Every year, the Westword Music Showcase brings some of the city's best acts to venues throughout the Golden Triangle neighborhood. To find out more about some of the acts that will be performing at the Showcase on Saturday, June 23, we sent them a questionnaire that includes questions about the local music scene.
Here is what The Hollow, led by Spencer Townshend Hughes, had to say:
Westword: What do you want readers to know about your music?
The Hollow: I'd want readers to know how honest it is. We certainly like to have a lot of fun with our music, but when it comes down to it, I'd want readers to know that it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience to write our music because it's honest. I don't expect all readers to necessarily like our music, but if they appreciated the honesty, I'd count that as a victory.
How has Denver influenced your sound?
All of us are from Colorado — Thornton, Longmont, Westminster and Aurora. We've all traveled a bit and spent quality time in other places, but Denver music is all we really know. I think something that has inspired us, rather, has been the dedication Denver musicians have to their art and the pockets of community that support it. Hopefully those pockets will burst, and we'll all share the love. Someday...
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What are the biggest issues Denver musicians face in 2018 — good and bad?
I don't think we support each other enough. I think there's a lot of "ME! ME! ME! ME! ME!" in this scene, but in order to build community, we have to start going to shows, buying each other's albums, wearing each other's shirts to shows, and also just being there for other people in the scene. I know that my mental wellness has been challenged since starting the band, constantly asking, "Am I cool enough?"; "Does anyone care about this music I'm pouring my soul into?"; "What if no one comes to my show?" It's exhausting. And chatting about those issues that we all have with one another will change that drastically, I think.
If you could change anything about Denver's music scene, what would it be?
There seems to be a real sense of competition among Denver musicians (and perhaps musicians everywhere). I believe there is a motivating factor in competition (obviously), but only when both parties are doing their best and rooting for everyone else while being transparent. I've seen hints of the other version in the Denver music scene. I think that could be worked on. High tides raise all ships. If we spent the same time and energy that we spend on our music as we did treating each other with kindness, I think we'd see a drastic change in the scene.
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What has you most excited about playing the 2018 Westword Music Showcase?
Short answer: The opportunity. After learning about the process of how the local bands are selected, it seemed a bit discouraging at first. Thinking of all the times WMS has happened and wanting to perform in it every year, but we came up short. This is the first time we've been nominated. This is the first time that we're playing the festival.
Just the opportunity given to us by the Denver music scene influencers and Denver Westword is humbling beyond belief. The recognition of the work done by me and my best friends is the justification for wanting to quit all of those times and not, for sticking with it, because music is what we have. And now we're playing. So THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME EXCITED!!