We recently got the chance to voice our feelings on Quiet Hollers‘ relaxing track, “Funny Ways“. The quintet is a cool alternative country group – comprised of Shadwick Wilde, Aaron West, Jim Bob Brown, Jake Hellman, and Dave Chale – that has a unique and unforgettable sound. Luckily, it wasn’t the last to hear from them because today, they’re releasing their album Amen Breaks.
We got the chance to ask the band some questions about themselves and their music.
Where did the moniker “Quiet Hollers” come from?
Our former guitar players girlfriend came up with it, as near as I can recall. We liked it because it was both oxymoronic and vaguely Appalachian, but I kind of think it sounds like a rest home in West Virginia.
Tell me about yourselves.
We’re real jokesters, you know. Always crackin’ wise. Self-deprecating depressive-types who decided early on that we wanted to play music for a living and not much else– this is likely what drew us together around these songs. We’re kindred spirits.
You have a new album coming out in July, tell me about it.
Amen Breaks will be our third LP, and the most stylistically diverse. Our last record (Quiet Hollers, 2015) started moving us away from the “alt. country” label, as we had begun letting the songs dictate their own style and instrumentation, rather than conforming to our own perceived genre. I’ve always loved records where every song sounds different from the last– London Calling, To Pimp a Butterfly, Sufjan Stevens’ albums. This record has psychedelic folk, punk, string quartets and drum machines. It’s been very freeing to just follow the song and see where it takes us.
What song on the upcoming album has been the most fun to create and why?
“Pressure” was easily the most fun song on this record. It’s a punk song with a runtime of only 1:38, like the songs I grew up playing. Heavy guitar, break-neck drums. Just yesterday we shot a music video for it, wherein the band is tricked by our manager into being punching-bags for professional wrestler Kongo Kong. I’m sore all over, and we think Jim Bob’s foot is broken, but it was the most fun we’ve ever had making a video.
Who is the band’s greatest inspiration?
We’re inspired by all kinds of music. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Manu Chao, Tinariwen, Kendrick Lamar. When I’m writing lyrics, I like to listen to music that’s not in English. There’s not one artist or band that I would consider to be our greatest inspiration. The connection between the artist and the listener is what drives me to write and perform.
What’s your favorite part of performing?
When we come out on stage and people are screaming and acting crazy, there’s no other feeling like it. It makes us play better. Sometimes on stage, you get to enter the “flow state” where you’re not thinking about anything– your whole being becomes the music. Other times I’m up there trying to remember if I locked up the van. Every night is different.
Who is your favorite super-villain and why?
Magneto. He’s the super-villain the post-industrial world deserves. All of its weapons are useless against his powers. A holocaust survivor, and a shepherd of his people– fighting for their right to exist. A militant who puts the struggle before himself. His helmet is cool, also.
If you were a donut, what kind would you be and why?
If I was a donut, I would be a human flesh donut, because I am made of human flesh. Honestly, that doesn’t sound very tasty. But you can deep fry anything and drunk people will eat it. That’s one thing I’ve learned living in the South.
Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years?
You don’t really get to have that kind of foresight in rock n roll. Everything we do is on the razor’s edge. I don’t think I could even tell you where I see us in six months. If we were still touring and making records, that would be awesome. I’m just trying to ride this wave until it crests… then I’ll probably go back and finish college. I’ve always liked the idea of teaching.