Longtime friends, bandmates, and classmates Drew Bostwick (Drums), Andrew Vendelis (Lead Guitar), Danny Vinton (Bass), and Quinn Hopkins (Rhythm Guitar) started playing together when they were only sixth graders.
They earned their chops over the years playing Baltimore’s premiere venues such as Rams Head Live!, Merriweather Post Pavilion, The 8×10 Club, and The Ottobar, even opening for bands like Fuel and A Skylit Drive. Now Seniors in high school, the band is looking forward to the major label release of their upcoming EP, of which their debut track “Basic Girl” was the first release.
We had a chance to talk with the guys from The Hollow Party about their roots and expectations.
Play Too Much: What are your influences?
ANDREW: My biggest influences are The 1975, Jack White, Foo Fighters, and Metallica.
QUINN: Weezer, AWOLNATION, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and New Politics
DREW: Rush, Yellowcard, and Benny Goodman
DANNY: Death Cab For Cutie, The Killers, Streetlight Manifesto, and Foster the People.
PTM: Those are some great artists. I’m curious, because you guys are so young, how do you guys approach being in a band while in school? What are your plans for schooling while on tour?
ANDREW: There’s definitely an element of balance that goes into being in a band that’s growing while I wrap up high school.
QUINN: Yeah, we are all at the same school, in the same grade. Our school also loves the band, so they always support us, and everyone always asks when our next show is, so it’s a great feeling to know our classmates are behind us.
DREW: Keeping a band while in school has actually been more of a blessing than a curse. We four, going to the same school, have access to thousands of people around our age that love our type of music. This means it is fairly easy to get people interested in us and, in turn, pack venues in our hometown repeatedly. Our school frequently makes exceptions for us to do band related things, as they respect our work.
DANNY: It can be difficult with the amount of time we spend in school to find time to practice and write, but we do our best and we do find the time. As for touring, our school, I think, would be very flexible with giving us work to do on the road.
PTM: Have your relationships with your peers/friends that aren’t in bands/musical, changed for you guys?
ANDREW: My relationship with my friends who aren’t necessarily musical have still been consistent. One thing I love about this band is that we’re pretty flexible. We definitely love to hang out with each other cause we’re four best friends, but there’s also room to focus on other friends, girlfriends, and family.
QUINN: My friends who aren’t involved with a band love coming out to see us and support, which is fantastic. My closest friends always ask, “What’s the band up to these days?” and always show interest and back me up with anything. Without my friends, I would be nothing, and that’s also why I love this band to death — these guys are my best friends, so to share a passion with them only makes our bond stronger.
DREW: The band certainly keeps us busy, but none of my relationships with friends have ever suffered because of it. I am friends with an extremely diverse crowd of people, from many different walks of life. Most if not all of them stay my friends since they support the things I do, and have my back. Those are the people that I see in the crowd at our packed shows, and they mean so much to me.
DANNY: Yeah, although the band takes up a lot of time, our friends are always there for us. We still hang out with our non musical friends and it isn’t weird at all, it is kind of fun for a change up.
PTM: I still can’t get over how grounded you guys are. You’re like pop rock vikings in high a high schooler’s body. Alright so tell me, how is this record different from your other recordings?
QUINN: Before we started the EP, we used to write songs individually, usually almost fully completed, and bring them to the rest of the band. I really didn’t like this. Now, we can build the songs together from scratch so all of us can add touches to what floats our boats.
DREW: Where each of us would write songs in their entirety before bringing them to the group, now we do everything together, and we have found that collaboration is the best method for a refined, unique sound.
DANNY: This record has been our best music in my opinion. In the past it was more individualized and there was less input from each person in the band.
PTM: Right on! So, what is it that excites you guys most about this record?
ANDREW: What excites me most about this record is that it’s a complete 180 from our previous sound, and that we explore more than just one sub genre of music throughout the songs. There are definitely hints of pop-punk and pop-rock, but then that is completely juxtaposed by elements taken from indie and alternative as well.
QUINN: My excitement comes from the thought of a fan giving feedback to each song, and why. To view these songs from untouched ears and then share with us their opinion makes me really curious as to what they will say. It’s pretty awesome.
DREW: I am most excited about reaching a broader audience. I believe this record has potential to catch the ears of so many people.
DANNY: I’m excited for it to reach a wider audience and for people to hear our music. Each song we treated as a single, so in my opinion, there are no weak songs on the record. I think that is the strongest part of this EP. I think each person will have a different favorite song off of the record.
PTM: What do you want the world to know about you?
ANDREW: Well, we’re just four best friends trying to conquer the world and live out our dream. Our fans mean everything to us and we wouldn’t be where we were today if it weren’t for their undying support for us, and that we love you guys. As for the newcomers, welcome to the party! It’s a fun time, and I hope that you come along this journey with us and stay for a while!
QUINN: When I was younger, I never thought of pursuing music. When I joined this band, that was all I thought, and it’s exhilarating because it’s moving so fast. I love it and the adrenaline each show gives me. To share a dream with three brothers is something only people can dream of, and I want everyone we meet to feel the same passion we feel with our music. 😀
DREW: This band has been the first thing on my mind since sixth grade, when we were all so young. I am also so thankful for all of the people who have supported and nourished me, especially my parents, and our amazing fans. The other three guys in this band are more than just best friends to me, they are my brothers, and to become successful with them is the only thing I want to do.
DANNY: We are four best friends making music, and we love to do it. We are musicians, but we are also normal people with normal interests, and our songs come from our experiences and our feelings.