Hollowstar: ‘we wanted to release an album that we wanted to listen to!’

Hollowstar have been around the UK underground rock scene for a few years now, establishing themselves as one of the leading lights of NWOCR. They stormed Rockin’ The Bowl Festival last month and we managed to get a quick interview with them before their set, which you can check out below!

So, how do you feel about your upcoming set?

It’s exciting. We’ve done a few gigs since lockdown but to get back to the normal festival scene is great. We love doing festivals so… yeah, exited is the word!

I’m hoping it stays dry! At the moment it’s nice, slightly grey… but no it’s a good lineup, the Massive Wagons guys are good fun too and obviously Collateral are on stage at the moment so it’s good to see all the friends again! We’ve spent years and years building this scene up together and for two years we haven’t seen anybody. And that’s not just the bands but the fans as well, it’s just nice to be back out here and joining in again.

Have you played with some of the other bands on the lineup before, then?

Most of them! We run in the same circuit all the time. Collateral we’ve probably seen more than any other band since Covid, we seem to be doing all the same post-Covid stuff. And to be honest the guitarist, Stephen, of Massive Wagons was one of my drinking buddies through lockdown through Zoom, so we’ve had a good year and a half sat in our lounges getting drunk together,

Are you on tour at the moment?

Yes!

It’s with Mason Hill, isn’t it?

Yeah so we’ve done the Scottish leg of it and then we’ve had a week off, an then we’re back out again on Tuesday, at Cambridge Junction. And then back in Sheffield again on Wednesday actually! All over the gaff.

I think a yo-yo player booked it!

So you released your debut album in 2019, how was that?

It was good! More of a relief for us. We’ve been working on doing our own stuff for a number of years and we’ve always said to each other we wanted to release an album that we wanted to listen to and it’s been an absolute bonus to get the people behind us. People enjoy it as much as we do! I couldn’t say that these days I play it as much as I did but… it was great to get it out there. A hard bit of labour and a lot of blood, sweat and tears… maybe not so much blood but… it was nice to finally release it and now we’re excited for the new music we’re working on so…

Have you got a new album coming out then?

We’re writing at the moment. We’re about halfway through the writing process so getting the ideas together. We tend to write a bunch of songs, then we’ll sit down for a couple of evenings, have a couple of beers and go through and pick the ones that we like. Get a bit of a listening party together. Then start really strengthening up what’s going on the album, what can maybe be worked on a bit stronger, so it’s still early days, but we well into the journey of it, shall we say.

When you released your album in 2019, did you have any tour plans having to be postponed for the following year?

In 2019 we did manage to do the tour. And on top of that we lucky enough so when we’d done our headline tour we had some things booked in towards the end and we were lucky enough to jump on the Skid Row tour, so we took our album to Europe and the rest of the UK, pretty much filled the city’s that we didn’t do on our headline tour so it worked out perfectly.

Come 2020 when we were really ramping things up, everything shut down, so it was horrible to see the scene get flipped upside-down, but it has also allowed us the time to start working on things in different ways, so chucking ideas around and sending each other their ideas and bouncing back so…

We’ve had to work in a bit of a different way as obviously we couldn’t get together and write songs and practice so Phil would record in his bedroom and ping it over to me and then I’d record mine and send it back to him. It’s all done digitally and it’s been a bit of a learning curve for us but yeah, it’s been interesting!

Are there any bands that you draw inspiration from?

Loads. We all listen such a broad range. If you’d have been listening to what we were listening to on the way here you’d get a mix of screamo metal to Hall & Oats so you’ve got a bit of everything in there. Phil’s always been very guitarist driven so that’s where his inspiration comes from and Dan’s the same I imagine. I mean I can’t speak for these guys but mine was always the frontman so Danny Bowes of Thunder, it’s rock’n’roll with a smile on its face, so when I jump on stage I like to make… it’s a party. Whether you’re that side or on stage it’s a big party… and I get to join in! Jack, yourself?

Well I mean the classic drummers I why I learnt the drums, your John Bonham’s, your Keith Moon’s back in the day. More modern things like Halestorm, big fan of Arjay Hale, John Fred Young of Black Stone Cherry, massive massive fan of those.

The biggest change with Covid is that Carl is in the circle. Before Covid we had us guys and Tom. Covid has left Tom taking his life in a different direction so the biggest change is that Carl’s now come in and taken over the guitar mantel side of things, which has allowed us to put a new spin on the new songs for the second album.

What would you say you’ve brought to the table?

Good looks! I don’t know. I’m quite a versatile guitarist, I used to play a lot of indie stuff so going into the rock stuff… I watched these guys for seven years so when I got a phone call and got asked to join it was actually quite an honour really because I used to watch them every week so I knew these guys were real good. So yeah, it was really nice to be asked and hopefully I can bring something to the table, we’ll see on album two!

The good thing is it’s nice to see. I mean Tom was a great guitarist but in terms of performance he had a very static persona about him so he was head down and grunt and go for it. Carl is a lot more like Phil is which is I turn round and they’re bouncing around behind me like wild animals, so it brings a new energy and a new angle to the songs to what we had before I think.

So, what’s next for the band?

Well, obviously we’ve got the Mason Hill tour so another two or three weeks of that. Then, heads down, get cracking on with this new album. And then we’ve got a couple more festivals this year: Winter Storm, Gravity Fest, Cornwall Rocks. So yeah, we get this year out of the way, as such, and then it’s literally heads down, let’s focus on the new album and get a PR plan in place and get the right team behind us and launch it as we should.

Check out the band live whenever you can, as their set at the festival was awesome, and their studio work is awesome too!

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