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Vegas music scene anchor Holding Onto Sound calls it quits

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Holding Onto Sound
Photo: Bill Hughes

It’s a sad day for Las Vegas music. Punk powerhouse Holding Onto Sound, a band that brought intensity and intelligence to the scene for almost a decade, has called it quits, signing off with a post on its Facebook page this evening.

“As of today, HOTS is no more. Thanks for all your love and support,” the update read, touching off a string of downcast responses and frowns in the comment field. “I just died on the inside,” one read. “Letting go of sound,” read another.

Formed in 2004 by singer/guitarist Bennett Mains, singer/bassist Zabi Naqshband and drummer Vanessa Tidwell, Holding Onto Sound spent most of its life as a trio before adding second guitarist Bob Gates in 2011.

Reached by phone tonight, Mains explained that he told the band he was moving on today. “Sometimes good things end so that better things can begin,” he said. “I quit the band, but I’m not quitting music at all. It’s just a feeling I’ve had for some time. I just have an interest in doing a lot of stuff.

“We’re still all friends. I love those guys. But we were 18 when we formed the band, and I’m 27 now. Life is different.”

Naqshband, also reached by phone tonight, kept his comments brief, “We’re still in shock a little bit. It definitely wasn’t something I was prepared to deal with today. I’m not sure what to say.”

The Weekly’s choice as the city’s Best Live Band in 2010 and 2011, HOTS built a concert résumé that included multiple dates opening for NOFX, a spot on last year’s Punk Rock Bowling lineup and significant touring, including a 2009 trip across the U.S.

The band also released three studio albums, 2011’s The Sea, which earned four stars from the Weekly, 2009’s Songs of Freedom and 2007’s eponymous debut. Most recently, HOTS released a self-titled 7-inch at the end of 2011.

“That 7-inch is the last thing we recorded, and it’s good,” Mains said. “HOTS never fell off.”

Mains said the band had been writing for its next project, a possible three-EP series with a storyline running through it, but that “it just lulled for too long.”

Holding Onto Sound’s final live appearance came on March 1, during a benefit show for briefly shuttered restaurant and all-ages venue Yayo Taco. Regarding a possible farewell performance, Mains said, “For the moment, I’m gonna take a couple days and let this settle. But what matters most to me are the people that have supported our band … so it would be hard to say no to a farewell show.”

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is Las Vegas Weekly's Managing Editor, having previously served as Arts & Entertainment Editor, Music Editor and a ...

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