Hollow Stone is the result of a chance meeting at Jam Cafe in Nottingham, open mic performance by James Doherty (vocals and guitar) and recording the open mic song in Will Peters (drums and bass) flat. While it all began as a one-song project – the song being ‘How I’ve Been’, the duo found themselves recording and releasing the five-song EP Kill The Boy. We speak with frontman James Doherty about Kill The Boy, creative processes and future plans.
What can you tell us about Kill The Boy?
Kill The Boy is really about growing up, and not the “there’s hair under my armpits and I’m mad at my parents” growing up; the real kind where you realise some responsibility for your relationships and accept that you can’t run away from problems forever.
Was it a difficult EP to record and write?
We’re very lucky to work with Will Peters, who is already a great producer for his own solo work, so recording the EP at Will’s flat was great once we were able to form a Hollow-Stone-social-distancing-bubble. In terms of writing the EP, the difficult part was picking which songs to use, for example ‘Mandy’ was written 6-7 years ago and shelved but really fit the vibe of Kill The Boy, so we started there.
What is your creative process?
I’ve always used music and songwriting to work through problems, so every song starts with an idea. I make a point to not write any lyrics down – that way it’s only the really good stuff that you remember. Once I’ve got the skeleton of a song, with lyrics and chords and not much else, I send it across to Will and he adds on the other instruments that make it sound a thousand times cooler.
Does the EP and the tracks have a significant meaning for you?
The entire EP means a lot to me, it’s our first as a band and is really a statement about who we are and what we sound like. It’d be easy to go through track by track as each has a story, for example, the entire Hollow Stone project started with an acoustic performance of ‘How I’ve Been’, after which me and Will decided to record that song, which grew into being an entire EP. Recording ‘How I’ve Been’ was amazing, particularly because we managed to sample a beer bottle in the chorus of an acoustic heartbreak song which takes some doing.
For me, ‘Law School’ is a really important track as that was where we first sounded like Hollow Stone. We actually recorded the first demo of ‘Law School’ the day before Boris announced a lockdown, so it was annoying to have to wait about 3 months to properly record and release the rest of the EP.
What do you hope people take from your music?
It depends from song to song, but honestly, we just want to make music that makes people vibe on some level. Whether that’s the grungy angry outbursts in ‘Mandy’ or the pop harmonies in ‘Wonderland’, we just want people to get involved.
Why did you choose to enter the music industry?
I’ve always loved music but gave up on the dream of being a rockstar at some point in my late teens. Moving to Nottingham and getting involved in the local music scene has really reignited my drive to make music, particularly making friends with local band Good Hustles and realising how much fun being in a band can be once again.
Describe Kill The Boy in one word.
What are your future plans?
The main goal of Kill The Boy was to be a foundation for what’s next – we’ve recruited Elliot Warburton on drums and Morton Piercewright. We’re working as a group on the next singles which will be out as soon as possible.