mtvU Chooses UT Alum as Finalist

A UT alumnus may rock out with the Plain White T’s. MtvU selected The Hollow Sound band as a New England finalist for a fan-selected competition. Justin Poirier, a 2007 UT graduate, plays guitar in The Hollow Sound.

The mtvU opportunity arose a few weeks ago when the Norfork, MA-based band submitted their songs to the mtvU website. A week later the judges selected them as a top three finalist for the New England region. The winner will play with the Plain White T’s on July 27 at the Six Flags in Agawam, MA.

The band’s listed affiliation is the University of Tampa, though only Poirier attended UT. While on campus, he could be seen playing at Quilt open mic nights and producing films as a communications major. He has played guitar for six years, but after graduation he moved back to Massachusetts and things have changed for the band.

“It’s become serious,” he said. “We’re finally getting noticed and our hard work is paying off.”

They are performing more than ever and the mtvU competition signals a first for the three-year old band self-described as indie rock.

The Hollow Sound have been described by others as early No Doubt meets Iron Maiden. It’s hard not to see some connection with No Doubt. Lead singer (and Poirier’s girlfriend) Maddie Herecs wears short blond hair as her spunky yet absorbing voice belts over the band’s hard but steady guitar sound. Still the band draws influence from other artists including The Get-Up Kids, Saves the Day, Pat Benetar and Radiohead.

“This is Just the Beginning,” the band’s first EP (a free online download) features four songs that split between the fast-paced guitar heavy “Constellation” and melodious lyric-driven “Wait.”

In “Time,” Herec drew inspiration from Massachusetts streets lined with yellow ribbons for departed soldiers.

“And we are as strong as the chains that hold us firmly in place And if we believe, we can make them bend and break Until then I am the beacon I am the tree I am the outer case I am the light that lived in your face!”

At the same time, the EP’s songs show a band ready to craft a new beginning and drown out the past with lyrics like “And my last fragment of sound won’t be wasted on you” in “Wait,” a song that became popular among Poirier’s UT friends.

The band’s name carries an ironic birth. Poirier was driving past his high school stomping grounds listening to and reflecting about the songs playing on the radio.

“I was thinking of how so many songs I hear on the radio are manufactured. There is nothing real in them and they come off being hollow,” he said.

Out of the dead songs on the radio came The Hollow Sound. In that sound, the band hopes the same collaborative effort that writes the songs will grow a shared meaning with listeners.

“It’s always an interesting process because we have different ideas going into a song. It doesn’t allow one person to take over the song

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