The New York Based Roots-Rock Band, HOLLIS BROWN Chats With All Access About Their Summer Tour, Their Debut Album, “3 Shots” and More!
Posted On 26 Aug 2015
Tag: 3 Shots, Adam Bock, All Access, All Access Music Group, Andrew Zehnal, Artist Interview, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Citizen Cope, Counting Crows, Dillon DeVito, Don Dilego, Highway 1, Hollis Brown, Jam In The Van, John Wayne, Jonathan Bonilla, Jullian Records, Mike Montali, New York, Nikki Lane, PNC, Queens, Rain Dance, Red Rocks, Ride On The Train, SXSW, Velvet Elk, Willie Nelson
Meet the roots-rock New York based band, Hollis Brown! The group is made up of the founding duo of singer/guitarist Mike Montali and guitarist Jonathan Bonilla, longtime bassist/vocalist Dillon DeVito and more recent additions Andrew Zehnal (drums) and Adam Bock (piano and vocals).
This summer they have been busy touring with Counting Crows promoting their debut album, “3 Shots”.
This collection features the Bo Diddley collaboration “Rain Dance,” written around a previously unreleased track found in Bo’s vaults (http://hitsdailydouble.com/the_bside). The album also contains a Nikki Lane duet on “Highway 1,” and a tribute to iconic heroes with “John Wayne”.
“It’s a really good time for this band, I think,” Montali states. “We’ve dealt with all the standard b.s. that you deal with when you’re in a band, and I think that all of those experiences are reflected in the maturity of this record. I think that we’re becoming the band that we’re meant to be, and we’re feeling a real sense of purpose now about what we want to accomplish.”
Thanks for your time! What else do you have on tap today besides answering these questions?
Today we are driving to Orlando for our show there tonight. Got up early, worked out, hit the pool and I’m now driving.
Can you remember first starting this group? How did you all meet? Your name comes from a Bob Dylan track, correct?
I remember first starting the group and painting Jon’s garage with him in Queens which was out first practice space. We wanted to be songwriters and that’s why we picked the Dylan name. Got to learn from the best.
You’ve got a very busy tour scheduled with Counting Crows and Citizen Cope coming up. How excited are you guys? Where are you the most excited to play at? Have you gotten to know these bands yet?
We have a lot of touring coming up to support our new record “3 Shots “ and we are doing a full national run over like 3 months opening for the Counting Crows and Citizen Cope. Excited isn’t the word, places like Red Rocks and PNC, incredible.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals? What’s the best part about being on the road on a tour?
I really don’t have any rituals. Depending how many shows into the tour its getting, I usually just warm up my voice and have a couple of drinks and get to it. It’s always different every night.
Tell me about your latest album, “3 Shots”. What songs on it are you the most proud of? How is it a bigger sound then your previous collections?
“3 Shots” just came out on Jullian Records. We recorded it mostly with Don Dilego at his studios in Velvet Elk. I am proud of all the songs. There is some depth there that we didn’t reach with “Ride On The Train.” We wanted a bigger and more produced record this time around to fit with the music. I’m really proud of it. It’s weird that we recorded the record and mixed it pretty much in one week, but it was a few years in the making.
How did it feel to Jam In The Van? Very cool set up!
GQ Jam in The Van was awesome. We showed up at SXSW and the spread was insane. It was set up in this incredibly, modern mansion and everyone was really warm and sweet. We had a blast. It would be fun to do again.
What bands have consistently inspired the group? Who would you guys love to work with in the future?
Obviously all the great rock bands from the 60’s. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Willie Nelson. He’s fascinating.
Your songs are being praised for their incredible storytelling qualities. Typically, where do you get your songwriting inspiration from?
I’m glad the songs are being well received. I wanted every song on “3 Shots” to be about something going on out there. I didn’t feel like writing a love song record. Not that I have anything against those, I love them. I just didn’t feel like writing that at this point in my life. Maybe the next one. I wanted to tell stories about different topics that are in society through the eyes of different characters. It’s a little less mainstream maybe but it just happened that way. Probably won’t make another record like this one.
Our music has grown a bunch the last few years. I think we still have a lot to learn about the studio and songwriting and each other. Hope to continue to grow and change and make the best records we can. Our live show is also very different. Adam and Dillon add a lot to the vocals and we can play with that dynamic more. Andrew has a rolling feel behind the drums that lets us swing a bit more.
Is there anything else that you would like fans to know about the group or your music?
We run our own social media so feel free to reach out to us on Twitter, Instagram. Facebook or wherever. We like to keep in touch with people who like our music. Hope everyone can come see us. We will be all over America and Europe the next 4 months or so promoting our new album “3 Shots”.