"We are here to do what we do and we’re going to keep on doing that for ourselves and for the people who want to be a part of it."
Our Hollow, Our Home have just released their brand new album 'Burn In The Flood' via //Hollow Music.
Bringing together all of the elements and emotions that have played a part in their journey up until now and displaying them proudly, it's a record of immense depth and devastation. Vulnerable and vicious, raw and ravaging, it's a collection of songs that push the band further to the front of the UK metalcore scene and will surely enrapture and assist everyone who lets it under their skin.
There are also a few different elements that make up the tapestry of the album, and each one is vital to what makes the album what it is.
So we jumped on the phone with guitarist Toby Young and vocalist Connor Hallisey to dissect and discuss the album's anatomy...
THE IMPORTANCE OF FANS
Toby: “The reason this album has been written with fans in mind is that they are the very blood of this band. We’ve never been able to do anything without them in mind. With the last album, I had over 500 messages of people telling me their own stories of losing loved ones and how much the songs meant. It shone a light on how they loved this band as much as we do, maybe even more. From that point on, this band became their band.”
Connor: “They have always been at the heart of everything we do. Even when we are going through the creative process, they are there with us. We have hidden behind metaphor a lot in the past, but this album wears its heart on its sleeve from beginning to end. This is how we feel because of the scenarios that we have been through, and we are putting it on a pedestal for people to take ownership of. That’s all because of the fans, and because of that, we feel so incredibly connected to them. People will lay their hearts bare with us because we did it with them. That can be difficult at times, but there is no feeling that’s more rewarding when the things that are cathartic for you are cathartic for someone else that you’ve never met.”
Toby: “I find it difficult to approach an album without some context to what we are doing. ‘In Moment // In Memory’ was very straightforward as I just told the rest of the boys that I wanted to write an album about my Dad. I had song names, ideas, everything already planned out. With ‘Hartsick’, it was very much a way of us looking at how natural elements and animals can be connected to human emotions. We have always done something quite concept-based, and ‘Burn In The Flood’ both is and isn’t that. The reason the album is called that is that every single song on this record could have been called ‘Burn In The Flood’, and that’s because it is a collection of songs about being over-encumbered, burning, within your own emotions, the flood.
“Musically, every song on this album has been given a chance and the space to breathe. We were thinking, ‘What do we want this song to do? Is it going to sound good live? What is it going to make people want to do?’ We wanted to allow our fans to get what they want and what they need from every single moment on here.”
Connor: “So we have taken all of the core elements of the things that people like about us and made sure they are on here. There’s a track to jump up and down to. There’s a track everyone can sing along to. There’s a song they can mosh to. It’s all about the perfect balance.”
Toby: “We’re stoked on this record because it incorporates everything that makes this band what it is. We also know that we never want to make the same record twice either. Fans help us to achieve that.”
THE DEPTH OF FAMILY
Toby: “It doesn’t matter if we are touching on having an addiction problem in ‘Seven Years’ or you’re dealing with two parents’ breakdown tearing a family apart like what we loosely touch on in ‘Burn In The Flood’. Everything is based on people. That is how you interact with the world around you. I choose to use the word family to describe the people who mean the most to me. We try and embody that feeling. With us not focusing on just the one subject on this record, we could look at the interactions between all of these subjects we cover. You can see how they divulge from the word family and how we treat family. ‘Remember Me’, for example, is essentially a suicide note to yourself and allowing you to read your own obituary. We might not be in the same room as somebody listening to that song, but we want them to know that we get it. Our whole band have had periods where they have struggled and not been in good places, but we have helped each other through it.”
Conor: “I feel as though Toby and I have communicated more creatively in the last two years than we have in the whole time of the band. We’ve been able to go over every track on this record with a fine comb and make sure that we are happy with every part musically and lyrically. That’s because of the trust we have within each other and the reliance that we can have on each other emotionally.
“Back to fans again, there are people who have met their best friends through our fan page. To have that impact on people is just incredible.”
Toby: “And with that, there is something to be said about our support network. We’ve grown together as a family, and now we can bring even more people into the fold. We wouldn’t be anywhere without those people who have taken a chance on us and allowed us to be. This is not just five people in a band.”
Conor: “We may be an independent band, but we are in no way ever going to close our door to anyone who wants to be involved and a part of this. We’re not here to make enemies. We are here to do what we do and we’re going to keep on doing that for ourselves and for the people who want to be a part of it. We’re not worried about anything else.”
OVERCOMING EMOTIONAL TURMOIL
Connor: “I would like to think that we are all close enough as a band and as friends to know how each other functions. If someone in the band is struggling, you can tell. If someone is overthinking something and finds themselves in a dark place, you can sense that if you know them well enough. There have been moments through the last 12 months where a couple of us have struggled and got to the point where we’ve had to sit down and talk it out. Just because we have written this album and got through it together doesn’t mean that everything has been sunshine and rainbows along the way. There have been some dark times that we have been able to channel and experiences that aren’t that far behind us. We’re still learning, processing and going through things. Everybody has their shit.”
Toby: “The thing is that society has manipulated humans to believe that you have to deal with that shit solely. That is so damaging. One of the most important songs on ‘Burn In The Flood’ to me is ‘Overcast’ because it deals directly with the concept of young men being told they shouldn’t talk about their mental health. By being so open with our lyrics in that way and being real, it’s not only allowed fans to find themselves more in the songs but also us as band members.”
Connor: “We always try and find that balance between telling a negative story, but there is still a sense of hope at the end of it. That’s something that with ‘In Moment // In Memory’ was prevalent because it’s a journey that you have to go through in life, and there is a way out the other side. With this album, each song tells its own story, but all have that light at the end.”
Toby: “Fundamentally, it is all about finding solace from the sadness.”
FINDING CONFIDENCE IN BEING OPEN ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES
Toby: “You look at a song like ‘Seven Years’, and you see how bleak it is, but ultimately the song got made. To some level, we got through it.”
Connor: “When you’re personally in those sorts of dark spaces, just hearing somebody else going through it can be enough to give you the positivity to talk about it. If Conor and Toby can get through that, maybe I can too.”
Toby: “I always get drawn back to this one lyric that we wrote for ‘Feast For The Crows’, which is, ‘All I want is to be remembered, not for what I’ve done but because I tried to be better.’ When the band is done, I want people to look back and know that we gave everything. We didn’t just do this ourselves. We did it for everybody who finds themselves in our songs.”
Connor: “To pour a situation into a song that you may still be going through, and then push it out into to the world where it is no longer yours anymore, that is quite a daunting thing. Putting your heart and soul out there for the world to see is fucking hard.”
Toby: “We’re in a position where what we give to the people who listen to us matters. They give us a part of them, so it’s in the respect that we give them a part of us to take with them. And where ‘In Moment // In Memory' helped so many to talk about grief, this album has allowed us to do that with so many other topics too.”
LEARNING HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF AND ACCEPT YOUR SHORTCOMINGS
Connor: “We all have flaws, and that is what makes us human. But being able to be creative in this way and lay it all bare on a record allowed me to tell myself that, ‘Yeah, there are parts of me that I’m not 100% happy with, but I’m learning to level it out. You don’t have to love yourself every five seconds, but you can accept yourself. There are so many moments on this record that touch on self-hatred and doubting yourself, but it swings it back around again.”
Toby: “At least I’m trying. That’s the most important message for me. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the first step of a 20-step ladder. You’re still one step further to keep to the top. Everyone has made bad choices in life. Everyone has done something they regret. But the minute that you say that you know that and are okay with that, you can take all of the weight of the universe off your shoulders."