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Interview

Hollow Bones Discusses New Album "Lionheart"

Photo of Hollow Bones

Band Photo: Hollow Bones (?)

NY outfit Hollow Bones released the "Lionheart" album last month, and we've had the pleasure of chronicling most of the process for more than a year, premiering tracks and even checking in with the band for an epic Pit Story.

Now that the full-length disc is officially out (listen in or grab your own copy at Bandcamp here), we checked in with Hollow Bones yet again for an in-depth look at the band's entire history and a closer look at how "Lionheart" went from concept to released product.

Check out the full interview with vocalist Patrick Anthony below, in which he discusses the band changing names, catching the Underoath reunion tour, and the powerful human imagery on the album's cover.

xFiruath: Let's start with some history. I know you guys used to go by a different name. Can you give me a run down of how long Hollow Bones has been together and what the band has done so far?

Patrick: Sure! The band used to be called Edenborn, named after Nick Sagan's book of the same title. The book series is largely about humanity, and the nature of human beings, and is one of my favorite sci-fi books, and so we used that name as sort of an homage to the story, but also to the ideas that it embodied.

Under that name we released a 5 track EP, and that was in May of 2013. We played a lot of shows with some really great bands to support the EP, and then as we were getting ready to release the music video for our song "Drytooth" we decided to change our band name to something more original, and more personal to us. That was in December of 2014, so we will be coming up on two years under the name Hollow Bones. We have toured around NY, played shows with lots of great locals, and some big name acts as well, such as Periphery, Stray From the Path, Emmure, and Whitechapel to name a few.

xFiruath: From beginning to end, how long did it take for “Lionheart” to come together, and what was your biggest obstacle during that process?

Patrick: "Lionheart" took all together a little over a year to complete writing, recording, mixing, and mastering. It was a very long process, and it was not something that we were used to. As far as our biggest obstacle, that would definitely have to be the fact that a fair number of the tracks were written over long distances using phone recordings/basic recording software to map out everyone's parts etc. It was difficult not having the chemistry of being together in a room, but ultimately it worked out much better than we could have anticipated.

xFiruath: After all that long distance writing, where did the actual tracking take place?

Patrick: The recording process went very smoothly! Everything was tracked, mixed, and mastered at Randy Pasquarella's studio in Wappingers, NY.

xFiruath: Was this entirely a self-funded effort, and is the band seeking out label support at this point?

Patrick: This album was entirely self-funded. We have been completely DIY up to this point, but we are definitely looking for label support.

xFiruath; Is there any one particular idea or theme you'd really like a listener to take away from the album by the time the last track finishes?

Patrick: I wouldn't say just one. This album is really about human nature. There are songs that look at the macrocosm of human nature, and the society that is a result of that ("Lionheart: Sonder," "Murder of Crows," and even "Wandering Sparrow" in a sense), and then there is the microcosm of human nature (more personal songs like "Lionheart: Execution," "The November Diaries," "Wolfcrone." etc.). We want people to question if they are being good to the people they love, and that love them. We want people to know that there are other people out there who struggle with similar issues, and while this sounds cliché, it can truly be a powerful realization.

xFiruath: Tell me about the photograph used for the cover. What's going on with the scene?

Patrick: This photograph is special for us actually. Our good friend, Andrea Ouellette, went out into the really bad parts of Rochester, alone, to get this shot. We gave her a basic concept of what we were looking for. We asked her to get a photograph that had a lot of humanity in it, and I think she nailed it. I think that this photo has a lot of sadness in it. It speaks to the overwhelming sadness that is threaded throughout the album. I did the layout for the cover after Andrea had gotten the shot. She does a lot of work with veterans, and you can find more of her work here.

xFiruath: Is there a new music/lyric video or any other promo type material coming out for the album still?

Patrick: Oh yeah, definitely. We have another video coming out that will see us discussing the songs and what they mean, or how it was to write them (we have two out already on our YouTube channel), and even more awesome, we will be putting out a video for "Altruistic Lung" very soon. After that, we have a guitar playthrough planned, and then maybe another music video for another song ;)

xFiruath: What's the best or most interesting live show you've been to lately, and conversely what's the best or most interesting show you've played in recent memory?

Patrick: UNDEROATH!! Underoath reunion tour. They played with Caspian, and it was absolutely AMAZING. The best show we have played in recent memory was definitely one in Brooklyn at the Cobra Club. We made some really awesome new friends and discovered that they were really connecting with our music. They were all singing along to our songs, and that just totally blew our mullets back. We still talk about it, haha.

xFiruath: What's the best venue in your area for heavier music?

Patrick: Probably the Chance/ the Loft in Poughkeepsie. Although, My Place Pizza (yes, it is a pizzeria) is surprisingly awesome for putting on local heavy shows.

xFiruath: Do you have any live shows / festival appearances / basement gigs lined up to support the new album?

Patrick: We do! We have a bunch. On June 11th, we are throwing a CD release party at My Place Pizza in Poughkeepsie, and we have 11 bands that are all AWESOME. It is going to be a full day of music, beer, pizza, and friends. You literally could not ask for a better day. After that we have July 12th, at the same spot, and then we are playing in Long Island (TBA), and in NJ on the 20th of August for a house show being thrown by HXC Magazine. THEN, in October we are doing a small tour with our good friends, Tribute. So we have a bunch of stuff lined up, and we will be talking about it incessantly on all of our social media, so definitely keep your eye out for regular updates.

xFiruath: Other than your own album, what music have you been addicted to lately, and what's coming out you are looking forward to?

Patrick: OK, Architects new album "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us" is absolutely flawless. I could literally go on for pages about why it is such a good album, and why every fan of heavy music should give it a listen, haha. "Newborn Mind" by Napoleon is also an excellent recent release. Thrice's new album "To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere" is also a great album. Funny enough, both Architects and Thrice released their albums the same day as us, and we had no idea that was happening. They are both some of our favorite bands, so that was cool.

xFiruath: Anything else you'd like to add?

Patrick: We want to directly thank anyone who gives us a listen. We sincerely hope that anyone who hears our music connects with what we are doing. We put a lot of love into this album, and our only hope is that people will feel that love, and want to share it as well. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you, and fight to keep them in your life.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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