As we take stock of the releases that have come out from Asia just these past few months, it’s inspiring to know that bands continue to keep killing it year after year. There is already a massive list of Asian releases we’re holding on to as “best of 2022” and it keeps getting longer and longer.
On top of that list will definitely be the dudes in Japanese alt-punk band called Hollow Suns who released their Will Yip-produced debut album ‘Otherside’ a few months ago. The tunes are beyond solid…there are so many layers of musical soundscapes and effects that with every listen you peel back just a little more. As we’re typing this we’re listening back to the full length for maybe the 100th time and once again we hear something that we missed the first 99 times. When you have the magic of someone like Will Yip on your record, that’s bound to happen.
The band has been off, as they should, promoting the full length all over Japan and last night the nice people at NBV released an awesome fullset live video from their recent show. As soon as you press play you’ll immediately see a bunch of hardcore dudes playing this type of music on stage – all their mannerisms is from the world of hardcore, yet they play some of the most beautifully melody-drive rock.
Fuck. The band rules…what else do you need to know?!?!?
Luckily, over a period of a few weeks, the vocalist Bones had time to answer a few questions…he was in the midst of promoting the full length but he was able to squeeze answers in every now and then. Thanks to Bones and congrats to the whole band on a brilliant full-length!
Video Credit: NBV – subscribe HERE.
Yo Bones!!! Congratulations on your debut album! How are you feeling right now? Hahahaha…
My emotions feel so out of control right now! This album took a LONG time to make.
Yes! It really has been a LONG time and finally, Hollow Suns has a debut album! Let’s go back to the beginning. When and how did the band start? What were your influences?
I started this band back in 2014 by myself after I quit my last band. My biggest influences for Hollow Suns is definitely bands like Foo Fights, Jimmy Eat World, etc., bands that have a more alternative rock sound but come from the world of punk rock and the indie scene.
Yes! Can totally hear the Foo Fighters influence! But you are originally also in hardcore bands, right? So any reason you wanted to play a different style?
I used to play in a melodic punk band for 10 years and was also in a number of hardcore bands. But at the end of the day, bands with melody have always been what moved me the most.
And then once you guys started playing shows and releasing music, what was the audience response like? Were people cool with this sound? Or did they need some time to get used to it?
Japan doesn’t really have an alternative rock scene for bands like us so we are sandwiched between the hardcore/punk scene and the alt-rock world. Since we were very different than the bands in both those communities people’s initial reaction to our music actually wasn’t very good.
Oh damn…so how long did it take before understood how great you guys are???
I think very few people understood our ideals in the beginning. It took a long time for people to “get” us. About 8 years I’d say.
Damn! 8 years! I’ve always wanted to know – how come you guys took so long to release your first album? Hahaha
Actually, we’ve always released music throughout our existence and toured a lot as a part-time band. We released a discography ‘Process of Learning’ of all these tracks on Ice Grill$ when we signed with them.
That’s true – it’s not like you had NO music out. You have definitely been very busy releasing music and even touring. Tell us about how you decided to work with Will Yip? That’s amazing!!!
I met Will in 2018 in Tokyo when he came out here on vacation. We spent a lot of time together talking about music and discussed possibly recording together.
Awesome! And so you guys flew to the US. What was it like working with him? Did he help with writing some of the songs as well?
I wrote all the songs and demo-ed them on my mac here in Tokyo probably around the end of 2019/early 2020 with the rest of the band. Will listened to the tracks and provided tons of feedback so we kept revising the songs. Will suggested so many different ideas and methods of writing/creating music that in the process I became a better musician.
That’s so cool that you were able to get advice and suggestions from a legend like that! When you were in the studio did you also learn some new things from him?
I learned so much from him. For example, I always put a whole bunch of riffs and ideas into one song. His biggest suggestion was to simplify things that make for an overall more pleasing listening experience for the audience. I can’t express all the others things I learned from him. I just know that I was one person before recording with him and now I am a completely different person after.
Hahahaha I have the same problem!!! Too many ideas and too many riffs all in one song! Hahaha… Now that the album is out – how is the response from the audience? I think it’s one of the best releases of 2022 bro
I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you so much! I’ve been holding to this record for about a year and a half like a little secret! I’m so happy to open up this box and share it with the world!