Take Hold: New Zealand Band Rocks Melodic Hardcore on Stay Down EP

Photo: Shelley Te Haara

Though I wasn't aware of the petition to change the name of New Zealand to Aotearoa (interesting article here), I love what Tomas Newbury, guitarist of Take Hold, told me during a recent chat: "We thrive in dark and cramped spaces, so the Aotearoa hardcore scene is our natural habitat."

Offering a melodic take on hardcore, Take Hold have been playing together since 2017, releasing an EP called Disrepair in 2019, and a single (Mourn / Spiral), later that same year. "We've been doing our best to carry the torch in the most emotional way possible," says Tomas. 

"Our sound started out focusing on speed, high technicality, and melody of bands like Counterparts and early Hundredth. After a lineup change, we've changed gear to taking inspiration from the previous generation of melodic and post-hardcore, being long time fans of Have Heart, Comeback Kid, Modern Life Is War, and much of that era."

Take Hold is gearing up for the release of a new EP, Stay Down, by releasing a couple of singles from it: "Mosaic" and "Forfeit." Tomas gives some insight on the forthcoming EP: 

"The 'Stay Down' EP was written at a time of almost universal uncertainty, and tries to grapple with a lot of our worlds and lives being so suddenly undermined. With that time and refinement comes a much more honest reflection of the music we love and want to create, a love letter to the bands both in our scene and abroad that basically raised us."

I asked Tomas about the hardcore community in their homeland. "Aotearoa Hardcore is gaining steam in a way we're not used to seeing, and the massive potential bubbling just under the surface is starting to show itself. From the bands onstage to the crews organizing and running shows to the fans showing up and getting down, Aotearoa hardcore has always been a team effort. It's a team we're proud to be a part of and contribute to. 

"Big love to our olders in Xile, Standover and Drop Off Point, plus big up to our youngers in Carthage, Synthesis of Self, and Melanie. We wouldn't be the weird middle child band we are without such talented siblings. Special shout out to the Wellington straight edge homies Coldxwar. Watch this space for what we've been cooking with them."

The Stay Down EP will be out soon. Check out Take Hold's Instagram page for more info on the band.

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