Hollow Front are on the verge of releasing something immensely powerful. Known for their soaring choruses mixed in with earth-shattering breakdowns, the band has been making a mark on the scene since their inception. Their 2020 album “Loose Threads” was a pivotal moment for them, their first full-length album. It was widely lauded, and proved to the metal world that their intentions of being a lasting force in the scene were genuine and fuelled by passion.
Almost immediately after “Loose Threads” was released, the band didn’t waste any time. Writing for the new album began, and fans couldn’t have been more excited. As we move closer and closer to the release of this huge album “The Price of Dreaming“, Sonic Perspectives writer Josh Muncke fired some questions over to them whilst they were on tour with Fit For A King, Silent Planet and Avoid. From exploring their writing process, the addition of Lee Albrecht to the band, and touring after covid, there was a lot to chat about.
Pre-order “The Price of Dreaming” HERE.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions gentlemen! First of all, after all this covid captivity, how amazing has it felt to be performing live for your fans again?
It’s been absolutely amazing. We’ve done two tours now since live shows have returned and it still feels surreal. This is something all of us have been dreaming of doing since we were kids, so it’s great to finally be fulfilling those lifelong dreams.
The fans have been nothing but kind and supportive to us and it’s honestly the best part of touring; meeting and conversing with the people who kept us going through the pandemic. The amount of fans who come to see us is honestly staggering and we just are so grateful for them all. Taking pictures, signing merch, and getting to personally know the ones who are supporting us, is very humbling and something we cherish about touring.
How has it been touring with the legends in Fit For A King, Silent Planet and Avoid?
It was definitely a highlight for our career. Every band on the tour was absolutely solid every single night. They treated us with so much love and respect. They’re some of the most beautiful human beings we’ve met in the industry and we can’t wait to tour with any of them again. The tour is over now, but we’re still so appreciative of the opportunity we were given. It was also really awesome finally touring with our manager, Ryan Kirby. He’s been such a rock for us these past 3 years and getting the chance to tour with him and learn even more than we already have, was something we’ll never forget.
May 27th, the release date for your brand new album “The Price of Dreaming” is rapidly approaching. With everything that has happened over the last two years, good and bad, what does this album mean to you all individually, and as a band?
This album is definitely a pinnacle moment for us as a band. We’ve gone through a lot since starting in 2016 and we feel like this album truly encompasses our authenticity when it comes to being full time touring musicians. “The Price of Dreaming” is more than just an album to us, or just a follow up to our previous stuff, it’s a statement that we needed to make to show how serious we are in cementing Hollow Front as a mainstay in the metalcore industry. We worked really hard on every song and put everything we had into writing this record and we truly feel like it paid off for us.
Speaking of the good things that have happened, your long-time friend and producer Lee Albrecht became a part of the Hollow Front family about a year ago! Aside from bringing an insane level of talent to the guitar components, how has it been having him involved in every aspect of the band?
Most people don’t know that Lee and HF have been working together since “Homewrecker” (EP). He’s always been writing with us. A lot of our earliest songs were written by him. So having him join the band just felt like the correct next step for us as a group. He’s one of the most talented writers we’ve ever known and he’s played a critical role in the sound we have established.
Other than that, not much has changed since his joining. Lee will always play more of a role in the production side of our music, than the live side. So that means he doesn’t tour with us for the time being, since he’s busy with his studio and his newborn daughter. While touring isn’t ideal for him at the moment, he’ll be playing more one-off shows with us and will eventually hop on some tours with us for a week or two at a time.
So, let’s dive into your astounding new record “The Price Of Dreaming“. When did the writing process for this album begin?
We started writing “TPOD” fairly soon after the release of our 2020 album “Loose Threads”. It was late summer of 2020 when we wrote “Treading Water” and that really kickstarted the process for this new album. We knew we wanted to showcase more of our melodic and energetic side as opposed to our heavy and brutal side. We just wanted to write good songs and stay true to who we are as artists. So we spent the next month and a half at Lee’s studio writing the instrumentals for the album, which we would then take with us to Atrium Audio in Feb of 2021.
There has been a constant evolution and maturity in the Hollow Front sound as each record has come out. There’s also a tonne of versatility, yet the core identity of Hollow Front is never lost. What’s your experience in feeling or recognizing pressure to outdo your previous works, whether it’s from within yourselves or your fans?
I think we were pretty conscious of the pressure when we started writing this album. “Loose Threads” was a major success for us and being freshly signed to UNFD we felt like we had something to prove. But it was a fairly easy and painless process once we started. I think the excitement of our last album’s success, and the opportunities we were being presented, really inspired us to grind harder than ever before and write a better album than our last one to prove we could.
First and foremost, we wanted to write a solid record that never repeated itself. We wanted every song to sound different but still have that core Hollow Front sound. We also tried our best to retain as much authenticity as possible, when writing the lyrics and themes behind each song. We want to stay relatable with our music but continue to bring in new fans with our music and the honesty behind our lyrics.
But at the end of the day, we’re writing these songs for us. We just have to hope that the fans love them as much as we do.
Tyler and Dakota, your vocals are among the best in this genre, and I’ll die on that hill. What is more impressive is the level of chemistry that exists between your contrasted vocal styles. We saw a great combination of Tyler’s rough vocals and Dakota’s soulful cleans throughout “Loose Threads”, but in “The Price Of Dreaming” there is a whole new level of symbiosis. The duets and call-and-responses are incredibly unique, and essentially quite beautiful in many ways. Is this something that you have both been actively working on together, or just a natural development of your dedicated teamwork over the years?
Dakota – I’d say it’s been natural development that comes with the territory. Through the years of us working together to put a cohesive story or theme, it’s felt very smooth coming up with proper transitioning between our songwriting simply by sharing feelings, ideas, and coming together to be on the same wavelength when it comes to the message we’re expressing
Tyler – I think it came pretty naturally to us. It’s not something we really work on. We work very well together when we’re coming up with ideas or themes that we want to explore. Then Dakota will usually go off and write his parts and I will go off and write my parts, then we’ll come together and record. But there are those moments when we are collaborating on something that needs help and it just works so well on every level.
Dakota is the first vocalist I’ve ever worked with in a band before. I’m used to being the only one up there doing vocals. And I think that intimidated me at the beginning of working with him, because I knew Dakota was amazing, but I didn’t know how well we would mesh, and I was just hoping our different vocal styles would work together. But once we wrote our first song with him on vocals with me, all my worries dissipated and I knew we were going to be a solid duo; and I think it has only become more solid as time has passed. We really tried our hardest to prove that on this new record. And I personally think we do.
In the music video for the title track “The Price Of Dreaming” you chose the character of an aspiring ballet dancer to illustrate your concept of giving everything up in pursuit of a goal, no matter the cost. Needless to say, the whole thing brought a tear to my eye. What was the motivation for choosing the ballerina and her story to illustrate your concept?
We really wanted to showcase a beautiful, but turbulent mother/daughter relationship. Most of our videos featured male lead actors and our first goal was to put the spotlight on a strong female character who sacrifices a lot of time with her family in pursuit of her dream and her struggle of balancing those two lives. The premise itself definitely mirrors our lives as touring musicians. We lose time with our loved ones while we are out on the road, and even when we’re home our band takes up a lot of our time and effort. So that’s something we deal with on a regular basis and it can take its toll on those relationships.
I think we chose ballet because of how beautiful an art form it is. The idea that there would be this huge scene of her dancing at the end, with her ex husband and daughter watching her from the audience, just felt super emotional and is something we haven’t done before. We wanted to bring a happy end to what is otherwise a sad music video. Because she spends most of the video in conflict with her family, due to the fact she chooses to follow her dreams. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love and care for them. She just has the burning desire to do what she truly loves, even if it’s the hardest thing she’s ever done, which I think parallels our own journey as musicians and the theme of our new album, perfectly.
Brandon, your contribution to the upcoming album is huge and heavy, adding a massive thickness to the sound that was already overwhelming. It’s great to hear you stand out almost immediately, punching away in the rhythms of the opening track “In The Spotlight”. What are a few tracks off of the new record that you absolutely love to play? Which ones are the most difficult to play?
That’s a hard question because I love playing most of them for their own reasons, but if I had to pick a few I would probably say, “The Price of Dreaming”, “Changeling”, and “Heritage”, the hardest song to play has to be “Treading Water”, because it has some of the most technical parts, I do still love playing it though.
Hollow Front have always put out music with a deeply powerful message, something that people can resonate with in the most sensitive and personal ways. With “The Price of Dreaming”, what do you want to communicate to your fans? How would you hope that they digest this new record?
Definitely that following your dreams is a tough, but fulfilling road. There’s nothing easy about becoming successful with what you love to do. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, with plenty of sacrifices that have to be made in order to achieve them. The burning desire to live your life on your own terms, regardless of what the world says you should do, is something that is very hard to shake, especially for artists. It eats away at most of us for the majority of our time on this earth. And I think the question we pose for the listeners is: do we want to look back at the end of our lives and regret not even trying to live up to our own potential? There’s a price for living our dreams. Realizing if it’s worth paying, is up to us to figure out.
As for how to digest the new record, we would definitely recommend listening from the beginning to the end. We really set out to make a cohesive and structured record and we really hope you dive in deep, read all the lyrics, feel all of the emotions, and enjoy the ride.