Heart Holds True (L-R: Bobby Midkiff, Brooke White, Nick McCormick, Dana White, Jake Wegman) plays their first show at the Brickhouse in St. Albans February 21st.
Dana White is open and honest talking about his old band, Holden Caulfield, and his new band, Heart Holds True. That the latter would be somehow inextricably linked to the former isn’t a surprise.
From comprising former members of Holden Caulfield and current members and friends in The Fontaine, to being named after a Holden Caulfield song, White and friends didn’t want to see the rock and roll ride end.
“Deciding to stop doing Holden Caulfield after eight years honestly sucked,” White said over email. “I hated deciding to end it, but it was time.”
Now, it’s time for his new Huntington-based five-piece hardcore act to play their first show at the Brickhouse in St. Albans February 21st. Planning on a short, sweet five-song set, White said that, with the newly added McCormick on guitar, Heart Holds True is “…kind of like Holden Caulfield if we had been listening to a lot of Mastodon.”
White described the genesis of the new band, forming in the ashes of the old one. “Bobby and I have been good friends for a while. We wanted to keep playing in a band together as an excuse to hang out.”
“At Holden Caulfield’s last show, Bobby saw Nick when he was on his way out the door and asked if he wanted to play guitar in our new band. I mentioned that Brooke could play bass and he was into it…that was that.”
One member of Heart Holds True that you may recognize from being around White is HHT’s bassist, Dana’s wife Brooke, whom he met when she’d joined Holden Caulfield as bassist. No domestic disturbance worries in the band, though, White said.
“We never argue or fight about anything. I guess we’re both just insanely relaxed and genuinely get along with each other, so it’s not weird or a problem at all for us to be in a band together.”
One hitch with Heart Holds True is finding a permanent solution on drums. “We’ve had a hard time finding a permanent drummer and we’re still looking,” White said. “We’ve played with three different people but no one permanent yet. Oddly enough, all of those dudes were in my first band at one point.”
White said the nascent band is planning on recording a self-produced four song demo for fans and potential labels, and thinks that Heart Holds True could potentially approach what Holden Caulfield meant to everyone.
“I definitely think it could...it’s a little different from Holden Caulfield, but not so much that I don’t think people that were into that band wouldn’t like this band. I’m touching on a couple of different things lyrically than I have before, but there will definitely be familiar topics as well. I’m even thinking of revisiting an old story from then from a different point of view.”
While Holden Caulfield played a lot of all-ages shows, White said his straight edge lifestyle doesn't determine where his bands play.
“When it comes to letting people know that I’m straight edge, meaning that I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs or have promiscuous sex, it’s not really a huge deal to me. I do it for myself and the people that care for me. As far as the band goes, it’s not really fun to go into a show worrying that someone is drunk or high. No one in this band does drugs and maybe one person drinks. Everyone knows that we’ll play better if we’re focused and have our heads 100% into the show, so that’s what we will always do. I don’t mind being around people that are drinking, and neither does anyone in the band. We would just rather play sober so we can play better and play harder.”
“I’m the only person in the band that actually claims straight edge, even though no one in the band is a party person in the traditional sense. We would rather play all-ages shows simply because that audience tends to be at shows just for music and hanging out, whereas bar shows are a mixed audience of people that want to see live music and people that just happen to be there to drink while you’re playing. It’s an entirely different audience, both of which can be a blast. It just depends on what bar and what bands you’re playing with. The more friends that are there, the better.”
White said that friends and fans can expect everything the new band has at Heart Holds True’s first show. “Since we decided to make it a short set, we’re going to try and make it even more intense that it would’ve been had it been longer. We’re tightening everything up as much as possible and it’s sounding pretty solid.”
And, White, ever the fortune cookie fan, admitted that there may even be a fortune cookie out there for the new band.
“You will learn drums and play for Heart Holds True.”
--- Heart Holds True will play the Brickhouse in St. Albans 2/21 with Most Ill, Beyond All Hope, Smoke and Mirrors, and Where It Ends. Show starts around 6 p.m., and cover is $7