Hollow Leg: "Florida Is Home. It Is the Swamp. It Is the Abyss."
Garrett Elkins Photography
Bred in Massachusetts and tempered in Florida's sun, Hollow Leg started off as a duo with original members Brent and Tim. When reviewing their first full-length effort, Instinct, I once wrote: "There is nothing imaginary about where these two dudes store their energy. Nah, the hollow leg here refers to the actual hadron collider of doom sludge and booze these guys bring forth." The addition of Junior Bruce's Tom and Scott multiplied the heaviness of this band by a hundred.
Operating somewhere between Jacksonville and Deland, Hollow Leg is a great friend of South Florida and its metal scene. With the recent release of the formal four-piece's Abysmal, we had a chance to catch up with Brent on what it means to add members to their act, South Florida bands they love, and the passing of Junior Bruce's Brett Tanner.
New Times: Let's start off with a little bit of background on you and how you came to form the original duo.
Brent: We've known each other since we were teenagers back in Massachusetts and have been playing in bands together since '97. About six years ago, I moved down to North Florida where Tim was already living, and we just started jamming. The duo really just came about because the music we were making together sounded good to us, and we were comfortable with that format. We didn't set out to be a duo; we dig the "classic" band set up, but it just wasn't necessary in the beginning of Hollow Leg to include more musicians. Plus we didn't have any particular people in mind for the gig anyway. It was just about jamming music and hanging out.
I've been enjoying your music since the Hive Demos and the Instinct LP. Let's talk first about those and what went into their creation.
Thank you. We were making a bunch of demos we wrote back in the early days of the band, mostly with a friend in Jacksonville, but since meeting and playing gigs with the Junior Bruce guys, they had asked us to come to Deland to record with them, so we did. The result was the Hive Demos. Those demos were the first recording we were really happy with, enough to make it into a release.
We then went back to record Instinct with them. Recording that first record was the beginning of our musical collaborations with Scott, Tom, and Jeff McAlear (producer and engineer). As far as the songs on Instinct are concerned, that was Tim and I busting out the thickest/heaviest sound we could as only a two-man band, and we still enjoy that record for what it is, and a few of those songs will always be ones we incorporate into the live set. We're proud of those recordings, but for us there's also a certain limitation to playing and writing as a duo. We did our best with what we had, and all in all, we dig the result.
Before we tackle the inclusion of Scott and Tom into the band to flesh out the four-piece, what can you tell us, on a personal level about Brett Tanner and what his passing has meant to Florida's music?
Brett was/is such an inspiration to those who had the privilege to know him. Just an all-around, awesome human being as well as musical presence. His music and his influence and attitude will forever be a huge part of both Hollow Leg and Junior Bruce and any other band he played in or with. He was one of the best dudes you could ever be lucky enough to know. We miss him intensely.