For 10 years, the Quad-City band Three Years Hollow had been a homegrown operation.
But in the past year, with the addition of a manager/booking agent and a well-known Chicago producer, the five-man band is putting a lot of stock in its new EP, “Remember.”
“It had been three years since we last did an album,” lead singer Jose Urquiza said of “Ascension,” the band’s second disc.
“You have to keep fans engaged if you want to continue to be relevant in this day and age, so I just wanted to get new music out there.
“We also realize at this point that we need to make it or break it,” he added. “We are, I think, putting a lot of stock — maybe all our stock — in this EP.”
“Remember,” which will be released Saturday with a concert at the Redstone Room in the River Music Experience, had a producer known as Tadpole at the controls. Tadpole has produced acts the likes of Disturbed, 3 Doors Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Plain White T’s and Finger Eleven.
“I grew as a vocalist and I think we grew as a band after just one session with him as a producer,” Urquiza said from the basement studio of his home in Geneseo, Ill., where the band practices in his adjoining garage.
It came as an adjustment for the band to have an outsider calling the shots after their first, self-produced album.
“It was a huge relief to get to have someone tell me, ‘Pay attention to this’ that I never would have thought about myself,” Urquiza said.
“Producers do what they want to do with your music. You just close your eyes, put your hands on the wheel and take direction,” said guitarist Tony Reeves, whose collaboration with Urquiza a decade ago formed the band’s foundation.
“It’s part of the game, and every band experiences that at one point. That was kind of a first for us,” Reeves added. “Otherwise we’ve had our own way of doing things, whether it’s right or wrong.”
Band members say that although they know the realities of the music business, they also have solid plans if the new EP gets into the hands of the right people.
“We have made sure that, at this point, all of us are ready to make that jump,” Urquiza said. “We’ve had long, long discussions over the past year that if we’re going to make all these investments that we had to be ready. I know we are ready at this point.”
The band’s melodic hard rock, sometimes drifting into heavy metal, draws comparisons to Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace, members say.
Help has also come from Tom Baumgardner of Geneseo, who was hired on last year to handle management and booking, which the band had done itself.
Since its inception, Urquiza and Reeves have been joined by a bass player/vocalist who bills himself as Dex Digga as well as drummer Chris Cushman and guitarist-singer Neil Kuhlman.
All come with different musical backgrounds and different influences.
“There’s a lot of diversity between all of us in the band, a lot of different stuff,” Kuhlman said. “That’s what helps keep our sound unique.”
The band has expanded its tour schedule to include Wisconsin and the Chicago area, but it’s loyal to its home.
“We’ve been here all of this time later, continuing to grow fans because of the Quad-Cities. We didn’t really put a lot of time in it before, but we’ve had massive support this last year,” Urquiza said. “That’s what kept us going.”