Thank you so much for
talking to us today..!
your O2 gig last year (celebrating your 25th Anniversary),
you had various band formats – a big band, a duo with
guitarist Robin Boult, Trio and the Cyberpunk Trio (laughter
Was this a conscious decision to run through your musical
history that way or did it just emerge like that?
really - it does sort of represent the history of things but
it is also all the things that I am working on at the moment.
I am doing the acoustic shows with Robin, working with
the trio and then working on the album with a string section
and a large acoustic band, also doing the HJ Electric band as
well – it is what I am doing at the moment rather than
a historical thing. I
realised that if you are going to be a survivor you have got
to be flexible if the gig calls for just two people then I am
happy with that, but if you are playing larger venues then you
need a bigger sound”.
have been in the music business now for 25 years. How do you feel it has changed, both positively
is changing very fast, mainly in the way music is delivered
to people, causing a massive revolution.
In the past you went down the local record shop and bought
your vinyl or CD, but most people now get to have it for free
by downloading. So as a recording artiste how do you make
a living? In the
meantime people have had to go back to playing live and earning
a living through that.
Difficult to make money from recorded work.
Focus is definitely on the live work - it must be very
difficult for musicians who only work in the studio –
really they are stuffed and we are being deprived of their work”.
touring still enjoyable?
“Yes very much so! Last
tour was earlier this year in Australia
and I had one of the best times I have ever had on the road. We made a video diary of the whole tour
and were filming every day and then up half the night uploading
it onto the website so fans could get a daily update.
The Australians were great, everything was working properly,
really enjoyed playing live very much”.
are playing West Wycombe in
the summer are you looking forward to that gig?
“West Wycombe has a great significance for me as I wrote
the lyrics for ‘New Song’ on West Wycombe Hill,
so I am very much looking forward to going back and playing
there. I am playing as part of the “Here
and Now” tour, so it will be mainly the hits that I play”.
was the last time you played in High Wycombe?
was when I launched the ‘Working the Back Room’
album in Wycombe Town Hall. I am hoping to play Wycombe Swan sometime
have now moved out of Buckinghamshire, is there anything you
miss about Bucks?
spent a large part of my life in High Wycombe
and surrounding areas.
Suppose it is how you feel in yourself and how you relate
to a place. It was one of the most exciting times in
my life, playing at The Osborne Arms, Nags Head and then London gigs. Building a local following was so important
and I have a huge affection for that time in my life. The main reason I left was because people started writing not very nice things
about me and it became embarrassing for my family and friends
and I did not want to put them through that and the best thing
to do was the clear off.
It was a shame as I was hugely supported by the people
of High Wycombe, press can be very powerful and can make things very uncomfortable”.
lot of people have you on their wish list for headlining Hobble
on the Cobbles in Aylesbury.
Would you like to headline?
“Would absolutely love to do it! Really
want to do it and we have already had a dialogue with the organiser.
It is on ‘my’ wish list to do...”
is the 40th anniversary of Friars this year,
do you have any particular memories of playing there?
was pivotal to my early career; I played there so many times. The first time I played there I was in
a band called Warrior, I was only 16/17 and still at school.
David Stopps had heard of this band with a young keyboard player
and we were asked to support Stackridge.
It was quite funny as they arrived and their electric
organ had gone down so they had to borrow mine, which my Dad
was buying on HP at the time! We also played another gig supporting,
- I can’t remember who!
Then I started playing there in the 80’s and there
was one great night where Kajagoogoo were playing in the main
hall and I was playing in the Aston Hall, also think Fashion
were playing…(Checked Friars website and yes it was Fashion! Ed.).
Friars was the Holy Grail and it seemed such a huge venue to
play. Also supported China Crisis in
June 1983, I have so many brilliant memories of Friars and the
support that I got from people in Aylesbury”.
bands/artistes have recently excited you?
am a real fan of The Killers, I love their music, it
has an 80’s resonance about it.
Love the writing, the sound and the sound of the guys
voice. My kids take
the p… out of me and my love of the band!
Another brilliant artiste is Laura Marling, she is an
astonishing young artiste and people should really follow her
career. She has an air of Joni Mitchell about her,
her lyrics are so thoughtful and poetic and she has a really
interesting folk influence. Also a big fan
of Noah and the Whale”.
there one song you wish you had written?
normally answer something like ‘Imagine’ by John
Lennon or ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys, but
when really thinking about it would answer “Aja”
by Steely Dan. If I had to just have one band that I listened
to it would be Steely Dan.
I have this DVD called ‘Two Against
Nature’ and it is a recording of Steely Dan playing live
in a studio in front of an audience and I can watch that over
and over and it is ultimately my favourite music. If
I had my time again as a young musician I would really learn
the roots of jazz”.
then wished The New Roxette all the very best of luck..!
Howard is performing as
part of the Here & Now Tour commencing on 14 May in Liverpool. FULL details are located on the Official
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