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...
‘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”