The Pine Hollows

TURTLE neck sweaters, beatle haircuts and that fantastic Rock and Roll/pop-esque music... New York's very own, The Pine Hollows really are a blast from the past, fantastically pushing convention to the max. You may liken their work to that of an early Beatles mixed with a sprinkle of Buddy Holly, although, once you start to listen you find that raw talent and originality that almost outshines those influences, this is probably what made them stand out to me.

PH2 Image 14Front-man, Gianni Napolitano is a leading pioneer of a large, eager group of young musicians that all share the desire and capability of re-creating that exciting and powerful form of music that was so ingenuitive  in the 50's and 60's. 

I gave a listen to their second album, Something My Heart Understands, and I was taken aback by it's incredibly mature sounding. One of my favourite tracks has to be How Can You Tell Her, it is extremely catchy and screams that sound I described earlier. Napolitano's voice almost mimics an early Lennon's, pushing this track closer to an amazing climax, and you are not disappointed. The guitar that starts to pull you closer and reminds me a lot of a rockabilly sound mixed with a catchy 60's rock and roll rift, fully grabbing the attention of audiences everywhere... you simply cannot resist that feel-good factor whilst listening. This track is a wholesome, easy listening art-form complete with bow-ties and wide smiles. 

Another track that grabbed my attention, Go and Tell Him. The chimerical beat takes a hold of you, calling you to follow the magical mystery tour of a journey that is about to unfold. Somehow, I feel George Harrison's influence within this tack, perhaps it is because it has similar soundings of his early solo work. The anthem has a gripping sound, willing to give off buoyantly intoxicating messages, you're engulfed once listening. Your mind cannot focus on anything bar the music, not only is this considerably captivating but vigorously dynamic. 

You decide to then move on, and within everything that you then go to touch or experience after your knowledge of The Pine Hollows, you realise how infected your gaze has become. How overruling yet all the more an exciting experience of something oh so modernistic yet all the same deeply restored to it's crowning glory. I had to grab an interview with Gianni Napolitano, to find out more about this outstanding craze he is creating.

First off, thanks for agreeing to this interview! I'll start off by asking how did The Pine Hollow get together in 2010, where you all friends before hand?

The Pine Hollows has sort of morphed into a pseudonym for me, Gianni Napolitano, although I think that's really what it's always been. My friend, Ray Belli, was a big catalyst for the music though, and originally it was just the two of us playing together at a recording studio we were interning in summer 2010. The lineup has been sort of nebulous since then although we are always playing my songs.  

Who would you say has been the biggest influence incorporated within your music?

The biggest influence on my music would probably be The Beatles, and though this my seem like a sort of cop-out, I feel like my situation with them is different than most people's. The first time I heard a complete Beatles album--Abbey Road, specifically--was in summer 2010. It's no coincidence that The Pine Hollows began immediately after that!

Where would you like your music to go, what directions would you like it to take?

I want to keep exploring, and I want to keep pushing the boundaries, but I like limitations. I think there will always be guitar in my music, because I love guitar. But I don't know about everything else. I've been recording a lot of demos at home on my little Pro Tools set up and they've been coming along nicely. They are definitely weirder than anything else I've ever done, but I'm really happy with them. And I've been getting good reactions from the friends I've been playing them for. I'm really excited to record them in a studio for the next album!

Has there ever been a set plan as to what you want to achieve?

Yes and no. From the beginning I knew I wanted to be playing my music for a living--performing, recording, etc,. I think I want to be signed to a major label, but sometimes it scares me to think about resigning control over my art. 

What do you enjoy most about playing live?

I love the immediacy. Playing live is a really special thing to me, and I could never imagine going months without doing it. I've been lucky to have had all the amazing opportunities to perform live, from sharing the stage with Ace Frehley to touring with The Butthole Surfers to performing live in NYC nearly every few weeks with The Pine Hollows. I would like to do more touring, though.

You recently released your latest album, Something My Heart Understands, how has the response been so far?

The response has been pretty great! I think this album is pretty solid, and I hope it gets the attention it deserves. 

Would you say you're into the 60's era? If so what attracts you to this time in history?

I am a big proponent of the 1960's, but also the 50's and the 70's. About the 60's, though--I can't really put my finger on what it is that is so intriguing about it to me. I feel like some of the more obvious stuff has been mulled over to the point of cliche. I really like Joan Didion's essay on 60's counterculture, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem." 

Do festivals appeal to you as a band?
Yes! We played Musikfest in PA last summer and we will be returning there this summer.

Have you been happy with what you have achieved so far?
Yes. I look forward to what the future holds for The Pine Hollows.

Will we be hearing a lot more from you this year?


I'd like to Thank Gianni for this fantastic interview! If you are lucky enough to be NYC on the 6th April, check out their album release party at Pianos... Get listening you will never look back!

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