[Echo Chamber (′ek·ō ′chām·bər): noun, 1. a dedicated space for the purposes of transmission and repetition of sound 2. a video segment that features your favorite bands playing your favorite songs 3. a video segment where your favorite bands blow your mind].
Words by Jim
Artist / The Whiskey Holler
Songs / “Style to Sleep” and “Man of Me”
Location / East End Avenue, Regent Square
Time / February 2, 2012
I’ve only caught The Whiskey Holler one other time before we filmed them. One time was all I needed. It was a random weeknight show at the Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville. I came to see one band and ended up being blown away by The Whiskey Holler, with the prospect of an Echo Chamber shoot stuck in my head. I kept the idea in my back pocket, waiting for the right time to lay it on the table. That time finally came.
I knew we needed a different kind of venue for these guys. Something slightly dusty, a little bit vintage, but shined up real nice. I racked my brain thinking of a suitable location for these hand clappin’, boot stompin’ whiskey kids. It wasn’t until I stopped at Michael’s house to review some previous footage that I walked right into it. The foyer of his house/apartment was perfect and I’m an idiot for never noticing it before. Maybe it just had to be the right band for the space to call out to me. Who knows. Either way, the hardwood floor, the vintage photographs, the wooden mantle, and the beautiful, darkened stairwell would be a perfect setting for the band.
I arrived as the band was starting to offload their gear onto the creaky front porch. Michael wasn’t home yet, so we started to talking as a few guys had a cigarette before we started. Michael arrived soon and let us in to the amazing foyer. The guys were into it and we started arranging them in the small space. J walked right in, mic stands in hand, ready to get to work. I spoke with Lukas, the lead singer and rhythm guitar player, about the logistics of the shoot. He offered us a Dum Dum lollipops. I took him up on the offer. The space was a bit cramped, but we’ve seen worse. The drums ended up in the fireplace, the organ and other percussion crammed into the corner. Lukas was out front and a slide guitar was off to the side with an amp hiding in another room. We lit a million candles to set the mood and Michael precariously hung lights from picture frames and bannisters. J took up shop in the living room across the way and Rebecca snuck around snapping photos of the rustic foursome. When all was ready to roll, we launched into the energetic “Style to Sleep”.
The temperature started to climb. We all took off a layer and the band stepped outside for a breath and a smoke. We were already impressed with how tight and how high-energy the band was performing. The band stepped back through the door, making the million tiny candle flames dance and spin. By this time, tiny fingerlakes of molten wax were making their way across the wooden mantle, slowly dripping onto the floor. We’d clean it up later, as long as we didn’t set the joint on fire. Michael didn’t seem concerned. I told Lukas his tongue was still blue from his Dum Dum sucker, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. Very rock and roll. We whirled through another song, taking a quick stop for water and air. We spoke of The Whiskey Holler’s upcoming EP, due out in April. We talked of upcoming shows and hope and dreams. As the candles continued to burn down, they barreled into “Man of Me”.
During the take, I looked at J. He looked back at me. This was one of those songs where we didn’t need to communicate, we didn’t need to mouth words. He knew what I was thinking and it was something along the lines of “holy shit”. This was the song. This was what we came for. At this moment the band was on ablaze, firing on all cylinders, and the room was shaking. I can’t really explain much more than that and as I tried to convey my excitement to the band, all they could say were humble “thank you”s and smiles. Goddamn.
I’m glad that was the last song of the night, as I don’t think they could have topped it. We packed up drums and guitars. I laced up mic cables and we placed priceless decor back where it belonged. Someone managed to blow out the river of candles and wax and we waited as they cooled and turned back to solid state. The band graciously helped me clean up the flood of wax as we chatted about new tunes and local bands. We ended up on the porch in the early February evening saying goodbyes and shaking hands. Things were good. I know it’s corny, but I’ll just say that if those candles hadn’t have been lit before we started, they would have ended up aflame and burning from the energy of The Whiskey Holler
Thanks to the band, J, Michael, and Michael’s landlord Steve for letting us spill hot wax all over his foyer and enjoy his beautiful home. Thanks to Rebecca for once again taking amazing photos. Be sure to check out The Whiskey Holler’s new EP , released April 6th. Wooo.