3 Years Hollow recently made their way to the Southland, unleashing their own inspired brand of modern rock at the world famous Whisky on the Sunset Strip. On tour with Saliva in support of their new Imagen Records album entitled The Cracks, there is little doubt that 3 Years Hollow gained a whole new set of fans in Tinseltown. Here is a recent interview we conducted with lead vocalist Jose Urquiza to find out about the songs featured on The Cracks, life on the road, working with Clint Lowery of Sevendust and other star making topics of interest. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in 3 Years Hollow, and how long the band has been together?
My name is Jose and I’m lead vocals for 3 Years Hollow. We’ve been together for about 7 years. We released our first self recorded album back in 2008 called Ascension.
How has the tour with Saliva been going and what have been some of the highlights?
The tour with Saliva was great! It took us to a lot of cities and parts of the country that we hadn’t been before as a band. Some of us have never even seen those parts of the country so it was a really cool tour for us. We played the Whiskey in Hollywood, and we also go to go back to the Dakotas which is where we’ve had some of our best shows on our last couple tours.
What could one expect from a live 3 Years Hollow show?
I think what we hear a lot is that we bring a lot of energy to our live show. We’re all playing music that we really love and really get into so it’s easy for us to kinda get lost in it all. We also hear a lot that we sound heavier and better live than our albums so that is always a great compliment. It’s sometimes really hard to re-create that album sound live but if the fans are happy that is what truly matters to us.
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based out of an area called the Quad Cities which consists of Moline / Rock Island (Illinois) and Davenport / Bettendorf (Iowa). The scene really didn’t have a lot of modern rock bands. We sort of stood out which is what allowed us to open up for a lot of bigger bands when they came through the area. The local clubs and venues in the area were instrumental in our success by having us play with Chevelle, Theory of a Deadman, Puddle of Mudd, and Papa Roach. That really lifted us on a local level there. But make no mistake, we’re here because of our fanbase there in the QC. They supported us every step of the way and never let up.
Is there any story or concept behind the album title The Cracks?
There isn’t really a concept more just a feeling or general idea. The Cracks can describe matters of the heart, love, personality, but it can also talk about slipping through the cracks, or making it through. Some of the songs even talk about mending cracks and putting yourself back together, so I guess yeah, it’s really just about all of the different meanings of that term and how it can apply to our lives.
Select two songs from The Cracks and what inspired the lyrics.
The Cracks, the title track, is really about being broken or “flawed” in your eyes, and having someone or something come into your life that you feel puts your pieces back together. That in one way or another, they make you better, they heal you, they help you heal yourself, or they teach you and give you the tools to mend. It can be love, or just a friendship, but it’s the best feeling and it really inspired the lyrics in this song at that time in my life.
For Life is a song about someone being lost, disconnected, and having a person there to hold the life line for you when you’re drifting away. Their love for you is so great that they never let go, no matter how distant you make yourself, they are keeping you alive. And it’s about taking those demons, those things you fight against, and putting them out of your life forever.
The thing about my lyrics is that they really can be taken in so many different ways. These are just one specific way to interpret them, as I was writing them.
How did Clint Lowery of Sevendust become involved with producing The Cracks and have you had the chance to perform For Life with Clint yet live?
We met Clint through his brother Corey, who plays in Eye Empire. We had played a couple shows with EE and Corey really liked what he saw. He suggested we contact his brother to do some co-writes. That experience went so well that we really wanted to have Clint produce the whole record, and the label agreed. He knocked it out of the park and really brought things out of us we didn’t know existed. We haven’t gotten to play it live with him yet haha. THAT would be amazing.
If you could open up for any band or artist either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I’ll answer with a band that we haven’t opened up for before. I’d love to play a lot more shows with bands like Sevendust and Chevelle, but Incubus is a band that I’ve loved for over a decade and playing a show with them would be a dream come true.
Any strange or scary stories while on the road or during a live show?
Strange?? Hmmm, well, probably about the most exciting thing that happened to me was that I got pooped on by a bird in Texas. haha. We don’t have too many exciting stories. We pretty much just play and sleep and eat. We have had some tire blow outs and stuff but nothing crazy.
What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming tour with Framing Hanley?
I’m looking forward to meeting our label mates in Framing Hanley. I’ve never seen them live so very much looking forward to that. I’m also excited to see the guys in Devour the Day and Starset. Really digging their latest tracks that I’ve heard.
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing The Cracks for the first time?
I think what would mean the most to me is that they walk away thinking that the entire album was great. That no track left them disappointed. That’s something we really aim for. We want them to get so lost in the album that it becomes part of their lives, because that is what great albums did for me.
Any final words of wisdom?
I’ll just say that we truly appreciate the time you take with bands like us, to give us a spotlight for a minute to help us share our dream. We’ve been fighting for a long time and we’ll continue to fight, but things like this definitely keep us strong along the way. My words of wisdom would be to just never give up. It seems so cliche, but if you try hard enough, work hard enough, you really can accomplish anything. This right here is proof.
3 Years Hollow is:
Jose Urquiza: Lead Vocals
Tony Reeves: Guitar
Neil Kuhlman: Guitar/Vocals
Dex Digga: Bass Guitar/Vocals
Chris Cushman: Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photo by Jack Lue)