austin feinstein is the star of the hottest indie band in los angeles
To say Austin Feinstein is into music would be an understatement. To say music is his passion would just be a cliché. It's an intrinsic part of his being. He's been writing and recording since the age of 13, and today Austin and his band, Slow Hollows, are carefully carving out a reputation for themselves on the underground LA music scene. So much so that the 17-year-old frontman was cherry picked to walk for Saint Laurent's last show by Hedi Slimane himself. With dreams of collaborating with Fiona Apple and Dev Hynes, you can expect big things from Slow Hollows.
What music did you listen to growing up?
There was never any specific vibe or genre of music being played in the household I grew up in. My mom and dad liked their own artists, but I was never pressured into listening to or appreciating music. In a sense, I discovered my 'passion' for music on my own. Of course, there were some people in my life that I looked up to, so I naturally made myself a sponge and absorbed all the music that they liked, but I definitely did not grow up having music shoved down my throat. Some of the bands and artists that have shaped who I am today as a person and a musician are Radiohead, Jon Brion, Elliott Smith, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, Christopher Owens, and those groups that are always cited as influences by everyone like as Nirvana and The Beatles.
What posters did you have on your walls?
I remember I used to have a handful of old movie posters on my wall. Frankenstein was a big one. So was Godzilla. I distinctly remember having a framed poster for the School of Rock. That movie came out right when I started to take an interest in playing guitar, so it played quite a massive role in my life and the choices I have made.
When did Slow Hollows come about?
I had been writing and recording my own music since I was 13. I had always wanted to get a band together to help me play the songs live, so I became obsessed with finding the right sound and people. When I was in high school I met my now best friend, Nick Santana, through a mutual friend. I had always admired his dedication, kindness and drum skills, so I asked him to drum for me. We played as a two-piece for a few months before I had our friend Jamie Atkinson play bass. Then in late 2013 another friend, Dylan Thinnes, joined on guitar.
What's the story behind the name?
We were originally called Hollows, though we found out that there were multiple smaller bands spanning from New York to Norway with the same name, so we tacked 'Slow' onto the name. I wish it meant something, but it really doesn't. We had built up a small following, and had learned that completely changing your band name is not the smartest thing to do, so we became Slow Hollows.
How would you describe your sound?
This is always kind of a tough question. Calling something 'rock' means you have put certain rock bands into the person's head, and they associate your music with those bands. So if I were to simply say that we are a rock band, there is no way of knowing if we sound like The Strokes, or if we sound like Korn. I don't like to label the sound as a single genre, but I guess I could describe the sound as post-punk. We use a lot of strange chord progressions and try to shy away from making our music bland, I don't want a person to listen to one song of ours and think, 'okay, I get it.'
What's been your career highlight so far?
I don't think there has been one big moment that I could call a career highlight, and I'm entirely okay with that. We have been slowly growing and expanding over the past two years, and I am very happy with how we have been received. I don't want to be one of those bands that are defined by one event in their career. I guess when it really comes down to it, the whole journey has been a highlight. All of the shows we have played have been amazing, the people we have met are incredible, and the responses our music has received has been great.
Who or what inspires you?
Growing up and the music I'm listening to at any moment in time. My influences are always changing.
You've played with bands like The Garden and Cherry Glazerr, what was that like?
Those shows are always fun. The crowds are very rowdy. Both The Garden and Cherry Glazerr are all very nice people so we always love playing with them.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Fiona Apple, Julian Casablancas and Dev Hynes. I want this next record we're working on to feature a bunch of different artists. It most likely will not be with Fiona, Julian or Blood Orange, but maybe one day.
You walked for Saint Laurent earlier this year, is fashion something you're interested in?
I'm not into fashion as much as I am into music, but I definitely respect it just as much as I would respect a great record. So, being asked to do the last Saint Laurent show was absolutely incredible. I met a lot of really great people and am excited to hopefully go back.
Besides music what else are you into?
Music is about it…
What are you working on at the moment?
We are releasing a short film before the end of the year. I don't want to give away too many details but it is going to go hand in hand with the last album, Atelophobia. We just want to keep making art, keep expanding, and make something bigger than just a band.
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Daria Kobayashi Ritch