The Quad Cities-based hard-rock band 3 Years Hollow can trace its current enviable position to a series of fortunate events.
The quintet is poised to release its album The Cracks on the national Imagen Records indie label on February 11 - with a local release show February 8 at Rascals Live in Moline - and has tour dates scheduled with Saving Abel through mid-March.
None of that would have been possible, vocalist/songwriter Jose Urquiza said in a phone interview on January 29, without a trade of equipment for time.
Roughly seven years ago, Urquiza said, the band was looking to cut its first album, and he approached Real Trax Recording Studios' Rob Cimmarusti about learning the ropes of the business. Cimmarusti made a proposal, Urquiza said: "We had this really expensive microphone, and he basically said, 'I'll trade you. You can give me the microphone, and you guys can have all the studio time that you want.' We wanted to record our record, so we did it. We would not be here without Rob."
The products of that swap were 2008's Ascension and a continuing relationship with Real Trax. Urquiza is now the studio manager, and he and guitarist Tony Reeves, guitarist Neil Kuhlman, bassist Dex Digga, and drummer Chris Cushman recorded the bulk of their new album there, too.
The story of The Cracks, 3 Years Hollow's second full-length, is a bit more complicated but no less serendipitous. It starts with the band's 2012 EP Remember, which was meant both for fans and record labels. Its title track topped Sirius XM Octane's charts, which "really ... legitimized us [as] a national band," Urquiza said.