Local quartet The Hollerin bring their sound to Bar Pink
By Logan Broyles | SDUN Reporter
As June turns the corner into July, Uptown residents are in for a great show as local blues and folk band The Hollerin will be jamming at Bar Pink June 29.
The Hollerin’s music is inspired by traditional blues and rock ‘n’ roll, and features hard-hitting drums and smooth flowing guitar riffs that perfectly fit lead singer Christian Taylor’s raspy voice, which seems tailor-made for a blues singer.
Taylor fronts the group as singer and songwriter, while also lending his skills on backup guitar, with his friend Leonardo Moura laying down some serious talent on lead guitar. Jacob Ruiz plays bass, and the band just recently added drummer Mike Cooper, formerly of TRANSFER and a founding member of indie-electro group Hyena.
Their first show was two years ago at the Ruby Room under the name Christian Taylor and the Hollerin, but after some lineup changes and recently adding Cooper to the mix, they are now starting fresh.
“We kind of had a re-imaging of the band and started over because we went through a couple different members and we wanted to get a fresh start,” Taylor said. “Cooper is fairly new with us so we’re trying to revamp the music and write some new stuff to where it’s basically a new band under the same name.”
With their style, they could be at home playing in a dive bar in Nashville, Tenn. or anywhere in the South where the style comes from, yet The Hollerin has local roots.
Each member of this four-piece ensemble hail from different parts of East San Diego County, with Taylor and Cooper both growing up and going to high school together in Santee, Calif. Taylor met Moura and Ruiz while working for Taylor Guitars together when they were younger.
“Our music is rock ‘n’ roll infused with blues and indie,” Taylor said. “It came about organically; we’ve all got our different styles that we bring to the table. I’m a big blues guy, Cooper comes in and wants to add his indie flair, Leo’s really into Radiohead and stuff like that, so there’s a lot of ambient noises and trance-like parts.”
The band has put out several demos but has yet to release a record. They will be going into the recording studio within the next month, and are aiming to release their first EP at the end of the summer. After that, they hope to set out on a small tour and branch out of their hometown.
“We want to get the EP out there and create a new buzz for us, draw some new fans and then hit the road for a little bit and play some shows,” Taylor said, “hopefully up along the coast and in San Francisco, once we’re ready.”
The seeds for the group’s inception were first planted when Taylor started making his own mellow acoustic-based folk songs by himself, but soon evolved into a full blown rock band once Moura, Ruiz and their former drummer joined him.
“Our techniques have changed quite a bit over the years,” Taylor said. “At first it was me doing a lot of the songwriting and then we moved forward with everyone bringing in ideas. Then when Cooper came in, we kind of scratched all that and just said let’s sit together and jam and see what comes out of that.”
Taylor is a natural born musician and it’s no surprise that he turned his passion into a career, after being surrounded by music his entire childhood, he said, naming Ray LaMontagne as someone he is particularly into.
“I really like the feeling behind blues. You get a lot more emotion behind that type of music,” Taylor said. “You can hear it in the guitar and the vocals, especially the older stuff with a bunch of old dudes smoking a pack of cigarettes and jamming on their guitars.”
In March, The Hollerin played two shows in front of some of the best music lovers at this year’s South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.
Taylor said his favorite part about playing live shows is seeing the crowd’s reaction, with lots of “dancing and booty shaking.”
“There’s a lot of energy. Our audience is a mixture of people that are always out there dancing and having a great time, and that’s really what me and the other guys in the band feed off of,” he said. “We like to try to keep the audience involved.”
The Hollerin recently had a show at The Casbah Wednesday, June 19, and they will be playing at Bar Pink June 29. Los Angeles-based alt-pop group Great White Buffalo and indie-rockers Royal Campaign will open, starting at 9 p.m. Bar Pink is located at 3829 30th St. in North Park. For more information visit barpink.com/.