Boston-based Alt-Rock band HOWL! just released their sophomore album "Hearts Still Racing"
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We all got into music at a pretty young age as our parents were around during the peak of the Boston music scene (think The Cars, Aerosmith, WBCN bringing over U2). Also Phil our guitarist got into from the Guns N Roses Video for Terminator 2 and Mark our drummer got into it after seeing "That Thing You Do!"
What would we be doing today? Probably making money. Except for Phil, because he went to art school.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Well, our practice space is only about a mile from the TD Garden, where the Celtics and Bruins play; so naturally, we are all Boston sports fans. All of us are also avid gamers so we love that. We also love the alt-comedy scene (think Tim and Eric).
How long has your band been around?
Officially, HOWL! has been around since 2017, however, we have all played in different projects with each other over the years, dating back to 2009.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We feel very fortunate to be based out of Boston; we have been able to draw from all elements of its diverse music scene to carve out our unique sound.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
We wanted something simple, but also exciting and emotional. The name Howl! along with our "unleash your howl" tagline represents the primal release we want to convey with our music.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
What's fun is our best and worst shows were actually this past summer when we were touring with Smile Empty Soul and A Brilliant Lie:
Best- Charlotte, North Carolina. We played our biggest venue to date to an amazing crowd and met some fans that we are still in contact with today.
Worst - Augusta GA the VERY NEXT NIGHT. The day set heat records and we played a venue that had no air conditioning (or beers to keep us cold). It was also a cinderblock building with a tin roof, so you can only imagine how hot we were.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Our favorite venue right now is The Jungle, which is a music club just outside of Boston in Somerville. We played there the first weekend they opened and just recently had our CD release show there. Good people, great venue, and fun atmosphere.
One place that would be amazing for us would be The House of Blues here in Boston that is in the shadows of Fenway Park. Outside of Boston? Red Rocks and Whiskey a Go Go.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
We figured the best way to answer this question was for each member to pick one act to add to this bill:
- Coheed and Cambria
- Danzig (although opening for Michale Graves last year was also an honor)
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Write songs first, have a clear idea of your project. Don't fly by the seat of your pants when writing. Write for yourself - be your own biggest critic and biggest fan. Also, merch is your only shot at any kind of income for a very long time.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Take formal music lessons earlier in life; take some business/marketing classes, and apply that to your band; and always bring a backup of everything.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
LMK off of our first record; It's means the most to us because the song is about reminding people that there are always others out there who want to help you, despite how lonely or desperate you feel in the current situation.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
While we all have our own personal favorites, we all agree that In My Veins gets us excited to perform. In terms of most requested, "For the Ones You Forgot" wins there since we released a music video and it was very well received.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Phil is our primary music writer as he comes up with the outlines of the songs and brings it to the band. After that, we all take our perspectives and work together to create the final musical product. It then culminates with Morgan writing lyrics and melodies.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We want our fans to know that we are passionate and understand what they may be going through. We want to relate to them and project that so they can identify with the themes of our songs.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Absolutely, if you don't have disagreements there's probably a huge problem in your band. To get past them? We end up getting together and first establish that we all want the same thing (for this band to succeed), and that allows us to have a much more mature discourse in terms of moving past those disagreements.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
For the immediate future, we have a music video coming up March for "Anthem for the Anxious." At the end of March we are hitting a few stages at SXSW in Austin, which we are super pumped for. After that we have plans to write and continue to expand our catalogue