Making It

Making it
Hard rock band Howl churns out another CD

by Jennifer Pickett

Everyday there are people listening to music. It’s part of our lives. But how many people out there actually stop to think about the people behind the CD, not just the music in between the case covers?

Making ItHow long does it actually take the artist to put the CD together.
There are many people out who want to share their talent with the world, but don’t know where to start.
When Tommy Boland, Karl Hawkins, and Peter Hanlon formed Howl several years ago, they knew it was going to be difficult.
“Just getting the first or second gig was difficult,” says Boland.
But they didn’t give up. It’s a good thing because the trio just released their second CD, entitled The Silent Sessions.
Howl admits it’s been a struggle.
“Getting to know people in St. John’s first was difficult,” says Hawkins, who admits the band would make trips to downtown St. John’s to check out other bands and make connections.
To get noticed, though, Howl approached established local bands in hopes of becoming an opening act.
“It’s not really the bar owner that you talk to first,” says frontman Hawkins. “You’re unknown, so they pretty much won’t look at you.”
Once Howl acquired a list of gigs, they then set out to acquire their own style.
Howl, you see, is a hard rock band, through and through, even if it means missed opportunities on local radio stations.
“It doesn’t go over well downtown. That audience gravitates more towards dance and techno,” says Boland, the bass player. “We aren’t going to change who we are or what we do to become more popular.”
Silent Sessions is still a hard rock album, but with a more mature sound. The band has a different style, and even a few acoustic songs, a rarity, some say, for hard rockers.
Howl to the moon
And although the band is a relative novice to the business side of music, they’ve learned one thing quickly – shop around when putting out an album.
Howl members went to several recording business before choosing one. “We wanted to find the highest quality for the cheapest price,” says Hawkins. “TideMark is known for going the extra mile; they give the best rates and they meet the needs of the artist, at least for us.”
And more importantly, getting the CD out, and on time, is always a good thing.
Howl has supplied their discs to several St. John’s record stores, including Fred’s Record Store, Music Stop, and Music World. They also sell the CD at shows and online at
“Always remember to stand by your music,” says Boland, who says he’s proud to say the band stands by their music 100 per cent.
“We feel we have a strong album that holds its own in terms of original music in Newfoundland, and it’s just as good as anything else out there,” says Hawkins.
“Plus, if you love music then it should not be about the money,” he adds.
“The bottom line is we haven’t made any money since we started playing,” said Boland. “The only reason we keep playing is because we enjoy the music and we believe in our music.”
Although many bands, local or international, have sold themselves for the almighty dollar, Howl admits it’s the furthest thing from their mind.
They’ll shun gigs for their musical integrity. “We say we’ve made it. We wanted to have solid music released as a solid band,” said Hawkins. “In that way we can say that we’ve made it.”

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