By Joshua Adams | Staff Writer
In a city that used to be home to several different types of punk music, one musician has refused to give up his dreams. He’s still writing, recording and booking shows that you wouldn’t see in Augusta without his efforts.
Holden Taylor is the lead singer of the emo-punk trio, Lost Boy. He’s played in several bands in Augusta over the years including Panic Manor, Idamara and DreamEater.
“As a little kid,” Taylor said, “I was always drawn to music. I had crappy, cheap guitars growing up but I never really knew what to do with them. The thing that really got me into learning how to play music was meeting friends in the neighborhood. I started taking guitar lessons. I took about six lessons, after that I taught myself. I have no formal training. I just kind of taught myself.”
Like many emotive musicians, Taylor’s early influences were Nirvana, Queen, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday.
“I still love those bands,” he said. “Nirvana and Queen gave me the nostalgic euphoria feel of what it meant to be a musician. I wanted that. And I still want that, I fight every day for it.”
He played in his first few bands during high school and said that it wasn’t the type of music he wanted to play. After that, he played in pop-punk band Panic Manor and screamo band DreamEater. After years of writing music with other musicians, Taylor said he decided to start a project where he was the only song writer.
“Lost Boy originally started as just me,” he said. “When I played shows early on I would say, ‘I don’t have the answers and neither do you. I’m Lost Boy.’ It was never really meant to be a band. It started as a side project of my band DreamEater.”
After about a year of playing shows by himself, Taylor decided to make Lost Boy a full band. He did, however, make sure that he had creative control of the music while assuring the other members that they were equals in every other regard.
The band also consists of bassist Gianni Colón and drummer David Nelson.
“I had just moved back and Holden was like, ‘hey, want to join Lost Boy? We got this cool new sound we’re putting out,’” Colón said. “And I was like, ‘yeah, I dig it.’”
Colón said that it’s the best band he’s ever been in.
“It’s better than any other band I’ve played in before,” Colón said. “I’m good friends with the people in the band. We get a long really well. We can sit for ten hours in a van and no one’s going to fight each other.”
Nelson said that he met Holden through mutual friends and going to shows. The two were briefly in a band together, but it didn’t work out. He also said that Lost Boy has pushed him as a musician.
“It’s pretty interesting. When I joined about a year ago, it was the first band that wasn’t a metal-core or hard-core band,” Nelson said. “So it’s like the first band I haven’t used a double bass pedal. Lost Boy is more vocally driven and the drums are kind of in the background.”
Nelson said the simplicity of what he plays in Lost Boy relieves a lot of pressure.
The band recently went on tour in October. It was their fifth tour in two years. They’ve played in most of the U.S. but haven’t made their way out west yet. Taylor said that they’ve released two DIY records and are shopping a new one to different indie record labels.
Taylor’s lyrics often reflect traumatic events in his life. He’s written songs about relationships, family problems and death.
“One of our new songs references one of my friends that recently passed away,” Taylor said. “It’s basically about how a good person can be the best person and be born with something, cursed by relatives. To just be doomed from the beginning. The person can jump into that life and touch a bunch of people emotionally and was able to warm everyone’s heart around them. Just make the best of a crappy situation is basically what it’s about.”
Taylor said he named the song “Tremor,” as he suffers from hereditary tremors.
Although his family life wasn’t perfect, Taylor said he had a pretty normal upbringing.
“Me and my dad didn’t always see eye to eye, but you learn, growing up, you’re not the only one who has issues,” he said. “My mom supported me in whatever I did, but she still didn’t think being a musician was a solid [career path]. I think family support is kind of important but at the same time, you can use it as motivation. I’m so far into this that there’s no other option. I’m going to show my family.”
For some people who grew up in Augusta’s punk scene, it was hard to avoid habits of drinking, smoking cigarettes or doing drugs. Taylor, on the other hand, has never touched any of it. He has chosen to be straight-edge.
“A lot of people have different definitions of what straight-edge is,” Taylor said. “Straight-edge was coined in the early punk scene, around the time of Minor Threat and Black Flag. Bands were dissatisfied with the dirty, drugged punk scene. I don’t participate in drinking, smoking, drugs or anything. If that’s for you, that’s your thing. Enjoy it and be safe.”
During a time when Augusta’s underground punk scene was suffering, Taylor decided to start booking shows in 2011 in an effort to boost the music scene and help his friends in touring bands. He said he’s worked a lot with record labels No Sleep and Run for Cover.
“For a short period of time I felt like I was the only one booking shows,” Taylor said. “There were punk shows going on but the scenes haven’t crossed at that time. My shows were a little bit different. A lot of the bands that were playing in Augusta at the time were like really big hardcore bands, maybe a big pop-punk band occasionally. I was always trying to reach out and find newer sounds that people haven’t heard yet or bands I listened to but thought other people would enjoy.”
Contact Joshua Adams at: firstname.lastname@example.org.