What prompted the decision to form the four-piece with Scott and Tom, and where does Junior Bruce stand today?
There were a few factors that played into it. First, with the two recordings we made with them, Scott and Tom were a huge part of giving those songs their shape as they are today. So without forcing it, they became a part of the song production process, as well as the overall sound. The sound then naturally turned into something bigger that the two of us wanted, so we absorbed them into the band to fill up the sound. They're both so good at what they do, and we're a better band for having them be a part it. Plus, our friendship with them was still growing. We were on tours that they weren't a part of, especially with Junior Bruce in a hibernation state. So Scott and Tom were not actively playing in a band, so with just one phone call, which actually happened on a trip to New Orleans with Shroud Eater, they were in.
As far as Junior Bruce goes, they are more active now than they have been in quite some time now with Jeff McAlear behind the drums and are planning to tour this October up the East Coast. They also have a new EP they released in digital format themselves last month.
While it is easy to see the Black Sabbath influence, as is clear in this genre, I agree with the Orange Goblin and Eyehategod nods, but I also see some Buzzoven, Neurosis, and some tinges of the '90s power-violence/thrash thrown in for good measure. What bands new and old have you been digging lately?
Well the bands you mentioned are some of our biggest influences in Hollow Leg. Also, Goatsnake, Kyuss, Metallica, Alice in Chains, Clutch, Bongzilla, Bad Brains, Pentagram, Monster Magnet, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Free, Sleep, Melvins, and tons of blues. In the van we love reggae, '90s hip-hop, and a ton of '60s and '70s rock and hard rock. The majority of new music we're into are bands we've had the opportunity to jam with like Junior Bruce, Shroud Eater, Demonaut, Clamfight, Kings Destroy, Elder, Orbweaver, Holly Hunt, and Porter.
I see Abysmal as a natural growth for you guys musically. Tell us about its creation and the involvement of the "new guys" in it, because while there are similarities between Hollow Leg and Junior Bruce, each band has its own sound; this record is blissfully symbiotic in that sense!
Yes, definitely. We all were involved in the writing and production process with the Abysmal jams. Tom and Scott made a huge contribution in the overall sound and that's something we're still working to improve on, but they added a lot of weight. Scott and Tom (as well as Jeff) were very focused on keeping Hollow Leg sounding like Hollow Leg. Adding the thickness and intensity of Tom's bass and Scott's vocal style and abilities are far beyond what we had been able to pull out as a duo. It's a progression for us.
Will the four-piece be the norm from here on out, and as such, any areas of instrumentation you guys will be experimenting with?
This is the format we're working with for now. Abysmal is the beginning. We're just getting started making music as a four-piece.
What plans exist for the promotion of the album?
We're hoping to get the word around about the record and the band on a greater scale than ever before, we want to tour of course, as much as we're able to, and to new places both within and outside the US. Right now, our plans are light, we have another recording project in the works, and a few shows outside of Florida this November, but larger tour plans will probably come in the new year for sure. We do what we can, when we can.
Some people say I'm a malcontent and that I'm never satisfied; I'd like to think that I'm just hungry for more... So in that vein, what recording plans lie in the future for Hollow Leg?
All I can tell you is that the next album is laid out in concept and that we have already started demos.
On a final note, do you miss Massachusetts, or will Florida suffice?
Florida is home. It is the swamp. It is the abyss. It is where we have made our best friends and created our best music.