Sunday 3 September 2017

INTERVIEW: When a Greekbastard chatted to Hollow Leg @ Psycho Las Vegas 18/08/2017

By: Greekbastard

Critically acclaimed doom/sludge metal band HOLLOW LEG returned with their new two track EP “Murder”, released via Argonauta Records on March 3 2017.  The EP, which consists of the band's strongest material to date featured new drummer John Stewart (Bloodlet/Caribou King) and would be reissued alongside their Argonauta Records debut album, to form the Crown “Murder Edition” on June 30th .  An enormously toned groove engine hailing from the highways between Deland and Jacksonville, Florida. HOLLOW LEG’S affinity for the roots of American Blues music and English metal has created a sound that has been compared to a mix of doom, sludge and traditional heavy metal, with shades of Sabbath, Crowbar, Eyehatgod, Weedeater and even Priest to be found in their material.

Establishing themselves as firm favourites here at THE SLUDGELORD, and following their announcement to play at this year’s Psycho Las Vegas in August, the band agreed to not only take over our instagram page, but our man Greekbastard hooked up with the band in Las Vegas to get the band’s impressions of the festival, how their announcement came about and what the future holds for this most awesome of bands.  Check out the interview in full below.  

So how did you guys end up on the festival?

Brent:     I believe I had some correspondents with the promoter previously from some of the California events that he had done. And then I kind of forgot about it. And just out of the blue I got an email asking if we wanted to play. It was really that simple. It was like one back and forth email pretty much. It was cool. We were really surprised and excited to do the show.

Cool. In addition to playing the festival, what are some of the bands you're looking forward to seeing?

Brent:     Definitely Melvins, Sleep, Royal Thunder. Seeing Dark Castle's going to be amazing because we got our start with those guys. We played our first shows with them and we're both on, so you know, old friends. And they haven't played in a while so we're looking forward to seeing them. Neurosis.

Basically every band. (laughs)

Brent:     Scott toured with Neurosis back in the day, but I haven't seen Neurosis in 20 years so I'm excited. Sumac, yep. Who else? King Diamond, of course.  Yeah, it's a really sick show. Unfortunately we missed Conan last night. I really wanted to see them. And we're going to miss Slomatics and I wanted to see Corrosion of Conformity too.

So what's Hollow Leg up to right now?

Brent:     This. (laughs). We just finished one and a half touring cycles. We did a record and an EP. We've done some touring for both of those releases. Most recently in June we did the East Coast for the Maryland Doom Fest. And then we're doing this, and we have some Florida shows we're going to do this year.

Scott:     Just for the friends coming down.

Brent:     Yeah, we have some friends coming down and there's going to be another festival in Jacksonville we're doing. And that's the end. We're going to be working on a new record after this show.

Scott:     We're already a few songs into it.

Brent:     Yeah.

Scott:     At least a few.

Brent:     Probably like eight in the works, so it's happening.

Cool. So you guys released your Murder EP and then re-released Crown with the Murder EP on Argonauta Records?

Brent:     Mm-hmm.

So how has Argonauta treated you guys so far?

Brent:     Great. He's never said no to us so that's like the biggest thing, you know?

Scott:     (laughs)

Brent:     If we have someone that wants to put out our shit and is just agreeable for pretty much ... If he's up for doing it, then it's awesome. He's been really easy to work with.

Scott:     Supportive.

Brent:     Supportive. Gets us press and ear up, which is great. It's been good. Like I said, it's more friendly than anything. It doesn't feel so much like business all the time, so that's an important thing for us. It's got to be ... Not casual, we do take this very seriously, but it's got to be kind of casual in a sense just because we all have family life too and we can't really put as much time and energy as a lot of other bands, so for him to understand that and go with us and support us knowing we can only tour so much is really cool. But he knows we want to do more too, so I think that's a big thing.

So when you guys aren't living the dream in Hollow Leg, what do you guys do to earn keep?

Brent:     You want to explain Scott?

Scott:     I work for a scenery company. We make sets for corporate shows or theaters or theme parks, stuff like that. Theme parks are a big deal in Atlanta, so that's where I work. It's easy to come and go from jack of all trades kind of thing. Little bit of carpentry, little bit of upholstery, little bit of painting and finishing. That's how I make my dollars.


Brent:     And I'm a chef for a country club. Our bass player Tom is a paralegal. And our drummer John works for the city of Orlando.

Brent:     Yeah.

Alright. I noticed you guys have done some short regional tours in the past, but are there any plans in the works of ever touring states - a full blown tour - or Europe?

Brent:     Yeah. We're waiting on the right opportunity, I guess, on those things. It's a lot of time and dedication to do those type of tours and we want to make sure it's a good one. Doing a DIY full US or Europe at this point of our lives slash careers is not really a thing we want to do. We can do ...

Scott:     We can do regional stuff. Ten day stuff in a row. If we could run all the way out to West Coast in ten days, great. If we could find a way to fly out here and play with our friends using their gear for ten days and ride in their van, great. That's the kind of stuff we can do right now. It would have to be an opportunity, chasing the bus around. We've eaten scraps and ... Being able to play in front of a bunch of people and sell some of our merch and actually meet some new people, that would be the kind of opportunity that would give us a ...

Brent:     If there's a bigger band that wants to take us to Europe or take us on a full US-

Scott:     We will chase the bus around.

Brent:     We will definitely jump at that opportunity.

Scott:     Yeah, yeah. For sure.

Brent:     It just hasn't been presented to us yet, or hasn't-

Scott:     Materialized. It hasn't materialized.

Brent:     The right one hasn't been presented to us.

So do you think this sludge metal scene has kind of slowed up because of unoriginality, or it being too redundant? Or do you think it's evolving into something better right now?

Brent:     I definitely see it evolving into something better. I don't see it ... I mean, sludge ... When I think of sludge I think of...

I mean like the stoner metal that's going on.

Brent:     Okay. All the stoner...

Yeah. I'm kind of encompassing all that stuff.

Brent:     Okay. Yeah. I think it's coming into something else. If you're going to just stick to a pure sludge or a pure stoner or a pure doom-

Scott:     It's going to get stale.

Brent:     It's going to deteriorate. It's going to become like ... You know, you have the A bands and then you're going to have the B bands and then you're going to have the C bands and the D bands and so on. But if all those sounds kind of morph into something different, and then you're also taking from other outside stuff, like an old school British metal, or more hard rock sound, or even I heard more country stoner, country doom-y bands, it's like ... That's what's going to make it into something a little different. I think bands now are starting to cross-pollinate a little bit more. I know certainly that's not what we try to do, but we definitely fit in that because we have so many different things. But at the end of the day it's all fucking Sabbath worshipers. It really is. It's all based on those riffs. And that's what you always go back to. It's like, what would Iommi do?

Scott:     Yeah.

Brent:     You know what I mean? It always goes back to that. If it doesn't sound like something Sabbath would do, fucking scrap it.

Scott:     (laughs)


Brent:     It's really not worth it.

With Hollow Leg being based out of Florida, what do you like about Florida? What don't you like about Florida?

Brent:     We're really divided about this. Good question though. As a Florida native, you want to...

Scott:     I like and hate that it's isolated from the rest of the world. A lot of tours won't even come down. They'll get to Atlanta and just shoot over to New Orleans, and I totally understand that, being from there as well. But I like that it's isolated in that it has its own sense of community and we can come up with some really cool shit that's not really necessarily attached to anything else because it doesn't always come down that far. It's really regional - in my mind, anyway. Stuff can come out of there, a place that's isolated in that way. That's what I like and dislike about it. But I think we have a really good ... Nowadays it feels to me - and I don't know if it's just how I'm engaged in it right now, but it seems that I've seen in Florida is driving. Wouldn't you say?

Brent:     There's a lot of really good bands down there. And I agree with the community thing. Having been in bands in Chicago and Massachusetts, Florida's way cooler of a music community for heavy bands.

Scott:     Everybody knows everybody.

Brent:     Yep. And because it is isolated and we don't get maybe as a many national tours as other places, we do a lot of shows together.

Scott:     Mm-hmm.

Brent:     And it's like let's put five of the best bands in the area on one bill together and get some heads out and just have some fun. And there's a really cool vibe like that. A lot of DIY venues have popped up over the years, people just wanting to put on shows. And now it's grown into a fest situation, where every city and promoter have their own festivals now. And all the bands are doing that, so that's become kind of a cool thing. It's super incestuous. Everybody's been there with other bands.

Scott:     (laughs) There's only so many people that can fit down there.

Brent:     Yeah. This guy's putting out everybody else's records.

Scott:     Yeah, yeah.

Brent:     This guy does all the tee shirts. This guy does all the art for the shows.  Yeah, it's a cool community. Oh, you have a studio...

Scott:     It reminds me of New Orleans in that way too. That place ... kind of likes living in that way too.

Brent:     Mm-hmm.

So what don't you like about Florida?

Brent:     Oh.

Scott:     (laughs)

Brent:     Being a Northerner-

Scott:     Oh, right there!

Brent:     It's a little slow for my taste. It's a slower pace, which probably effects why the music is the way it is. But just in general, it's a slower pace, and I'm not the most patient person on the planet. So the driving is fucking awful. The heat during the summer is just brutal. I mean, June to September, you pretty much can't leave your house because it's so humid and it rains all the damn time. And it's basically like Norway in the winter - Florida in the summer. Same thing. High suicide rate. Can't leave your fucking house. For me, I'm not used to it. I'm still not used to it. I've lived in Florida for almost ten years. But I love the music community. I love the people that I've met down there. Down to earth, real people. I dig that. You don't get that in a lot of other places. People are very disingenuous in general, especially in the music scene. "Oh, you guys are tiny. This band looks tiny." You know, that type of bullshit.

Scott:     "Really exciting. Can we borrow your head?"

Brent:     Yeah. That's not that type of vibe. Everybody wears each other's shirts down there, and it's a real genuine love for the other bands.

So are you guys planning on gambling while you're here, and if so, what do you guys play?

Scott:     If I did, I'd play Roulette or something where I could just sit for hours and drink.

Brent:     But no we probably won't gamble. We brought money for weed.

Scott:     Yeah, legal weed. That's right. I smoke fucking weed and that's all, dude. No gambling.

Brent:     Yeah.

Scott:     Just shows, man. Just shows.

Alright. Here's the big question right here.

Scott:     Oh man.

Which member of Hollow Leg do you predict is going to go all out Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and why do you say that?

Brent:     I don't know...

Scott:     Don't look at me. It's Tommy.

Brent:     (laughing) It's probably Tommy.

Scott:     Tequila Toe Tom.

Brent:     Yeah, I mean.

Scott:     I don't know. What time is it right now? We're all here to party. We're here to party.

Which member's the wild card that, like, we're really keeping track on.

Scott:     Tommy.

Brent:     Probably our bass player Tom.

Scott:     When he turns it on, dude, he turns it on.

Brent:     This is like Disneyland for him.

Scott:     (laughs)

Brent:     Anywhere that's like legal weed...

Scott:     Gambling too.

Brent:     You see a smile ear to ear. He's the guy.

Scott:     He woke up this morning, the first thing he said was weed.

(laughs) Weed.

Scott:     Yeah, yeah. And then the second thing he said was tequila, so.


Brent:     But it's on. We came Thursday night to play on Saturday afternoon, so it's on. We're here to party and enjoy some bands and fucking hang out with people that we haven't see in a while - or see all the time, but we're here to party with them. It's just a fun fucking environment. What a great idea.

Scott:     Yeah, right.

Brent:     It's a real cool thing. Just from the shit I've seen online too, it seems like there's a lot of repeat people from last year who have come back to do the same thing, see their friends. It's almost like a camp in a way.

Scott:     Yeah, it is.

Brent:     It's like a weekend metal camp for people that like...

Scott:     Tip this place over.

Brent:     And now you're seeing it at other festivals too. There's a lot of people here this weekend that we met at Maryland Doom Fest either last year of the year before, that are like doing the festival circuit, regardless of whether they work for some kind of media faction or not, if they're here working a publication, or they're just fans. And a lot of the bands are the same too. Our day at Maryland Doom Fest this year, we had Heavy Temple and The Skull on our day. They're playing the same day, same stage with us here.

Scott:     Yeah.

Brent:     So it's cool. It's really cool. Stoked to be a part of it. We're all going to party our faces off for sure.

Scott:     Yeah. It's not going to stop.

The End

Band info: bandcamp || facebook