Seattle is best known for coffee, rain, and flannel. But their newest export is punk rockers The Hollowpoints. The guys were on tour with The Business last month and I had a chance to catch up with them to get the dirt on the Seattle scene, roadside attractions, and their new album, Old Haunts On The Horizon – check it out here!
Thanks to Andy and Big Duane at Sailor’s Grave Records for hooking this up, and to Will, Matty, Benny, and Dan for seriously the most fun I’ve ever had doing an interview. Get back to DC soon, guys!
Oh, and there are some pictures from the show here, by yours truly – check em out!
So you guys have been on the road for about a month – what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you so far?
Dan: Just one? Well, that dog peed on Matty.
Matty: Yeah, I got peed on. I was sleeping on somebody’s couch. I got thoroughly pissed on, too.
Benny (bass, vocals): We’re not sure who the culprit was, there were about 5 dogs in the place. They were real nice people, they were great for taking us in.
Dan: I woke up next to a pile of shit that day. You always run that risk – it’s fun to meet new people and hang out and party and everything, but sometimes you get peed on.
Do you guys have any favorite cities or venues to play?
Benny: I think as far as cities to play, Minneapolis has been my favorite. But we’ve never played in DC before, so this might be a new favorite.
Dan: We’ve had some real good ones on this tour. We had one in Kansas City that went great, and Pensacola was pretty crazy.
Matty: That might have been the craziest story. This guy punched right through a window, and had the good sense to rip his arm back out. He sliced an artery, was spewing blood all over the bar and the sidewalk.
Dan: That was one of three or four fights. One of em broke out on the stage, and they didn’t have security there, so our merch guy had to come up and break it apart.
Matty: Yeah, it was a fighting town – the whole place smelled like barbeque, so that was a plus.
Dan: Pensacola was a great place, that’s the first time we’ve played there.
Benny: “Riot Room” was a very fitting name for the club.
So do you guys have any tour rituals or habits?
Dan: Oh yeah, we’ve got a whole routine when it comes to loading out. How’s it go? You play the show, you have some drinks, you find somebody to take you home, you get food on the way there, you go there, you make some kind of a blanket fort, you watch whatever TV they’ve got, eat that food, pass out. Whoever wakes up first wakes everybody else up, head out, and do it again. It’s pretty much just variations on that, every time.
Benny: I like to get Will’s laptop set up so I can watch TV while I’m driving. You can’t bust on that ritual, it’s a lifesaver.
Dan: Tried and true, we don’t fuck with those.
Don’t mess with a good thing. So what do you guys do on tour when you’re not performing or out partying?
Dan: Half of us skate – the half that don’t, read. We usually just sit in bars a lot, killing time. We’ll watch movies in the van or go check out the area. We kill a lot of time on tour, sit around and wait – a lot.
Will (guitar, vocals): We like to go swimming any chance we get.
Dan: We do! But sitting in bars, killing time, that’s a lot of what we do on tour. The finer things.
Benny: We like to study poetry. Baroque theory. The classics. Shakespeare reenactments. We also take the whoever we bring along to do merch with us and heckle them until the show starts.
Dan: That’s fun, it keeps the rest of us together. We need a whipping boy.
Benny: I like to call my girlfriend about 25 times a day. Take pictures of roadside attractions.
Have you guys seen the biggest ball of yarn?
Dan: We’re suckers for those things. We went to the biggest rocking chair and the biggest sombrero. Right on the North/South Carolina border, there’s this “South Of The Border” place, it was hilarious. It was like Mexico-land. They had this huge sombrero, and all these statues of dinosaurs and gorillas wearing hats. It was the corniest damn place I’ve ever seen.
Benny: Apparently that’s what a part of Mexico that I’ve never been to looks like.
Matty and Benny, you guys produced the new album, Old Haunts on the Horizon, right?
Benny: Essentially. Most of the mixing and mastering we did with a guy named Tom Pfaeffle, we were one of the last bands that he worked with. He was an amazing guy, he was an instructor at the Art Institute [of Seattle] as well as a very accredited producer. He taught us how to make a record the way that we wanted to and how to get the sound that we wanted.
Dan: We were really fortunate to work with him before he passed on. [Tom Pfaeffle was fatally shot in July 2009]
Benny: The guy who shot Tom posted bail and ran for the woods – we’re coming for you, buddy! He’s got a bounty on him, a bench warrant out. I’m calling Dogg The Bounty Hunter.
Dan: “You gotta find the Lord, brother”
And how did y’all end up on Sailor’s Grave Records?
Benny: I bothered Andy King every day for three years, consecutively. Thanks, Andy. They’ve been doing great work with us, great guys.
Dan: Yeah, really nice guys. We met ‘em on this tour. I like them.
So what kind of feedback have you guys gotten on Old Haunts so far?
Dan: It just came out on Tuesday, and we haven’t heard anything bad so far.
Benny: It’s the best response we’ve had so far.
Where can I get a copy of Old Haunts On The Horizon?
Benny: Go online to SailorsGraveRecords.com, we’re on InterPunk.com, or you can visit us at TheHollowpoints.com. You can also find it at your finer record stores. Or just flag us down on the highway.
Dan: Only the finer record stores, mind you.
Benny: Everyone go to Singles Going Steady in Seattle and buy Old Haunts On The Horizon now.
Did they pay you guys to say that?
Dan: They’d better.
What’s the Seattle punk scene all about?
Dan: It sort of comes and goes, in waves.
Benny: We’ve got a real good thing going on there right now. We’ve got a bunch of great bands – Success, Damage Done, Smoke Jumper, The Cute Lepers, all great bands. We’ve got a little bit of a thing starting to go here. It’s better than it’s been in the last 10 years, for sure. Dreadful Children, and Shit Gets Smashed, there’s just a ton of super talented bands going on in Seattle right now.
Dan: For a long there some a lot of bands that started and stopped, but now we’ve got a run of bands that have stuck together for a while, and it’s starting to go real well.
Benny: Lots of good shows going on, too. Dan and his girlfriend book at a bar called the Galway Arms, it’s like our neighborhood spot – lots of good punk shows there.
Matty: It’s kind of like a basement show with liquor.
Dan: There are 3 or 4 punk bars in the whole damn city, so it’s nice to get in there on one of em.
Benny: It seems like there’s more of a scene infrastructure going on, too. Bands on tour aren’t turning around at San Francisco or Portland – people are starting to come through more, which is only doing more for the bands there. So come play Seattle, you can sleep on my couch! Open offer, just call me first.
Are you guys big Seattle sports fans?
Benny: Last year I lost a bet to my roommate, Brent Walker – one of my best friends since the first grade. Brent Walker comes up a lot, he’s pretty much the inspiration for most things. I made a bet with him because I hated football my whole life – fuck football, fuck you, fuck your stupid sports. I had to watch every single Seahawks game this season. And I did. And boy let me tell you how much I love football now. Football is the shit. Football is the greatest sport. Brent Walker, I admit it: You were right, I was wrong, football is awesome.
Dan: He had a sports awakening. Now my whole damn house is sports-crazy.
Benny: We just got a soccer team, too, The Sounders.
Matty: I’ve been a baseball player my whole life, so I’m a Mariners fan.
What do you think about Ken Griffey falling asleep during that game?
Matty: One too many cheeseburgers, I guess.
Where did you guys play your first show?
Benny: Port Townsend, Washington. That’s where we’re from. It was at the Legion Hall. We opened up for this band called Circle Of Fear. If anyone knows who Circle Of Fear is, it was the hot shit back in the 90’s on the West Coast.
Alright, that’s a wrap. Thanks guys!
Benny: No problem, man.
Word Association With The Hollowpoints:
Seattle – Rain
Rain – Seattle
Starbucks Coffee – Beer
Fish Market – Assholes throwing the fish
Micky Fitz – Dangerous
Anna Nicole – Dead!