Von Holden is:
Phil Young (guitar, bass, vocals)
Mark Stallard (guitar, bass, vocals)
Pete Romano (drums, guitar, vocals)

Isolation, loss, hope, dreams. These universal experiences are fundamental to the musical landscape explored by Von Holden. Part therapy session, part storytelling, each Von Holden song is born from its writer’s own experiences even as it explores these common denominators of the human condition. 

Using the lean, classic rock ‘n roll lineup of guitar, bass, and drums, Von Holden effortlessly embrace late-‘70s punk rock, early-‘80s Midwest garage rock, and ‘60s Brit-Pop while crushing on modern alt-rock. That means you’ll hear sonic echoes of The Clash and The Replacements mixed with the tunefulness of The Kinks and The Beatles, with nods to the edginess of Yo La Tengo, Spoon, and Built to Spill. 

The current lineup of Von Holden started out when longtime collaborators Mark Stallard and Phil Young started a band calledThe Cocks in 2001 as a side project; a complement to their many other musical endeavors. Drummer Pete Romano joined the fold in 2009. After the pandemic started to subside in 2022, the band decided it was time to shake things up and rebrand the band by changing their name to Von Holden. 

For their new album “Von Holden”, the band knocked out 6 songs in 2 separate three day sessions at Philadelphia’s Miner Street Recordings (Kurt Vile, Dr. Dog, The War On Drugs, Strand of Oaks, Sharon Van Etten, etc.), with nationally noted producer/engineer Brian McTear at the helm. 

One listen and it’s clear that these longtime friends are celebrating another day, another chance to get together and make a tuneful racket.

Busy lives (day jobs, kids, homes, families) and the reality of the music business mean Von Holden are no longer driven by financial needs as much as their need to simply create and have their creations seen and heard. “It’s almost something you have to do,” Stallard explains. “I’d go crazy if I didn’t do it. But I don’t want to go back to that time when it was all about the business. Back then, we were young, we were good, and we had nothing to lose.” 

Now not so young, but still every bit as good, Von Holden are keepers of an important musical flame. Look at the faces of the fans and friends at any Von Holden show, and the connection and meaning are obvious: We’re all in this together.

A Storied Musical History

 “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” as William Faulkner famously said. Certainly, the past is an important part of Von Holden. Those who’ve been around the Delaware/Philly music scene for any length of time know the guys in the band and their musical bona fides. Former groups like Rubber Uglies, Gangster Pump, The Knobs, Pigeonhole, Bos Taurus, and Suckee live on in many local music lovers’ memories (and on their iPods and turntables).

Highlights include:

  • Rubber Uglies: Phil and Mark were both members of this hugely popular ‘90s combo. Along with lead singer Troy Tatman, drummer Rick Potts and the late, great bassist Kevin Cheeseman, they drew mobs of passionate (and dancing) fans, won many press awards, released two 45s and two EPs — and played the side stage at the 1992 Lollapalooza alongside Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, the Red Chili Peppers. Eternally beloved and greatly missed, the Uglies treated fans to a reunion show in 2014.
    Rumor has it that the Uglies have been secretly playing together and writing new material since that fabled reunion in March 2014. They have already recorded 6 of these new songs and a release in the future is imminent.
  • Suckee: Finding themselves bandless in 1995, Phil, Kevin, and Mark opted to try something different with Suckee. Each musician turned to an instrument that they did not know how to play: Kevin switched from bass to guitar and lead vocals, Phil switched from guitar to drums, and Mark went from guitar to bass. This experiment yielded one album, “Songs We Learned In School.” Suckee sadly ended at the untimely passing of Kevin Cheeseman in 1999. However, Von Holden is known to cover a few Suckee songs and you can occasionally hear them in a live set.
  • Gangster Pump: A mainstay of the local music scene in Delaware throughout the 1990’s, a Gangster Pump show was more than an event, it often became a full on spectacle. Known for their raucous, unpredictable live sets; Gangster Pump created a loud and unique noise and had a tremendous and loyal following. Going through several lineup changes in their rhythm section, Pete played bass guitar for Gangster Pump until their final shows in 2000. 
  • The Knobs: Led by the late Phil Healy, The Knobs were a power-pop lover’s dream. The band released three albums (“Happy, Sad, Drunk,” “Guilt,” and “The Knobs Breakup and Die”) full of timeless songs of yearning and regret, love and loss that deserve a spot on playlists alongside Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, Badfinger, Shoes, and Dwight Twilley. The band ended with Healy’s death in 2004.

One listen and it’s clear that these longtime friends are celebrating another day, another chance to get together and make a tuneful racket.