The Coachella Valley hardcore-music scene is packed with heavy riffs and speaker-popping vocals—and one of the newest bands to enter the fray is the ferocious Hollow Crown.
Hollow Crown features Alex Peralez (vocals), Cameron Parkinson (lead guitarist), Darin Camorre (rhythm guitarist), Mikayla Fazzone (bass) and Shayne Winchester (drums). Debut single “Spineless” was released on March 31, and it is nearly 2 1/2 minutes of down-tuned metal, with emphatic screams and growls—and some creative breakdown sections.
During a recent Zoom interview, the band members explained how Hollow Crown came to be.
“This band actually formed from a band that me, Darin and Alex were in,” Parkinson said. “We had a bunch of songs, and schedules weren’t working out, so we ended up forming our own project.”
Added Peralez: “We kept showing up to practice—that’s what dedicated members do—and other members just kept canceling. We said, ‘Well, we’ve got to write new material.’ Cam wrote some stuff; we liked it and tweaked it a little bit. It sounded good, and when those members who didn’t show up started showing up, it wasn’t what they were into or wanted to do.”
The trio recruited Winchester—Camorre’s longtime friend—and Winchester’s partner Fazzone, who were releasing their own metalcore music under the name WISEMANSAY. Winchester and Camorre were elated to finally share a stage.
“I was doing a little internship across the street, and Darin goes, ‘Hey, dude, why don’t you just come over and hear us play?’” Winchester said. “After hearing these guys play, I thought, ‘I want to get a part of this; this looks like fun.’ It was a feeling that was touching my soul. He kept bugging me a bunch of times about needing a drummer and a bass player, and just would not stop writing my ass. I thought, ‘What’s going to hurt? Let’s just go for it.’ We dove into it—and we haven’t looked back.”
Debut single “Spineless” is visceral and straight-up nasty; most listeners will find them head-banging along. It is also currently the opening song of Hollow Crown’s set.
“It’s one of those ones that just hits you in the dick and doesn’t stop,” Camorre said.
Added Winchester: “It’s a great opener to be like, ‘Hey, check this shit out. We’re in your face; get along for the ride.’”
Added Fazzone: “It gives a good introduction to who we are and what we’re about, and also it gives us a lot of breathing room for the songs that we’re going to release in the future. It lays a good foundation.”
The lyrics of “Spineless” are also visceral. After starting with a vivacious proclamation of “Fuck it!” the first lyrics are, “You’re a parasite, a waste of life.”
“It definitely is the song that had the most energy and the most feeling,” Peralez said. “That being said, to record it vocally, some part of me didn’t want to write lyrics to it, because I needed to be in a certain vibe. …. I tried writing it probably three times, and I just didn’t feel like it fit. Darin laid out lyrics for me, and I tried screaming to them, and it started working. He technically wrote the lyrics, and I tweaked it a little bit, but it definitely gives that energy to the instrumental.”
The band has performed three shows so far, with the most recent one being a set at Anaheim’s Chain Reaction in mid-April.
“Not to toot our own horn, but we blew the headliner off the stage at Chain Reaction,” Parkinson said. “We played to a crowd five times bigger than the headliner. A lot of people kept telling us that we had some of the highest energy out of the whole group of bands that were playing that day.”
Added Fazzone: “It was really cool to just see people walking in the door. As we were finishing up a little line check, we’re like, ‘Wait, these people are coming in here, and they’re interested.’ By the time we played, the room had a good amount of people in it. We just kind of went and gave it our all, and everyone really, really vibed with it.”
It can often take more than three shows for band members to get comfortable with each other onstage. Winchester shared some wisdom that Camorre passed along.
“You’re just playing to a bunch of homies,” said Winchester. “Everyone is your homie. Everyone’s a dear friend who’s having a good time. Don’t think of it like, ‘Oh, this person’s probably thinking I suck.’ Think of it as you’re playing with your homies. You’re practicing.”
Fazzone said the band has a dedicated practice schedule so Hollow Crown can get tighter and tighter.
“We’ve been practicing to try to hit several different parts where we all move in the same way, or a couple of times during the set where we all bounce at the same time, or we all throw down at the same time,” Fazzone said. “We try to appear as a unit, but at the same time, it can vary from show to show.
“Playing live is probably one of my favorite things, because it’s a gamble. You’re going to get what you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s good; sometimes it’s not going to be good, but every show, you’ve got to play it like it’s your last. That’s why we’re here.”