Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2016 Mar-Apr Contents Rhythms 45
American folk rock/garage rock band Houndmouth
found its name after the sound of neighbourhood dogs
was inadvertently captured in one of its early recording
sessions. Formed in 2011, the members of Houndmouth
grew up near each other in Southern Indiana. As
teenagers, Zak Appleby and Matt Myers busked together
in New Albany, Indiana and also performed Motown
covers in Appleby’s Café, Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Shane Cody, originally a guitarist, took up drums for
Houndmouth. After high school (where he was friends
with Katie Toupin’s brother), Cody undertook a sound
engineering internship in New York. On returning home,
Cody accepted Matt Myers’ invitation to jam together. Katie
Toupin, also originally a guitarist, now plays keyboards
in Houndmouth. As the acoustic duo, Saint James Hotel,
Toupin and Matt Myers performed together in local
restaurants for about three years. Katie Toupin is co-owner
of Bermuda Highway, a music and clothing (new and
vintage) boutique in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to
working with Appleby and Toupin, Matt Myers was in a
band with his cousin Greg (“a really good dude”). The song,
‘My Cousin Greg’, is both about, and not about, Greg.
In 2013, Houndmouth released its debut album, ‘From the
Hills Below the City’. Houndmouth’s second album, ‘Little
Neon Limelight’ (2015), was produced in Nashville by Dave
Cobb (a nominee for the 58th Grammy Awards – in the
category Producer of the Year, Non-Classical – for his work
with Houndmouth, Anderson East, A Thousand Horses,
Jason Isbell, Honeyhoney and Chris Stapleton). As well as
appearing in the Billboard charts, Houndmouth has had a
beer named in its honour by a local brewery in New Albany
(light-bodied American wheat ale, aggressively dry-hopped,
with a slight wheat malt flavour).
According to Matt Myers, “There are four of us and we
all sing and we all write. The writing is usually a separate
thing, although we do some collaborative stuff every once
in a while. Then we come together and share our ideas.
When things hit, we keep working on them. And when they
don’t, we throw them on the scrap floor and they are up for
grabs at that point. We credit all the songs to Houndmouth.
No matter who writes the songs, we just divide it up even,
because there has been a lot of problems in the past with
bands getting out of shape over royalties and all that stuff ”.
With the songs, the primary writer usually sings lead vocals.
Matt Myers feels that there has been an absence of
music in Southern Indiana (“even in high school, nobody
really plugged into cool music”), although there was an
alternative music scene across the Ohio River in Kentucky.
With Houndmouth’s music often referring to other parts of
the United States, Myers says that “when you’re young and
haven’t travelled or done anything, you can still imagine
things and read about things, so you can write stories
based on characters”.
As a professional musician, Matt Myers finds, “being on the
road is a bit weird, as opposed to being at home, and since
it’s picked up it is hard to find the time to write. There is
always time to observe and to take it in, but it’s hard to find
the space and quiet time to write – so I’m cherishing that
time a lot more”.
In its early days, Houndmouth played “in small club rooms
with a 200 crowd max, but it probably wouldn’t even fill up.
They were so much fun to play”. Since then, Houndmouth
has been playing to larger audiences at festivals and also in
venues, in places such as Philadelphia and Lexington, with a
capacity of between 1100 and 2000 people.
Matt Myers doesn’t know what to expect on Houndmouth’s
forthcoming first tour of Australia. “One of the most fun
things about going places is that you have to go out and find
what’s good, via word of mouth. We’re dive bars people, we
like the hole in the wall. I’m just so excited. All you hear is
great things and the festival [Bluesfest] has got some rep.”
Houndmouth will be dropping into South by Southwest
(SXSW), “It’s kind of insane to fly into Houston, into any
airport in Texas, but we’re going to do it” - then on to New
Zealand (for the Auckland City Limits Music Festival) and
Australia to perform at Northcote Social Club (Melbourne),
Newtown Social Club (Sydney) and Bluesfest. On returning
to the USA, Houndmouth has some gigs to play, then work
will begin on a new album.
INTO THE LIMELIGHT
Links Archive 2016 Jan-Feb 2016 May-Jun Navigation Previous Page Next Page