An Interview with The Howlers…

The Howlers
We recently caught up with Adam, lead singer of The Howlers and had a lovely chat about the release of their debut album, ‘What You’ve Got To Lose To Win It All’.

Join us as we explore the band’s journey, their creative inspirations, and their unique sound…

Hailing from Portsmouth, Stafford and The Netherlands, your surroundings might not immediately evoke Americana vibes. Can you tell us about the journey of discovering and embracing the vast landscapes that you reach through your sound, and how your upbringings influence your interpretation of it?

ADAM: I think our upbringings have everything to do with how we have ended up as people and as a band, were all from extremely humble beginnings and so dreaming big is a luxury that takes a backseat when there’s bills to pay, so I think in our own way we’ve strived to break that cycle and project a cinematic grand landscape through out music, the sort of anything is possible soundtrack, there are so many bands topping the charts that come from very wealthy backgrounds and have never had to hold the same worries we have had ingrained in us growing up, so its a massive deal for us to strike out on our own and do something that speaks to dreaming big or at least further than the end of the street. 

As a band, you have overcome an awful lot to get to this point. What role do you believe music plays in helping individuals navigate through grief and adversity?

ADAM: Personally anyone who says they don’t like music is a ‘wrongen’ in my book, rhythm and melody play such a huge part in all our lives whether we realise or not, that moment of being sucked into a song allows each of us to lose ourselves momentarily something that is really important in growing around experiences that knock us back a bit, personally as musicians its cathartic to play music in that process of growing, but ultimately songwriting becomes deeply personal as a way of expressing what you maybe can’t quite say. 

Collaborating with Black Honey on the production of your debut album is noteworthy. How did this collaboration come about, and what insights did you gain from working with them?

ADAM: I’ve been working with Chris for a while on songs and demo’s so they’ve become extensions of what we do, a soundboard really for new records, with anything we do we always try to learn and develop as we go along otherwise you’ll never get better, I think they teach us things and then also visa versa, your never the master of your craft so there’s always something to be learnt, I guess they’ve helped us become better performers, touring with them we had to step it up a bit so every time they watch us they see a markable difference in us as a band. 

The bond between bandmates often shapes the music profoundly. How has your friendship and solidarity within the band influenced the creation of this album? 

ADAM: The album represents a really traumatic few years for us without each other we probably wouldn’t of still been making music, so many bands have an active dislike for each other because there in it for the wrong reasons, just posing at being friends, and so many bands split up for that reason. I think as a band we’re distinctly different in that regard as our friendship is based around the music and the band not a secondary thing for us, if you watch us live were always smiling on stage so that says something right? 

Your sound has a real cinematic quality. Can you discuss the role of storytelling in your songwriting process, and how you aim to connect with your audience through narrative?

ADAM: To be honest, as a songwriter, I don’t really go in for all that ‘I want to write about this’ kind of songwriting I tend to let it flow from wherever a song comes from, sing and play what feels write, it doesn’t always hit the mark but that place it comes from is authentically me and in turn us as a band. I’m not trying to be anyone else as a writer I just write and figure out what Iv written later, just trust the subconscious I guess, but ultimately anything we write we want people to understand and connect with, but music is subjective you cant please everyone. 

Your music speaks to authenticity and depth in a world where the music industry often prioritises clicks, views, and viral content over substance. What message do you hope to send to both the industry and your audience through ‘What You’ve Got To Lose To Win It All’?

ADAM: This industry has changed so much even in our short time as a band and its becoming more and more untenable for working class creatives to follow music as a career path the record represents everything we’ve had to sacrifice and lose to get to this moment totally on our own, both our health, our mental state and the small part of us we’ve lost along the way, now that all sounds gloomy but that’s the reality of this industry, all of us grew up with the understand that if you don’t work hard and sacrifice you’ll never get what you want out of life, or at least close to it, and if people connect with that then were happy, its a great record a record about determination and the fight to keep pushing on. 

We absolutely love the track El Dorado. What does El Dorado look like to The Howlers?

ADAM: Everyone’s seeking their own city of gold whatever that may be, its different to each person, for us I think its fair to say the realisation of what we are fighting for, that’s good enough for us, we don’t value having lots of money because we’ve never had it so, just being happy in what we do that’s enough. 

You’ve toured with some huge artists from Tom Meighan to the Lottery Winners, what’s been your favourite moment whilst on the road as a support act?

ADAM: When you connect with a band you’ve looked up to on a personal level that’s the best moments, those little moments when we all get to switch off the ‘band’ brain and be people, anyone who’s a front person all the time is a complete idiot, we’ve toured with bands that have never said hello to us and we’ve toured with others who’ve gone out there way to really mentor us and share there experiences, or talk to us about what they know we’ve been through, we’ve got no time for that post show ‘Good set man’ comment its all faux at the end of the day but if your not afraid to be vulnerable with us then that’s when you know that there’s something special there. 

It was interesting to find out that you spent some time in Manchester (our hometown!) What aspect of the city do you miss the most?

ADAM: I did indeed, I moved there when I was about 20 I think for a few years, the city has changed so much from when I lived there, every time we go back another sky scrapper has popped up or bars have changed hands, I think what I miss most is the city has a sense of loyalty to emerging arts not found everywhere, even Liverpool down the round, history with music but they couldn’t give a monkeys about emerging arts not from the city, where as Manchester is a different kettle of fish. 

What would your dream festival line up look like?

ADAM: One with us on it? To this point we’ve never done a festival season, built our career on headlining tours relentlessly, this year we’ve got a few booked in but its hard graft never getting booked, for NO REASON what so ever, this record has changed that though it seems.

Click here to listen to ‘What You’ve Got To Lose To Win It All’



About John Hassall

John is the newest member of the Barneys team and takes care of our marketing and content creation. If you’ve been hyped up by us on Instagram before, it’s likely to be him behind the screen! As a journalism graduate and keen wordsmith, you’ll definitely find John frequenting the Barneys blog more than a few times.

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