THE HOWLING LORDS (from l-r): Jens Johansen (bass), Felix Saunders (vocals/guitar), Eoghainn Lapsley (drums)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Hailing from the Isle Of Lewis, off the western coast of Scotland, The Howling Lords are a three-piece currently going from strength to strength, having generated much support and acclaim for a gritty blues-rock sound, including huge guitar riffs and raw vocals, and inspired by a wide range of bands, spanning from The Who to Queens Of The Stone Age.
Having recently brought out their second album, ‘Texas Medicine’, the trio spoke to me about that, the collective’s journey so far, as well as what they have lined up for the near future.
How did the band get together?
We were created in a Stan Lee comic, and came to life. Jens is a forgotten Viking from the northern raids on Scotland, Eoghainn is a caveman that came out from hiding, and started hitting things with sticks, and as for Felix, well, you can make up your own mind, as some say he’s a space alien, whereas others say he is an inter-dimensional time traveller, but we all agree that he is strange.
How did the name The Howling Lords come about?
It came from a Rob Zombie film, and we decided to add to it the classic blues trope of something like “hollering blind” or “screaming“, and we guess the reason we went with “howling” is because subconsciously, we knew we would be loud, which…well, stand in a room with us when we plug in.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
We build and expand ideas until they become songs, some of which are instant, others are an exercise in patience, and it’s an honest collaboration, as we try to bring every idea to its fullest potential, but even then, if we don’t like them, then we just drop them, however, if the idea’s good enough, then we will come back to it somehow.
What inspires the band lyrically?
We always try to create pictures from our heads with words, but we are not always sure what we’re drawing, or even what the words are, as we have moments where words will flood through our minds, and the real trick, sometimes, is to capture them.
Recently, you brought out your second album, ‘Texas Medicine’. How was the recording process for that?
It was awesome. We were really focused throughout, and we made sure that we didn’t have any distractions such as the internet, television, or even radio, as we lived in the recording studio, which was miles from the nearest town or even village.
And how does the new release differ to the band’s previous work?
We think that each record shows something new, from the songwriting, to the overall production.
We may not be maturing as people, but we are definitely growing as musicians, as now, we like to try and push ourselves as individual performers, as much as we possibly can, however, it does take a lot more work when we have slow days.
You have established a solid reputation for putting on skilled, energetic live sets. How is it, for the band, performing on stage?
We try to keep everything tight, but mainly, we try to have fun, amuse ourselves, and generate a positive vibe for the crowd, as we just enjoy the fact that we are playing as close friends, and also that we get to see people enjoy what we’ve created together.
When we were younger, pop-punk and hardcore were both huge, those bands filled the stage with energy, and it left a mark on us.
And the band have also toured across Scotland and much of the UK, something you will be doing again next spring. How is the experience of touring for you all?
It’s quite fixed now, as we almost have our own little routine. We just tend to try and stay chilled, and not annoy each other too much, which to be honest, can be rather difficult when we’re all hungry and tired, but if that does happen, we have all forgiven each other by the time we get on stage and play those first notes.
And finally, what do you have planned once the album and tour are out of the way?
A holiday? A new album? We’re not sure yet, but we are sure that we will be making a noise, and also seeing what there is to do, we may play some festivals, and time will tell us all what’s next, but before all that, we need some coffee!
‘TEXAS MEDICINE’, THE SECOND ALBUM FROM THE HOWLING LORDS, IS AVAILABLE NOW.
FURTHER DETAILS ON THAT, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.