Sunday, March 4, 2012


As SXSW looms just around the corner, many rising bands from all over the world will ascend to Austin, Texas to get attention, notoriety, and acclaim. One of those bands has achieved all of that already - but like most American rock and roll bands, the attention has happened overseas before it has gone on here. For Minneapolis, Minnesota's Howler, the garage-rock outfit have achieved all the attention and acclaim in the UK and still making a name for themselves in their home country. Earlier in the year the band released their debut album, America, Give Up and it is classic garage / indie sound. Combining the ascetics of other Minneapolis bands - The Replacements and Lifter / Puller plus adding their own spin on it. Howler has been no stranger to this site, they were featured as one of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2012." Just before the band hits SXSW, we spoke with singer Jordan Gatesmith. Take a look at out interview below.

2011 was an interesting year for you with the amount of praise and buzz you have been receiving. How do you respond to the high praise?

I’ve responded to it very carefully. While it’s exciting to see that people enjoy the music, I can’t be distracted. We are finishing our full length right now and it honestly blows away the EP. I suppose I’m humored, but not looking too deeply into it.

You signed with the legendary Rough Trade; do you feel any pressure to live up to the legacy of the bands that have been on that label?

Rough Trade is an amazing label with a tremendous history. I really don’t feel too pressured though; everyone at the label likes what we are doing. We are in a great position to really develop our music over the next few years.

Who is your favorite Rough Trade artist?

That’s very hard. I suppose The Libertines!

There are constant comparisons to you and The Drums, Vaccines, Strokes. At what point does it become annoying and tiresome? Or is it just flattering?

I find it flattering. I don’t really hear it myself, but whatever’s clever.

People are saying you are going to put the music of Minneapolis back on the map. Do you feel any pressure to live up to that?

I don’t think that’s up to me. That’s up to the bands around Minneapolis. I don’t know what I would have to do with that.

Has the city influenced your music at all?


Has the music of the bands that came from Minneapolis – Replacements, Husker Du, Prince, Lifter / Puller and countless others had an impact on Howler?

The Replacements have always been my favorite band. And I am completely obsessed with Prince.

The sound of the band is very vibrant and fun, what is the songwriting process like?

I wish I knew… the songs just seem to happen. They kind of write themselves.

There are so many indie rock bands emerging these days and hitting up the hype, how do Howler stand out from the crowd?

Howler is made up of five outstanding musicians. We are all very good songwriters. Every song we write is a departure from the last song we wrote. We keep it interesting.

You all seem to be having so much fun and very nonchalant in your approach to being musicians, do you take yourself seriously?

I guess? Maybe?

Where do you want Howler to take you?

Straight to hell!