I’m getting really stoked about our third annual South by South Death show at SXSW in Austin, TX next week (next week! holy shit!), so this morning I decided to watch Metal Injection-filmed live footage of Howl — one of the bands performing at South by South Death — tearing apart Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn this past Friday. It wasn’t until a couple of minutes into the video — headbang first, think later — that I realized this is not the same Howl we’ve come to know over the years; there have been quite a few lineup changes.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that Howl are now 100% male, and while guitarist Andrea Black’s departure isn’t exactly news (she left the band in 2011) it’s still probably new information for some (Josh Durocher-Jones is her replacement). You’ll also immediately notice that vocalist Vincent Hausman is no longer stuck behind a guitar; he’s now free to roam the stage with just a mic in his hand, and fittingly there’s an extra guy up on stage to take over his guitar duties. And, finally, if you’re really shrewd, you’ll notice that bassist Robert Icaza is no longer with the outfit either.
MetalSucks reached out to Howl’s label, Relapse Records, and got the following exclusive statement from the band about their recent members changes:
After we recorded Bloodlines, we realized that to do the record justice live we needed another guitar player, and for Vincent to focus fully on vocals. Our buddy Jonathan Hall stepped up to shred. In addition, Rob, our bass player, decided to pursue other things besides music, hence young Jesse Riley on bass. We feel like this is the best lineup yet.
So there you have it. Bloodlines, produced by the infamous Zeuss, comes out on April 30 on Relapse and the band is on tour now (dates here). Here’s that video of them performing in Brooklyn last Friday: