Hollis Brown interview with Mike Montali

June 13, 2013

Hollis Brown interview with Mike Montali

“We are artists and we want to make music
that comes from within us.”
The band Hollis Brown, that shakes stages
around USA for many years, released their first “big” album. Their single “Ride
on train” was published on Uncut`s magazine CD, Their second album, but first
“on a real record label and not self-released” as stated by band`s front man Michael
Montali, got great response from music critics and the crowd. “Ride on train”
is the album that announces a big step forward for this NY based gang and
obligates them to maintain high standards in their music, lyrics and
creativity, in order to enthrone themselves among the top rock bands in the
close future. Band`s members are: Mike Montali, Jon Bonilla, Mike Graves and
Dillon DeVito. Montali answered a couple of questions for “IPsychedelic Baby”, spoke about their music, idols, current rock`n roll scene, announced
band`s first European tour and stated his point of view about bourbons.
Hi Mike. To start, please tell us why you
chose this Dylan`s song character as the band`s name?
I honestly am not sure seemed like a good
idea at the time. We were really high.
First of all congratulations on great album
“Ride on train” that brought a big attention. This is actually your second
album, after the self-titled debut? Have you expected that “Ride on train” will
attract this much attention? The “Uncut” magazine CD probably helped you big
time in promoting the “Ride on train” single?

The album has gotten a great reception so
far and we are proud of it. We are thankful that people are listening. We feel
in our hearts like this is our first album, because we put it out on a real
record label and not self-released it ourselves. We also have different band
members too, so we feel like a brand new band.
In “Ride on train” you sing about life on
the road. Is it hard for you as artists to travel and live life on wheels,
plains and trains?
It’s like everything else. Highs and lows.
Except in this profession, the highs tend to be really high and the lows tend
to be really low. We love what we do, and we want to play music together as
long as we can.
As I understand, you guys play together for
a long time. You started as cover band or no? What where the first songs you
started playing?

No we never were a cover band. Jon and I
have been playing since high school, so it has been a little while. It took us
time to get our shit together, we just loved to play, and to write, but we
never had anything planned for a career. Now we feel more professional, we feel
like a real band for the very first time, it’s exciting.
Do you play any covers live now?
We do play covers but we are trying to get
our original music heard more and more. I love playing covers though.
How often do you play? Are everybody in the
band committed only to the music, or is it still hard to make money only of
rock n roll?
We just did a 33 day tour of the United
States, we are doing a 3 tour in July and probably 2 weeks in August then we
are trying to get over to Europe for a month in the fall. We have been playing
a lot.
Is there enough radio and TV air space for
music like yours? How are you promoting your album?
I think there is space for anything, but I
can’t worry about that shit, it will just drive you crazy. We are artists and
we want to make music that comes from within us.
I read that you are a big
“singers-songwriters” fan like Joni Mitchel, Carole King and others. What about
new songwriters? Is there a new scene in the USA of young artists and
performers that inspire you? How would you describe modern rock n roll scene?
Do you feel any positive changes, regarding new movements that came with some
new influenced artists?
There are a few songwriters today that I do
admire. Kurt Vile, John McCauley, Taylor Goldsmith to name a few. But honestly
the state of rock n roll and music in general is in trouble in my mind. Most of
the music today sucks. I don’t know if it’s because anyone can make a record in
their basement so most of them sound like garbage or what. There’s a lot of
over-saturation. It used to be you had to work for years to even get a chance
to get into a studio. Now anyone can do it. So while there’s still a lot of
cool stuff, you have to look deeper.
Tells us a little bit about the recording
process. When were the songs written? How long have you been recording them and
We have been writing these songs for our
whole lives it seems. This was our chance to make a real solid album so we
recorded everything we could think of. We did in Nashville with a wonderful
producer named Adam Landry. We recorded everything live a the same time in the
same room, straight to analog tape.
Have you played with older colleagues and
artists? Have you met some of your idols and who?
We have played with all types of people.
Some very successful. They seem to be the nicest a lot of times.
What was the best and worst place, where
you guys played?
Best place for me is always New York City.
There’s nothing like it. We have done some really shitty shows so the list on
that is a long one.
In order to conclude, tell me please – Jack
Daniels or Maker`s Mark? With ice or without ice?
Maker’s on the rocks.
Mike thank You very much for the
Thank you Andrija…
Interview made by Andrija Babovic/2013
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