Heavily influenced by classic garage rock bands like The Stooges, Big Star, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Kinks, The Howling Tongues, features Davey Rockett (vocals), Nick Magliochetti (guitars), Thomas Wainwright (keys), Brandon Witcher (bass), and drummer Tylor James. Together they demoed 30 songs at their home studio before holing up at The Quarry in Kennesaw, GA, for eight days, to live-track and record “Boo Hiss“. The resulting decimation is soaked with reverberation amplification, kick drum detonations, fuzzy tone overload, over-driven organ, and raspy vocal incantations, making the album a can’t miss pièce de résistance. Whether on 150-gram vinyl, silver-spinning plastic orbs or via the ether of the internet, Hiss is sonic bliss.
— — —
Mike O’Keefe: Let’s start this of with where you grew up. Walk us through your earlier life.
Davey Rockett: I grew up in my adolescence in Daytona Beach, Florida, and then lived in both North and South Carolina. Born in Charleston, so I was just your typical southeast baby and sort of grew up everywhere down here.
MO: Nice, I actually went to school in Orlando, Florida for a little bit. I never went to Daytona, but I’m definitely a fan of Florida. I haven’t been to Atlanta, yet.
DR: Really? Well, hey man you got my number now so if you get down here we can show you a good time for sure. Tell you where all the good spots are, that’s for sure.
Photo courtesy | Ricardo’s Photography
MO: Nice. That’s where your based currently?
DR: We’re in Atlanta right now. Trying to influence this Rock N’ Roll scene right here. Athens is a great. Which is a short drive from where we live. We sort of bounce back and forth between those two markets.
MO: Awesome, describe the town your living in and going between Athens and Atlanta. What would you suggest for first-time visitors to do or see?
DR: Sure, Atlanta and Athens have some similarities, but for the most part they are very different. I feel like Athens obviously is a lot smaller then Atlanta, but has such a striving art community. People very willing to purchase art and invest in it, which we see a lot of benefits in that. We’ve only played Athens I guess over a handful of times and were selling out venues over there now. That took us five years to do in Atlanta, so people in Athens are definitely hungry for music. Atlanta has that big city feel, it’s more of that concrete you know area. I guess I could say there’s a lot of obviously bars and restaurants and all that kind of stuff, but not a whole lot of venues or places to play. I would say Athens has the upper hand in that area, so we love both areas for different things, but it’s always good to balance the two and go back-and-forth.
Photo courtesy | Brett Weinstein
MO: Awesome, that’s definitely good to know. What’s the first destination that comes to mind when you hear the word vacation, and why?
DR: Gosh, that’s hard. Can I give you two answers?
DR: I guess, if I were to split between the two. I love the beach – grew up at the beach. So, I would probably have to say Charleston where I was born. I love going to Charleston, that’s one of my favorite cities in the South. Or New York City, because it’s so different than Charleston. If I could be in two places at once, those two places would be where I’d park it for sure.
MO: You have the nightlife in the city and then you can retreat to the beach.
DR: Right, exactly. If those two places could be one place that would be pretty incredible.
MO: Yeah, I’m with that. What’s the first thing you try to do when visiting a new destination?
DR: Food, I’m a foodie. Yeah, I love food. Me and my wife actually do this thing every year for our anniversary, we go to a different state and try new food and restaurants, and bars and all that stuff. I definitely love the night life, being out and going to see shows. Just checking out what the locals do, whatever it is. I think number one thing that I would do on vacation is look for some really good whole-in-the-wall food.
MO: Absolutely! I feel like when I travel, you’re more willing to try different things. At least I am, I’ll try anything. You get to experience.
DR: That’s the way it should be. I’m not going to go to Charleston and go to Bubble Gump, I’m not going to go somewhere and go to Chili’s, I’m going to find the best restaurant.
Photo courtesy | Quan Ha
MO: If you had the choice to perform or record anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Maybe an iconic venue, or somewhere that’s a good place.
DR: I think as far as big venues go, Red Rocks would be up there for me because I love playing outside at night. And obviously that area over there is pretty amazing, I love to get over there. As far as rock clubs go, I don’t know, maybe Viper room, we never played over there in [Los Angeles] or anything like that. Just getting over there to all those little clubs on the strip and stuff would definitely be very cool for us.
MO: Yeah, sweet. Where do you pull inspiration from and does traveling to new environments play a role?
DR: It does, yeah. We all collectively love the old classic rock bands, you know your British invasion bands; Zeppelin, Who, Beatles, Stones, all those bands. And basically all the bands that sort of obviously draw influence from those bands are huge for us. Big Star, The Replacements, Ramones, Stooges, all those bands from back in the day. All that stuff is amazing to us and even modern bands like Black Keys, The Archs, you know all those guys that obviously drew from there, were influences from those old classic rock bands. I would definitely say traveling plays a role in inspiring us to play new music. Because you come up with stories when you’re on the road and we don’t take ourselves very seriously, we write a song to pretty much about whatever is going on in our band and our lives. And so on the road you definitely make stories and memories.
MO: As long as you’re living you’ll always have material to write about.
DR: Absolutely man, you can definitely live without living too. I think being on the road is a testament to that, when you’re out on the road your 100 percent living. You know, so it’s amazing.
MO: Yeah, I love traveling. What does seeing and experiencing different cultures mean to you?
DR: It’s everything. I lived in a place in Atlanta called Alpharetta for a while, it’s very ritzy and people live in their own bubble, they don’t know anything about other cultures. It definitely plays a role in being close-minded and that is the opposite of how I want to live my life. I want to be forever changing, I never want to stay the same. To change is to grow as far as I’m concerned, so learning from other cultures is huge. Going back to the food thing, learning how other people make food, I don’t think there’s anything more political than food. Music is a close second I think. It’s amazing to experience other cultures and how they live because the world is too big, there’s too many people to think you have it all figured out.
Photo courtesy | Hans Johnson
MO: Yeah, absolutely. I feel the same way when I’m traveling I always want to learn a new lesson. That’s the thing that you remember when you travel. Is there a destination that you haven’t been to that you have to see, or have to go to?
DR: My gosh, this is hard. I would really love to go to Japan. I love their cuisine, back to food. I love all that stuff and I frequent Chinatown every time I’m in New York City and it’s just not close enough I don’t think. Somewhere like Japan would be amazing. I’d love to tour Europe, check all that stuff out for the obvious reasons. They produce a lot of my favorite music and it’s just an amazing area for sure. I don’t know man it’s hard to pick just one place because I definitely want to travel for a living, I want to see everything.
MO: Right, I’m with you. Lastly, what’s the next trip and what for? Maybe tours, event or are there any plans coming up?
DR: Yeah, we are actually leaving tomorrow to go to Nashville, Tennessee. We have another studio release show there and so we are pretty excited about that. Then we are going to Louisville, Kentucky to do a big music festival out there called Waterfront Wednesday. Super pumped for that and then we are going to Iowa to play a Rock N’ Roll club, actually a theater I think. So, we have a nice little string of shows coming up and then we are coming back for a break to try and make a little cash and then go back out for some more dates.
— — —
For more on the The Howling Tongues and their album “Boo Hiss” click their album art: