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Good things come to those who wait, and for fans of Los Angeles buzzing rockers All Good Things, Christmas has come early in the form of a brand new EP Hold On; a four track celebration of the titular track Hold On, taken from the band’s 2021 album A Hope In Hell, with two versions of the track bookending the EP, a fan favourite track Relentless and a cover of Destiny’s Child’s Survivor rounding out the new release.
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With 81.3 million streams alone in the last 12 months, songs soundtracking cultural moments and various films, TV shows, games and beyond, All Good Things continue their dream run in 2022 with the new EP offering anthems centred around survival and empowerment. And, as bassist Liz Hooper explains, the EP was a fitting culmination of surviving the hurdles over the past few years alongside marked progression.
“We’d always hoped we could drop Hold On as a single,” Hooper shares, “because we believed it was possibly the strongest song on our previous album and it had a lot of meaning for all of us. This new release started to become an EP about a year ago however, when we were looking for an avenue to release our epic rock cover of Survivor, and fans had been disappointed that Relentless hadn’t made the A Hope in Hell album. On top of that, we were so moved by the recent orchestral album that Architects put out that we started experimenting with violins and acoustic guitars on the song, which led to the acoustic version of Hold On, and BAM! We had an EP.”
Opening with a beautiful collaboration featuring American singer-songwriter Lacey Sturm on the first of two versions of Hold On on the new EP, the chance to team up with Sturm collided via the band both being fans of Sturm and her work with American rockers Flyleaf, as well as a Sturm’s inadvertent deeper understanding of the track itself.
“We are all of course long-time fans of Flyleaf and Lacey,” says Hooper. “We had really wanted to collaborate with a female on Hold On because we felt it made more sense with the emotion of the song. We were actually playing at a festival, and Lacey was performing too and we caught her set. Of course her voice is amazing, and suited for a collab, but in the set she started talking about her experiences, struggles with mental health, and some personal tragedies that she’s had to overcome. We just stood there with our mouths open saying: “This is exactly what Hold On is about, she is meant to be on this track.” Then we basically begged her until she said yes!”
The inclusion of Relentless followed, fittingly, a relentless adoration from fans for the B-side. As to the decision for finally officially releasing the song, Hooper reveals:
“We’d like to pretend it was calculated genius, but honestly, it was the universe. Relentless, our cover of Survivor and Hold On all had this vibe that is so battle weary but positive, which is how pretty much the whole world is feeling right now, post-pandemic and whatever other craziness.”
“We are so glad we got to release Relentless though, as the fans were always asking for it after we teased it, and played it once live, but it never made the A Hope in Hell album. We’ve been rehearsing it for Louder than Life festival and our tour with Theory of a Deadman, and it is so fun to play! We’re so happy to unleash it.”
Everyone in the band plays different instruments, and it’s always fun to re-imagine existing songs and find something new in them.
[ Liz Hooper ]
Rounding out the non-Hold On content on the EP is none other than a kickass rock’n’roll cover of Destiny’s Child 2001 anthem Survivor; a song of empowerment reimagined in 2022 with a rock soul. And while it wasn’t All Good Things’ first foray into covers territory, it ultimately aligned with the beating heart of the overarching EP.
“We’ve had fun in the past, rock’a’fying pop songs,” muses Hooper. “We did covers of The Middle by Zedd, and Blinding Lights by The Weeknd, and then we were trying to work out what to do next. The lyrics of Survivor seemed to fit perfectly with the kind of songs we write, and it is super tough and powerful, so it just made sense. And honestly, who can deny Queen Bey?”
Closing out the EP is a sublime stripped-back version of Hold On, retaining the potency of All Good Things but skewing away from the band’s signature high octane rock stylings. With an accompanying intimate music video, directed by the band themselves, the chance to melt into the track stemmed organically from the band’s sonic DNA, their adoration of Architects’ orchestral version of the album Animal and All Good Things’ early roots as a studio band.
“Fans that know us well, know that we started out as a studio band, making music for movies, TV series and Video games,” shares Hooper. “So, the studio is where we’re really at home, and love experimenting with new sounds and colours. Everyone in the band plays different instruments, and it’s always fun to re-imagine existing songs and find something new in them. We recorded a series of acoustic videos in our studio during the pandemic, so it was a natural progression, but definitely Architects’ orchestral record inspired us to pursue more lush and involved string arrangements on the acoustic version of Hold On. And of course you can film anything on iPhones now, so even idiots like us were able to pull together some cool shots while we were recording and make a little guerrilla style video that makes sense with the more vulnerable, stripped back version of the song.”
For a band who have professionally ticked off, in the past 12 months, more than most bands achieve in a decade, All Good Things have certainly attained and swiftly superseded the “next big thing” moniker as they skyrocket beyond the stars. But all of the swift highs experienced by the group has dulled the group’s passion and adoration for their craft; and they’re still able to experience “pinch me” moments along the way.
“We’ve had so many “pinch me” moments,” says Hooper. “A number one rock hit in the U.S. Touring with our heroes like P.O.D., Sevendust and Starset. Playing the big rock festivals with Metallica. It’s all crazy and unreal, but I think the most ridiculous moment was when we got nominated for Best New Rock Artist at the iHeart Radio Music Awards. We walked the red carpet with Maneskin and then sat with Claudia Schiffer and Lil Nas X in the audience. We were like: “what the hell is happening?” It was crazy.”
Crafting sprawling cinematic rock anthems that also celebrate and empower the outliers and underdogs of the world, All Good Things are already inspiring and uplifting their growing legions of fans across the globe. And for Hooper, her love for rock and roll throughout the ages has certainly carried over into who she currently is as an artist today.
“Our biggest influences,” says Hooper, “would be Queen, David Bowie, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Muse, the White Stripes, Rage Against the Machine, My Chemical Romance, Bring Me the Horizon, Architects. If all those people had an orgy, we would be the baby!”
With September marking Suicide Awareness Month in America, the timing surrounding All Good Things’ new release and its uplifting sentiments also links to the band’s work with the non-profit movement To Write Love On He Arms, working to disrupt mental health stigma and raise money to aid with counselling and group therapy sessions and aid people to find local mental health resources.
“It was a bit serendipitous collaborating with TWLOHA,” Hooper explains about the band’s work with the organisation. “We’d planned on releasing in September, and then we realised it was going to be Suicide Prevention month. TWLOHA are always at shows and rock festivals and are an amazing organisation. We wanted Hold On to be a vehicle to help people find and connect with TWLOHA, as so many of our fans have shared their struggles with us, and said that Hold On had really resonated with them. And frankly who isn’t struggling with mental health issues right now? We’ve always used music as a refuge, so we totally connect with our fans on that level. It’s such a great thing that everyone can lean on music, either making it, listening or sharing, to get through the tough times, and it really does break down walls and bring people together.”
With countless live performances in their wake and many more on the horizon, including headline shows in America into October, there’s a wealth of experiences to pick from when it comes to pinpointing a standout live performance memory in the All Good Things legacy. For Hooper, the balance between good and bad experiences keeps them humble as they continue this rockstar journey.
“We’ve played well over 100 shows in the last year and met so many amazing people and saw most of America,” says Hooper. “One of the highlights was playing to tens of thousands at Welcome to Rockville Festival in Daytona, and having them all sing “For the Glory” back to us. You really feel like rock stars when you get to play shows like that, but then you’re quickly humbled when a week later you trip over the headliner’s floor lighting rig during a set and almost fall on top of your drummer and bring down the whole kit.”