Monday, 3 September 7.11pm

Howling with the Bells

Based in the UK and building up a pretty heavy following from the UK music press and fans alike, yourGigs spoke to singer and guitarist Juanita Stein of Sydney band, Howling Bells on the eve of their first national tour and release of their debut album.

yG: A lot of people will remember you from Waikiki. Can you give us the reasoning behind the decision to become Howling Bells?

JS: Waikiki broke up and with a whole lot of new and very different songs we decided to reform with another member as Howling Bells.

yG: How would you describe your sound?

JS: Filmic, desolate and romantic.

yG: You're based in London at the moment. How does the UK scene differ from Australia?

JS: Well, for starters there's a trillion more people there, so you get a lot more bands to see and experience. That's not to say all of them are great, like everywhere there are some shit bands and amazing ones. Generally though the idea of being a musician is held in very high regard there, you're encouraged and pushed as an artist.

yG: Can you give us a couple of your experiences touring in the UK and/or of the UK scene and bands?

JS: Um....our first tour was with Editors around Europe, that was incredible for us, to get a first hand experience of what it's like to be a respected and successful band in Europe as Editors are. Playing the NME shows were great, hundreds of kids that are obsessed with music, we played with a great band called Forward Russia, they have such an electrifying live energy, it was really contagious!

yG: Ken Nelson produced your album, he also did Coldplay's latest. How did that collaboration come about?

JS: We sent him some demos, actually about 20 songs, and he liked them. So, we waited a while for him to finish Coldplay's record and eventually got to his Liverpool studio to record the album with him.

yG: Are you surprised with the attention you've been getting from the UK music press?

JS: I'm happy, it's a rewarding feeling knowing that you've worked so damn hard and taken so many emotional risks to do this. When respected music critics and dedicated music lovers connect with your music, you feel like you're doing something right!

yG: What can we expect from Howling Bells in the next 12 months?

JS: Sleepless nights, witches hats, twilight encounters, old French films, silver and gold, lust, misery, anchors and ships, The Bell Hit.

Michael Hartt
26 Jun 2006

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