INTERVIEW: HOLLOW FRONT ON “STILL LIFE” EP AND NEW COLLABORATION WITH RYAN JOSEPH KIRBY
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to introduce its readers to an interview we had with HOLLOW FRONT 4-piece metalcore outfit hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan. We are catching up with the band of Tyler Tate, Dakota Alvarez, Brandon Rummler and Cody Davis after their sophomore EP STILL LIFE released via Beckwith Records on June 29th 2018.
Recently announcing Ryan Joseph Kirby of Fit For A King as their new manager, we took the occasion to have a chat with them. In this interview our editor-in-chief Alex had with TYLER TATE, vocalist for Hollow Front, we got to know the band a little better, we explored their fabulous formula of heaviness and melodic catchiness in STILL LIFE EP, plans for the future and more.
Our track by track review (Italian review) for STILL LIFE EP is available at: www.sickandsound.it/hollow-front-still-life-ep-la-brutalita-che-incontra-lemozione-alla-forgia-di-un-disco-imperdibile.
- Hello guys and very welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Let’s start off with a question to get to know HOLLOW FRONT. How has the band originally formed and what’s been your journey so far?
Thank you so much for having us! Hollow Front originally began in the summer of 2016, as a fun project with zero expectations of being taken seriously. We didn’t know it then, but it would become the most serious project any of us have ever been a part of.
Funny how it worked out that way, really.
I had quit music a few years prior, after twelve years of trying to breakout with a serious project. (Eleven bands to be exact.) And decided to cut my losses and focus on my personal life instead. But at the beginning of 2016, I went through a pretty nasty divorce. It was something that completely changed me as a person and set me on the path to finding the guys who helped create Hollow Front.
The other members were all off in other projects at this time, but as those began to disband they decided they wanted to start something new. So when they asked me to join this new band, I took the opportunity to get back into music and poured all my anger and sadness into my lyrics and vocals. Something I really had never done before, in my previous projects. We recorded our debut EP, “Homewrecker” fairly quickly after forming, and were rather surprised when people started taking notice of the band, pretty much immediately.
Our first EP, “Homewrecker,” was released in February 2017 and we pretty much started breaking our backs from then on. Over the following year, we began to play more and more local and regional shows, filmed a few music videos, signed to a small independent label (whom we are no longer affiliated with), lost and gained more than a few members, and began working on our follow-up to “Homewrecker.”
The first few months of 2018 were a really trying time for the band, to be honest. And we almost broke up more than once because of it. But after finalizing a member lineup that we truly felt was what the group always needed, we pushed forward despite our issues. And I honestly believe we came out better because of it. So In June of 2018, we released our second EP “Still Life” and finished off the year stronger than ever, embarking on our first couple of smaller tours.
- I’m catching up with you after reviewing your fabulous EP last summer 2018. So let’s talk about the lyrical themes or meanings behind the songs in STILL LIFE EP.
The lyrical themes on Still Life are rather personal for me. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression regularly throughout my life. But right before the band started I hit the lowest point I’ve ever been and have really struggled with it since. So all the lyrics are centered around loneliness and heartache and loss. Things I felt heavily during this period of time.
Still Life, the song itself, is about feeling stuck in your life. Trapped in a suffering you never thought you would be living. Being twenty something and watching all your friends find love and success and you’re still just floating along, lost and trying to find your way to a happiness you doubt will ever come.
I never wrote any lyrics with the intention of it being so relatable. All my songs are written as an extension of all the crazy thoughts inside my own head. But I’ve heard alot from fans about how the lyrics, and emotions behind them, have really connected with them and I’m super grateful for everyone who takes the time to read and connect with the lyrics, as well as the music. But it also saddens me how many people have felt as low as I have. I really wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone.
- What were some of your most listened to albums while writing and recording the EP and so what are your main influences?
I can’t speak for the rest of the band, but I listened to Bring Me the Horizon’s album “Sempiternal” alot during this time. Also The Plot in You’s album, “Happiness in Self-Destruction.” And always The Ghost Inside.
Other than that, my influences aren’t really at the forefront of my mind when writing my own material. I just try to do my own thing. And the rest of the guys do the same.
- How to achieve such a balanced sound between heaviness and catchiness, brutality and emotion? Let’s talk about the features that contribute to your signature sound.
I think, as a group, we just write music that we like and enjoy listening to. There’s never a discussion of what we should sound like, or what do we think other people want us to sound like. We just write what comes from the heart and it translates as this melting pot of different sub-genres that make-up the “Core” demographic.
Catchiness, on the other hand, has always been at the forefront of my mind. I truly believe in having those lyrics, and those instrumentals, that get stuck in your head. The chorus you have to listen to over and over again because you can’t get it out of your thoughts. That’s always my goal when writing parts. Make it as catchy as possible, without making it too repetitive and boring.
- You have announced an amazing news about Ryan Joseph Kirby of FIT FOR A KING who is now your manager. How was the collaboration brought together?
It’s honestly not that exciting of a story. He didn’t like see us at a show and crowd surf across the venue to introduce himself, or anything that cool like that. I’m pretty sure he saw us on a Reddit forum, on a thread including Fit For A King, and really liked what he heard and reached out in our emails, expressing interest in managing us.
We’re his first and only band at the moment, so the level of interaction between the band and him is very great. We chat all the time and have video calls with him weekly. So he’s very involved and it’s been amazing working with him thus far. We are really excited to see what we can accomplish together.
- How does is feel like to work with such an amazing musician and what expectations do you have in terms of seeing Hollow Front in let’s say, 5 years’ time?
As the old cliche goes, “The sky is the limit.” And I think that’s an accurate description of where Hollow Front could be in the next 5 years. We take this band very seriously and have worked hard for the little amount of success we’ve seen so far. And we will continue to grind it out on the road and in the studio. Keep releasing content and building our audience up. And would love to start touring full-time with some of these bands we have looked up to all these years. I, along with my band-mates, believe this is possible and with Ryan working alongside of us, anything is possible.
- What else can we expect in terms of music in 2019 from Hollow Front?
Without giving too much away. Definitely new music. Definitely more touring. We are going to keep working as hard as we can to make our dream come true. No matter what.
Thank you for having a chat with SICK AND SOUND. All the best for the promotion of your fantastic record and success for your future into metalcore. We will keep an eye on Hollow Front and longing for more music to be dropped in 2019.
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