By: Kim Friederich
Aaron Wood (drums, lead vocals)
Justin Brooke (guitar, lead vocals)
Brandon Morrison (guitar, backing vocals)
Matt Forsee (bass, backing vocals)
Once in a while a band comes along that are so original, everyone should hear them. one such band is HOWLIES, a group formed of lifelong friends from Atlanta, Georgia. The band are currently touring in support of their album TRIPPIN' WITH HOWLIES, recorded in just 42 hours under the watchful eye of ex - Germs manager Kim Fowley. The Band have catchy tunes, down to earth lyrics and a huge witty sense of humor, (check out the video to their ALUMINIUM BASEBALL BAT track!).
I asked Aaron Wood (drums and vocals) to tell us a bit about their story, what they have been up to lately and all things Howlies.
PUNK GLOBE: The Band got together in 2007, But can you tell me a little about the formation of the Group?
Aaron: Hi this is Aaron. We've been friends for a while. Sometime in the Summer of 2007 Justin and I were involved in a late night howling match between neighborhood dogs. We lived in a shared house with a big backyard. Sometimes at 2 or 3 am one dog would starting raising a ruckus and all of a sudden you had a symphony of dogs in the 'hood trying to talk to each other. We joined in. There were substances involved. It was quite trippy really and we recorded it. That hatched the name Howlies. Howlies also means "tourist" in Hawaii. So we like the double meaning. Unfortunately the 45 minutes of us howling back and forth to these dogs was lost when a hard drive crashed. Thankfully no one noticed we were not dogs and called the cops. We kept the thing going for a while.
PUNK GLOBE: You have worked with the legendary Kim Fowley (of The Runaways and The Germs fame), How did this come about, and are there any funny stories from your time working with him?
Aaron: Justin emailed Kim on Myspace and asked if he was still producing records. Kim replied yes and send a demo. We sent one out, and when he heard it he emailed back and asked what we wanted him to do. We got signed at about the same time, so we decided to fly out to where Kim was working in California and cut the record. Kim is a one man show really. If he liked the music he called it teenage dog snot, or he'd say slow that beat down so the smokers and dope fiends get it. He made us eat junk food the whole time because thats what rock and roll is about. During one of our breaks, I helped him respond to girls that reach out to him on myspace. He really is adored.
PUNK GLOBE: Your album, TRIPPIN' WITH HOWLIES was recorded live by Kim Fowley in a live studio in the time frame of 42 hours . What are the pluses and negatives of doing an album live.
Aaron: I wouldn't do it any other way really. I can't imagine not recording an album live because there is a certain energy shared by a band playing together. Playing to a click track or a pre-recorded part just seems inorganic. When you do it live, you get a little closer to what it might sound like if you were playing a concert, and I think thats what people want. For that matter I really like live albums, and the nuances and subtle "shortcomings" one might hear when listening to them. Rock is messy and delicious like an overflowing PB&J. It should stay that way.
PUNK GLOBE: There has been a lot of talk about your live shows, Could you walk our readers through what one may experience if they went to one of your shows.
Aaron: Lots of energy and lots of fun! Luckily we don't take ourselves too seriously and I think our personality comes through on stage. We jump around a lot, sing a lot of harmonies, and tend to get the crowd moving. Sometimes Justin jumps off his amp, sometimes Brandon climbs the PA. I've crashed through my drum set a few times for fun. Sometimes we hand out flavor ice, or whiskey. We have smoke machines and lights most of the time though those break often. They just don't make equipment tough enough. Kim called us "male cheerleaders in a madhouse rubber room". I think that about sums it up.
PUNK GLOBE: You have a funny story about Your Bassist Matt and Area 51, whats that all about!?
Aaron: Well Matt was abducted from a gas station. We got a new Matt but didn't realize it was actually the Scientology overlord Xenu in disguise until Xenu revealed his true identity in San Diego. He eats antifreeze. It makes me sad to think Matt might be getting probed right now.
PUNK GLOBE: Do you want the real Matt back?
Aaron: Yes. That is if his butt hole still works. We don't need any.....accidents....in the van.
PUNK GLOBE: In February, the album was released, How has it been accepted and what has the public feedback been like?
Aaron: So far great. In some towns we go to people sing along to our songs, so I know they've heard the recordings. I don't really pay attention to how much records we sell, but we've sold a lot of vinyl, and we always sell records at our shows. When our songs start showing up on P2P networks, then I'll know we are getting somewhere.
PUNK GLOBE: You are currently on tour, scheduled to end in September in North Carolina, How has the tour been going, and any cool tour stories.
Aaron: The tour has been awesome and I am in love with the Pacific North West. Beautiful country indeed. In Vegas a women performed with us who does a hoola-hoop strip tease. She was amazingly talented and beautiful. In the end, there was only black tape in the shape of an "x" for pasties. That night I came to understand I need 3 things to survive: rock, food, and naked hoola-hopping girls.
PUNK GLOBE: I see that you are scheduled on Jan 31 2010.To be the first to Band to play on the Moon. How are you preparing for this and can we pre order tickets yet?
Aaron: Yes you can pre-order tickets by sending a money order in the amount of $10,000 to Aaron Wood at 1259 Metropolitan Ave SE Atlanta 30316. We prepare by eating freeze dried foods and pretending to be weightless. If you get really stoned, and go swimming in cold water, and can hold your breath for a while, you can approximate what space is going to feel like. We are also wearing and using diapers, because thats what spacemen do. Now we don't have to stop so often for restroom breaks. Will I be wearing them when I'm 70? Depends (wah wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah) I'm so punny goddamit.
PUNK GLOBE: Can you tell me the story of the song ALIMINIUM BASSBALL BAT, and is the story related to someone in the band, or pure fiction?
Aaron: Well a certain someone I was dating left me for a really rich guy. She was working for him. I actually knew the guy and knew he was a piece of shit. Most that know him well agree, and evidently he tries to bed all of his female employees. That added fuel to the fire. He was approaching 40 and using his $$ and power to date hot young girls in their 20's. The girl I was dating was just one in a succession of girls. Its also worth noting that he was born into money. I have a lot more respect for self-made people. Anyhow, I wrote a song that expressed about what I wanted to do to him. I thought about mailing the song to him, but it would probably just fuel his ego. Now, that girl and I are good friends and she loves that song. If I saw that dude, and he was drunk, I'd probably hit him.
PUNK GLOBE: The band has diverse Influences, tell us about some of those, and also, if you could play with any artist on stage, who would it be and why?
Aaron: Well everyone is very passionate about listening to A LOT of music. We all really like to sing, and so gravitated towards early doo-wop stuff like the Flamingos. The Coasters are big with us as well. Sometimes people pick up a punk vibe in some of our up-tempo tunes that I liken to bands like the Ramones or the Undertones. We write a lot of music all the time and do our best to keep the best songs and somehow present it in a cohesive manner. We are also influenced by the moon, women, tidal changes, and fish tacos in Echo Park. I want to share a stage with Question Mark and the Mysterians. I hear he is still gigging, and still claims to be an alien. That's good stuff.
PUNK GLOBE: Where can people find out more about The Howlies, and where can they buy the album?
Aaron: Our album is for sale at Howlies.com and OverUnderRecords.com and iTunes and Amazon. There are probably more places out there so I guess people can just google us and decide. If you want to know more about Howlies just called me. If I'm not driving and/or highly intoxicated I will answer any of your questions and maybe give you a few tips on which gas stations have the cleanest bathrooms. Aaron at 404 667 2736
PUNK GLOBE: Any message for your fans?
Aaron: Don't ever grow up. I'm not. Also if someone tries to sell you weed in the West Village in NYC, it might be parsley.