“Man, we’ll have to pay the bills”

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Life advice from Howl Griff:

On choosing a band name

Hywel Griff: My full name is Hywel Griffiths, shortened to Hywel Griff. This all started as a solo project and I chose Howl Griff as a homage to Howlin’ Wolf. I thought it made me sound like a dusty bluesman.

On second-guessing the choice of a band name

Gary Parkinson: For our first gig, we were actually billed as Howl Griff & The Black And White Needles. We might have dressed in white shirts and black ties, too. When we got to the venue and saw the poster, they’d had to make the name so small that you had to squint to see it… by the next gig we were just Howl Griff. No other names were considered, although – here’s an exclusive for you – at one point I’d like create a band called Chunky Dory. It’ll be rubbish.

On finding time for band practice despite being an adult

Parkinson: I’m website editor for FourFourTwo football magazine. I’m also a father of two. You just have to be hyper-organised, Zac, or perhaps get by without sleep. The other guys also have jobs: bassist Steve [Kennedy] works in post-production effects for movies, which is less glamorous than it sounds. Drummer Nick [Moore] is a freelance journalist – he’s been doing 14-hour days on the Olympics and Paralympics. We sometimes find him asleep on his snare, snoring in tempo.

On dealing with hurtful reviews on the Internet

Griff: Somebody once said ‘Howl Griff aren’t my cup of tea’ and we’ve been slagged off by a few others too, but it’s best to not let this stuff get to you otherwise you’d just stop doing what you’re doing. You have to be very thick-skinned in this business. I just ignore most of the stuff people say about us. Unless it’s nice.

On choosing the music for the way to the gig

Parkinson: If you’ve just joined a band I’d recommend making “mixtape” CDs for your new compadres – but no more than one song per artist. Choose wisely, Jedi…

On extracurricular listening

Griff: I must admit to not listening to much music. As I create my own I feel I need a rest from music when I’m not working. So talk radio goes on or I’m forced to listen to my girlfriend’s tastes, which has been Prince and Elliot Smith of late.

[Fragile Diamond.]

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