We got the chance to talk to the every sort of genre band, The Hollows. It’s not everyday where you come across a band that has just about every influence of sound in their songs. Read below to see details about their new album, single and more!
Pick up their new live record, Neverending Show, on April 23rd!
Read what The Hollows had to say below:
For those who don’t know, how would you describe your music? What makes you different from all the rest?
We like to say we either have no frontman or six frontmen-- we all write, we all sing, we all take turns as the lead vocalist or instrumentalist or whatever. It's a union that ebbs and flows very organically, and we try to include our audience in that as well. Between that, and the fact that we're all multi-instrumentalists, the "genre" of our music tends have a murky sort of definition. It definitely falls under the blanket of roots-rock, but it lives in other worlds, too-- while there are certain influences we all share, we all have our own individual tastes as well so often it's "how do we take this song with a mandolin and make it a garage-rock song," or "let's add a Mellotron to this banjo piece and see where that takes us," stuff like that. We used to call it "New Weird America" (after Greil Marcus' "Old Weird America") until we found out that was already its own thing, so lately we just let other people answer the genre question for us. I think our PledgeMusic page lists us as "neo-traditional progressive-country indie-folk desert-rock" or something ridiculous like that..
How did the name “The Hollows” come about?
I think we all sort of came to it on our own. Justin's from a very musical family; his dad's an accomplished symphony percussionist and his uncle's played bass for Bob Dylan, Hall and Oates, etc. I was thrown out of piano lessons when I was five or six for never practicing, picked up the trumpet for a few years before rediscovering piano when I was seventeen or so. DK used to sing in the church choir (as did I, actually). Jeff played upright bass for his school orchestra, I think Rob started on guitar relatively young before moving to mandolin, Erik's dad's a great banjo player, and so on. Five of us also went to school for acting, so we went through the usual song and dance stuff with that as well.
All of you are from different states, how did The Hollows form?
Well, four out of those five I just mentioned went to the SAME school for acting, so it started there. Just for fun, really-- twenty-minute jams of "All Along The Watchtower" or whatever. Eventually we all moved out to NYC to pursue acting. DK and I used to write and play together a bit and do a couple open mics here and there, but nothing too organized or serious ever happened until he picked up this gig for a few months out in Connecticut acting in the musical Big River. Rob was also in the cast and lived across the hall from him up there. They gelled instantly and started playing together-- a lot of what became our first record was written during those months. They came back to the city and started playing a weekly acoustic gig; I was living with Deeks at the time so it wasn't long before I was playing that gig too, Jeff and Erik were like "hey, that looks like fun," so they bought some instruments and started coming around to jam... it all just gradually snowballed from there until one day we were offered a show, and we were like, "A... ...show?" We really just fell into it, but found it to be so rewarding and fulfilling that we just kept working harder and harder. We joke that instead of starting a theatre company, we started a band-- but the theatre background is largely where that sense of ensemble I talked about comes from. Eventually we needed a steady drummer so we picked up Justin off Craigslist and he sort of fell right in as well.
What For your new LP, Neverending Show, why did you choose for it to be recorded live?
I don't remember if it actually started as a conscious decision to do a live album; we had just been in the habit of recording shows for our own archival / reference purposes and one day we realized, "Hey, there's about a year's worth of material and there's some pretty decent stuff in there." Our live show is such a huge part of who we are as a band and we wanted to share that with a wider audience. Most of these songs have had studio versions already released, either on our 2011 LP or last year's three-track EP, and they've grown or changed or taken on a different energy in a live setting as we play them again and again over the years. It's a different medium.
What can fans expect from, Neverending show?
Sixteen rockin' live tunes. Lots of hootin' and hollerin' and clapping and boot stomping. Six guys that love what they're doing and want you to come along for the ride. We have this mantra of sorts that's stuck with us over the years: "Together Together." It started as a laugh about a friend's unintentional bastardization of The Three Musketeers motto, but for us it's come to mean that sense of community and connection, both with each other and the people around us. "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts," in other words. Our audience is a huge part of our life as a band-- our audience IS our life as a band, really-- and we cherish that and are constantly aware of that in performance. So hopefully that comes through on these live recordings, that communion.
What influenced the songs of off, Neverending show?
Love, death, dreams, nightmares, religion, murder, joy, sorrow, promises, lies, deserts, trees, rivers, whiskey... there's a song about a cow on there as well.
What is your new song “Dead Rabbits” about?
That's Rob again, so these are his words-- "'Dead Rabbits' is about the shift that can happen when relationships end, and lovers see each other as this unfortunate eyesore. A once-loved one transforms from a human being into an object, a dead rabbit, to leave behind and shudder at the thought of. I've always found that quite sad."
How was playing SXSW? What was your favorite part about it?
That place is a madhouse! But mostly in a good way. The best thing about it was literally being surrounded by music 24/7-- it could be overwhelming, but there's something to be said for that kind of saturation. It's impossible not to be hearing and absorbing something new. It was also great to get out of NYC for a few weeks, to just be a band and nothing else on the side-- despite the successes we've been so lucky to have with this thing so far, it's not like any of us have been able to quit our day-jobs yet. That, and just meeting and interacting with so many great people on the road. So much kindness in every shape or form. It was wonderful.
For After your Brooklyn Bowl album release party on April 23rd, do you guys plan to go out on tour?
Eventually! We just wrapped up a little tour, so we'll be kickin' around the homestead for at least a little while. Maybe some one-off sorta deals to Philly, DC, stuff like that. We're waiting to hear back from some summer festivals as well. But the plan is to do a more extensive tour in support of the next studio album, when that happens-- which will be a little while yet-- but that's what this PledgeMusic fundraiser is all about, getting some startup capital together so that we can promote the next record in a larger way: national press, radio, touring, etc. That stuff ain't cheap.
Thanks for taking the time to talk! Is there anything else you would like to add?
Hey, thanks for taking the time to ask. Together together.