Three Years Hollow Talk Battle of the Bands, Working with Clint Lowery and Playing The Uproar Festival – Interview

I got to attend this years Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival featuring Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind etc etc. It also included the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands Regional Winner Three Years Hollow. It’s always fun to witness an up and coming band get a taste of success, it’s even cooler when you kind of know that guys. The coolest thing though is that fucking Clint Lowery of Sevendust spent three or four days in my hometown of Geneseo, IL to work with these guys. You can listen to the entire interview along with my interviews with P.O.D., Adelitas Way, Fozzy and Mindset Evolution right here:

Zoiks! (Z!): How did you get involved with the Battle of the Bands and is this your first time?

Jose Urquiza (JU): We knew about it from Mindset Evolution winning it last year. We didn’t enter it last year because we found out about it really late in the competition. This year when it came out we saw everything it did for them and we knew it would be good for us. People just kind of jumped on board immediately.

Chris Cushman (CC): I don’t know that we were in the position last year to garner enough support we did this year, it really made a huge difference.

Zoiks!: From 2010 to 2011 it really seemed like you guys had plateaued, but from late 2011 to now it seems like you’ve really taken off.

JU: I think the “Chemical Ride” video was really the starting point, the match that lit everything. We released it on New Years and basically this year we’ve been pushing harder than ever. Our management has been working harder, we’ve been working harder. We’ve decided that this is it, we have to do it now. We have no choice.

Tom Baumgardner (TB): Sorry to jump in, but I think a fair amount of it was working with Tadpole at Groovemaster was big to get the song done and done well.

JU: It did. One of the things that I’ve said before about Tadpole is that it was good having an outside ear. It’s never really hurt us before, he doesn’t know what we sound like live and was just able to listen to the song and move parts around a little bit. It turned out really good. At first we were kind of hesitant against it, you know someone coming in and making changes to the song, but he sent us the final version and it was like no more worries.

Z!: How did you get involved with him?

JU: How did we get involved with him?

TB: I contacted him out of the blue. We were aware of him and I contacted him and Groovemaster studios inquiring. Crystal, who manages Groovemaster and Tadpole said they caught us playing a show at JJ Kelleys in Lansing Illinois. He said, ‘I’m very familiar with you guys, I like you guys a lot, your genre is right in my wheelhouse, I’d like to work with you.

JU: It was cool because Tadpole had always been a name that I’d known from working with ADD and Disturbed, it was cool to go up there and work with him.

Z!: How did the Clint Lowery thing come together?

JU: The startings of it came about when we played with Eye Empire. We played with them once and got to know Corey a little bit. We played with them again and got to know Corey even more. Corey just saw something in us that he believed in and said I want you to call my brother and hook up some writing sessions. That started Tom talking to Clint and that was it. Now I talk to him every other day. 

Z!: Tell us about playing Uproar.

JU: It was awesome man. I think what surprised me the most was how familiar people seemed to be with us already. I wasn’t expecting that kind of reaction when I asked how many people in the crowd had heard of us before today, then when people sand with “Chemical Ride.” We had a lot of fans here too, a lot of fans that drove up from the Quad Cities. We got a charter bus that we filled up, so there were a lot of supporters here for us. It was cool to see, especially at a huge festival like this.

Z!: So what’s next for you guys?

JU: My goal is to take the awareness and momentum that we’ve built up and just try to build on it. The Cliché strike while the iron is hot and just keep spreading. Release a couple more music videos. We have two more coming out, another single eventually coming out. We’re still pushing “Chemical Ride” as much as we can. Until that really takes off on a massive market we can still continue pushing it because it’s brand new to some people.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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