Melbourne trio Howlite have had a massive year and have brought us their soft slow burn single Gothic Romance garnering rave reviews from just about everywhere. Howlite are Alison Thom, Benjamin JR Botting and Andrew Moscatelli are they drop by to answer a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.

Have you been happy with the journey that 2017 has taken Howlite?
So happy! It’s been just over a year since we released our first EP as a group – the amount of amazing people we’ve met, shows we’ve played and improvements we’ve made since then is enormous and a bit overwhelming. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have had such a great group of supporters behind the scenes and at our shows, it’s been really incredible and definitely inspires us to do better.

What has stood out most for you?
Our drummer Paul joined our trio in October for our Gothic Romance single launch. He was so much fun we ended up recruiting him fulltime. Suspiciously, Dad Jokes have increased dramatically since this point.

Will 2018 continue the upward trajectory for the band?
Fingers crossed! We’ve got our diaries out already and there’s some really exciting things in the mix. We must move forward, not backward! Upward, not forward! And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!!

Are plans for an album very much in the mix for 2018?
We’ve thought about this a lot; the original plan was to bring out an EP in 2018 and then start work on an album, but we’re finding more and more that EP’s are financially more accessible, both for us to make and people to buy, so we’ll probably carry on making them until we feel ready for an album. It’s definitely in the pipeline though.

What is the story behind the single Saviour?
Saviour was written by Alison about someone she was briefly (and wrongly) infatuated with. It’s about the unhealthy act of worshiping the other person in a relationship, thinking them to be powerful over you or better than you. The song acknowledges this, but offers strength in overcoming this delusion, to believing in yourself as someone worthy and seeing yourself as someone valid and strong as an individual.

Is it hard to break through the clutter to get this great single heard?
It’s not so much clutter – Australia’s music scene is having an amazingly fertile and creative time and it’s more trying to physically fit in the time to listen to so much amazing stuff. It’s a small scene but it’s a really tight-knit and supportive one, and we’re lucky that our music is a little left-field from what’s popular at the moment, so we’ve always had our own little spot in the corner, with our own little dedicated fans. There are times when you do feel like you’ve been lost somewhere in the noise, but as long as we’re proud with what we’re making, and there are people who want to hear us, we’re happy to chug on.

For Adelaide music lovers, are there plans to tour here?
We would absolutely love to come to Adelaide! Hopefully we’ll be doing some interstate shows next year, if anyone has a free couch for us to crash on we’re there.

How did the band get together?
Andrew (keyboard) and Alison (vocals/guitar) went to high school together, where they were in the same music class and (mortifyingly) the same high school musicals. They had a brief stint as a jazz band at birthday parties, and Andrew was continually roped into supporting Alison during her music course at uni, finally helping her to form Howlite. Ben (guitarist) joined in 2016, and Paul (drums) earlier this year. Initially the project was a solo venture for Alison, but as the sound grew, so did the need to have people with her bringing it to life. Ideally, we will one day have a 64 piece orchestra and castrato choir at all our shows to fully express ourselves.

Google brings up some interesting search results. Is there some sort of secret meaning behind the name?
Howlite is a white/grey stone, believed by mystics/hippies/Alison’s mum to have calming qualities. It promotes wisdom, awareness, clarity, and rids stress. Alison has an anxiety disorder so the name is a subtle homage to healing, in whatever way you find helpful. (There also appear to be a few other Howlites on Soundcloud, which will most likely lead to a lawsuit at some point.)

Is there a New Year’s resolution for the band?
Join the gym

Interview by Rob Lyon

To follow Howlite head to their Facebook page for further info…