|Reverence: Bryan Holland|
Shockwave: So I listened to your CD, When Darkness Calls, and I was very impressed with it. What I wanted to ask is, what was it like being in this band, as opposed to your past bands, Tokyo Blade and Arrest?
Bryan: Well, are we on record? (laughs) It’s like night and day, really. I mean, I am still friends with most of the guys in Tokyo Blade. Everyone in the band got along very well except for the other guitarist who was a complete raving lunatic with deeply disturbing narcissistic and an egomaniac personality traits. In a band where you are working and traveling a lot, spending countless hours together, he made it impossible for us to continue together in a professional manner, so the band basically. In Reverence, we don’t have any of that, and everything works exactly like it should. Everyone is down to earth, little ego, so it works a lot better, and I am much happier in this band.
What’s it like being involved with the big benefit concert Rock Harvest for Law Enforcement coming up in November?
Well, I am really looking forward to the show. I am a big supporter of the police community, fire and anything regarding that. It started out as a one-day show initially, then a two-day show, and now got stretched to three days. They are getting a lot of great talent, such as King Kobra, Ron Keel, among others the who’s who of metal in the ’80s and ’90s. It’s going to be a blast. Such a great festival to be a part of.
Well, I was wondering, what made you decide to get into music in the first place, or in the music business in general?
Well, for me, I always loved music, always been a music fan; but for me, it did not really did not decide anything till I saw Kiss doing stuff in the same vein of Phantom of the Opera-type theatrics, and I decided then and there I wanted to be like Kiss. (laughs) Everybody has their idols, inspiring them to do what they do. If you love it, hopefully you will make something from it. I eventually got out of Kiss and got into different bands, but that’s where it started and just snowballed from there.
Since you are one of the songwriters, I was wondering, do you split up the workload with the lead singer? How is that worked out?
The first record, we did not even have the band built yet, so basically, I started the whole thing. Then I found Todd, and he partnered with me; so me and him started writing before we had the other guys. In faith, there was no really room to have any other guys work on the songs with us – by the time we had the other guys join the band, we had about 70 to 80 percent of the songs worked out. Basically, I set the foundation, sent it to Todd to add his flair to it, and we worked together. He writes all his lyrics and all his melodies, and he gives me suggestions, and I would do the same. We both idolize Chris Olivia from Savatage. Overall, the whole experience was very good. Pretty much, it was all done over mp3s via the Internet, and it really seemed to work for us.
Yeah, that is amazing – the power of the Internet, which brings me to my next question: what do you think about Internet and social media impacting how you promote the band?
Well, I think social media and stuff is crucial these days, opposed to the days when Rolling Stone magazine and various other publications were the thing before the age of the internet; yet [it] brings certain problems; you have to constantly update, because people can be fickle and want to know what is going on, so you constantly need to keep people informed; so it gets a bit challenging. It’s two sides to the same coin, so it gets a bit tough, but it definitely easier than it has been in year’s past.
Since you have been in multiple bands in the past, do you think Reverence’s new CD is pretty much the same as the others, or are you more proud of this, overall?
Well, musically it’s a lot different in some respects. The guys in the band are from various different backgrounds and with different affiliations. You have that flip side, as well like, oh it’s not like Tokyo Blade, or it’s not as good as Savatage. Compared to what we have done, I really think it’s good to branch out and not be someone from Tokyo Blade or sound like Savatage. If you want that, then go listen to them. We are trying to bring a new element to the table. We made something different and new, and hopefully people really enjoy it.
I have not listened to the other bands, per say, but I can say Reverence’s CD is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting new power metal bands. Its power metal meets ’80s thrash with various other elements.
I appreciate that. Well, when you’re a part of the song writing, [it] is hard to know what is good or bad. You just do what you do and hope people will like it. Initially wanted to go with a British-New-Wave-of-Heavy-Metal-sound, so it was a bit Iron Maiden-ish; then I wanted to go in a more Judas Priest-direction. People said we sounded like Metal Church and Warrior, but I never listened to Metal Church, so I was a bit confused. I had to go back and listen to Metal Church, and then could say, okay, I see what people are saying now.
Well I can definitely hear the Dio, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, and I have not listened to much Savatage myself, so I could not say too much on that.
Well you should, its great.
Yeah, I have been told that by various others. I saw that your wife is your booking agent. How is that different, as opposed to, say, someone you’re not married to or involved with?
Well, Traci, my wife, she is more of the band’s management, but she has worked with some booking agents over in Europe. She is not particularly booking, at this point, but she booked shows for Tokyo Blade in the past. Honestly, it’s a lot of work. It’s a thankless job, and, yeah, I’d rather leave it to someone who knows what to do, rather than leave it to someone who does not really have an idea of what they are doing. She has done it in the past – done an exceptional job – and it’s someone who I can trust, and [that] makes it that much easier.
I was wondering, since you have been with a lot of other bands, what is your favorite experience on the road?
Well, touring is a lot of work. If you’re in a smaller band or a bigger band, it’s a lot of work, but it can be fun – especially traveling with other bands; and we are looking forward to taking Reverence out on the road and getting the album out to the public, play some big festivals with Exodus and UFO Girl School and Flotsam and Jetsam in Tokyo Blade back in Europe. On the subject of that, I am excited to get back to Europe because I am a huge WWII enthusiast, so going to that area where that took place is a hug plus for me. We got to play a show at a reformed WWII bunker. That was really cool, I loved it – seeing this bunker for real. [It] was very intimidating and frightening that this stuff happened, like this really happened, and it was pretty intense to finally see this up close.
Well, this being the last question, is there anything you would like to ask me or the magazine?
I am just really glad we were able to hook up and glad to see the attention you guys have given us and to spotlight the band and any interest that we receive is an honor and to support it is really great to hear. I am really glad [about] the reception this album has gotten so far.
Well, it was wonderful talking to you, and I hope you enjoyed the same.
Absolutely. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and your interest in the band. Thank you very much, have a good night.
(Editor: The very first question in this interview has been edited to correctly reflect Bryan’s original intent from how it originally appears at the link below
due to an audio to written transcription error that was not corrected.)