kongo kong

Everyday die-hard wrestling fans are very likely aware of a good number of musicians that are also die-hard wrestling fans. There’s Rick Rubin, Lars Fredriksen from Rancid, Wale, Adam Jones from Tool…But most artists tend to keep their wrestling fandom separate from their art.

But then there is the band Quiet Hollers. Hailing from Louisville, the quintet is led by singer/guitarist Shadwick Wilde. The latest Quiet Hollers studio effort is July 2017’s Amen Breaks, as put out by the sonaBLAST! record label.

Bassist Jake Hellman’s wrestling fandom can be directly seen in the just-released music video for “Pressure” featuring Kongo Kong.

To learn more about the “Pressure” video — in which all the members of Quiet Hollers take on Kongo Kong — I spoke with Wilde, Hellman, and Mr. Kong himself. More on Amen Breaks can be found at www.quiethollers.com, while Kongo Kong can be followed on Twitter via @RealKongoKong.

Had you ever been on the set of a music video before?  

Kongo Kong: This was my first time being featured on a video as well as the first time on a set, specifically for a music video.

Was this the first band you had ever worked with?  

Kongo Kong: I have sang with a few bands/groups and have even shared stages with Insane Clown Posse, Kenny Rogers, Rebecca Lynn Howard and various gospel artists, but definitely the first time in a wrestling capacity.

What was the last concert you attended for fun? 

Kongo Kong: A gospel concert featuring Fred Hammond, Karen Clark-Sheard and many other huge gospel artists.

Your band is from Louisville, where WWE used to have its development company OVW. Was that something that was on your radar?

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: YES! My wife and I both visited OVW during its years as a developmental territory. Brock Lesnar, John Cena, and Randy Orton really stood out in those days. The territory also had Colt Cabana and CM Punk come through but I never saw them there. There is such a rich history at OVW, Danny Davis — who wrestled in Wrestlemania 3 — is still running it. The best wrestling thing to ever come out of Louisville, however, is Jim Cornette. He’s a personal hero of mine and he shares a lot of the same values as the band. He also has the best account on twitter outside of The Iron Sheik.

Shadwick Wilde, Quiet Hollers: I’ve been aware of OVW and always enjoyed their cast of characters. I have to admit, I’m a pretty casual wrestling fan.

Who’s the biggest wrestling fan in the Quiet Hollers?

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: It’s me. I can’t get enough. 

Shadwick Wilde, Quiet Hollers: Definitely Jake — no question. He’s made fans out of the rest of us by virtue of his sheer enthusiasm for the sport.

Is there anything in wrestling these days that you are especially excited about?

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: Yea, Shinsuke being in the WWE is still blowing my mind, and his match with Cena was stellar. I love seeing Cody used correctly and carving his own path. Omega and Okada are incredible. And pretty much any time Braun Strowman beats up Roman Reigns I pop. I used to be a Kongo Kong fan until he cannonballed my band in the corner.

There was a lot of attention given to the signs shown in the music video. Who came up with them?

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: Some people in the band made some up the night before, but a lot of the best signs were made by our fans at the video shoot. 

Shadwick Wilde, Quiet Hollers: We made some of them, our fans made some, Kongo’s fans made some — it was one of my favorite parts of the whole thing.

What’s your favorite part of the music video?

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: My favorite part of the video is our real life manager Ferrell Elliot. He plays our manager at the beginning of the video. I don’t know if he knows this, but he looks like Dusty Rhodes. I also have to give a close second to Howell Dawdy as our announcer, he’s a musician too. Check out his stuff on all the internet streaming things. 

Shadwick Wilde, Quiet Hollers: Getting thrown around by Kongo was the most fun ever! I can see why people get addicted to this stuff.

What’s coming up for you in your career?

Kongo Kong: I have plenty of wrestling action to look forward to, but also looking to possibly expand into acting. I can play the villain pretty well, but would love the challenge of playing a character on a television show or movie.

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: It would be nice to have some kind of definite answer to this as a musician, but that’s not often the case. What we can say for sure is we’re about to tour Europe for a second time, and then come back to America and hit every city we can for about three months. 

Shadwick Wilde, Quiet Hollers: Our new album just dropped, so we’re touring with it, across the states and Europe. Very exciting!

Is there a career accomplishment you are most proud of?  

Kongo Kong: The easy answer would be making it to a worldwide stage with Global Force/Impact Wrestling, and being seen on television on an almost weekly basis on PopTV, Thursday night at 8:00 PM EST. Also being a featured act with many different wrestling companies all over the world.

When not busy with your respective profession, how do you like to spend your free time?

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: I have very little free time. What free time I do have is usually spent with my wife watching classic PPVs on the network; 1989 Great American Bash is the best ever, by the way. When I’m on the road I like to put on my headphones and listen to Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard. “Well, you know…”

Shadwick Wilde, Quiet Hollers: I don’t have much free time to speak of, between being a dad and a full-time musician, I’m pretty much spoken for. But I enjoy reading, writing, and playing music whenever possible.

Kongo Kong: When not wrestling or attending to my small business, supplying wrestling gear to wrestlers all over the world, I love watching movies, playing video games and singing karaoke — as Steve, not Kong. (laughs)

Finally, any last words for the kids?

Jake Hellman, Quiet Hollers: I grew up wanting to be a wrestler or a musician my entire life. It took me 30 years, but somehow I’ve managed to combine the two. Live and sacrifice for your dreams and good things will happen. 

Shadwick Wilde, Quiet Hollers: Stay in school, work hard, and dream your dreams with open eyes!

Kongo Kong: If you have a dream, pursue it! Do not give up and do not let anyone tell you what you can’t do, because you can!  The world is at your feet… now go conquer it!