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Interview: Austin Anderson on rebooting Slow Hollows + new music.

Interview: Austin Anderson on rebooting Slow Hollows + new music.

Three months after releasing their stunningly emotive third album, 'Actors', Los Angeles four-piece Slow Hollows announced they were breaking up on January 25th, 2020, much to the dismay of their impassioned following.

But one cannot deny their true nature, and band-founder/frontman Austin Anderson found himself continuing to write new songs all throughout the past three and a half years - at first just for himself, but then with more external intention.

Relaunching Slow Hollows as his primary solo recording outlet, Anderson spoke to Coup De Main recently about the new music that he's been working on (which includes the just-released 'In A Hole')...

COUP DE MAIN: So, what have you been up to since March 2020?
SLOW HOLLOWS - AUSTIN ANDERSON:
I've been making a lot of music, and figuring out how I want to do it as a job again, or a career vibe again, you know? Just making music, that's pretty much it. And I got a girlfriend and I got a cat.
CDM: What kind of cat?
AUSTIN:
Li'l grey tabby, we found at a rescue. Her name is Gigi. She's the shit.

CDM: This new music that you've been working on... were you just making it for yourself? Just for fun?
AUSTIN:
Pretty much. I think I was just trying to challenge myself to make songs that I would feel very proud of. I spent a long time not really worrying about recording them, and just writing them and fleshing them out, so I could play them myself as acoustic songs.

CDM: Is that usually how you write songs?
AUSTIN:
Kind of. In the past, I think we started relying a little bit more on the studio - so you could come in with a half-baked idea and then flesh things out in the studio. But the recent music I've been writing now is very by myself, just a guitar, or a piano, and trying to write the whole thing.

CDM: At what point did you decide that you wanted to record the songs properly?
AUSTIN:
I always had the idea of wanting to record them bouncing around, but I just didn't really know how - and I'm still kind of trying to figure out how to record them and get them done. But probably at the end of 2021, I think, is when it started to take shape. Like, the songs started to sound finished, I guess, around the end of that time.

CDM: Who did you work with to record these new songs?
AUSTIN:
My friend Nick Noneman, and my old friend Nick Santana; who's a great drummer and used to play on old Slow Hollows records. We put our heads together and started fleshing out some songs. I'm still figuring out how to finish some songs up, I don't really know what they're gonna look like, if it looks like an album or if it looks like an EP, or just singles, but I'm excited with how songs have been coming together.

CDM: Is this new music a solo project? Or is this the reopening of Slow Hollows?
AUSTIN:
It definitely is a reopening of Slow Hollows. That idea excited me more than any other kind of avenue I could have taken. The idea of doing solo music for me right now, it just didn't really make sense, and it didn't feel good in my gut. And the infrastructure of the band being there before is such a luxury - it's kind of hard to want to start again, when I've spent years building this thing with my friends from the ground up. It just seemed hard to ignore, or moving forward, just to pretend it wasn't a thing. And it was exciting the idea of getting it back together, and figuring out what that is... It kind of was a very last-minute decision. Like, it started to look like I needed to put music out just because that's what you do when you're making music, I guess.

CDM: That's what 'the people' tell you to do.
AUSTIN:
Yeah, exactly. <laughs> And right before that decision kind of had to be made, it was like: 'All right, let's just do Slow Hollows, and not any other funky shit.'

CDM: What can you tell me about the new music?
AUSTIN:
I feel really good about it. Personally, I feel the most proud of this compared to anything else. It was really nice to be able to just get a group of friends together to help flesh these things out too; that felt really good. Just because I was by myself writing them for so long during the pandemic, that finally being able to bring it to a group of people and get their input, felt really, really good. So I feel really proud of the way that everything is coming together. I'm happy with it.

CDM: At the time of Slow Hollows breaking up you said: “We love each other immensely, but moving on from this band is what feels right…” How do you feel now, three years later?
AUSTIN:
I feel exactly the same. Everybody that was a part of the band is doing great in their own respects. Aaron [Jassenoff] is managing me now; who used to play bass. Jackson [Katz] moved to New York and he's playing in Brutus VIII and he's doing really great. And Daniel [Fox]'s just killing it as a producer. And we all still love each other immensely, to quote from that. Yeah, I still feel the same, and I back that statement up.

CDM: Are there line-up changes in this new Slow Hollows?
AUSTIN:
There are some line-up changes. Right now, we have three Nicks playing in the band. We have Nick Minor who's playing bass, and is from Reno, Nevada. Nick Noneman, who's playing guitar, who I've known for half of my life - and he's been helping me record this new music. And then Nick Santana - they are one of my oldest friends and they used to play back in the first version of Slow Hollows on the 'Atelophobia' and 'Romantic' records. So, it's nice to have a little squad going.
CDM: How do you differentiate between them? Last names only?
AUSTIN:
I don't know. I don't know!

CDM: Is Slow Hollows playing any shows upcoming?
AUSTIN:
Yes, we have Viva Pomona on July 16 - and then a couple little things that aren't confirmed yet, but a couple little shows throughout the end of the year.

CDM: And those will be your first live performances with the new line-up?
AUSTIN:
Exactly. Viva Pomona will be the first kind of reintroduction, but then we have a couple of little things after that - I don't know exactly what they look like, yet.

CDM: What else have you been doing?
AUSTIN:
Like, nothing. I don't really remember. I don't remember 2021 at all, or 2022, really.
CDM: They both didn't exist. It was a shared hallucination.
AUSTIN:
Completely. 2020, I kind of understand. 2021, I don't fucking remember. I think I probably was spending time thinking of what I could do, musically - or if I even wanted to do music anymore. I feel like I quit over and over again after the initial breakup, like I would spend six months making music and then get frustrated, and then quit again. But I couldn't tell anybody I quit, so I'd just tell myself I quit. I'd just beat myself up.

CDM: Why did you feel like you wanted to quit music?
AUSTIN:
I was probably just being dramatic. And I was just a little tired, honestly. I think I'm learning how to manage being exhausted a little bit better now, but I was just tired. I think we all were initially. But then it's that thing where if you stop for two days, you start to freak out and you're like: 'Why am I freaking out?... Oh, because I'm not doing that outlet that I've relied on my whole life.'

CDM: What's next for Slow Hollows?
AUSTIN:
Hopefully, more live... and wrapping some songs up is next, kind of figuring out what new music getting released looks like. And just figuring a lot of stuff out. I think we still need to know what the future of our live shows looks like more clearly, but we're rehearsing a lot right now. That's the definitive answer: we're rehearsing a lot.

CDM: Is there anything else you'd like fans to know?
AUSTIN:
I love you and I miss you... I'm very excited. And I think that hopefully, we've been working on something that is worth looking forward to.

Listen to new song 'In A Hole' below...

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