Interview With 'The Native Howl'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
My name is Alex Holycross, and I sing, play guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, and piano in The Native Howl. Jake Sawicki sings, plays banjo, guitar, and harmonica. Mark Chandler plays bass and sings. And finally, our drummer Joshua Lemieux sings as well!
I met all my bandmates in roughly the same time period, around 2005. I went to high school with Josh, and our band Clean As Dirt often gigged with Chandler's classic Metal band Ancient Chaos. I met Jake through his cousin, C.A.D.'s former guitar player Teddy. While continuing to write, record, and perform with Josh in our band, I started an acoustic duo with Jake. We recorded our first album "The Revolution's Dead" at our self-owned/operated CAD Studios, after my first band's namesake. After releasing our sophomore full-length record "Inukshuk," we brought Josh in on drums. Mark Chandler joined shortly after, and we released our EP "Thrash Grass" in March 2016.
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
Jake was working in electrical engineering after receiving his degree from MSU. Chandler was teaching music after receiving his music degree from Oakland University. Josh was performing with me in Clean As Dirt and caring for his son, Levi (as he still does). After receiving my music degree from Oakland University, I was building Clean As Dirt Studios with our business partner and technical director Joe Horsch.
Our dreams had always been a career in musical composition and performance. It was only when we came together as a band and team with Joe, that our dreams began to come to fruition.
Tell us about your latest EP and why our readers should check it out.
Our latest EP "Thrash Grass" is our album released in March 2016 under Clean As Dirt Records, named after our experimental genre combination of Thrash Metal and Bluegrass. Readers should give "Thrash Grass" a listen because we guarantee they have never heard anything quite like this before.
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
When I first attended Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, MI 4 years ago, I witnessed Billy Strings (Bluegrass guitarist extraordinaire) close out Saturday night with world-class mandolin player Don Julin. Billy's talent was so impressive and shocking, I found myself in awe, and quite angry. I was dumb-founded. After the performance, in a jealous rage, I returned to my meager tent on our campsite. I then proceeded to park myself in it from midnight to 3 a.m. writing the angriest and most aggressive thing that could come to mind; that would be come "Thunderhead".
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
You can expect an energetic experience. We hope that the energy and passion that we perform with transcends upon the crowd and can, if only for an hour or so, take our fans away from the problems in their lives, just as it takes us away from ours.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Metallica. They have had a profound influence on us lyrically, musically, and spiritually. They are the reason I started composing music, and have had a profound effect on Josh, Jake, and Chandler, as well.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
To continue the previous answer, I would choose James Hetfield of Metallica. If I could have only 5 minutes with him, I would profusely thank him for instilling in me the ability to transform pain into art.
The alternate, and equal, choice would be Chris Cornell. I would thank him for doing the same that Hetfield did: instilling in me the ability to transform pain into art.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Check out their video for 'Into The Darkness'
Website - www.thenativehowlband.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheNativeHowl/