Out of Illinois, 3 Years Hollow has been around for almost a decade trooping tours in the midwest while releasing new music independently. They worked and fought for the past eight years building up fans and friends to support their music through the region. All of that work culminated in the fall of 2012 when they were one of the top four bands in the annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands to win a spot playing locally or nationally on the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival. Recently, 3YH frontman Jose Urquiza talked about that contest and the doors that it opened up for the band with Alternative Addiction.
"The funny thing is that we had done so many of those battle of the bands over the years," started Urquiza on the contest. "We had been a band for eight years and we had entered several but we'd never won. We kind of figured that it was more about the battle of the fans instead of the battle of the bands. As we got older, and this opportunity came about, we started realizing that the bands who were winning were bands who earned those fans. I think we had done that at that time and our fans kept us at number one in votes throughout the entire competition, which put us at the top of the list for judges to see. Our record label owner, Bob Winegard was one of the judges that year and that's how we got his attention. We didn't end up winning, we won our region and we got to play the outdoor slot at Tinley Park for that date, but it definitely led to other things."
The contest was a big victory for 3 Years Hollow and the band, but there have been more since. As Jose mentioned, that led to the band being signed by Imagen Records and being able to make a debut full-length album. That debut album, The Cracks, came out today and the band is immensely proud of it. Jose in particular is proud of the different ways that it was written and recorded.
"This record was recorded in three different sessions," stated Urquiza. "Part of the record is our 'Remember EP' just remixed and remastered. That was done on our own in my home studio and at Groovemaster in Chicago with Tadpole. He did some production on 'Chemical Ride' and 'Remember.' After everything with UPROAR and after signing to Imagen, we were able to go into the studio again and Clint Lowery came in and produced everything moving forward. We went down to St. Louis and worked in a studio there with him and Morgan Rose.
The songs on the album were written really crazy and in a lot of different ways. 'Hungry' was one of the only songs that we wrote organically as a full band. Tony (Reeves) had this riff and it was slow, I suggested that we made it balls-to-the-wall fast. Chris (Cushman), our drummer, showed up and sat down and we hammered it out right now. 'Fallen' we had a day off at a trailer at a camp ground down south. We were bored and we took our rig in the laundry room at some random campground. Those were just a couple of examples. We also went to the studio with Clint and we wrote there. He showed us some music and ideas and we recorded that there while working on those songs with him. The whole album has a lot of different writing styles to it," added the 3YH frontman.
The album is out and it's a big day for 3 Years Hollow, but there's still plenty of work to be done. 3YH has been working towards this debut for almost a decade, but they've also wanted to do something else for a number of years.
"What I would love to happen… My dream is to have this take off and have fans want us to come and play some of those big summer festivals. We'd love to be a part of those in any way. Along with that, we just want to tour and support this record and take it every place where someone wants to hear it. That's our goal for this year."
We'll see what happens from here, they're certainly are off to a great start in 2014. 3 Years Hollow is Jose Urquiza (vocals), Tony Reeves (guitar), Neil Kuhlman (guitar/vocals), Dex Digga (bass/vocals), and Chris Cushman (drums). You can find more on the band at Facebook.com/3YearsHollow.