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    In a rust-colored van with a bit of an identity crisis, the fellas of the Quiet Hollers are hitting the road this weekend to begin their late summer tour. You’ve probably heard their latest single “Aviator Shades” floating around the 91.9 air waves and thought, “This is really catchy and also, really sad.” Shadwick Wilde, Nick Goldring, Ryan Scott, Aaron West and Jim Bob Brown make up the lively “bummer rock” group. Yes, their songs skew toward sad, but they’re no cry for help. No, instead their inner bummer is about a deeper, more realistic philosophy on the world, life and the release of “difficult feelings” as Shadwick calls them. ,

    Quiet Hollers will tour mostly the East Coast with stops “in the middle” says Shadwick. – the guys will be making stops around Columbus and Chicago. Before the satirical group left the Ville, Louisville.com caught up with them at their Whisker Mania pre-party show, which the guys insist they were not booked for based on their facial hair.

    Louisville.com: Shadwick was originally a solo act. What prompted you guys to collaborate as Quiet Hollers?
    Shadwick: I feel like most solo shows are kind of boring. It doesn’t matter how creative of a songwriter you are, if you’re not putting on a show you’re not going to interest people. I thought people would take us more seriously if we were a whole band not just one guy. Five guys asking you to listen to a record versus one is more intimidating. You will be more likely to listen. Like, “Maybe these guys will beat me up if I don’t.”
     
    Louisville.com: So you’re basically a gang.  You’re not a band, you’re a gang.
    Shadwick: We’re a cult, gang, band –
    Nick: With slashes in-between. Cult/Gang/Band.
     
    Louisville.com: Can you explain that a little more?
    Shadwick: I wish I could, I really wish that I could.
    Nick: Yeah, we can’t talk about that.
     
    Louisville.com: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ask about the cult/gang/band— What’s your initiation process like?
    Nick: Thank you for asking, but we can’t talk about it.
    Shadwick: Ryan could tell you off the record. Well, Jim Bob, who isn’t present right now and our newest member, so we could talk a little about his initiation process. It involves three chickens, one liter of gasoline, two goose down pillows—
    Nick: And lederhosen.
    Shadwick: Well, of course yes, he is in lederhosen.
     
    [Ambulance sirens]
     
    Louisville.com: Is that [Jim Bob] now?
    Ryan: In gasoline soaked lederhosen.
    Shadwick: It didn’t go so well for him. Anyway, I’m just being an asshole.
     
    Louisville.com: Well, let’s talk about the tour you’re about to embark on.
    Shadwick: Yes, we are about to embark on a tour.
     
    Louisville.com: Have you toured on the East Coast before?
    Shadwick: Yeah, a couple times.
     
    Louisville.com: What’s your means of traveling?
    Shadwick: Do you see that white, rust colored Chevy van that is about twenty years old?
    Ryan: It’s cause for the cops to slow down.
    Shadwick: It has many names. I think the first was Townes Van Can’t.  I decided later that I liked the name Vanny Pacquiao better.
    Nick: Got a little more fight to it.
    Shadwick: So Vanny Pacquiao is the name of our ride.
     
    Louisville.com: Do you guys sleep in Vanny Pacquiao?
    Shadwick: We have. We prefer not to. One time in Little Italy we did have a night that was just in the van.
    Nick: Harrowing.
    Shadwick: I don’t know if it was harrowing for me. I had some drinks and I was pretty chilled out.
    Nick: I would say there has been a handful or more of harrowing experiences in the van.
    Shadwick: I was talking to another musician about this the other day, Peter Matthew Bower from The Walkman. We played a house show together and I was like, “So you staying over here at the house?” Because that’s what we do when we’re on the road. We find people that want to let us stay on their floor, couch, or whatever. He was like, “Nah, man. I learned my lesson a long time ago. I don’t do that anymore.” I was like, “Well, I should’ve learned my lesson about a half dozen times ago, but we still don’t have the money to pay for a hotel.” I keep learning that lesson again and again. Don’t go home with strangers, but I’ll be damned if we don’t keep doing it.
     
    Louisville.com: How do other cities receive you when you play?
    Shadwick: It depends of course. Some places we have a fan base. People come out and see us, they know the words, and it’s fun.  A lot of the cities no one has heard us before or we haven’t played there before which is the case most of the time.
    Nick: That’s the reason we go back to the same small cities we just happen to play one time. Like, Lafayette, Indiana. It turns out to be a pretty good place for a show, so we go back again, then it’s a really good show, so from then on we go back.
    Ryan: It’s small towns with music appreciation.
    Shadwick: Just recently it’s gotten to a level where it does behoove us to actually visit the bigger markets like New York and Chicago, now, as opposed to four years ago we can go there and not just need money. We will come back with something to show for it. It’s not like it was the first year we did.  Playing in a bar at like seven PM where people are just trying to talk over you.
     
    Louisville.com: You guys are going to play in a casket factory on this tour?
    Shadwick: Yes.
    Nick: I didn’t know anything about this.
    Ryan: We kick ass.
    Shadwick: I booked the tour so they don’t have any idea what’s going on. They just get in the van.
     
    Louisville.com: You guys have also recorded in a funeral home. Is [death] a theme for you guys?
    Shadwick: I mean it’s part of life. We sing about life and death is a part of life. We don’t shy away from the subject of death. A lot of our songs deal with mortality, disillusionment and aging.Louisville.com: Yeah, let’s talk about your bummer style.
    Shadwick: That’s a sardonic term we like to use to own the fact that we do sad songs. I don’t think it’s a new thing. Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, The National, these bands that are, well, that’s not to say they do exclusively bummer, sad, bastard songs, but for the most part they do. That’s what they’re known for.
     
    Louisville.com: Why do you guys do [sad songs]?
    Shadwick: There’s no reason behind it. It just so happens that the lyrics I write tend to come from a more— I don’t set out to write a sad song, but I write songs about things that have happened. A lot of those things if you pay attention to what’s happening in the world right now chances are you’re experiencing some negative emotions too.
     
    Louisville.com: You just had a kid. Do you think that’s going to change your bummer?
    Shadwick: No, absolutely not. I’m more frightened and paranoid about the world now that I have a child than I ever was before. Much more afraid for myself. Now I have to stay alive. It’s imperative. Imperative that I not only stay alive, but that I take care of myself and act right because this person and their entire childhood absolutely depends on it.
    Nick: I’m really into a lot of sad, angry music. Just scary hard to listen to music. The reason I’m saying this is because playing that kind of stuff helps me vent anger and frustration where otherwise I would have it pent up and release it doing something else like, driving too fast or getting mad at driving. It’s a good release for all these bad feelings.  Playing sad, angry music is a release.
    Shadwick: There’s no such thing as bad feelings. 
    Nick: That’s what his therapist told me, but I don’t buy into that.
    Shadwick: There are difficult feelings.
    Nick: I would call them bad, shitty feelings.
    Shadwick: I think that if people are honest with themselves they’ll see that life is generally struggle, confusion, and angst peppered with moments of sheer epiphany, joy, elation, but they’re rare and that’s why they’re special. I think we represent that in our songs. They’re fleeting, but they exist.
    Ryan: None of us have that direction of going with a happy tune. Melody is completely different. We are pretty diverse when it comes to that. It could be uplifting with a bad message or a really down trotting tune with a sarcastic side.
    Shadwick: Lately we’ve been doing more poppy, hooky kind of stuff, but the lyrics are still totally bummer.
     
    Louisville.com: Like “Aviator Shades”. Musically it’s catchy, uplifting, you’re tapping your foot to it, but then you recognize the lyrics like, “Oh, shit. This is sad.” It’s lonely and sad.—“Aviator Shades” is going on your new album?
     
    Shadwick: Mm, hmm. The version we released is a single version. It was separate from the album recording. The version that’s on the album is really pretty—I’m impressed with it.
     
    Louisville.com: Whose idea was the Indiegogo video?

    Shadwick: I wrote it. I came up with the slogan, “Winning is half the bummer” which is arbitrary, meaningless and funny.
    Nick: It plays on winning is half the battle or whatever.
    Shadwick: I wrote a script out and we all took turn reading it. We wrote it in big letters on a—
    Nick: Chalkboard thing.
    Shadwick: Yeah, “Winning is half the bummer”, but it worked for some reason.
     
    Louisville.com: Right because you met your goal.
    Shadwick: We exceeded our goal by a significant amount actually.
     
    Louisville.com: What did you guys do when you met your goal?
    Shadwick: We partied. We high-fived each other a lot. Actually most of that money is already spent for the recording of the album, deposit for vinyl production, mastering and starting a publicity campaign. I mean it’s pretty much all spent and then some. Luckily we’re not completely broke.
    Nick: It’s an expensive process.
    Shadwick: We’re an independent band. We don’t have a record label or a manager or a booking agent. We’re just out there doing all this shit ourselves. 
     
    Quiet Hollers will return to Louisville to play Seven Sense Festival August 22nd. Their new album was recorded at La La Land is set to be released in October. For more information about the cult/gang/band and for upcoming shows visit their website
     
     
    Photos Courtesy of Quiet Hollers 
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    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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