Monday nights in New York City can be just as crazy as a Saturday in any other town in America. This past Monday I spent the beginning of my week banging my head to the music of some free wheeling, hard rock gunslingers from the Midwest who know how to do one thing very well, and that’s flat out rock.
3 Years Hollow, a hard rock band currently on a mini-Northeast and Midwest tour in support of their most recent album, The Cracks, are one of those bands who have been touring and cutting their teeth on the live circuit for the better half of a decade, and are just on the cusp of breaking it within the hard rock/metal music scene.
As their first ever show in New York City, 3 Years Hollow played The Studio at Webster Hall on this beautiful spring Monday. While all hell was breaking loose, James Blunt… James fucking Blunt sang whatever he sings these days in the main performance hall upstairs. Needless to say the real party was down in The Studio.
3 Years Hollow had the opening slot early on in the night, but that didn’t stop them from kicking things off with in your face energy and intensity. The band powered through their set featuring songs off the new album including ‘Remember’, which has been getting tons of airplay via SiriusXM Octane, followed up by ‘Chemical Ride’, ‘The Cracks’, and ‘For Life’. Each of which carry hit-single potential. Everything about their live show just sounded like the band was ready for the big leagues. From their energetic showmanship to guitarist Tony Reeves’ mincing guitar solos that even Mark Tremonti would be proud of.
I was able to sit down with lead singer of the band Jose Urquiza, whose subtle and almost rasping voice completely mislead me during our pre-show conversation. You would never guess he had the pipes to unleash such vocal hell and fury upon his listeners. We talked about the new album, touring, love of rock in the Midwest, and of course how Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery came in and worked with the band as a producer for The Cracks.
“It was amazing man!” Jose exuberantly remarked about working with one of his musical heroes. “Sevendust has been one of my favorite bands since I was about sixteen. So fast forward to me being twenty-eight and we get a phone call saying Clint’s coming to my house to stay with me for a week to co-write for our next record! There we were pacing around the basement waiting for him to show up, but once he showed up it just felt normal. His writing style really aligned with how we do things and our grooves were the same. It was that little co-writing project which ended up leading to him producing the whole record.”
Clint is even featured performing on the album as well, playing guitar on the song ‘For Life’
While the band is just beginning this new mini tour before the “big summer plans” really take the band into overdrive, they actually just finished up a month-long tour as the supporting act for hard rock veterans Saliva, which Jose was still ecstatic over.
“That was a good tour. It was the first time we had ever gone to the west coast as a band, and we’ve been together for about seven years. It was really cool to go play a lot of places we’ve never played before and it was a lot of fun playing with Saliva. Their fans really reacted well to our new songs.”
We both shared a laugh when I informed Jose that Saliva had been the opening act at the first big concert I’d ever been to- as back in 2003 they were on the bill when I saw Aerosmith and KISS headline PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey.
Although the album is fairly new and audiences around the country are hearing the songs for the first time, the material being played isn’t anything new for the band.
“We recorded half of (the album) two years ago and then saved the rest for a later release. Four of the songs on the record were on an EP we put out in 2012, which had been tracked and put together in my home studio. We used those same tracks to be remixed, re-mastered, and put on the new record. We didn’t really add anything new, because this time around we were so focused on the new songs we were adding to what would be the record. I mean ‘Remember’ and ‘Chemical Ride’ were some of the songs we wrote and recorded back in 2011-2012”.
As good as the new album sounds and as strong as the songs have been put together both artistically and commercially, Jose made it clear the band was not settling on anything they had done yesterday.
“We still haven’t had the opportunity for all five of us to really get together in a room and make music that represents who we currently are. Before we had label support it was always a long process for us because we’d write songs, but then not be able to get in the studio for like three years. This album sounds great, but looking forward we’re really excited for what the next album could be, as we’ll finally be able to sit down and finally work together as a group with one set project.”
As the band is beginning to find their voice and spread their wings, time will tell if and when they will break onto the national scene. What blows me away is how mature, and musically tight the group sounds for still being a relatively young band. Like their contemporaries in Chevelle, Disturbed, Black Stone Cherry, or even Sevendust, they are plowing a path that is proving to be a brute, metal force to be reckoned with. This band is winning fans over city-by-city with each and every performance. They’re pulling no punches and are all about business in making the musical statement that this band is here to flat out fucking rock.
Article by Tom Shackleford