We had a chance to meet Nashville rockers The Hollywood Kills at the Driven Music Conference last November. They are a band of all around good dudes with great tunes and a lead singer who knows how to grow a great mustache. The have a hard rock edge but blend in tongue in cheek humor and they know how to have a good time.
RSD: We had a chance to connect with you guys at the Driven Music Conference this time last year. What have The Hollywood Kills been up to since then?
HK: We can’t believe that it’s already been a year! We have been very busy the last 12 months. Right around a year ago is when we started recording our most recent release Episode IV, which was released in September.
The recording took most of winter, and we spent the spring and summer playing gigs all over the country, including an awesome show in Arkansas with Three Doors Down. We even shot a couple music videos over the summer as well. Our bass player Preston got married in October too! Most recently we have been getting together material for a new album.
RSD: In a land of country stars and heavy competition, how is the band differentiating itself in the Nashville music scene?
HK: Most people will tell you that the competition in Nashville is very stiff. The positive thing about that is the ever growing diversity of musical styles in the city. Even though the market is and probably always will be dominated by the country pop superstars, there is plenty of great bands thriving in all genres, and there’s a huge amount of talented players from all over the world. We are fortunate enough to be a group of guys with different musical backgrounds that can combine all of our separate experiences and styles into a groovin’ rock and roll sound. We don’t necessarily have the goal to be “different,” we just want to play our own songs the best we can every single night we play. Hopefully that’s enough to get heads to turn and feet to start movin’.
RSD: What advice do you have for other bands and aspiring artists trying to make it in Nashville?
HK: Have a goal, get a roof under your head, get a day job if you need it, get settled, be social, sell yourself. Nashville is a great place to be if you are a musician because of the giant network of players, bands, and music professionals that has been established here. Get yourself settled in town and go out and meet people – the majority of them play or are in the business in some way. Don’t be afraid to take it slow either, getting your foot in the door to bigger shows and bills with bigger-named bands can sometimes take time. Work hard and don’t get discouraged, because the competition and sheer amount of musicians here can suck the life out of you if you allow it. Use all of these tools in town to your advantage, not as a way to keep you down.
RSD: Being a hard rock band, how do you continue to evolve your sound and connect with fans in a world that seems to be more and more dominated by YouTube plays vs. live performances?
HK: We do our best to keep all of our fans informed on what the band is doing via social media. We post all sorts of content such as photos/videos and event information for shows on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and have links to our music via iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube. This has been great in keeping a connection with those fans that we meet all over, and it’s just the industry standard these days. In a live setting, we just want to get up there and play our instruments because that’s what we do. We are a self-proclaimed “blue collar band” that takes pride in working hard all day just to get on the stage at night. We have a blast up there and just hope that the crowd feels the same way. If not, check us out online ;)
RSD: We really dig the song “I Don’t Walk Straight,” can you give us a little insight into the inspiration for that track?
HK: That one really isn’t too deep…it’s just about being whoopin’ ass and taking names. It’s about being a bad ass. We recommend it.
RSD: What can we expect from your next album Episode IV?
HK: We got a little more groovy on this EP. Our frontman Brent has been really digging the R&B stuff lately and you can tell on Episode IV. The drum and bass are boomin’ and the guitars sound as nasty and delicious as ever. We even threw some horns in there.
RSD: If The Hollywood Kills were stranded on a desert island and you could only bring one case of alcohol with you, what would it be and why?
HK: We’d argue over it for a while but we’d probably just settle for Jack Daniel’s…it’s a classic standard for us southern gentleman and it’ll put some hair on your chest. That would be good for those chilly winter months on the coast. Plus you can breathe fire with that shit, perfect for scaring off that tribe of savages on the island. Then you can serve it over ice as you serenade the warchief’s daughter and forge an alliance. Magnificent.