OUR HOL­LOW, OUR HOME face down their de­mons.

To­bias Young fell apart when he lost his dad to cancer. With Our Hol­low, Our Home, he wants to use his ex­pe­ri­ence to spread the word that...

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - Words: Matt Mills

‘Sit with me for a lit­tle while and don’t be ner­vous, be­cause I’m not afraid of death’ is what he said the last time I saw him”, be­gins Our

Hol­low, Our Home gui­tarist To­bias Young. He is re­call­ing, with re­mark­able open­ness, the last con­ver­sa­tion he ever had with his fa­ther. “Then he went on to tell me how much he loved me and how much he wanted me to push this band for­ward. He knew this would be the way that I get through it. I was re­ally lucky that he sup­ported me.”

For as long as To­bias can re­mem­ber, his dad had been a pas­sion­ate cham­pion of his mu­si­cal ven­tures. He wit­nessed how mu­sic had the power to trans­form his son from an in­tro­verted young­ster to a con­fi­dent shred­der, and en­cour­aged him as he hopped from band to band in Southamp­ton’s met­al­core scene.

“I was lucky to be a part of the Southamp­ton com­mu­nity,” says

To­bias. “When I was 14, I would email the lo­cal venue, the Join­ers Arms, and get to play with bands like Funeral

For A Friend and Hun­dred Rea­sons.

You got to play with your heroes!”

Af­ter build­ing up ex­pe­ri­ence on the South Coast’s stages, To­bias formed

Our Hol­low, Our Home in early 2013. From his lo­cal met­al­core sect, he rounded up co-gui­tarist Josh White and front­man Con­nor Hal­lisey. Af­ter adding drum­mer Nick Tali­adoros and bassist Bobby Brooks, the quin­tet quickly gained trac­tion in their hard­core-lov­ing home­town, em­ploy­ing harsh break­downs, blis­ter­ing riffs and an un­pre­dictable in­ter­play be­tween To­bias’s clean sing­ing and Con­nor’s bel­li­cose roars. They at­tracted fol­low­ers with their first EP, 2015’s

Re­de­fine, as well as charis­matic per­for­mances with the likes of Shields and Palm Reader. How­ever, as Our Hol­low, Our Home pre­pared to re­lease their de­but al­bum, Hart­sick, To­bias was dealt a crip­pling blow.

“We found out at Christ­mas 2016 that my dad had ter­mi­nal lung cancer,” he re­calls. “That pe­riod of time was so bit­ter­sweet for me. We had such good feed­back for the al­bum and we had a lot to push, but on the other side of my life there were a lot of ups and downs: chemo­ther­apy, ra­dio­ther­apy, some pos­i­tive signs, some neg­a­tive ones.”

It was a bat­tle that lasted for six months, be­fore end­ing in heart­break. To­bias’s fa­ther passed away in May

2017 – on the day be­fore Our Hol­low, Our Home were sched­uled to start a head­lin­ing Euro­pean tour.

“I found my­self, as I al­ways have done, writ­ing mu­sic to deal with my

emo­tions,” To­bias re­mem­bers, his grief in­spir­ing what would be­come his band’s sec­ond record. “Ini­tially, we wouldn’t have writ­ten an al­bum so quickly af­ter Hart­sick. But I knew that the only way I was go­ing to get through my per­sonal jour­ney was to doc­u­ment it in mu­sic. It was the sec­ond show of the tour when I sat ev­ery­body down and said, ‘I need to do this al­bum.’”

Our Hol­low, Our Home re­fer to that Euro­pean run as a “hell tour”. To­bias of­ten hid him­self away in his bunk, hop­ing to trans­form his strife into lyrics. Mean­while, the band were deal­ing with an un­re­li­able tour­bus, which reg­u­larly broke down and trapped them in re­mote, un­fa­mil­iar lo­ca­tions.

“Once, we were stranded in a place called Wolfs­berg, in Aus­tria, for four days,” says To­bias. “The only things next to us were a Mercedes garage and a McDon­ald’s. For four days, we lived on McDon­ald’s. We had to miss two sold-out shows. Then we had to rent a cou­ple of hire cars and drive to Hun­gary and back for a show, which is an 800-mile round trip.”

Now wracked with feel­ings of stress and loss af­ter com­ing home from the road, To­bias spent the rest of the year sealed away. With only a gui­tar for com­pany, he metic­u­lously crafted new al­bum In Mo­ment // In Mem­ory. An in-depth ex­plo­ration of the stages of grief, the al­bum mir­rors To­bias’s own jour­ney, with the goal of re­as­sur­ing oth­ers as they en­dure sim­i­larly life-shat­ter­ing changes.

“I didn’t want to kid any­one and say, ‘One day, you will wake up and it’ll be fine’, be­cause it never will be – you have just lost some­one that’s so im­por­tant,” he says. “But it doesn’t mean that life doesn’t go on. This is a very sad al­bum and it might be quite dif­fi­cult to lis­ten to, but if one per­son comes back and says that it helped them, we have achieved what we set out to do.”

As in­tro­spec­tive as In Mo­ment //

In Mem­ory’s lyrics are, they are still de­liv­ered via Our Hol­low, Our Home’s es­tab­lished medium of gut­tural met­al­core. Tracks such as Speak Of

Sor­row, Love Loss and Dis­con­nect jux­ta­pose the cathar­tic anger of growl­ing verses and manic gui­tars with the ten­der­ness of clean-sung cho­ruses. For the band, the al­bum rep­re­sents an up­date of their genre’s 2000s hey­day.

“It’s a throw­back to the ‘2007 sound’,” To­bias ex­plains. “We have mod­ernised tra­di­tional met­al­core, like As I Lay Dy­ing and the old Park­way Drive al­bums. You can jump up and down, throw down and then have a sin­ga­long. It ticks all the boxes of what peo­ple want.”

But ul­ti­mately, through its un­com­pro­mis­ing sen­ti­ments and metal­lic an­thems, In Mo­ment // In

Mem­ory res­onates as a lov­ing trib­ute to a lost par­ent.

“This al­bum is for my dad,” To­bias con­cludes. “It’s still hard – some days are harder than oth­ers – but it’s no dif­fer­ent than what some­one else would go through. And we en­cour­age peo­ple to talk about th­ese kinds of is­sues. Men­tal health has had a stigma for a very long time, and to put my heart on my sleeve on this record is to en­cour­age peo­ple to talk. You will go through a very dark tun­nel, but you will come out the other side bet­ter and be stronger for it.”

“You will go through a verY dark tun­nel. But You will come out stronger”

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