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A Dirty Dozen with DAKOTA ALVAREZ from HOLLOW FRONT – April 2022

| 27 April 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Grand Rapids-based, metalcore up ‘n’ comers Hollow Front will drop their third album The Price of Dreaming on May 27 via UNFD. Summoning the heaviness of names such as Wage War and The Ghost Inside together with dynamic, Polaris-esque melodics, Hollow Front untangle personal losses, relationship breakdowns, and struggling mentally amid life’s waves across their catalog. Stationed out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the band exploded onto the international heavy conscious with their 2020 album Loose Threads. The release picked up over 1 million streams in its first week, ignited deals with UNFD and Sound Talent, and the likes of Ryan Kirby (Fit For a King) declaring Hollow Front an immediate must-watch. In 2021, Hollow Front continued the frenzied momentum felt on their debut, not only returning to the post-COVID touring circuit in full force (supporting the likes of Fit For a King, We Came as Romans, and Dayseeker) but also sharing some of their most visionary work to date. 2022 will be the year of Hollow Front.” We get guitarist / vocalist Dakota to discuss new music, influences, and 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 you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“Heritage” is a song to send a message to anybody who wants to deflect from accountability of racism, and hide behind the guise of, ‘Heritage’ or anything else to justify it. We definitely put little depictions of what some of these people associate with – such as confederate flags and Oppressive Rhetoric. We wanna make sure that people know that while not all southerners or people who have Heritage they follow are racist or oppressive, the ones that use these things to justify their hate for minorities are who we’re after.

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

I’ve been listening to music since I was very young in my parents’ cars, such as Hip Hop, RnB, Rap. I became more respectful and interested in the art of it when I was in 6th grade! I went to West Michigan Academy of Arts & Academics throughout elementary and middle school, so I was exposed to different elements. And the moment I witnessed all these things that relied heavily on Music existing, I knew it was my path!

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

Guitar Hero 3, “My Curse” by Killswitch Engage. The melodic-ness and heaviness of the song really opened my eyes to metal music being as expressive as it is. And after that, I realized that the entire album that song is on, “As Daylight Dies” is a MASTERPIECE.

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

Charlie Puth. That man is a songwriting genius, and I take so much influence, vocally, from Pop & RnB that I feel like it would just make my vocal lines that much more tasteful.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

Honestly, I love hiking and sightseeing. Being able to witness the world and the outside, and not have any obligation to anything is super relaxing. Aside from that, video games are ALWAYS the go-to.

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’d probably end up describing us as an emotionally-driven heavier band that not only uses the lyrics to speak, but uses the music to tell the story. The only reviewer comparison I’ve ever read that didn’t make a lot of sense was Avenged Sevenfold. I don’t think they’re bad, in fact I like ‘em a lot! I just don’t think we resemble them at all.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

So, I normally end up cooking for everybody at some point! As far as ordering stuff for the group, we normally just allow everyone to fend for themselves unless we get given money to go to one restaurant or something. Lee is EASILY the quickest to whip out any guitar when we’re together.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

It was, surprisingly enough, MGK. We were playing a show across the hall from him at the Virgin Casino Hotels in Vegas, and we snuck in to watch his show. The production that show had was INSANE, and he kept the crowd involved the entire show. Say what you want about the guy – he’s a great performer.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I think the best part is witnessing how empowering your art is to other people around the world. Getting to see how it affects people and how others relate is really humbling. I think if I had to chase another career path, it’d be to do my photography/videography full time! I’ve done it on the side to meet new people in the industry, and it’s always been something I’ve had an interest for.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I’ve always wanted to be asked if I hide any subliminal references in our songs. I’ve hidden references to old Hollow Front songs in “Wearing Thin,” “Falling Apart,” & “Wishful Thinking” and I’ve hidden some references to Disney songs in a few songs on this new record! I’m honestly sick of getting asked if I play the bass or drums when people first see me. I can’t tell what they’re implying by assuming my role, but regardless- what does a guitarist or vocalist look like?? And why don’t I look like that to you??

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?

There were a few moments and interactions I’ve had with some musicians in the industry back when I was younger and interested in getting involved in this line of work that I wish I could take back. I remember very vividly when I was 19, my band at the time opened for Asking Alexandria, and I got so excited that they were outside that I went out and knocked on their tour bus to see if I could meet them. Knowing now what it’s like to tour and be away from home for a long period of time, I wish I would’ve just minded my own business instead of being a punisher.

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

I’d love to be a part of the S&M record for Metallica when they worked with the San Francisco symphony! Being able to explore other avenues of instrumentation than just guitar, bass, drums and vocals has always interested me. And getting to combine them would open up a whole new world of musical dynamics to be in!




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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