Introduce yourselves – where are you from and who plays what?
Justin Aaronson – Drums, percussion vocals
Jeffrey Kurtze – Bass
Daniel Kwiatkowski – banjo, electric and acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals
Rob Morrison – mandolin, slide guitar, electric guitar and acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals
David Paarlberg – keyboards, trumpet, accordion, harmonica, acoustic guitar, vocals
Erik Saxvik – acoustic guitar and electric guitar, keyboards, vocals
How would you describe your sound and style?
Our sound is constantly evolving; there’s a strong sense of play within genres. We have these traditional instruments, and often these simple songs, but then we turn them on their heads and say, “Yes, this is kind of bluegrass but it’s also part progressive rock,” or, “Yes, this is a country song, but it’s also gospel and rock n roll. This song is a driving song, but it’s also desert rock.” We love traditional American music forms, and our strength is pulling them apart and seeing what kind of hybrids we can come up with. We also try to put out a vibe of “let your worries slip away and let yourself go.” Our music makes us feel good and we want it to make you feel good. We just want everybody to have a great time.
You’ll be heading along to SXSW 2013 – what are you looking forward to most?
Getting lost. Living in NYC, it’s easy to get distracted by the hectic pace of life. Everyone has his day-job and everyone has a whole other huge pile of responsibilities in his life, and yet we somehow manage to maintain focus and continue on with making The Hollows a success. Getting all six of our schedules to line up can sometimes be the hardest part of this venture. What we’re most looking forward to is literally being locked in an RV with each other for 11 days and doing nothing but playing music… and not having to schedule when we’re going to see our best friends.
What are you hoping to take away from attending this year?
We’re excited to get a taste of what’s going on in the rest of the industry. We want to know what other bands are doing and what their plans are for the future. We’d really like to make a lot more contacts for future touring. The only way we’ve been able to make this trip possible is through the people and bands we’ve met paying throughout the city.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received [or given] to “take on” SXSW?
Multiple people have advised us to “be prepared to be totally unprepared.” We’re a pretty chill group of guys who have made any number of last-minute adjustments with so many gigs it’s hard to even count. That’s what live performance is all about; rolling with it and just making it work. So in a sense we’re trying to be as unprepared as we can be.
Are there any other bands you are looking forward to seeing?
We’ve got a whole bunch of other NYC acts down there that we’ve crossed paths with along the way. It’s going be great seeing so many familiar faces in a totally unfamiliar city.
Where can people catch your sets at SXSW?
We have a rooftop gig at Blind Pig Pub at 2:40pm on March 14th, and on March 15th we will be at Papi Tino’s at midnight. You can also probably find us busking on the street– stay tuned to our website (www.thehollowsonline.com) or our socials for info on any other gigs that may pop up.
Alternatively, for those not attending this year – where can our readers check out your music?
We’re on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube– the whole shebang. We’re also in the midst of an interactive fundraiser while we’re on tour, so there will be all sorts of direct-to-fan content there; even if you’re not attending SXSW, you can still join us for the ride. That’s all over at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thehollows. If interested parties are near NYC, there’s a pretty good chance they can catch us anytime; we gig there regularly. All show listings (NYC and elsewhere) will be on our website– www.thehollowsonline.com