By: Kevin Rolfe
Note from Kev:
I feel like I’ve been circling around The Hollering Pines for a few years. The first time I saw Marie Bradshaw, Kiki Jane Sieger, Dylan Schorer, Daniel Young and M. Horton Smith perform was at The State Room for a Bruce Springsteen tribute show where a variety of local artists performed Born in the USA in its entirety. A few nights later I saw many of these artists perform with Americana super group The Lower Lights at their annual Christmas concert. It was only after that show I realized that these five members were their own band. I quickly jumped onboard the Hollering Pines train and don’t plan on getting off any time soon.
This Friday (June 7) The Hollering Pines will be releasing their third album, Moments in Between. Concurrently they will be performing an album release show at Commonwealth Studios.
I had the opportunity to visit with Hollering Pines drummer, Daniel Young leading up to the show and album release. Hope you enjoy our conversation!
Utah Concert Review: Hi Daniel, how’s everything going?
Daniel Young: Things have been well man. We’ve just then busy with trying to get the new record out and everything but it’s been good.
UCR: So how long have the Hollering Pines been together and how did it all start?
DY: So The Hollering Pines, we’ve been together going on 7 or 8 years. When we started it was me Kiki, Marie and our friend Johnny who is not in the band anymore. He played guitar and he actually moved to Ohio.
UCR: That makes it kind of hard to continue in band.
DY: Right yeah, but luckily when he left that’s when we met Dylan. He plays guitar and lap steel in pedal steel. We actually saw him playing at a Lower Lights show at The Rooftop Concert Series in Provo. So we met him there and asked him if he wanted to come play with us and he had heard us before I think so he came up and it was perfect it was a perfect fit. And Mark who plays mandolin and guitar, he was on our first record which was recorded at June Audio in 2012 or 2013. So he was on that record but wasn’t in the band, he was just kind of playing on a few songs and then later joined the band full time a couple of years after that. So yeah, we’ve been going I guess it’s been 8 years now.
UCR: What is your personal background in music? I’ve seen you play guitar. I’ve seen you sing and it looks like you play drums in this group. Was this style of music always what you wanted to be in or did you just kind of fall into this style as you progress through your own musical education?
DY: I’ve always loved this kind of music. I do my own solo thing playing guitar and writing songs.
I actually used to have another band called The Trappers awhile back. I did all the songwriting and was the frontman of that band. It’s actually how I met Kiki and Marie because they were in a different band called The Polka Dots a long time ago and we played shows together. So that’s how we met and then eventually started The Hollering Pines together. But yeah, I do play guitar, drums and sing and I do write songs. I write some of the songs in the Hollering Pines, then we all write songs together. Marie probably writes the bulk of it. Especially on this new record. She wrote every song by herself.
UCR: So how does that work? Does she come and say “Hey I’ve written these songs.” and then you guys just kind of add your specialty to the song? Or does Marie say “I want you to play something like this in this song.”?
DY: Marie is very open and really trusts every one of what we’ll add. So she’ll bring it into rehearsal and we’ll play through a few times and see what works best. We try not to go through it too much before we record it just to keep it fresh and try to get some of that magic in the studio. She was just writing like crazy for this new one and the songs are really cohesive and I personally think it’s our best album so far.
UCR: Now I can’t remember where I saw this, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you guys more or less record this album live in the studio?
DY: Yeah it is. I think we’ve done all our records pretty much live in the studio with some minimal overdubs. So this one we went back recorded at June Audio with Scott Wiley. We did it mostly live. We did some overdubs with you know just some vocals here and there and then Greg Leisz played pedal steel. We had another pedal steel player play on it as well. One of Dylan’s friends, Gary Morse. But yeah I mean there was just minimal overdubs. We just like to do it live and try to keep the vibe and the feel of the song. If we haven’t nailed it in 2 or 3 takes, we move on come back to it but all of them really were just magical in the studio.
UCR: It seems like this would be the best way to record an Americana album. I would think this style would come across best with more of a live feel than an ultra-produced record.
DY: Right, right yeah I mean it’s pretty crazy how different it is if you do it live versus track by track. It just has a better feel. Especially for this type of music. I mean if you’re doing a pop album or something it’s a different story I think.
UCR: So tell me a little bit about Moments in Between. What were some of the inspirations or background that lead it to become such a good album?
DY: I think it’s got a cool vibe to it. Kind of like Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball record that Daniel Lanois produced. There’s a lot of that type of atmospheric stuff on it with Dylan and Mark going back and forth with their instruments. And then the songs, Marie wrote them all and she was listening to a lot of crime podcasts which got her inspired to write all of these songs actually. So a lot of the songs stem from that so it has kind of a creepy eerie feeling.
UCR: And again, this kind of music sort of lends itself to that. I believe The Hollering Pines covered “Long Black Veil” and that is such a dark song, but it’s one of my favorites and this style of music really enhances what makes that song so great.
DY: Yeah definitely. Especially with the 2 harmonies that the gals are doing, it’s just, it’s perfect. It sets it up perfectly for what we’re going for. But yeah I do think it is our best album to date.
UCR: Moments in Between is going to be released on June 7 and on that same date you’re also going to be doing a concert that evening, right?
DY: Yes. The album is released on iTunes, Spotify, we’re going to have it on vinyl and CDs. And then we’re doing a concert it down at the Commonwealth Studios right by Pat’s BBQ. It’s an art space where they have a big open room where they do a lot of photography and they have a cool little stage area we’re going to do it. It’s gonna be awesome.
UCR: That sounds perfect. And you plan on doing Moments in Between in full?
DY: Yeah, I think we are going to play the whole record. I don’t think in order, but we are going to play every song on the record. But it will be a full live show with a full set. Our friend Marcus Bently is going to be opening.
UCR: Well I’m really looking forward to it. As I mentioned before we started the interview, I’ve seen every band member perform in different installments whether it be with the Lower Lights, or at Rooftop or solo, but this will be my first time seeing The Hollering Pines. I think this will be a good show to be at.
DY: Well we’re excited for you to be there.
UCR: Do you remember the first concert you attended?
DY: I yeah I actually do. I think I was 14 or 15 and it was Kingsbury Hall. It was The Samples and an opener called Stir.
UCR: Would you say seeing that show made you think “I have to do this!” Or did you already have that ambition?
JY: Yeah, I remember that show vividly. Just seeing live music it kind of just sparked everything for me. After I saw that live show that’s honestly all I could think about for a long time was just wanting to play out and get better as a songwriter and musician.
UCR: Do you remember the first time you performed live?
JY: I think one of the first times was a local band called Trigger Locks. I play drums with them when I was 16. We could only play in coffee shops because I couldn’t get into bars. I remember we played this coffee shop in Bountiful. That was the first show we had played together and it was I mean you know just a little coffee shop wasn’t quite the Kingsbury Hall feel, but still, I had that same feeling like “Man this is a blast!” and it was kind of addicting and you just keep wanting more of it.
UCR: Looking back do you feel like you were pretty composed? Or did you feel like your nerves were getting the best of you?
DY: Oh yeah, I was nervous. The other two guys in the band were older than me and I think that made me nervous too. They were in their mid-twenties I was just 16. It was a great experience but it was nerve racking to play out live for the first time.
UCR: Is there somebody that you always make a point to see when they come through town?
DY: Bob Dylan for sure. He’s always been a huge inspiration for me and every time it comes through I try to go see him. Same with John Prine.
UCR: What has been your best or favorite performance to date?
DY: Probably when we opened for Marty Stuart when he came through The State Room. We’ve done it twice but I think the first time we played with him it was a magical evening. We played really great and of course, they were amazing and they were awesome to hang out with and yeah, I think that one I’ll always remember. I think all of us will always remember that show opening for Marty Stuart.
A Final Word
Moments in Between will be available on June 7. I’ve had the opportunity to preview the album. Daniel is right, it’s their best work to date. I think you’ll really enjoy this record. Click here to get tickets to The Hollering Pines album release.
Be sure to head over to theholleringpines.com for information on futures shows!