HOLLOWSTAR – Interview (Feature)

Hollowstar- Band (courtesy of Volcanic Rock Photography)

In advance of reading the interview below I thought I would give readers a chance to have some background leading up to it. I was originally going to interview them around 7pm. However due to traffic problems the sound engineer on the night arrived a little late causing things to fall behind time. The band came up and apologized for the delay. They suggested doing the interview in the actual gig hall before the doors opened after all the soundchecks. Then they realized that could make the doors late so they asked if I would be happy to chat in the stairwell next door to the venue leading up to the flat where the band were staying on the night. They did everything to try and make sure that we here at Decibel Geek got to have the chance to do the interview, for which I am truly grateful. I recorded the interview on a phone and different members spoke at different moments so most of the answers will just be recorded as “band” rather than the individuals. So let’s get onto the interview…

TC… Can I start by asking about how the band formed and a bit of background in general?

Band… (Joe vocalist/bassist starts) It was about four years ago really. Me and Jack (his brother and drummer) had been traveling for a while. At that time Tom and Phil (guitarists) had been working together. We decided to at the same time to come back and give the band a go. The 2 guys had been working hard doing things together on guitars. Now both Jack, Phil and myself had been in a band when we were younger so we started speaking again. When we saw Tom play we were sold, and it was born from there really. Just 4 of us having the same crazy idea at the same time.

TC… So it has been the same 4 guys over the 4 years?

Band… Yeah! The thing for us is that we weren’t in any rush but that we all knew what we wanted from the start. We all wanted to make an album that we would want to listen to ourselves, we luckily found along the way people who are enjoying what we do and that is a MASSIVE bonus as we have created something we are dead proud of so it is all very overwhelming.

TC… What would you say are your main influences?

Joe Bonson: Onstage at Bannerman’s Bar

Band… It’s different, as if you ask each of us, in turn, you would get different answers. Obviously, we have a love of classic rock like Led ZepThe WhoQueenAC/DCthat sort of thing, …Guns And Roses… but also modern bands such as Alter Bridge andBlack Stone Cherry. That is kind of thing we are listening to now. We have a wide range between us. We are all quite eclectic with us all listening to all sorts of genres depending on the time of day or the mood we might be in.

TC… do you come from families that are musical? Do you have rock parents?

Band… (Joe begins) Phil‘s parents played, or at least his dad did, Tom‘s uncle taught him to play, Jack and I, our dad just lived for music, he didn’t play, but he was always front of a stage supporting bands. Kind of the other side of things, he loved it but didn’t play. Having musical families I suppose can drive you, whatever your parents do is bound to have some kind of influence on you as you get older. (Pauses…)

It is great to be able to get a chance to do something like this to be honest!

TC… Is this your first time in Edinburgh?

Band… We have played Bannerman’s before, when we played with Graham Bonnetlast year I think (cries of “Yes” and “August” from others). We have been to Scotland a few times and will be back again a few times later in year for things like Wildfire and Winterstorm ( festivals here in June and November respectively) so becoming regulars (laughs)

TC… Who else have you toured with?

Band… Been lucky enough to tour with as said Graham BonnetDan Reed which Mason Hillwere on as well.  This is our third tour really due to supports. We also did a few shows before with The King Lot (who were helping out doing a local support on the night in Bannerman’s Bar). Oh! And 3 dates with Stone Broken. That was good. This is our first headline tour though.

TC… You have a new album out which I think is brilliant, I really like it. Good songs, and what a great voice (at this point Joe said “thank you“) seriously good by the way (Joe laughs and interjects with “last night of the run, so we will see about that later, got to try and get on form for it” ).

Phil Haines and Tom Collett: live Bannerman’s Bar

TC… I know you do a Free cover, I take it Paul Rodgers is an influence? Is that the only cover you do these days?

Band… (JoeI will take that as a compliment, I am a massive fan. He was an influence when I was younger and is still now. Also Gary Moore. The first proper gig Phil and me went to was Gary Moore at the Cambridge Corn Exchange and he did an incredible version of “Wishing Well“. We just wanted to do our own rocking version of it. Now it is the only cover we do as it is all originals these days. We are playing the album in its entirety but not in the running order of course. That and a few tracks from the EP we released back in 2017 (called “Some Things Matter“)

TC… Are there any bands you would like to tour with?

Band… Alter Bridge (the band are all saying either yeah or yes at this answer). That’s got to be high up the list. They are a massive influence. Mark Tremonti is especially to Tom (Tom nods and says “yeah“). The best thing for us being at the level we are is getting to work with folks like Florence Black (main support on their tour) and Mason HillStone Broken, so we are doing this with bands we are actually listening to at the moment. It is a beautiful time to be doing this really.

TC… I have noticed here in Scotland that bands seem to be keen to help and support each other at the moment which is cool.

BandThat is what it is all about. We are all doing the same things, working, touring. As a band we don’t want to tread on other people’s toes. We shouldn’t. We are all here to help each other. If a band, for instance, had a question about something that we knew the answer to then we will help with answers. The key to all this scene is helping each other. Helping the scene grow together, to blossom in the future. It is looking like an exciting future at the moment and is a good time to be in a band.

TC… You have had some radio airplay I believe? Including BBC radio 2?

Band… Yes! TWICE! (laughs) It is crazy to hear mainstream radio getting behind our stuff. Planet Rock have been championing us as well, as well as guys like yourselves, taking time out to chat with us. It is completely humbling. There isn’t a day goes by where this is lost on us by the way. It is so very much appreciated.

TC… Believe me, I am gobsmacked getting away with being able to do this, chat with guys like yourselves, you taking time out to speak with us, getting to review artists, seeing and hearing so much talent, I feel very lucky to be so involved, especially having the company of such lovely people….

Band… (jump in) We look at this as a big family. For us, as soon as fans come to the gig we try to welcome you, and spend time with you, especially as fans have taken the time out to come and see us, spending their good money as well. We like to try and repay that by spending as much time with folks as possible.

TC… So what is next for you guys? I know the album is not long out, but have you got anything hidden away for another record?

Band… We have a festival next weekend then it is all over the shop. Going to Wales a couple of times, once to support Bernie Marsden (ex Whitesnakeand to play Steelhouse Festival. Then more festivals up here as we mentioned along with Hard Rock Hell and Planet Rockstock. Exciting time just now. We just need to work out how to keep it going and building. It has been so much fun and we don’t want it to stop! Musically we have a few things bouncing around but we will have to wait and see what will become of it. 

At this point we had some general chat about plans, the feasibility of playing in Europe (Sweden Rock Festival is one they like the look of… so Sweden Rock Festover to you,)  and the gig to come.

My thanks along with Decibel Geek to the guys in the band Hollowstar along with their management/promotion people for organizing the time for an interview. The guys were really good to chat with, very humble and full of enthusiasm not only for themselves but for the rock scene itself. It was a delight to spend some time with them and we wish them all the best in the future!

Band Website

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