Interview: Our Hollow, Our Home

Anyone with a passing interest in UK metalcore will tell you it is a scene dominated by stereotypical and formulaic bands. While the likes of Architects and Bury Tomorrow have succeeded, breaking out of underground and playing clubs, there are those who lack an identity. Nevertheless, there are a handful of bands who have the potential to follow suit and lead a new wave of UK metalcore bands. Therefore, we would like to introduce you to Our Hollow, Our Home.

Formed in Southampton just over four years ago, the quintet takes great pride in representing the metalcore scene with their debut LP. ‘Hartsick’ embraces commonplaced elements of the genre; a mix of clean and aggressive vocals, breakdowns and domineering drum work. The result is an effective and strong debut record.

“When we formed we were just five guys all from varying backgrounds and situations who shared a similar passion and overall goal to create heavy music,” explains vocalist Connor Hallisey. “Most importantly, we wanted to write the music that we wanted to hear to ourselves. The line-up has seen a couple of changes since then, but our goal remains unchanged and is something we are always striving to achieve.

I think the best way to sum up the album is to say it’s the most polished version of the sound that we laid the foundations of in our 2015 EP ’//Redefine’. We wanted to put our own spin on the traditional metalcore sound, and although it’s a hard genre to truly stand out in, we feel the record stands its own ground and truly does speak for itself.”

In the years between their formation and ‘Hartsick’, the coastal five-piece have honing their sound whilst simultaneously building a following through various tours and single and EP releases. However, their debut full-length has been their main priority over the past 12 months. In the days leading up to ‘Hartsick’’s release, we asked Connor how the band were feeling about its impending release. He responded by saying, “we spent almost the entirety of 2016 writing and recording the project, and when you spend that much time working on something you’re super passionate about, you can’t help but get a few mixed emotions in the anticipation of its release.”

For any band, a debut album is an achievement especially when you’re unsigned and self-financed like Our Hollow, Our Home. “As an unsigned artist with no financial backing, it can get a little tough at times trying to juggle full-time work along with touring and throwing an album into the mix,” states Hallisey.

In the months leading up to the release of ‘Hartsick’, the inevitable smattering of singles has seen the band gain more attention with each track released; the thriving ‘Worms Wood’ hit six digit figures within three days of its release, an impressive feat for an unsigned band who have spent more time in the studio than on the road.

When we asked Connor to comment on the positive response so far, he said “we have some amazing fans and the support we have received in the run-up to the album’s release has been nothing short of humbling. We honestly have been at a loss for words several times over the last few months with the reactions we’ve received to our latest material, so if anything, it just makes us more excited to see what they think after listening to the album in full!”

For all its praise, it is easy to see why some may consider Our Hollow, Our Home as “just another melodic metalcore band,” yet it’s an issue Hallisey and company aren’t fazed by. “It’s not something we think about that much really. We love the genre and just write and play the music we love, if people dig it then that’s sick, if people want to write it off before giving it a chance, that’s cool too. You’re never going to please everyone in this industry, especially within the metal genre and it’s many subsidiaries, but as cliché as it sounds, we do this for the love and passion of the music and not a lot else.”

It is no doubt that the quintet’s passion has been poured into the 13 songs that make up ‘Hartsick’. Throughout, Hallisey’s growls add to the monster riffs supplied by Josh White and Toby Young along with Nick Taliadoros’ brazen drums. Whereas on the title track and the aforementioned ‘Worms Wood’, Young’s clean, soaring melodies contribute to the bold, nearly cinematic, tone of the record. Ultimately, it is a record that doesn’t hold back, both musically and lyrically. Beyond the dense instrumentation and large hooks, ‘Hartsick’ carries plenty of substance as it covers subjects such as lost of loved ones, toxic relationships, blind faith, and mental health.

In regards to being part of a new wave of UK metalcore, Connor suggests the genre is no longer confined to the characteristics many have identified it by in recent years. “I think it has seen something of a resurgence as of late, and in a broader sense, there will always be innovative new artists breaking down barriers within genres and paving the way for more artists to push through into the spotlight. The UK scene is the strongest it has been for a long time now, and bands like Carcer City and Shields are truly flying the metal flag high at the moment.”

With ‘Hartsick’ being out in the open by the time you read this, Our Hollow, Our Home’s focus will turn towards the road. Having sacrificed most of 2016 to the making of the record, they’re looking to rectify their negligence to touring. “We are going all out this year, playing as many places as we possibly can in support of ‘Hartsick’” proclaims Hallisey. He continues “we neglected the touring aspect of being in a band a little more than we would’ve liked to, but this year we aim to rectify that.”

Having previously played alongside The Amity Affliction, In Hearts Wake, and Hacktivist, in addition to a handful of festival spots, OHOH now have the opportunity to continue their growth with a headline tour set to take place in the coming weeks. “I think you’ll see how much we’ve poured into this band on this tour. We’ve worked relentlessly,” states guitarist Josh White. “We like a lot of energy in our sets, and try the best we can to get everyone involved. Our aim is just to go out and have fun.”

‘Hartsick’ by Our Hollow, Our Home is out now on Hollow Music.

Our Hollow, Our Home links: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

March (with Sworn Amongst)
Fri 24th 229 The Venue, London
Sat 25th The Key Club, Leeds
Sun 26th The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield
Mon 27th Jumpin’ Jacks, Newcastle
Tue 28th La Belle Angele, Edinburgh
Wed 29th Ivory Blacks, Glasgow
Thu 30th The Parish, Huddersfield
Fri 31st The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Sat 1st Hobos, Bridgend
Sun 2nd Underground, Plymouth
Fri 7th Joiners, Southampton

Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)

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