Dan Howls is an appropriate name for an artist with such a bellowing roar. Big, gritty and acidic, it is a voice that belongs to the blues… a human being merely wields it. Tried and tested through years of live performance, Dan has finally unveiled his stunning debut album, A Dime a Dozen.
Tomatrax cauht up with Dan to talk about his music.
What inspired you to become a musician?
First my parents (they were musicians and took me to so many gigs and festivals and taught me keys and guitar when I was little) and then my friends in high school (for a while while we had numerous embarrassing high school rock bands) and then my partner who really made me realize I could set some goals and give music a proper go.
When did you write your first song?
I think when I was 14/15
You’ve just released your debut album, how does it feel to have it out?
It feels fantastic, we’ve had some really great response and it just makes me want to get back in the studio again which we’re doing this Friday.
Where did the title A Dime A Dozen come from?
I think just knowing how many great songs and artists are out there spending all their money from shitty jobs on recordings and mastering and not seeing a big return. It made me think that songs are a dime a dozen these days but that doesn’t mean they’re not special.
What made you pick ‘Mary Lou’ as your latest single?
It was different to all the other singles we’d released previously. Up tempo and different style. I thought it would be good to release something that caught people by surprise.
You’ve just finished a tour around Western Australia, how did that go?
It’s been full on. We’ve had multiple gigs every weekend for pretty much the last 12 weeks. That’s pretty incredible, but also tiring. It’s ebbs and flows. We have one last big weekend this weekend and then a break of 2-3 weeks which I’m looking forward to. A health kick is definitely in order. The highlight would have to be Wave Rock Festival with Abbe May and C.W. Stoneking. Incredible good vibes small scale kinda festival. Absolutely loved playing it.Oh and the 1900km round trip for a 3 show tour we did in 48 hours. That was nuts.
When writing what comes first, the words or the music?
Usually the music. I let it set the tone for the song. Then the words tend to mumble their way out and slowly form actual sentences.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Absolutely. Obviously critically when recording/producing but also to get us psyched before a gig we’ll sometimes put on the album in the van on the way to the gig or when you turn on your local radio station and hear one of your songs playing. That’s a pretty fun feeling.
What other music do you listen to?
Everything. Obviously love blues, Tom Waits, The Black Keys, Screamin Jay but also love a lot of hip hop, psych rock, poppy stuff. Anything that’s good really.
Now that you’ve finished your tour, what do you have planned next?
Haha we’ve got another down south tour at the beginning of December, then a headline show at the local haunt Mojos with a bunch of amazing bands. Then we’ll probably release the new single we’re recording this week and then start to tour it around WA from Jan- March.
We’ve got a 5 show Japan tour in the works for May followed by a two month regional north west Aussie tour and then hitting the east coast for a week or so. Then myself and Julia will go and relax in India for a month followed by returning home for next September. Then probably record the new record and start touring again 🙂 It’s not a bad year ahead of us.