We got a chance to ask the guys of The Howl a few questions about their band as well as their new music video for their song Cast Aways If you haven’t heard of The Howl you need to get on board. These guys are a 4 piece indie band hailing from the windy city a.k.a chi-town a.k.a Chicago. These guys just got finish kick @ss and taking names on tour and the video is a compilation of that adventure. Check out the interview below and give these guys a listen
HOW LONG HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN AROUND?
Our drummer, John and I started playing the songs together about 3 years ago, we didn’t actually start playing shows and touring as The Howl until early 2012 though.
WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION AND INFLUENCES BEHIND YOUR DEBUT EP 900 FEET BENEATH?
The subject matter revolves heavily around relationships and personal growth as well as battles with mental and physical health. A lot of that record was created out of spite. Not in a negative way, I think that spite can be a very powerful and healthy tool in the creative process. There were a lot of people leaving my life at the time that I was writing that record, and a lot of people were telling us that we couldn’t do what we were doing. That we couldn’t tour, or that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Human Capability is a brilliant and often underestimated thing. So a lot of that record, while not being necessarily ABOUT that process, is certainly influenced by taking negative energy and turning it into something really radical for lots of people to enjoy at high volumes.
YOU GUYS JUST WENT ON TOUR THIS SUMMER HOW WAS THAT?
It was phenomenal! We had a blast at every show and met tons of good folks in every city. I think tour really strengthened us not only as a band but also as individuals. Being stuck together in a van for weeks on tends to weigh on everyones nerves, but we formed some amazing bonds with each other that will be tough to break. I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out with the tour, it was a monumental personal exploration as well as a musical pilgrimage.
ANY MEMORIES THAT STICK OUT FROM THE TOUR?
Lots of good food and sites while driving! We had a lot of downtime and had a lot of fun skateboarding with people we met and finding skate spots as we went along. I think the coolest thing that sticks out for everyone from tour is skinny dipping in the Redwoods. We were exploring this big redwood forest and found this huge river flowing through the middle of it! Our clothes couldn’t have come off any faster, it was truly surreal.
We played a fourth of July cook-out in Las Cruces, New Mexico at an art collective in what looked like an airplane hangar. The people who put together the show turned it into this big community event with food and fireworks and face painting and stuff. Thy got it sponsored by a local brewery that brewed their beer using sun power! It was such a cool show.
YOUR NEW VIDEO “CAST AWAYS” IS FOOTAGE FROM THAT TOUR. DID YOU GUYS GO INTO THIS TOUR KNOWING YOU WANTED TO DO A VIDEO FOR THIS SONG WITH TOUR FOOTAGE?
We knew we wanted to document a lot of the tour. Chris Bauer, the man behind just about every photograph of us or video of us as a band, was our fifth member for this tour. Not only is he an extremely electric person to be around, but he makes magic with a camera. It only seemed fitting that we make a video for Cast Aways, since the tour was in support of it’s release. So we just used the tour footage. It’s a song about long-distance relationships, so the footage of us traveling was pretty fitting.
WHAT IS YOUR SONG “CAST AWAYS” ABOUT?
It’s about long-distance relationships, and how distance can often amplify your emotions or perception to an irrational state. And that state can sometimes leave you feeling very isolated and alone, even when there are loads of people in your life. It’s easy to lose yourself in that process. So it’s about rebuilding and re-identifying yourself after being out of touch with reality for a while.
I think a lot of people can identify with looking back on a relationship that really seized your heart at one point and thinking “What the hell was I thinking?” Hindsight is always 20/20.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO SOMEBODY THAT HAS EVER HEARD OF YOU HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?
We’re a rock and roll band who’s subject matter tends to deal with relationships, personal growth, headaches and heartaches. I think it’s obvious that our sound is well-rooted in punk rock, stemming from bands like Against Me! and The Offspring and budding into more experimental and technical rock influences like At The Drive In and Tera Melos. But the four of us are constantly evolving our musical palette, it’ll be interesting to see what’s next.
IM SURE YOU GUYS BOOKED ALL OF YOUR SHOWS AND SET UP ALL OF YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT ON STAGE. YOU GUYS PROBABLY MANAGE YOURSELVES AND ALL OF THE OTHER STUFF THAT GOES ALONG WITH BEING IN A BAND. SO WHAT DOES DIY MEAN TO YOU AND HOW IMPORTANT IS THE DIY SCENE TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
We do! We manage, book, build, tune, number-crunch, bean-count and pencil-push our own band. We have the paper-cuts to prove it!
I think that DIY is a really important part of the music scene for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I think that it’s healthy for a band to do all of their own booking and record keeping themselves because it builds a bands strength and knowledge of how things should and should not work. It will make you have a tremendous amount of respect for all the bands that are on the top of the underground. It’s a lot of work doing all of this yourself, and the bands that have managed to break through the surface have put in a tremendous amount of work to get there. I think understanding that is essential to making your own band survive.
Secondly, I think it’s important to understand that it’s “Do It Yourself” not “Do It By Yourself”. We need to be supportive of our brothers and sisters that are trying to actively make this dream come true. Help traveling bands find a show, help new bands book their first show, invite people to their gigs! Buy their records! Carry their gear! It’s a big, cold world and each helping hand you give makes it a little smaller and a little warmer. Someday you’ll be far away from home playing for folks who you don’t know and don’t owe you anything, and you’ll be very thankful that someone bought your or told you that they really liked your band. Kindness never goes unnoticed, and good deeds always come around somehow. It’s Cosmic!