When The Howling Tongues hit you, you know it. Atlanta’s brazen sons of rock ’n roll — Davey Rockett, Nick Magliochetti, Brandon Witcher, Thomas Wainright, and Tylor James — are best known for their signature garage rock-inspired records and over-the-top, bombastic performances, and made their name in the darkest, grimiest rock clubs around the country before taking the stage with Bon Jovi at State Farm Arena in May 2018. After spending most of the last decade wearing out the roads and leaving fans dazed and confused, the quintet is back and better than ever with a series of singles preceding their newest recording project.
Audiofemme caught up with lead guitarist and producer Nick Magliochetti and drummer Tylor James for the premiere of their newest single, “Daily Dose.” They’re gearing up their last show of the year, The Howling Tongues “It’s Not A Christmas Money Grab” Show at The Earl on December 20th. Read on and get ready to party with rock’s most devoted disciples.
AF: You’ve been together for over seven years, and friends even longer than that. What’s your secret to longevity?
NM: The fact that we were friends for so long before really set us up to be able to communicate more openly. We live together and do a lot of things together, when a lot of bands don’t go that far with their relationships. We’ve kinda just been rooted in that for so long, it’s become second nature.
AF: What’s been the biggest change within the group since you started?
NM: I think the biggest change has been streaming and availability of music. The modern DIY scene had just kind of started when we were starting out as a band. We were selling a ton of CDs in the beginning. Now with Spotify and Apple Music and others, our big sellers are vinyl and other merch items. I think Spotify is a tool that artists can use nowadays to promote themselves.
TJ: And sometimes we can charge money to go play somewhere.
AF: How do you keep the creativity flowing and evolving? Do you ever feel musically stagnant, and if so, how do you get beyond it and keep creating?
NM: We try not to put ourselves into a box when we’re in the studio, but more into a situation where a song can come out. Whether someone writes a part on an instrument that they’re not used to, or has a strange idea for a song lyric or title, that’s the stuff that’s inspiring. Having lots of options and infinite time is the real killer of creativity.
TJ: And you’ve just gotta keep listening. Everyone’s gonna get stagnant once in a while, but that can be limited by constantly seeking inspiration, whether it’s music or otherwise.
AF: “Daily Dose,” and your last single, “Fever Dream,” are a step away from the sound you trademarked in 2016 with Boo Hiss. What new sounds and techniques are inspiring you guys for these latest songs, and how important to you is it to maintain The Howling Tongues’ sound?
NM: With Boo Hiss, we wanted to be more bold and daring and take some chances. We’re all about creating moments in songs and on stage, so this is really us taking that ideology and diving even further into it. We’re always trying to push ourselves and continue to make the kind of music we love. We are always pushing the studio to the limits, using different equipment and things that might be unique. Sometimes the stuff that’s broken or almost broken can be inspiring and create a really cool moment in the track. I think we did some of that with these latest singles.
TJ: I don’t know if I could cite one sound or technique specifically, but we try to never be afraid to just play around with shit in the studio until we stumble into something we enjoy playing and hearing back. The Howling Tongues’ sound is free to change as we change; we’re not Aerosmith.
AF: How has the creative process changed for you guys?
NM: Since we have our own studio, it’s good for us to put a little pressure on ourselves and create deadlines. If we don’t do that, then we sit on stuff for a long time, which is easy to do that because of infinite studio time. If you limit that, it forces you to make decisions and that usually leads to some pretty cool stuff happening.
AF: What’s been the proudest moment for you as a group over the last seven years?
NM: Every time we release something new is a proud moment for all of us. That’s what gets us most excited. We want to keep making music that people can turn up really loud and get lost in it for a moment. That’s what gets us going.
AF: How has the Atlanta music scene impacted you as a band? What’s your favorite part of the music scene here?
NM: The Atlanta scene has been amazing. We have seen so many bands come and go in seven years of being a part of the scene. Plus it’s so diverse in Atlanta. There are a lot of bands with their own unique sound, and that creates interesting shows here in Atlanta.
TJ: There are so many different and fun places to play, and some good promoters in the city that are willing to give a young band a shot.
AF: What inspired “Daily Dose?” What was the writing process like?
NM: I wrote the main riff on a bass guitar and wouldn’t stop playing it until the rest of the band joined in. It developed into this really funny jam and it kind of has this Jekyll and Hyde thing going on with the verses and the choruses being one and the end being a faster different feel.
AF: What’s your goal, moving forward? You’ve already toured the country, opened for Bon Jovi, and released an EP and two full-length LPs. What’s next?
NM: I think for us it’s always going to be to keep creating and pushing ourselves to be a face for rock ’n roll music. If we can inspire someone to pick up a guitar or drumsticks, then it’s all worth it for us.
TJ: I want to get a big corporate sponsorship, like Olive Garden or something.