We had the opportunity to interview Los Angeles-based group The Blood Moon Howlers! Their sound twinges on hard rock with bits of bluesy swamp rock infused, it's a fun sound you've gotta check out! They certainly know how to kick the door in! Check out what they had to say in our Artist Spotlight below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
Matt (guitarist/vocals) - "My mom had an old guitar lying around that belonged to her mother, a Kay from 1950 something, so the guitar was on my mind! Then one day we were in a music shop and my grandmother (other side of the family) had a little bit of money saved up for my college fund anyways long story short and much to my grandmother’s dismay, I spent that money on a Fender Stratocaster and never looked back. I started playing around 9 or 10 years old, started writing music in my teens and started singing after I couldn’t find a singer for my band. That was about 7 years ago."
JuJu (bassist, vocals, keys) - "I have been singing since I was 2 years old, my grandma was a singing teacher and got me into it. I started playing piano at around 6 years old and writing music in my teens. Then picked up the bass when we started The Blood Moon Howlers because we needed a bassist!"
Brandon (drummer, percussionist) - "I grew up listening to a lot of Motown. As a kid I really wanted to play the bass, but we didn’t have much money growing up at that time, so I would make bass guitars out of boxes, strings and sticks and beg my uncle to show me how to play things on the bass when we would visit family. When I was 11 I saw the music video for the Gorillaz song Clint Eastwood and immediately knew that drums were all I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I talked my folks into getting me a couple drum lessons and I made a make-shift drum kit out of pots, pans and car accelerator pedal for a video game, and that obsession slowly turned into a career over the last 16 years."
Evan (sax, sitar, keys) - "I come from a whole family of musicians, Mom is a guitar and piano player and she had me taking music lessons before I could read a book. So I guess you could say most of my life has been dedicated to playing music."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
Matt and JuJu - "We are always writing lyrics and sharing ideas for pieces of songs. Matt usually starts on the guitar writing riffs or chord progressions and then we both write melodies and once we get the core of the song together we take it to Brandon for drum/arrangement ideas to get the whole song structure feeling good."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
Matt & JuJu - "So many it’s hard to know where to start! Here it is, you asked for it! Tom Waits, The Rolling Stones, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Freddy King, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Fogerty, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Nathaniel Rateliff, Slim Harpo, The Beatles, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Johnny Cash, Eddie Vedder, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Stray Cats, Morphine, Robin Trower, Van Halen, Mississippi John Hurt, B.B. King, Albert King, Eric Burdon, Phillip Glass, Danny Elfman, Dirtwire, Moon Hooch, Grace Potter, Soundgarden, Traffic, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Radiohead, Elliott Smith to name a few…"
Brandon - "Pretty much everything and anything that makes a sound inspires me. Even things that don’t make sounds, the way they resonate frequencies without emitting anything audible to our ears is hugely inspiring. Every day after school I would come home and practice drums along with Red Hot Chili Peppers Records, Tool, Led Zeppelin, Gorillaz, a lot of Parliament-Funkadelic, I grew up listening to a lot of RnB and Jazz that hugely influenced me like Dave Brubeck. The Wu-Tang Clan, Dr. Dre… The list could go on and on but those were some that came to mind and were huge as a teenager."
Evan - "There are quite a lot of artists that have inspired me over the years. I listen to quite a lot of different genres and each corner of musical world has something that can be inspiring. The first group that really got me thinking outside the box, musically speaking, was Radiohead. They really have such a magical chemistry between them. I admire that. To name a few other artists and groups that have really influenced me, there is Depeche Mode, Tinariwen, Martin Stimming, Anoushka Shankar, and Dirtwire."
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
Matt - "I mainly play the Fender Telecaster and I got a Danelectro Baritone Guitar that I’m looking forward to putting on some new songs. My go to amp is the Fender Deluxe Reverb and I have a little Fender Champ for recording and practicing. My favorite pedal companies if I had to narrow it down would be Jim Dunlop (the “carbon copy” has been on my board for 10 years), Strymon (The “Deco” which I use for tape saturation in place of distortion lately) and Earthquaker Devices (the “afterneath and “spacial delivery” I use for just about every psychedelic trippy section in all of our songs!"
JuJu - "Right now I mostly use a Fender Mustang Bass and a Fender Coronado II Bass my favorite amp so far is the Ampeg Portaflex PF-50T with a Bag End cab. As far as pedals go, my favorite pedal is the tuner! And I recently got a DOD Meatbox to add in some super low sub synth sounds! I also have an Tyrolian upright acoustic piano that we use on recordings and also made an appearance on the back of our new LP coming out in April."
Brandon - "Oh man.. I have too many!! I have a snare drum that I bought the year after I got out of college that I’ve used on most recordings I’ve done, as well as toured all across America with me.. That snare holds a lot of meaning to me. I have a Ludwig drum set that I had built that my mom had left me some money to purchase before she passed away. The kit came in right before she passed, so I brought it over and she was able to hear me play it.. That holds a special place in my heart. I have some pieces of recording equipment in my studio that are my go-to’s and a lot of those pieces I but myself, so they have a little extra mojo when recording with them!"
Evan - "Oh man, The gear question. I have a pretty strong relationship with all of instruments and gear. My sitar was a gift from my grandparents after they visited India when I was 16. I had no idea that sitar would end up taking me for a ride I never thought was possible. Come to think of it, most of my instruments manifest for me in pretty mysterious ways. My tenor sax was given to me by and old man who had it laying around his garage for years. My Nord synth was a super heady Craigslist find and I really had no idea how phat of synth it was at the time. Little did I know I’d struck synth gold. I would really like to get more into pedals (to run my sax through) but bank account recently told me it’s not down."