Hold My Own are a 4 piece hardcore band with members coming out of Jersey and Chicago. They already have a bunch of short releases out, play out a ton and just caught our ear about a year back with some catchy mosh driven hardcore that fans of Killing Time should go bananas over. Their guitarist Anchit Chhabra was interviewed back in mid-December and his responses just made me like this band that much more. Check out what he had to say below. Lead photo by Danielle Dombrowski, graphics by Paul Turano.
IE: Hey, what's up Anchit? Where exactly are you right now and what would you usually be doing at this time of the day if you weren't answering these questions?
Anchit: Hey man, not much. I appreciate you having me on this. I just got done with work. If I wasn’t answering these questions, I would probably be playing guitar, hanging out with my wife and dog, watching the recap of the Bears vs Lions game I saw in person with my dad over the weekend… what a great time.
IE: Greg your singer is the lone Jersey guy in the band with the rest of the guys in the band being from Chicago. How did this East Coast/Mid-West alliance come to be and in a day and age where it has never been easier to share music/files etc is there any detriment to not having all of the band members living close to one another?
Anchit: It all started from one of my bands and one of Greg’s bands at the time being on a compilation together. My brother Kashish and I who both play in Hold My Own were big fans of The Mongoloids growing up. I told Greg that when the compilation was released. 1 month later he said we should do a band together. So we made it happen.
The way music is written seems to involve constantly. People are doing crazy stuff and honestly, who the hell knows how everyone’s writing process is and who’s to say which is the best way. Something works for everyone and the way we do it seems to work for us. At times, the whole hot potato, passing a .wav track file back and forth until the song is completed, helps us out a lot in the long run because we have different engineers working on the music, different ears listening to the songs, and new ideas being added. So while I might write the whole song from start to finish and show it to our people, by the end of it and before release, everyone’s put in their own flavor into the tracks which makes it truly unique.
PHOTO BY: DANIELLE DOMBROWSKI
IE: What has Hold My Own released so far and how many shows would you say the band has played? It seems like a lot of your shows have been at fests.
Anchit: We’ve self-released a demo. We put out a self-titled EP on Retribute Records from Japan on CD and Coreruption Records on cassette. We put out a split 7” with Carried By Six on Never Ran Never Will Records. We put out a single cassette on DAZE and now recently a 6 song EP on DAZE titled “In My Way”.
We’ve played a lot of shows in our tenure as a band… just this last year we’ve probably played somewhere around 60 shows. The year before that I think we got pretty close to that amount as well. We’ve been grinding hard. It seems like a lot of our shows have been at fests, but we’ve played a lot of random small towns and random one off shows just for the hell of it. We have been grateful to have played This Is Hardcore, The Rumble, FYA, Tied Down, LDB, etc… would really love to play Sound & Fury one day.
IE: What would you say was the best and worst show the band has played so far?
Anchit: The best show we’ve played so far… there are many I can choose from but I’ll go with our whole weekend run we did in California this year with Outta Pocket and Sector. All three shows were insane. The first night in Santa Cruz has to be the most people I’ve seen dancing to us in one room. The next night in Simi Valley we played outside. The vibes were insane. The circle pit we had going on was the best we ever had. The energy Vegas had the next night matched the two previous nights. It was one to never forget.
The worst show we’ve ever played… I can’t really think of one. I guess we’ve definitely played a dismal show before but honestly never really saw it like that. I still drank a few beers and turned my guitar up and had a great time.
IE: What makes a "great" hardcore show in your opinion?
Anchit: A good mix of hard bands, straight up hardcore bands, and whatever else people enjoy at the time… and then a bunch of crazy shit happening during the hard bands. Just a bunch of people wilding out and having fun. My favorite shows are when I’m at home (usually Cobra Lounge) with a bunch of homies enjoying a band we love… getting some wings and fries between a band… having some drinks… hitting a mosh… it’s all in good fun.
IE: What do you remember about the first Hold My Own show?
Anchit: Our first show was actually at Cobra Lounge, the venue I stated above. It was with Sector and a couple Chi town locals. It was a free show… I just paid the fee for the room and people attended. It was right before FYA and not long after we were in lockdown. The crowd reaction was awesome. It honestly felt really good playing those demo songs. It felt fresh.
IE: Can you introduce us to the Hold My Own lineup and maybe give us insight as to who has the best chance of becoming a professional pickleball player?
Anchit: Greg Falchetto is our singer. Kashish Chhabra is our bass player. Sergio Mendoza, our drummer. I, Anchit Chhabra, am on guitar and also do vocals… The person who has the best chance of becoming a professional pickle ball player is probably Greg… that seems like something he would do haha but I’d probably still beat him at it!
IE: Can you tell us about the “In My Way” video? It's a great song and just had this "it" factor when I first saw it and each time I have gone back to it.
Anchit: That means a lot. The video idea came about to just do something different. The house we are in is my parent’s current home. The two elder Indian folks are my brother and I’s parents, Ritu & Dinesh and the beautiful young lady is my wife, Janine… the dog is our family dog, Benny.
Having them all involved in this was something I could never imagine happening and I am so grateful that it did. Sunny Singh (Hate 5 Six) filmed and directed and having him be an integral part of this creation was key and also very special. This video is something I will cherish forever.
CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE "IN MY WAY" MUSIC VIDEO BY HOLD MY OWN
IE: In the review In Effect did for “In My Way” our homie Dave raved about Hold My Own's lyrics and how real they are. Who writes the lyrics and what kind of message/vibe are you generally going for when you go to write? Are there any topics in your head that you have not written about yet that you want to get to for the next release?
Anchit: For the most part, I write all the lyrics. I’ll show them to Greg and he will tweak them and add his own flavor to it. When writing lyrics, I just go about whatever is on my mind at the time. I can’t really think of what we might write about in the future. When the time comes, I kind of just start writing and getting thoughts down and start putting it together. I’ll show it to Greg and he will give his input. At the end of the day we just want to be true to ourselves.
IE: Besides the music the band has knocked it out of the park in regards to your artwork designs on your record covers AND merch. Can you tell us who has done the various designs the band uses and would you say you have been influenced from any certain band that may have had consistent sick merch where it made you want to have a similar vibe where people are always looking for new drops?
Anchit: We’ve gone through a lot of different artists in the merch and art we’ve done. The legendary Spoiler did the recent EP art. He is a legend and has done such awesome work for years. Tyler Mullen from Scarab and Gridiron did our OG logo and demo artwork. Jared from New World Man/Invoke did our self-titled EP artwork. I personally have done some of our merch designs… Sam from Outta Pocket does a bunch of stuff for us… so does Kyle Niland. There are so many hands on the stuff we do from art to recording…
I’m not sure if a certain band really influences us to do dope merch, it just seems like the only way to go about it. We all come up with a bunch of ideas, and if it seems whack, we definitely won’t do it just for the sake of doing it.
HOLD MY OWN @ THE LITTERBOX ELIZABETH, NJ 2022. PHOTO BY: CARL GUNHOUSE
IE: Hold My Own song that you feel sums up what the band is all about? Like "this song is US".
Anchit: From a live perspective I would say that song is “Deceit”. We play it last usually and everyone goes off. Lyrically, I would say “Forever True”. I think that might all change with the next release.
IE: 3 bands you haven't played with that are like bucket list bands for you to play with?
Anchit: Biohazard, Biohazard, and Biohazard.
IE: Now that “In My Way” is out what's next for the band heading into the new year?
Anchit: We’ve got FYA, Tied Down, our record release shows, and a bunch of weekends planned for next year. We are always working on new music and we are always grinding so a new release is inevitable.
IE: Finish the sentence... In 2024 hardcore needs more....
Anchit: Of nothing. It doesn’t need anything. I’m not one to say what anyone needs in their hardcore scene. Just go be a part of it and go help it grow. That’s all that matters.