“We’re actually putting a couple of Brokencyde songs on their vinyl to bring them down a few pegs.”
1) So a record label eh? How did Howling Owl start?
Howling Owl started when Adrian and I moved up to Bristol January 2011. We’d always promoted gigs and released zines etc in our previous hometown of Barnstaple (North Devon), but there’s only so far you can go in a town like that. The original dream was to put on a gig, one gig and then we’d be happy, but after seeing the amount of ridiculously ace bands that were bubbling around underground, we thought it would be great to start giving these people some exposure. In terms of bands, it was Holy Stain (RIP) and Towns that made us really want to do it, as they were too good to stay hidden. It was a shot in the dark.
2) What’s Howling Owl grown to be?
We’re not entirely sure yet as it is still such early days. We’ve done a lot more than we the thought we would; we will have had six releases spread over tape, CD, vinyl and clothing, as well as some insane club nights at the Mothers Ruin, all within the first year of us setting up, so yeah, we never expected to have achieved that. We would like to think that we have played some part in the galvanising of this current ‘scene’ (please use another word if possible!) that seems to be developing at the moment, but really its probably the other way round.
3) why physical releases / limit runs / special bits?
A number of reasons really. First of all because we are old
fashioned in the fact that we both still spend far too much money on physical releases (har har!) ourselves, and kind of hoped that there would be enough people who felt the same way. The limited runs, although they seem like a nice gimmick, literally came from the fact that we couldn’t afford to make hundreds of copies of releases and also knowing that the likelihood of us, being new to the city and not knowing anybody to begin with, shifting loads of units to start with was never going to happen. We’ve had a few friends who have set up labels, spent a scary amount of money on their first release, and still have a few hundred CDs in their room, being used as plates for sushi etc.
4) Thoughts on Bristol?
In ten words you say? Fun. Amazing. Exciting. Creative. Promising. Lively. Chaotic. Perfect for us.
5) What’s the future for the Bristol music scene?
The next 18 months has the potential for Bristol to really rise up, and rear it’s noisy head, spewing it’s musical greatness all over this land. Even in the year that we’ve been here we’ve seen a definite change of tempo in how quickly bands are developing musically and in terms of creating a buzz around them and making people want to see them again and again, and there are so many creative people both in and out of the music scene, it feels like its just a matter of time until more people start taking notice; but until then, lets enjoy ourselves and appreciate how good we’ve got it in this city.
6) Whats the future of Howling Owl?
In the near future we have The Naturals 7″ coming up in March along with the launch show, which is a very big deal for us; and an honour also. After that, we are still going to be realistic and keep to our principles of not getting carried away in terms of releases. If this time next year we are still promoting quality bands, through products that reflect our enthusiasm for creating unique and exciting objects for people to hold in their hands whilst playing in their ears, then we will be very happy. We also want to buy a real owl and share it. I’ll probably have it on weekends.
7) Why are The Naturals so annoyingly good?
Because they are anything but natural, and really rather sickeningly
talented. We’re actually putting a couple of Brokencyde songs on their vinyl to bring them down a few pegs.
Howling Owl records next release The Naturals – Finishing Moves 7″ Single is available to pre-order now, with the launch party featuring The Chapman Family, Spectres and Towns on Saturday 10th of March at The Louisiana.
For previous releases visit: www.howlingowlrecords.tumblr.com