Concerts

Fort Collins Trio Holdfast. Is All About Family

Alt-rock trio Holdfast.
Alt-rock trio Holdfast. Courtesy Holdfast.
For the Maddocks clan, making music is a family affair. Growing up in Windsor, brothers Tommy and Mikey Maddocks and their cousin Charlie Maddocks, who lived next door, could often be found jamming in Charlie’s basement. At one point, the nascent band even included their sisters, but in 2011, the guys officially formed the alt-rock trio Holdfast.

“We ended up just jamming in my parents' basement when we were in middle school. It’s been the same ever since, just making songs, playing and growing from there,” says lead singer and guitarist Charlie.

The past year has been a busy one for the outfit, as Holdfast. released a new EP, Movies — a followup to its 2021 debut album, Stay and Fight — in April, and completed three tours, including a sold-out U.K. run supporting Red Rum Club.

The road isn’t always easy on gigging musicians, but experiencing it as a family has helped Holdfast.

“Touring is a new thing for us. Just being able to connect on that deeper level, because we’re not just bandmembers, we’re family members. We’re together 24/7,” Charlie says. “It’s cool to rediscover the love for just playing songs together. Sometimes on the road, it gets really hard. We’re playing for, like, five people in some cities. It’s pretty tough to be doing the same thing each night and not feel like we’re growing. Then there’s other times where we’re like, ‘Man, we’re all sticking together through this.’”

Drummer Tommy recalls a story from an early West Coast tour, when Holdfast. played at the annual NAMM [National Association of Music Merchants] Show. While it wasn’t the most successful in terms of putting the band on the map in front of a sold-out audience, it still made for a fun memory with his brother and cousins. A performance at a nearby bar wasn’t bad, either, as he tells it.

“I’ll never forget when we did a mini-tour in 2019 to the NAMM Show in Anaheim. We took our cousin Jake along with us. We played this absolute biker dive bar at this place in Ventura,” he says. “Literally nobody was there. There was some movie playing in the background, and maybe two biker people just playing pool. Our cousin Jake was just cheering us on. It felt like we were practicing at home, and we had the best performance of our lives. Even if the crowd isn’t as engaged, or there’s not a crowd, or there’s an amazing crowd, the chemistry that we have on stage with each other is consistently amazing, and that’s what’s special for me.”

Such performances are all part of the process in a professional band, but it's safe to say it's more fun when you're with your brothers. 

“It’s a nice anchor to have in the world of the music industry. Just being in venues every night, it’s grimy. It’s nice to have that piece of home on the road, and the three of us to keep each other’s heads on straight,” Charlie says, adding that the Holdfast. road crew also includes a merch salesperson and photographer. “It’s been awesome to see our little band expand, and see other people who are down for the cause and want to help out.”

Locally, Holdfast. is quickly becoming a Front Range favorite. The band, which recently sold out Cervantes’ Other Side, will play a release show for its new single, “Everything Wrong,” on Saturday, January 21, at the Bluebird Theater. High Street Joggers Club and hellocentral will open the show.

“Everything Wrong,” available now on all music streaming platforms, reflects the members' indie influences; the band even comes across like the Killers at times. The three say they draw inspiration from bigger acts like U2, Coldplay and Muse as well as indie heavy hitters Radiohead and Arcade Fire.

“We had a lot of household names in terms of music. We all developed different music tastes and had influences from a wide variety of genres. For me, personally, Muse was a big turning point,” says bassist Mikey, adding that the trio has an affinity for ballads, as well. “We took bits and pieces of all of those things that we liked and incorporated them into how we play together. Eventually we found our own sound over ten years of playing together.”

The seven songs on the new EP Movies are further evidence of the band’s more mature sound, including “Brother,” which is the first Holdfast. song about Maddocks family ties. “The first album was mostly about breakup. This one, we wanted to make sure each song had its own story, so there are seven different topics. We had never written a song about brotherhood before,” Charlie says.

The lyricism adds to the live experience, Mikey notes: “I do really think that our songs are able to connect with most everyone on some level. Each song tells a story that is interpreted by everyone slightly differently. Once you come to the show, it’s like a 'you’re a fan forever' sort of thing."

As of right now, there are no plans to add to the Holdfast. lineup, though the three admit that producer and engineer Chris Beeble of Fort Collins’s legendary Blasting Room is essentially a fourth member, since he started working with them in 2017.

“He’s kind of like our secret fourth member, and has been so great with helping us refine our sound and our songs,” Charlie says. “It’s been such a long journey and such a short one at the same time. After ten years of just playing together, we understand each other musically and, on the stage, where we’re at with the vibe of the night and the crowd.”

Holdfast., 8 p.m. Saturday, January 21, Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $18.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Latest Stories