Holding Absence’s Lucas Woodland on the noble art of veganism
Lucas Woodland is no ordinary vegan; he’s a vocal powerhouse fronting Holding Absence, a band comprised of vegans and veggies. Often found touring the world, and with a new album releasing at the end of this week, we were incredibly lucky to have a post-festival chat about all things music and vegan.
V-Land UK (V-L): How did your journey into veganism begin?
Lucas Woodland (LW): I’ve been vegetarian for almost ten years now and it was a really positive life choice for me. I decided to make the change on January 1st, and several years later, I’d started to feel a little hypocritical about being a veggie. So, eight years later, on January 1st again, I decided to make the switch to veganism. My family are very used to it now, but the biggest change was to my health - I have very bad acid reflux, and I struggled a little at first. A year or so later, after shifting my diet etc, everything’s smooth and great!
V-L: Your new album, The Noble Art of Self-Destruction, is fast approaching release. How are you finding the build-up?
LW: It’s tough some days, everything is hectic, and some days I grow impatient. It’s the same with everything, to be honest, there’s never a midpoint, but we’re absolutely counting down the minutes until it drops! We’re so proud of it.
V-L: From what we’ve heard, the new album sounds amazing already! Being a touring musician, how do you find vegan options on the road? Which country has been the most accommodating?
LW: I religiously use HappyCow. It’s led me to have some of my favourite meals of all time in the most random places! I’d honestly say the UK is best, and then Australia in swift second place. America and the EU can be great, but they’re both so big that for every brilliant independent restaurant, you’ll find yourself eating pretzels or fries.
V-L: Do you get a chance to try vegan vendors on the festival circuit? If so, which vendors stand out to you? What’s the best vegan meal you’ve ever had?
LW: I will always try a vegan vendor if there is one at a fest! I’m pretty sure there was an insane Meatless Farm vendor stall at Download Pilot - I think I ate six meals from there over the weekend! My favourite restaurant used to be V-Revs Manchester (RIP), but I currently love Oowee Bristol, and have to shout out The Queen Inn Cwmbran and Veggie Hut Pontypridd. It’s great to see vegan food places pop up in the small Welsh areas I grew up in.
V-L: Do you think that your vegan diet has an impact on the amount of energy you have on stage?
LW: I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. I went vegan during COVID, so I don’t really know how much it affected me, but as a vocalist it’s made my life far easier. No more stinky dairy clogging up my vocal cords!
V-L: What are some of your favourite vegan brands (food and/or clothing) and favourite vegan restaurants?
LW: I’ve tried so much vegan stuff that, at this point, I’m just happy to try something new, whatever it may be! I’ve no real brand loyalty, if it’s vegan, I’m down. I will say though, bonus points to brands like Richmond incorporating vegan products into their lines.
V-L: Your latest song, Honey Moon, is utterly beautiful and we just want to say a huge thank you for creating such fantastic music - from 2019 when you held the Eat & Greet to playing the main stage at Slam Dunk in 2023, it’s impressive to see Holding Absence skyrocketing. How do you look after your mental health?
LW: Thank you so much!! We’ve loved the journey this band has taken us on… I’d say honestly, my mental health is preserved by being afforded the luck to do what I love, and also to spend time with the people I love when I’m home too. I’m in a very fortunate spot lately!
The Noble Art of Self-Destruction will be available on 25th August 2023 in stores and on all major streaming platforms. This album aims to end on a note of hope, of looking forward free of fear and embracing yourself, cracks, and all.
If this piqued your interest, check out our article on vegan music legends.