world. I often forget how lucky I am, but constantly try to remind myself of the fact. I love Italian food, coffee and my cats. I enjoy long walks on the beach (no I don’t) and my “claims to fame” are my songs “The Lost Boy”, “Boy’s in the Street” and Phillip Phillip’s American Idol winning song “Home”. There, there’s my elevator pitch, excuse me while I throw up in my mouth…

You recently released your fourth album World War Me, how does it feel finally having it out for the world to hear?

It feels wonderful to finally be handing it off to everyone else. It was a labour of love because I produced it myself, which is something I’ve never done before. It consumed me for about a year, and I’m glad that it’s out and I can move on. I’m grateful for all the feedback so far.

What was the process like writing this album, was it different from your other albums?

It was a little different in the fact that I wrote and recorded the album pretty much at the same time. Usually I’ll write the songs, then when they’re all done, I’ll head into the studio and record them all in one go. This time around though, I wrote a song, then recorded it, then wrote another, then recorded it.. and so on.. so in that sense it seemed to take forever, whereas previous albums have been usually recorded in less than a month.

What song on the album was the most challenging for you to write?

None of them were particularly challenging to write, because I didn’t really force them. They sort of all came out pretty naturally.. But “I’m Not Your Enemy” was difficult to record. I think I recorded 4 versions of that song, all in totally different styles. I was so sick of searching for the right version that I almost scrapped the song entirely. In the end I settled on acoustic guitars and vocals, exactly how it was written. I think when you’re not sure, choose the simplest option.

What is the meaning behind the album name?

The last couple of years have been very challenging for me emotionally and mentally. I seemed to be at war with my own thoughts. I’m not exactly sure how “World War Me” came into my head, but as soon as it did I knew it was a perfect album title. Sums up perfectly how it’s been inside my head.

How would you describe the album in one word?

Perseverance.

You self-recorded this album, do you prefer that method or would you want to work with someone in the future?

Both come with their pros and cons. I think I’d like to tackle self-production one more time, now that I know what I know. Then, try again with another producer. Working on my own is limiting and an emotional nightmare. I get stuck in old habits, start hating myself, I get lazy, oh and I procrastinate.  But I have ultimate freedom and all the time in the world to experiment. With a producer, you’re on the clock, which can also be a good thing because you have someone to turn and say to you “we’re finished”.

If you could work with anyone in the music industry right now who would it be?

Phoebe Bridgers or Max Martin.

What’s your favorite place to tour?

I was recently on tour in South America, and that was pretty special. I’d say there, or Boston 😉

What music are you currently jamming to at the moment?

I’m loving this band called Barrie right now.

Lastly, what’s something people may not know about you?

I am a total metal head.

 

Catch Greg on the World Tour Me!

4.25  The Red Room at Cafe 939 –  Boston, MA

4.26  Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 – New York, NY

5.1 Ortlieb’s Lounge – Philadelphia, PA 

5.2 Jammin Java – Vienna, VA

5.5 The Basement – Nashville, TN

5.10  Freilichtbühne am Kalkberg – Bad Segeberg, Germany

5.12  Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands

5.14  Ponyhof –  Frankfurt, Germany

5.15  Zehner – München, Germany

5.16  Hangar 49 –  Berlin, Germany

5.17 Altes Pfandhaus – Cologne, Germany

5.19  Nochtspeicher – Hamburg, Germany

5.23  St Pancras Old Church – London,  United Kingdom

5.24  The Eagle Inn – Manchester, United Kingdom

6.1  Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO

6.3  Sunset – Seattle, WA

6.4 McMenamins White Eagle Saloon & Hotel –  Portland, OR

6.6 The Hotel Utah – San Francisco, CA

6.7  Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA

 

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