Hi! What`s up? What about the today weather in Michigan? :)
Hello. I'm currently in the midst of trying to tie up some loose ends
regarding tour dates and of course, finally getting to these questions that I've
neglected for quite some time now! Today's weather in Michigan was rather
pleasant. In fact, it's been a pretty mild winter thus far.
How did the band form?
Let's see, first off I'm Steve and I sing for the band. In 2010 I was
fortunate enough to fill-in on bass for Shai Hulud for a handful of tours.
That's when I met Mike Moynihan, who was singing for Shai Hulud at the time and
now plays guitar for Hollow Earth. We became buds pretty quickly. On my last
tour with Hulud, in November of 2010, a young man by the name of Aaron Goodrich
filled in on drums. The three of us bonded pretty hard on that tour and even
joked about starting a band. Geography was not in our favor as Mike was living
in Florida, Aaron was living in NYC and I was living/still live in Michigan. Ten
months later through a strange turn of events, Aaron moved from New York to
Michigan for the sole purpose of starting a touring band with me. When Mike
heard about it, he wanted in and by the time he relocated to Michigan it was
literally almost a year to the date that the three of us bonded on that Hulud
tour. Weird, wild stuff. From there we recruited Jake Hicks on bass, Dave
Giandiletti on the other guitar, and Hollow Earth was born. Since then Aaron has
left the band, moved back to NYC and we now have another fellow Michigan native
on drums, Jake Duhaime, which has been working out very well.
I found your 2 songs on some blogspot and it crushed me! It's hardcore/metal
on a very high level! How has it been received by the fans and media? Why only 2
songs? Are they representative of what's to come?
First off, thank you, that's very kind of you! Everything with this band
thus far has happened very fast. We practiced 2-3 times a week throughout
November and December of 2011 which resulted in a seemless collection of six
songs. Feeling confident in the material we decided to self-finance a trip to
Getaway Group in Massachusets with Jay Maas. To our surprise he was able to
accomadate us much sooner than we had expected. By January 12th, we had a
completed six-song EP in our hands. Our plan of attack was to shop the EP around
to labels, in hopes of obtaining a tangible copy, preferably on vinyl! That's
where the 2 songs come into play... We wanted people to know we exist so we
posted those two songs as a teaser of sorts while we worked on finding a home
for all 6 tracks. The EP was written as a linear concept both musically and
lyrically from start to finish. So taking a song like "There Will Come Soft
Rains" out of context was a bit weird for us at first, but to answer your
questions, yes, the 2 songs are very representative of the rest of the record
and so far both songs have been received very well. We've had a slew of
interesting reviews... Some with really, really nice things to say, some with
not so nice things, and some that are quite comical regardless of the nature of
the review! The EP is called "We Are Not Humanity" and came out on Panic Records,
April 24th, 2012. The album is available for purchase on LP (one sided), CD or
Do you think you got the production you were looking for?
Absolutely! This was my second time working with Jay Maas and aside from
having a track record that speaks for itself, he is a lot of fun to work with
and a master of his craft. I'm by no means an expert when it comes to production,
but I'm fairly certain that if you chronologically listen to a handful of
records that Jay has done, you can hear a progressive improvement. He makes a
solid effort to try new things and keep it interesting, as opposed to finding a
formula that works and sticking with it. There's really nothing worse (from a
producation standpoint) than hearing multiple records by different bands that
all sound the same. And even if I'm wrong, and the Maasman is guilty of this,
he'll make up for it in witty wise-cracks throughout the entire session... That
much, is a guarantee!
Besides Hollow Earth, are you currently in other bands?
Yes, as a matter of fact I play guitar in a band called Great Reversals (who
also recorded with Jay Maas) and I sing for a band called Tharsis They. Jake
Hicks (bass) plays guitar for a band called End Trails. Jake Duhaime also plays
drums in a band called From Hell. All of the aforementioned bands are actively
based out of Michigan and can be found fairly easily on the internet. Should
anyone be interested in more info, feel free to shoot us an e-mail at
How big of a role do the lyrics play for the band, and music?
The lyrical content of our songs will always be at the forefront of what we
do. I've learned a lot about life and myself through writing lyrics (for bands
both past and present) and it's certainly not something I take very lightly (for
better or for worse). And though I have no idea what the specific lyrical future
holds for Hollow Earth, I feel confident in saying it will be certainly be
something we put a lot of thought and effort into.
Let's do an analysis of the lyrics. They are based on the disappointment of
the world. What do you think whether the direction in which humanity can chose
to turn back?
The concept that our record (We Are Not Humanity) embodies is something I've
been sitting on for nearly 3 years, and seeing it come to fruition was very
exciting for me. All six songs are based on the writings of Daniel Quinn,
particularly "Ishmael" and "The Story of B." The record begins by clinging to
the intrinsic notion that human beings magically inherited the Earth and are
free to do with it as we please. By the end of the record we realize that it
wasn't always this way, that human beings once belonged to a community of life
along with every other living creature on Earth. Whether or not it's too late
for the human race to alter its course is something I waffle on. More often than
not I find myself rooting for some type of devastating apocalyptic ending. For
it is far easier to turn a blind eye and mindlessly contribute to the problem
than to implore myself to find effective and practical ways of contributing to
the solution. At the end of the day, I don't have a sound answer to your
question. At one time I truly believed writing thought provoking lyrics and
simply being outspoken could incite some sort of small scale revolution, even if
only within the punk/hardcore subculture. These days I'm a bit more skeptical.
To truly enact change I think you need to move beyond the limits of a subculture,
which (again for better of for worse) is something I'm not quite ready to do in
my life. As cheesy as it sounds, I hope the experience of playing music and
traveling will be a stepping stone of sorts so that when the time comes I might
find myself working towards greater change in the world... But as for now I'm
selfishly enjoying the privilege of being able to pour my time and energy into
this band. And so long as I am doing so, I hope the lyrics will at least serve
as some measure of substance along the way.
What made humanity become a parasitic plague on the world and at what time
did this happen in your opinion?
This is a great question. As I mentioned, the lyrical concepts were inspired
by the writings of Daniel Quinn. In the novel "Ishmael" he goes to great lengths
to answer this very question. I'm not sure how much I can offer in the way of
WHY humanity has become a "parasitic plague" for that is rather complicated. But
as far as WHEN, I agree with Quinn in saying that it began over ten thousand
years ago at the dawn of the agricultural revolution.
Do you think people with each succeeding generation will improve the world or
destroy it even more?
Ultimately my faith in mankind is generally pretty low, particularly on a
grand scale. I would like to think that eventually push will come to shove and
we'll have no choice other than to take the necessary measures to mend our
relationship with the earth and in my opinion, the sooner the better. For with
each succeeding generation technology is only going to lead us further and
further from being able to sustain ourselves should something catastrophic
How big a role in stupefying the society has a strong promotion of
consumerism by media, concerns etc.?
Its role is undeniable. Mass media consumption can be just as helpful as it
can be harmful. Unfortunately, in our culture it seems that the latter prevails.
It's really easy to just point a finger at the major networks and corporations
controlling these mediums but it really boils down to the individual. For the
most part, we have the ability and the means to subject ourselves to alternative
media outlets and whether or not we choose to do so is completely in our control.
For those of us who are priveleged enough to have a wealth of resources at our
disposal (particularly Internet access), there's really no excuse not to educate
ourselves on political and social issues. However, most of our society is taught
to accept things as they are without question from a very young and
impressionable age which often results in a certain type of cradle to grave
mentality, which gives mass media a virtually insurmountable advantage. It is
for that very reason I'm thankful I was exposed to punk and hardcore, which
urged me to start asking questions.
Do you solely find inspiration within the hardcore genre, or do you
appreciate music like punk and crust as well?
We definitely draw inspiration outside the boundaries of the hardcore genre.
Bands like Mastodon, Russian Circles, Propagandhi, and apparently Emperor and
Behemoth (according to Mike) could be considered influences. If any of that
qualifies as punk and/or crust I'm not really sure, you be the judge. We've been
compiling a short mental list of records that all 5 of us equally enjoy in the
van: Ghost "Opus Epoymous" - Foxy Shazam "Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll"
- Yuck "Self-Titled" - Propagandhi "Supporting Caste" and anything from Queen's
catalogue. I'm not sure how relevant that is in regards to our direct influence
or inspiration on our music per say, but it's what we're collectively listening
You wrote that you like eating food in places we don't live:) Could you tell
something about your culinary discoveries?:)
Ha! That's funny that you picked that out. Mike (guitar) and I are both
vegan, and between our travels in Shai Hulud and now withHollow Earth we've
really become fond of spending ridiculous amounts of money at vegan restaurants
wherever we go! Michigan isn't the most vegan-friendly state, nor is Florida for
that matter, so it's quite exciting to see what other cities have to offer.
However, we've quickly learned that we can't keep breaking our budget night
after night, so we started bringing a rice cooker on tour and have resorted to
good ol' rice and beans most nights, or the occasional Thai-curry experiment
here and there! It's fun. Most people are pretty baffled when they see a
steaming pot near the merch table!
What next do you have planned for the band?
We are currently 5 days into a month long trek out to the west coast and
back. We're playing Rain Fest, which is extremely exciting for us! After that we
have a short Midwest run with our friends in Like Wolves, then we do a couple
weeks in the Northeast with Reign Supreme immediately followed by a handful of
shows with This is Hell in July. Our hope is to tour as much as possible. We've
done a healthy amount of touring thus far in the States and we've been having a
blast, so we hope to keep it up. Our record just came out recently, so we plan
to continue to support it as much as possible. It'd be nice to hit Canada and
hopefully Europe as well in the near future... However, we're also getting
anxious to write some new material, which would mean taking a break from the
road. So, at this point who knows? We shall see.
Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
Well first and foremost, MY APOLOGIES for taking so long to complete this
interview! I'm dealing with a terrible combination of being a procrastinator, a
perfectionist, and the always busy "band dad!" I can't thank you enough for
taking an interest in our band, it's quite flattering! Cheers.