Q & A With Ian Dartez Of Hold On Hollywood

Q & A With Ian Dartez Of Hold On Hollywood

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?

Well, since everything is pretty much shut down due to COVID-19, we pretty much have come to a halt with anything like live shows, tours, or much of anything publically. However, it’s given us plenty of time to write, recoup, and get our heads together for a game plan of the future!

XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?

We’ve been together completely for 5 years strong, since December 28th, 2014.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?

Well, music is my passion. Always will be. My motivation is to give people something to listen to that they can relate to, let them know they are human, make them feel. That or make people dance. If you aren’t feeling something, you have to at least be dancing, but there is no in-between, haha.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?

My background in music doesn’t define by genre. I listen to a wide spectrum of music because I focus more on the reasoning behind success than what other musicians play. However, there is a rawness in everything, and if I can find it, no matter what era it is, I can connect, and that will ultimately influence my music background.

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?

Well, as I said before, I want people to feel, to connect. So most of my image conveys a sense of reality. With hopes that people know that their feelings, or connect with others, isn’t only happening to them. Love, for instance, conveys emotion where someone can connect, and that’s what I want… That, or we just look like a bunch of idiots on stage playing sappy love songs, haha.

XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?

My music career goal is to be successful physically, mentally, and financially. To constantly grow to new heights of success. An artist’s biggest discouragement, to me, comes from the lack of monetary value they currently possess. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we have a disconnect between art and artists. Where so many want the art, but don’t think twice about paying the artists. But, we are the artists, and art like this can be so expensive and time consuming to make. It can make things hard, but my goal is to be able to successful, and to me that is to be able to support myself fully through my art.

XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?

Both I think can easily be close in the experience factor. Writing new songs gives a sense of confidence that allows the artist to truly grow his roots, figure out their own style, and enhance their talents. On the other hand, playing for a live audience allows that sense of confidence to be validated by other people listening to it. The joy of jumping up and down on stage will forever be total ecstasy, especially when you get the pleasure of having diehard fans screaming your lyrics at the top of their lungs. There’s a certain magic to all of it, so I can’t say I really prefer one or the other more so.

XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Mostly, relationships, partying, love, but mostly love… Did I mention relationships? We’re hopeless romantics, ha.

XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?

Being able to show everyone around you that you can follow your dreams no matter what other people tell you. Also, to prove that everyone is alone in some way, and we are all bad at love sometimes. It’s not just you having heartbreak, there are people who can relate, and no matter what we go through in life those things never change, haha.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.

Well… there was this one time… at band camp… HAHA

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?

The strangest request had to be when this random girl asked me to pull down my pants so she could take a picture of my ass. Don’t ask me, I have no idea…

Yeah, of course I said yes.

XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?

Sometimes, I’m not sure haha. I bet they say yes in hopes I make it big so they can reap the rewards, but probably also say, “He needs to get a real f@*king job” too ha.

XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?

My advice would be, don’t. Don’t start a band. It’s a huge money sink, everyone hates you most the time, and 9/10 chances, you ain’t leaving that small town. You gotta have Jesus sitting in your lap while riding a giant crab in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in order to be successful, you know what I mean? But, if you must start a band, get a saxophone player. Chicks dig the saxophone.

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?

In all honesty, one unreleased track that we have called **SPOILER ALERT** is my favorite. Its upbeat, dance, and almost anthem-y! The guys would definitely agree.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?

I have 3 top bands/artists that changed my performing forever. First and foremost, the first time I saw Elvis on video. I was like HOLY CRAP, there is a reason why he is THE KING. The second was Usher. Usher not only could sing his ass off but he could dance. Inspiring. 3rd, Blue October. Justin Furstenfeld is one of the best frontmen I’ve ever seen live.

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?

Easy, Foo Fighters, Nickelback & us (Hold On Hollywood). The rest of the guys would easily 10000% agree.

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?

March of 2018, we had the pleasure of opening up for the Legendary Bon Jovi, at Houston’s Toyota Center Stadium. Think it was a damn near sold-out crowd… Crazy.

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?

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XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

I use the SENNHEISER microphones. For my guitars, I love PAUL REED SMITH guitars and FENDER Strats. They’ve always been my choice in guitars. I run either one of those guitars through my rack-mounted POD XD500 PRO, it allows me to set everything and dial my tone in perfectly. That runs out into a MARSHALL MODE4 Cab with CELESTION speakers. We also use a BEHRINGER X32 mixer to run our in-ears, which are made by SHURE.

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?

Well, rock is definitely not what used to be, but there is always a place for awesome bands. Like Badflower, they are awesome and have been killing it these days.

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?

I used to live on a tropical island in the Caribbean called “St. Croix” growing up for almost 10 years. Doesn’t seem like it even happened, a different life, a different world.

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?

I’d love to promote our latest EP, we’ve put a lot of hard work into making sure it was perfect for every listener. You get all aspects of something, Rock, dance, feel & drive. All I can say, all I can ever say to the fans, is thank you. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for any of you. Much love, stay safe, and hope to see you all again very soon!

XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!