Interview: Houndmouth- Playing @ The Earl September 27th (TONIGHT)

Photo By: Jim Harington
Photo By: Jim Harington

By: Lindsey Borders

The harmonious, folk-rock band hails from Indiana, but currently call home Louisville, Kentucky. The four-member band, Houndmouth, have recently debuted their full-length album, From The Hills Above the City. They recently have had musical guest spots on David Letterman, Conan, and have been a staple among the festival scene, including Forecastle Music Festival, Bonnaroo, most recently, Americana Music Festival and Pettyfest. We chatted with lead singer and guitar player, Matt Myers, about their upcoming tour, musical influences, their new album, and much more. This is one hard-working band, with an incredible sound, studio and live, who I feel are going to be around for many years to come.

What are you guys most looking forward to on this tour?

Matt: Most looking forward to? That is a good question. I think we’ve been at home for so long, we’re really just looking forward to getting out on the road. Atlanta’s our first date, so that’s going to be great. We’ve got friends coming out, and I’ve never been to Atlanta before actually. That’s strange. A lot of my family has worked there, so I’ve got go check it out.

Speaking of you guys’ music, who are your musical or entertainment influences for your lyrics and music?

Matt: Yeah, influences for songwriting came from; I had a lot of influences with Randy Newman and John Prine. Everybody in the band was kind of on a John Prine kick, and I kinda pulled Randy Newman out of my back pocket, cause my Dad always listened to him on cassettes in his car when I was growing up. As far as guitar playing goes, I started out listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. Stevie Ray Vaughan was the guy I’d try to look in the mirror and emulate, like and try to look him, cause he played so powerful. It was wild, his hands would just move all over the place. I recently got into Dave Rollins and a guy named Blake Mills (who’s playing with Dawes); I met them at Newport and I had never heard him before, or saw him play guitar; we walked into this rehearsal room, and it was a little awkward, but I stood in front of him and watched him play the songs, because the room was tiny; it just blew my mind. I’m going to say he’s one of the best guitar players I’ve ever seen, hands down.

Matt: Have you ever heard of Blake Mills, by any chance?

Blake Mills, you said?

Matt: Yeah, Blake Mills. He’s got an album coming out called Brake Mirrors.

It sounds familiar, but a lot of them do because I work in music.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, check him out. He’s fantastic. Check him out.

Absolutely! You said he’s good, so I have to believe it, because I’ve seen you play!

What was the recording process like for From The Hills Below the City?

Matt: That process was much different than how we recorded the EP because we had a lot more nicer equipment to work with. For the EP, it was all separate and we had to do all of the recordings separately because we didn’t have enough mics to input. So, we ended up doing most of the album (new) live, which part of it was already recorded in the summer. We were in an upstairs apartment, a guy named Kevin, it was before he had this nice studio built; but where we were recording was fantastic as well. There was no AC, it was like 90 degrees, and we’d all get in this tiny room and uh, try and do the takes. On every take, our instruments are just soaked in sweat, and it was kind of a blur. We recorded it in like four or five, I think five days. Then we went back and re-did a couple of songs later in the fall. But, you know, it was fast, it was good, we didn’t over-think it, and we didn’t have time for any of that, so…

You did good, I like it!

Matt: Thank you; We did it, forgot about it, and moved on {laughs}.

Now, how do you guys connect your music with an audience during a live performance; how do you mentally and emotionally connect?

Matt: Umm, I don’t know. I think we’ve always gone into it with the mentality that we’re going to play the music for the sake of playing music; with the intention of playing for ourselves and have a good time doing it, and it’s funny that it just so happens to translate to an audience as well, which is great. Yeah, we just like to go out and have a good time, usually, and if it works, it works. Which it has been, thankfully. You know, we’ve had some bad gigs, but whatever, we put it behind us.

You guys just came back from the Americana Music Festival in Nashville. How was the Americana Music Festival; was it an awesome experience?

Matt: It was cool, yeah! We did the Pettyfest thing, and were going to do the song, “Don’t Back Down,” and we rehearsed it for a week, just to make sure we had our stuff together. When we get there, and they’re like, “Well someone took your song, we can’t tell you who it was, but you guys have to do something else.” So, we looked at the schedule and apparently Caleb Followill had stolen our song, and we had to do “Learnin’ to Fly”. We didn’t know the words, we barely heard the song, and they’re like, “Oh, you’ll be great. We’ll have a teleprompter for you, and they’ll guide you through the chords.” We got up there and fumbled through it, and I don’t know, I missed a chorus, but it turned out alright.

Do you have a guilty musical or entertainment pleasure?

Matt: Of course, Meatloaf, hands down. I don’t even know if that’s guilty, but everybody that I tell, makes me feel like it’s a guilty pleasure {laughs}. I don’t really know any pop music and everyone’s singing these awesome rap songs, and I’m like, “I wish I could join in, but I just don’t know ‘em.”

I hope you guys have an awesome tour and sell every single show out!

Matt: Thank you! Come and say Hey in Atlanta when we come through.

Houndmouth performs at The Earl, tonight, September 27. Purchase tickets below!

Find Tickets at Ticket Alternative



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