Robbie Sea, the lead singer for Geelong’s The Hollow Majors, knows a thing or two about rock ‘n’ roll. Walking into his home for our interview I was met by Oasis Live From Manchester playing on his television, two wall-to-ceiling size frames hanging in his dining room; one with a poster of The Beatles and the other a collage of John Lennon images, and band paraphernalia lining every nook and cranny of the home including Beatles drink coasters sitting upon his coffee table, next to a copy of The Hollow Majors debut album, ‘Neuro’.
This is not a surprise though; The Hollow Majors have forged a name for themselves as the rock ‘n’ roll lads of Geelong, from starting as a covers band back in 2016 to last year transitioning to an originals act, and their story of how it all started is as old school rock ‘n’ roll as you can get.
“I put up posters everywhere all around in Geelong just looking for a full band – bass player, guitarist, drummer sort of thing – I went old school,” Sea laughs. “I love the movie ‘Almost Famous’ so I went you know why not! And what gave me more motivation was seeing mates leaving Home House and were like ‘what are you doing out’, and I had the tape, putting up posters around poles- even places where you’re not meant to like on windows, even put a little add in Forte (*The credit is all ours*).”
It wasn’t long before the interest started coming through. After hitting it off with now guitarist Ash Wray, recruiting former band mate, Jake Donovan, as the drummer, and discovering the talents of bassist and songwriter, Josh Dower, the Hollow Majors were off to a red hot start. Sea recalls, “a week later after a few beers we were straight into it!”
The foursome didn’t waste any time. They spent the next two years gigging every weekend, hitting up pubs and clubs across Victoria building a name for themselves and entertaining hundreds along the way with their straight up rock ‘n’ roll flavour, even opening for British India on their Geelong stop for Nic Wilson’s Last Tour.
“At the start I had no real intention of being an original band, eventually over discussions we wanted to be an originals band but I think what we wanted to do was to be tight as a band and we knew we would get more gigs and more money by being a cover band. So we made sure, we wanted to be Geelong’s best cover band, so we worked our arses off, got ties and matching clothes just like the Beatles but we wanted to play like Jet. We wanted to have the energy of Jet and the style of The Beatles and no other cover band in Geelong were doing it.
“We didn’t want to be another one of those Jessie’s Girl bands. We made sure we were covering Rose Tattoo and The Angels and Cold Chisel, we did a lot of 90’s,” Sea says. “Everything was rock ‘n’ roll, there was no pop in there and the minute we learnt how to rock together – outside of the gigs we were writing originals constantly – we knew we had to ditch the covers and go straight into the originals.”
Heavily influenced by the artists they were covering, Wray and Dower started writing their own rock ‘n’ roll jams, 13 of which made it onto their December debut album, ‘Neuro’.
“The two main songwriters in our band, the two dominant forces, are our guitarist, Ash, and bass player, Josh. I wrote a song on our first EP but in this particular album it’s pretty much Josh and Ash have taken the reigns. They’re kind of like the John and Paul of the band, the dominant forces. I’m like the George,” Sea laughs. “I throw a song in here or there, but Josh and Ash are the focal point.”
Self-funded from their live shows and recorded at Don’t Poke The Bear Studio by Tom Isaacs, ‘Neuro’ has, what Sea describes as a little bit of everything for every mood but with that true rock ‘n’ roll punch. Single titles ‘Mary Jayne’, ‘Upstream’ and ‘Mexico’ have been making the rounds but the best is yet to come.
“We’ve just finished up at the studio and we have a new song and a new film clip coming out that we start work on that in two weeks time. I believe – and I hope the other three boys agree with me – but I really think that this song that we’re going to release is going to be our best song yet. It should have been on the album but it wasn’t made yet. It’s a ripper!”
We’re dusting off the leather jackets in anticipation!
Check out www.thehollowmajors.com to find all things The Hollow Majors, including upcoming shows, songs, merch and music news.
Written by Tammy Walters