The Glamorous Life of Touring: Matty’s Conversation with Jose Urquiza and Tony Reeves of 3 Years Hollow

March 28, 2015 by: admin
By: Matty
Contributor’s Note:  This is no such thing as the glamorous lifestyle of a touring band or touring musicians.  Imagine hustling to getting to the next gig opening up for one of the mainstays in today’s rock genre in Red, and you’re impatiently waiting for the mechanic to fix your RV just so you can book it to the next show.  Instead, you rent a van and you arrive at the venue with ten minutes to spare.  That barely gives one enough time to breathe, let alone, doing sound checks, setting up the stage, and getting oneself composed to take the stage in front of hundreds of people in a packed club.  3 Years Hollow gets it.  They understand the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into this business.  3 Years Hollow is currently riding a wave of momentum off of their popular song entitled “Chemical Ride”, which boasts over 500,000 hits off of YouTube with their music video, in which you can check out here.  Please check out 3 Years Hollow, out of Quad Cities, Illinois, on Facebook here as well as follow them on Twitter @3yearshollow.  This band is the real deal.  I want to thank their tour manager, Niki Kay, for setting this up for MUEN Magazine.  Without delay, here’s our interview with Jose Urquiza and Tony Reeves of 3 Years Hollow.
Matty:  I just want to thank you guys in 3 Years Hollow for taking the time for interviewing with me, especially when it’s been crazy for you all the past couple of weeks to interview with me at POV’s 65 in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota.  Just tell me who you are and what you do in the band and just tell me how it’s been crazy the past couple of weeks.
Jose:  I’m Jose, the lead singer.

Tony:  I’m Tony, the lead guitarist.
Jose:  The tour(with Red) has been amazing, the tour has been incredible as far as fans coming out, as far as people knowing a little bit more of who we are, it’s been a really cool feeling.  We’ve just dealt with some transportation issues, first week we blew a couple of tires, that was a big expense.  Second week, the muffler got ripped off of the motorhome, so we’ve been limping along, and just last night, on the way here, the motor blew up, blew up the head gasket, so we got stranded….

Tony:  We all piled into a van and get here at the venue with about ten minutes to spare.  Actually had a guy come up to me and say “so glad that you guys made it tonight, if I didn’t see you all, I would’ve been so mad”.
Matty:  It really makes a difference, doesn’t it?
Tony:  It really does!

Jose:  We’ve been through a lot on this tour, it’s really opened our eyes a lot to, everything that we’ve been doing that’s been working.  You don’t really see the progress all of the time, and you come out to these places that you haven’t played in awhile, and people are singing your songs.
Matty:  Absolutely!  So what’s that feeling like?
Jose:  There’s nothing better man!  It really makes you feel like you’re here, and we finally did what we set out to do.

Tony:  Especially in a small town, where nothing goes on, some of the people got the words of the songs down, I love that feeling, that’s why we do it.
Matty:  I bet it’s a great feeling when one of your songs touches people.
Tony:  When people drive five, six, seven, eight hours, it’s crazy.

Jose:  When people drive 11 hours, it is absolutely incredible.
Matty:  How has the tour been going so far?
Jose:  It’s been amazing.  Packed houses every night, fans been showing up, it’s been a great tour.
Matty:  How have you guys rebounded from losing two members in the band?
Jose:  Honestly, it’s been great.  We’re really blessed to have a group of guys that are all focused on the same goal and everyone’s got the same drive.
Matty:  Who’s the prankster in the band?
Jose:  No pranksters, maybe Ryan.
Matty:  What type of prank would Ryan pull if he were to pull a prank?
Jose:  He’s not really a prankster.  He’s just the one that cracks jokes and gives up crap all the time.

Tony:  He’s kind of the instigator, he gets us all going.
Matty:  What are the plans for 3 Years Hollow after the “Of Beauty And Rage” tour?
Tony:  We have a couple of things in the air.

Jose:  We’re putting a new single to radio entitled “Chemical Ride”.  That’s going to start up here in a couple of weeks.  After this tour, hopefully we’ll jump onto another tour, after a couple of weeks, and be back out on the road.
Matty:  How can people go about requesting “Chemical Ride”?
Jose:  Any and every rock station, they all take requests.  On social media, on Sirius Octane, if anybody listens to them, call them up, it’s going to be a big push for it.  It’s a really important single for us.
Matty:  In essence, what is “Chemical Ride” about?
Tony:  As for a songwriter, at least for myself songs can be interpreted by ten different people in ten different ways, you know what I mean?

Jose:  For me personally, that song was about a situation that I personally witnessed.  I wasn’t involved directly.  It was a situation that I was watching unfold, and I was writing and telling a story about it.

Tony:  It’s one thing that we try to do.  Before Clint Lowery of Sevendust got involved, we had this EP that we worked on, Jose and I, day and night for about two and a half weeks.  You get into it and you’re in the mix on things are taking shape and how things are coming out, and when people come up to us and say “that song meant a lot to me”.  That’s when I get really excited to sit down and really build a better album for ourselves, but our whole point is that our fans will like it too.
Matty:  How did you all get hooked up with Clint Lowery of Sevendust?
Jose:  We actually played a few shows with his brother Corey of Eye Empire and Corey was like, “you guys take it seriously, you guys come back every time and you’ve learned something, I think you guys should work with my brother, to try to take it up to the next level”, and that was three years ago.

Tony:  And when you hear about the band and of course you get excited, and this might happen for no reason, and we’re like huge Sevendust fans, and we’re all like ” that ain’t happening”…

Jose:  Then, two weeks later, Clint is scheduled to come to my house in the basement studio where we record the record.
Matty:  Were you all a little starstruck?
Jose:  It was really strange at first.  I was freaking out, waiting for him to pull into the driveway, and when he got there, it was like, we’re all the same, the way we write songs, sit down on the computer and just jam out.

Tony:  And we usually sit down and write and when Clint came in, and we’re just learning from him, a guy that has been in the business for years, and he’s helped us grow as musicians.  It’s like I had a new guitar tutorial in person.  He made me play better, he made him record better, and he helped make the record better.
Matty:  This question is for Tony, what type of dynamics did he teach in the guitar playing for 3 Years Hollow?
Tony:  He knows how to approach the instrument.  He really knows how to think outside of the box.  It was a challenge for him because he’s so used to writing Sevendust songs, and he comes into here, and the last thing that he said, “thank you so much, I hope we can work on another project again”.  He went above and beyond.  It helped open our doors up a little bit you know, it was pretty rad that he took the time to help us craft songs, decent songs that we like.

Jose:  I got to write a lot of lyrics with Clint and we come from a lot of the same places, emotionally and from life experiences.  It was really cool to sit down with him and share some stories.
Matty:  What’s your favorite Sevendust record or song?
Jose:  Oh, man!  I literally heard them and became a fan from the very first Sevendust record.  I’m going to have to say my favorite Sevendust song is called “Nobody Wants It” off of the “Black Out The Sun” record or their song called “Deadset” off of “Animosity”.  When we were at Shiprocked, they played the entire first record and it was so cool, every single song off of their first record.
Matty:  What’s your most embarrassing tour experience?
Jose:  I tripped and fell on stage.  I went to jump up to the second platform and my foot just barely caught the tip, and I fell face first.
Matty:  Mikey from Islander, I’m not sure if you were here for their set, he about biffed it.
Jose:  Yeah he does that every night! (laughs)

Tony:  I actually biffed it tonight! When I tried to get back on the stage, I couldn’t and I rolled over on the speaker and my guitar strap came undone.  (laughs)

Jose:  Mikey just stands on top of the crowd, I can’t do that stuff.

Tony:  He was actually up in the upper deck last night.  They held him up and he climbed all the way up.
Matty:  You guys are from the Quad Cities, right?  I have to know if you guys know Seth Rollins, I’m a WWE fan, I can’t help it. (laughs)
Jose:  WWE wrestler, I don’t think so. (laughs).  We know the UFC fighters that train in the Quad Cities, Matt Hughes, Tim Sylvia, they train in the Quad Cities.
Matty:  Do you have any favorite Matt Hughes stories?
Jose:  No I don’t, I just watch him fight. (laughs)
Matty:  Whose your favorite UFC fighter?
Jose:  Oh man!  This is tough.  I’m going to say Forrest Griffin is my favorite fighter.
Matty:  Who’s most likely to cheat at a video game?
(they point at each other)

Jose:  I don’t think there’s any cheating! (laughs)
Matty:  Not like back in the day where you can stick in a game genie. (laughs)
Jose:  No…

Tony:  How do you block that?  I’m not telling him! (laughs)
Matty:  I’m one of those when I play I just smash buttons, I don’t even read the instructions.
Tony:  We’ve been on a big Madden kick lately.

Jose:  PS4 Madden.  The new Madden game is amazing and our drummer is a huge Madden football fan.
Matty:  Are you guys Chicago Bears fans then being from Illinois?
Jose:  Not really.

Tony:  I guess I am.

Jose:  My family’s are Bears fans.  However, I like Aaron Rodgers, so I love the Packers.  But, I’ve been a lifelong San Francisco 49ers fan.
Matty:  I’m taking that high five back.  (laughs)
Jose:  From the days of Steve Young and I grew up a 49ers fan.
Matty:  I suppose we should talk about the music(laughs).  Tell us about 3 Years Hollow’s latest record entitled “The Cracks”.  Why should people pick it up?
Jose:  ”The Cracks” is really our first real debut as a band where we’ve been able to really kind of defines who we are.  We’ve put out a couple of records beforehand, it was us figuring out how to do things.  ”The Cracks” is the first one where we got to make the songs that we wanted.

Tony:  The thing is, we did our whole first album ourselves, and everything that we learned, let’s apply this, let’s try to make this next record the best.  I’m not trying to write this for a specific purpose, this record is full of songs that we have liked.  I’ve always felt really fortunate that we have songs that people have liked.  We try to be positive, you know, and sometimes everything is f****** s***(laughs).  You know what I mean, we try to make it positive and try to reach people.

Jose:  I’ve faced a lot of demons in my life and it’s therapy for me to write those lyrics and as soon as I realized that other people can feel the same things, and it affects them, great, that’s what I want to do, you know, use all this pain and agony inside that I’ve experienced in order to help anybody, it’s seriously the only thing that matters.  I mean, “The Cracks” is the last five years of our lives.  Some of those songs we wrote five or six years ago and we just got to release them.  The next record that we do, I’m really looking forward to because we really have an idea of where we want to go.
Tony:  With this next album, we want to think way outside of the box and to show every angle that we can of the band.
Matty:  So how’s the progress going on the next record?  Do you all have an album title yet?
Jose:  Nothing like that, we’ve just been writing demos.

Tony:  We’re hoping to go at least another year on this album.  We feel like we got some more good stuff.  We want to try to put some more singles out there and try to get people to grab onto 3 Years Hollow and on to us as a whole.  Hopefully things will escalate.
Matty:  Kind of a fun question here, tell us of a band or song that’s on your I-Pod that you’re embarrassed to listen to?
Jose:  I’m not embarrassed of anything!  Katy Perry is the s***!  She is so awesome, she’s so talented.

Tony:  You’ll find Richard Marx on my I-Pod.  I’m a sucker for a good singer.  I love a variety of music.  Someone with a good voice, that’s what gets me.

Jose:  Boyz II Men is another good one.

Tony:  We don’t crank this stuff up while we’re going down the road, not at stoplights anyways. (laughs)  We turn it down at stoplights.
Matty:  Tell me one cover song that you all would do and your fans would be wondering why 3 Years Hollow covered that song?
Jose:  ”Alone” by Heart.  We talk about that all of time, it’s our guilty pleasure.
Matty:  The Wilson sisters can absolutely belt it though.
Jose:  Yes they can!

Tony:  I’m not going to say.  (laughs)
Matty:  I’m going to give you guys the floor on where we can find you, message to your fans, something random, anything like that.
Jose:  We are constantly trying to stay connected in any way that we can.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  We are not the best at it.  We get a lot of messages from everybody, and we haven’t been able to respond.  We will try to respond to everybody.

Tony:  It’s so hard at the point that we are at because we do everything ourselves.  We’re fortunate to have people that work for us for little to nothing to make this thing work, and for us to be able to come into towns and play and for them to handle so much of our business, we got great people that we’re building it with.

Jose:  We got a great record label that helps us out and really supports us and makes us feel like family, and that’s a real important thing for us.  We’re still figuring everything out as we go.

Tony:  We want you fans to send us messages, say hi to us, we do this for them, we really do.

Jose:  We really do man, that’s what keeps us going.  There’s no money in it anymore, there’s no fame, none of that stuff matters, if people care, then we are going to keep going.

Tony:  I’m going to quote Mikey from Islander cause we love those guys to death and he said, “the fans are really the rockstars, not us”, that’s why we love them so much.  We want to know them, we want to know their names, we want to talk to them, we want pictures with them.    The fans are the whole reason why we are able to do this.  There are still people out there who want to rock.  In this world, it’s just dwindling, you know? With country and hip-hop dominating, it’s such a dying genre it feels like.
Matty:  Is it pretty challenging with all the content out there with all the bands trying to get noticed?
Jose:  Yeah, we’re in a genre that has gone back into the underground as some would say, it’s not the mainstream anymore.  Backs like Nickelback, Disturbed, and Creed took over the mainstream and now it’s kind of shifted back to the underground.  What that means for us is that it feels real.  It feels like everybody that is here really cares about it, and that feels really good.

Tony:  We don’t want to have fans, we want to have friends.

Jose:  It is so cool standing at that merch table every night and meeting every person that wants to say hello, they’re the reason for us to keep doing this.
Matty:  Thank you guys so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule.  It’s been a fun interview!
Jose:  It has been!  Thank you for being flexible and wanting to do this!

Tony:  Yeah, man thank you so much!
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