Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting To Know... Howl at the Moon was recently lucky enough to catch Melbourne's Howl at the Moon play an excellent show at MUM, the legendary Friday night indie shindig at Sydney's World Bar. Afterwards, singer Katie and drummer Mikey told us a bit about the band:
(Katie): I would describe Howl at the Moon's sound as a blues noise dark country carwreck. We're pretty moody and very honest but we all love and appreciate classic pop music, so there's a lot of melody involved.

(Mikey): I would describe it as Tom Waits and P J Harvey tag-team mud-wrestling against Thom Yorke and a zombie Roy Orbison. PJ and Tom Waits win... just.

(K): I take inspiration from books, bands and films of course! But from a songwriter's perspective I draw a lot on stories people relay to me. I'm empathetic by nature and can't help but feel the pain that others go through, so some songs are thinly-veiled true-life experiences of mine, people I know or people they know. Music comes from a weird dark place for me. Sometimes I'll write when I'm full of happiness but not that often. I don't know how others view/hear it but I sincerely hope that in amongst the shadows in the music we play, people will find something like hope. I'm not a pessimist at all. I believe and am inspired by the good I see in people, but life can be pretty shit sometimes. Mostly due to that old chestnut, heartbreak. There is a dark humour in the songs too, but sometimes I think people miss it. I think I'm dry-funny sometimes, but my comic nature is so under-developed that most people miss it.

(M): I take inspiration from Yacht Rock

(K): Melbourne is a wonderful place to have as a creative home. I have lived here nearly six years now. Mark (bass), Mikey (drums) and I are all originally from New Zealand and though I miss home, I don't think there's a better place to live in the world right now. A lot of people I know who have traveled a lot more than I feel the same way. I've never been in the right place at the right time before but at the moment it feels like I am. The music scene isn't divisive or cliquey. Real musicians are connecting and making awesome things happen together. The venues down here all seem to be run by people who really give a shit about music more than anything else and that, in my opinion, is a rarity.

(K): I wish Howl at the Moon had written Real Gone, Is This Desire?, Figure 8 and Sketches disc 2. That pretty much sums up my personal influences. Like most people, I also wish we'd written Abbey Road. It would've been sweet to have written a great, funny, dark book too - anything of Richard Brautigan's would be my dream.

(M): I wish Howl at the Moon had written Welcome to the Jungle.

(K) It might surprise people to learn that I'm pretty keen on Billie Holiday and 20's-40's tin pan alley songwriters. I'm very nostalgic for that era, though, obviously, I didn't live in that time. I'm a bit of a tragic romantic. Not in the flowers and candy sense, but in a classic swoony kinda way. I melt a little bit more each time I hear Billie's versions of Some Other Spring and I Cover The Waterfront - beautiful stuff. I also recently became addicted to Otis Redding's Cigarettes and Coffee. I don't know if I'll ever get sick of it. I keep putting on the record when people come over and I'm starting to wonder if my friends are growing tired of it.

(M): It might also surprise people to learn that bats always turn left when exiting a cave.

(M): In five years time we will still be talking about the first time we played at World Bar. What a night!

(K): We'll also still be playing music lots and we'll have made a full-length record. Tour New Zealand and some other places. Go on a writing/working holiday to Croatia, France and Mexico. Write, write, write, right? I think I'll be very pleased if we have an album under our belts and don't have to pay for it all ourselves!

Check out Howl at the Moon for yourself at their Myspace page

Interview by Rob Townsend


Thornbury said...

Awesome interview, and an equally awesome band!!

Bobby Six said...

Yeah, they were great when I saw them. I look forward to catching them again.