By Luke Voogt
Hollow Majors front man Robert Cockerell grew up on rock and roll, so it’s no surprise he’s set on music glory.
“My old man has always been in bands,” he says.
“I’ve still got an old photo from one of his gigs – my head was high as the kick drum and I was playing a toy guitar.”
When the hyperactive 28-year-old truck driver put up fliers for band members in January 2016, he meant business.
“I thought enough mucking around,” the former drummer says. “Geelong needs to hear some new rock and roll.”
Robbie met Ash Wray, Josh Dower and Jake ‘Dono’ Donovan over a pint and parma, and they shook hands on his plan for greatness.
“I said ‘if you want in, let’s do this properly, otherwise it’s a waste of my time and everybody’s time’,” he says.
After four months jamming they played their first gig at a “packed-out” Black Hatt.
The sharp-dressed lads have alternated between rock classics and playing their own songs to earn their keep since.
“Every gig we do – whether it’s a cover gig or original gig – we promote the s**t out of it,” Robbie says.
The “ADHD” vocalist describes himself as a “front man“ instead of a singer.
“There’s plenty of good singers but there’s not enough people that put on a show and feel what they are doing.”
After 39 gigs The Hollow Majors have released their self-titled, five-track, debut EP, including the band’s favourite tune Upstream.
“We can now confidently say we are an original band,” Robbie says.
If Robbie is the band’s “heart and soul” then lead guitarist Ash Wray is the brains.
The Highton sparkie wrote the majority of the EP, which he says is merely a “stepping stone”.
“There’s much better coming.”
The 22-year-old’s lyrical fascination began when he learned the cello as a kid.
“I’ll be driving in my car and all I hear are all these tunes in my head,” he says.
“One day I’ll be writing about how much I love my girlfriend and the other days I’m talking about how much I want to go to Mexico.”
“It’s mostly about women,” quips death-metal-loving drummer Dono.
Dono dreams of leaving his IT job for music, a dream which began when his grandma bought him a second-hand guitar from a garage sale.
He discovered a natural talent for drums when the drummer in his brother’s band left his kit behind.
“Turns out I’m better at drums than I am at guitar,” the 26-year-old says.
Dono’s high-energy drumming has even prompted an attempted onstage hi-five from a fan, which bass player Josh Dower gladly snapped up.
“Dono’s sat there and been like ‘I literally can’t – I’m drumming’,”Josh says.
The Corio busker has seen all kinds of crazy antics from their audiences, like “a guy trying to play air guitar on crutches”.
“They’re a handful,” the 22-year-old says.
Josh started on the trumpet before progressing to guitar and bass, despite copping a bit of schoolyard stick.
“If you were a guy and you liked to sing or do anything theatrical you would get picked on straight off the bat, especially in a suburb like Corio,” he says.
“You think music’s for girls … until you realise it gets girls.”
Josh admits thinking Robbie was “full of crap” when they first met.
But now he’s converted and wants to get “back into that studio as fast as possible” to chase rock and roll glory.
“We want to be on that large stage in front of thousands of people.”