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A Dirty Dozen with BLAKE BURNS of HELL AND HOLLAR – May 2019


According to a recent press release: “West Palm Beach, FL based Stoner Rock Band HELL & HOLLAR has released the official music video for “Showdown,” off of their debut EP, 442. Hell & Hollar is a rock band from South Florida featuring Blake Burns on guitar and vocals, Nate Largent on drums, Johnny Dusko on bass and Mike McCleary multi instrumentalist. Drawing from their many influences that span the areas of blues and heavy stoner rock, they are developing a brand of rock all their own. Their heavy yet inviting sound is a refreshing straight forward rock music that anyone can have a good time with. This power trio has an old school heavy rock vibe with an open eye on the future.” We get guitarist / vocalist Blake to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“Showdown” was an unfinished idea when we went into LFT Studio in Nashville. With the help of our great friend Chris Condon we completed the idea into what we feel was the song that had the energy to lead the way as our first single. We are music fans ourselves. So yes there will always be little nuggets for the hardcore music fans to find. But I can’t tell what they are and spoil the fun.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was so young when I realized that I don’t remember. I just remember being really young and my dad would play Elvis and Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon all that great old stuff. I just remember thinking that’s what I want to do when I grow up.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

No not really, once you go down the rabbit hole, you find that there is so much great music out there past and present. I guess for me you could say the Palm Desert rock scene was always extremely attractive to me. The originality, the freedom. I will say that I listen to the bands that came from there the most. Like Queens Of The Stone Age or Masters of Reality or Them Crooked Vultures. But I also listen to a lot of Clutch.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

That’s so tough because I really want to name 100 bands. Hahaha! But if I have to say just 5 it would be QOTSA, Clutch, Masters of Reality, Deep Purple, and Them Crooked Vultures.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

That’s another tough one! There are so many. But I guess if I had to say one I would say, Josh Homme. He’s done so much in the studio even outside his own projects and has worked with so many people that I would love to work with him and tap into his knowledge and experience even just a little if I could.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I have never disagreed with anyone on what they hear in it. We create it and give it to the listener. It’s up to them to decide what they hear in it. But our sound is a bit blues, a bit classic rock, a bit punk, and all rock.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

For me, it’s the creating. Performing in front of people who like your music is always a great feeling also. But there is something that is so special to me about getting together with people that you love to be around in the studio and using our collective creativity to birth something that didn’t exist in the world prior. It’s such a great feeling.

8. When you have downtime and are hanging out with your family, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and how often is there an acoustic sing along or impromptu karaoke night?

Well, karaoke happens every morning for me because I always play Dean Martin in the morning and seriously. How can you listen to Deano and not sing along? My wife usually cooks, but I like to cook as well. Drinks are usually had by all and the acoustics don’t come out as much as I would like. But it happens from time to time.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

You know I’ve never been the type to freak out over a celebrity. I’m always happy to meet them. But I have always looked at them like anyone else and have always assumed there is a certain amount of the attention that gets annoying or old at times. So I always try and just be super normal and polite. No one likes to be uncomfortable and celebrities are not exempt from that. That being said, the last celebrity I met was Lukas Nelson, Willie’s son, when we opened for him at Sun Fest last year. Super nice guy! It wasn’t too long later A Star is Born came out.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I don’t know. I would have to say a producer or studio engineer. Can I say that or does that still qualify under musician? Hahaha! I have done a lot of jobs and I will say that there is truly nothing I would rather be doing with my life.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

All things happen for a reason and I truly feel that all of it good or bad has been what has lead me to be where I am and have my head on right for where we are as a band. This is only the beginning and we haven’t even written our best songs yet. We have a long way to go and we are so excited to be on this journey together.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for anyone record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Again I could name 100. Another tough one to end it eh. Hahaha! I would probably have to go with Them Crooked Vultures only self-titled album from 2009. I say that because that band has members from so many of my favorite bands with Homme from QOTSA, Dave (everyone knows what he’s done) Grohl, and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin. I love Alain Johannes also, he’s great. Not sure if he worked in the studio also or just did the touring as second guitar. But kinda covers a lot if you got to be a part of it.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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