Solo Musician Interview: Kevin Howell

Kevin Howell

Where are you from?


How long have you been playing your respective instrument(s)?

For about 15 years, roughly the first 2 years of that was spent learning basic chords and bits of oasis and ocean colour scene, stereophonics etc… then I progressed playing along to the white stripes and the strokes by ear…. before you could just Google the tabs!

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?

If I had to say… I’d say it’s rock / singer songwriter?  It’s hard to describe, I guess. I mean it has elements of prog, rock and folk & blues, among other things….

What are your influences?

Growing it up was 100% the beatles and  oasis , the Stone Roses, the smiths and the verve.. thanks to living with two older brothers. That style of music will always be a part of me. People like Noel Gallagher , Richard Ashcroft, Johnny Marr all are still making decent albums to this day. Still influential….I’d say to kids growing up However…

My main influences these days are probably songwriters like Neil Young, Tom waits.. And Nick Cave… he is just mesmerising live… and as always the beatles.

Do you do covers and if so what’s your go to?

I don’t go out of my way to work on covers like I used to. But I’m not adverse to doing them.

I do a decent cover of oats in the water by Ben Howard though…and sweet Virginia by the stones.

Do you have a process for writing your songs?

Normally I play some kind of riff then work out chords to go with it… from there I’ll write a few lyrics and a melody and record it on my phone (which is full of demos and needs emptied) then start playing along and picking apart till I have some kind of arrangement /structure.

Do you have any interesting/funny stories about gigging or touring?

A few weeks ago I supported Tony Christie at Saint lukes! That was funny… Awesome but funny. I was really surprised at the set up and although it wasn’t my usual kind of crowd It actually went really well. I basically got a call that day asking if I was available after work and couldn’t turn it down. That’s why you have to be ready when these kind of opportunities come up.

What song do you remember most from your childhood?

Honestly….??? A day in the life – the beatles. Heard it so many times at home growing up… It’s never left me. The writing of lennon /McCartney together at its finest!

What has been your biggest challenge as a performer? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so then how?

Breaking into new audiences and social circles. Just had to get out there and do it. At first your kind of happy just playing the same venues and open mics, but then want more and need it. I’ve found playing outside my comfort zone has helped and I’ve had some fantastic gigs recently in front of total strangers at festivals… now I can gig anywhere and am proud of my music. I’ll play for anyone.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?

Spotify /ITunes and every other digital platform. Also via Facebook youtube etc.. And I have cds via fb. Just message us.

Have you released anything yet/if you have then how has it gone down and are you planning anything for the near future?

I released my debut album in August last year and it’s been growing steadily since with fans. I’ll be recording new material with the guys soon and aim to have it out before October.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?

Favourite venue for me has to be Saint luke’s, the sound was great for just me and my acoustic. Very intimate setting. Least favourite…? Not sure… worst gig though was when I started this as. Solo artist.. First acoustic gig was at broadcast for oxjam… I was hungover and I was so nervous gigging myself.. Not embarrassed to admit that now.

Do you have any upcoming shows?

Currently…We have a slot at festival 8 in Lincolnshire on July 22nd. After that I’m planning an acoustic tour as our main man James Is expecting his first child. Hopefully book another band gig before Xmas though…We’ll see.

What do you think about downloading music online?

I think things like Spotify have made it easier to access pretty much anything online and download it to your phone or other devices and that’s great, I download stuff all the time now but I’ll still buy favourites when I Come across something I really like.

What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

The fact that you can put music out on your own without and get it heard by other people who like it for what it is and share with their friends across the globe on social media, delights me. The music industry will always thrive regardless it’s nonsense to say otherwise because of the money involved and the nature of the business . I’m only really interested in doing what I love and working hard to continue doing so.

And let’s end with something a little different…Which famous person, alive or dead, would you have dinner with and why?

Tom waits – He’s untouchable. The man is so witty and I can imagine the stories he could share over dinner. A genius poet, songwriter and inspiration and all-round madman. My type of guy.


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