This is a darkness brewing in the land of the south. All the artists that I talk to are in denial about it, but the isolated continent is putting out some dark noises that are the envy of a global scene which is swelling by the day. I was floored when I first heard the sounds of Hollow Press. Sound collages encompassing a shit ton of paradigms. My senses were on overload. I didn’t know how to control myself. With a new album about to hit in May and with the world as his oyster…we caught up with Hollow Press for a short interview.
Can you tell me a bit about this project, what’s its focus and what is your artistic statement that you are making?
I’m not trying to make any conscious statement with my music, I just really enjoy making music and sharing it, plus it’s a good way of expressing myself. There is so much support in the underground music scene, artists support other artists and we all share our music. That’s why websites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud are so important, they help us connect with like-minded people with that common goal of expressing themselves through sound. I would like to continue making music in the same vein as I have for as long as I can.
Your music is very collage driven. How do you approach your writing and recording? What is your process?
You’re right, it’s very collage driven. I like to experiment with sounds and see how they interact with other sounds. When I start working on a song I rarely have a clear focus on what I want to create. That idea slowly forms when I start putting piece by piece together. Even the slight -16db field recording in the background of a track is important; every piece is integral to a song. I have a folder on my computer with samples and demos that I keep bouncing around with, taking bits from demo A and adding it to demo B, layering demo C over demo D, etc. I literally have hundreds of bits and pieces for Hollow Press tracks that I can barely contain at the moment… like a shoebox of magazine cut-outs, it’s very collage-like in that way!
Some say that Australia is currently the darkest continent right now musically, what is it like to be part of the scene?
I’ve never really looked at Australia as being a continent of dark music. Thewaypeoplestare is a great vessel for dark music but as you know most of that is full of content from all over. I really do wish there were more dark experimental artists in Australia, but perhaps that would make people consider me less original? There isn’t much support over here. In fact, if you don’t have a guitar and a set of drums, or haven’t been a supporting act for an international band, no one really cares that much about you. I think it’s a creative continent for sure, there are a lot of experimental musicians making great things like Shisd and The Atlas Room for example. Oh and Stacey Wilson is incredibly talented. She makes some dark music that I adore with her projects Rites Wild and Regional Curse. Thankfully there are some really good radio programs that celebrate diverse Australian music so I try and keep up with them when I find the time. Some of my favourite Australian bands are Super Wild Horses, and the defunct Cat’s Miaow and The Lucksmiths.
Outside of the aforementioned artists…can you tell me about some of your current favorite artists, local or elsewhere?
Nac/Hut Report recently released their second full-length called ‘Angel-Like Contraction Reverse’ and it’s directly inspired me in a lot of ways, I hope to work with them in the near future. Drug Arts just put out 2 nice EPs from SOAP and Black Rabbit, they are on rotation in my car at the present moment. Currently I’ve also been loving ‘Quarter Turns Over a Living Line’ by Raime, Waxahatchee’s ‘Cerulean Salt’, Grouper’s ‘The Man Who Died In His Boat’ and ‘Waiting For Something To Happen’ by Veronica Falls.
Everyone has a vice? What is your vice of choice?
Sleeping; not much of an interesting vice, but it’s what I love to do! Coffee is a staple of mine as well.
Can you give me an example of a song you consider perfect?
The Cure’s ‘Pictures of You’, The Raveonettes ‘Dead Sound’, Slowdive’s ‘Alison’, ‘The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s ‘Everything With You’… I consider a lot of songs perfect actually. Pretty much anything by Cocteau Twins is out of this world perfect.
If you could collaborate with any artist living or dead who would it be?
I think working with Trish Keenan would have been incredible. My girlfriend and I were lucky to see one of her last ever performances and she was hypnotic. I’d also be interested in working with Liz Harris and watching her recording process.
Some are saying this is the greatest era to exist as a musician, others say it’s the worst, what has your experience been like?
If the internet didn’t exist I wouldn’t be aware of a lot of artists out there and I wouldn’t get as inspired as I do. I don’t play an instrument, all of my music is made with the computer so the technology of today is crucial for me. It’s nice being able to connect with peers who support you and give feedback. Not to mention how inspiring it is to be among peers who are all actually working together and supporting one another. Still, my girlfriend and I love buying EPs and LPs as gifts to each other. It means so much more being able to hold a physical copy of an album rather than ripping the songs from the internet. I feel as though when you have a CD or vinyl copy, you listen to it more and appreciate its worth.
Do you feel things happen for a reason, do you have an experience that would be evidence of this?
I’ve never really thought of things happening for a reason. In some ways I believe in fate. But there is so much horror in this world it’s hard to believe those things are happening for a reason.
Any new songs in the works? What’s the direction looking like?
At the moment I’m finishing off a new album which should see the light of day in May. It still needs a bit of work, but right now I’m liking the way it sounds. It’s got a real clear and simple sound about it. I’m also working with a band I greatly admire on a collaboration release. It’s an interesting process working with someone who isn’t even in the same country as you, but we both appreciate each others music aesthetic so it seems to work well for us.
MIXTAPE EXCLUSIVELY FOR IVIYH (Tracklistings)
1. BUTTERCLOCK – crush
2. TO KILL A PETTY BOURGEOISIE – summertime
3. AMANDA SCHOEPFLIN – mindscan
4. ZOM-BELLE’S PALSY – fromunder (the implicit order remix)
5. EINSTUERZENDE NEUBAUTEN – blume
6. NAC/HUT REPORT – junkstarr
7. VIRGIN BLOOD – dream revisited
8. LAND OF GIANTS – cannibal dolls
9. SPK – baby blue eyes
10. MUNDARING WEIRD – your high (no sunrise remix)
11. RITUALZ – limerence
12. NABESHIMA – somnum exterreri solebat
13. CRYSTAL CASTLES – plague (mustapha mond remix)
14. SIN (X) SIN – prologue
15. LYCIA – dome
16. TRAILER TRASH TRACYS – turkish heights
17. H+ – hoia baciu
18. TANTRUMS – beat the happy pavement