Interview by Woman Overboard Productions
Aria: The Howlers are about to kick off a tour supporting Dr. Feelgood ‘Milk and Alcohol’ tour. That must be pretty exciting for you. How did the tour come about?
Larry: It came about though a man by the name of Paul Metcalfe, a local gentleman who has been a big fan of the band for a few years but unbeknown to me has been involved with an English touring company, meaning they send bands from the UK to tour around the planet…one of these bands being the iconic English R&B band Dr. Feelgood. The company said, “Paul, we want you to be involved as a tour manager. Can you rustle up some support bands?”
So Paul, being a fan of The Howlers, immediately thought, those guys are made for it, ‘cause we do blues based music like these other guys (Dr. Feelgood) and asked us if we could do the tour and we said “well yeah, we’ll do the (because of financial restraints) the NSW leg"...which was very nice to be asked to do that…so there’s about seven dates locked in there. They’re all in May…early May…and the nice part will be, even though you’re virtually a support act, you go out there and play one opening spot…probably forty-five minutes or so. They’ll be in great rooms to big crowds with great production, so it’s great exposure for the band.
Aria: Fantastic. I was going to ask you how long the tour is, which I believe you’ve answered, and what are you looking to the most with regards to the tour?
Larry: Definitely just playing the great rooms, for its not easy for a band like us, who wants to do their own thing, to always get good gigs…and these, ideally should all be great gigs, because Dr. Feelgood has got a big following…and they’re only playing in big rooms that hold, you know, large crowds…and the production should be very good…’cause a band like that wouldn’t use shit! That’s going to be the best part…just getting on stage for forty-five minutes playing only our own stuff to an appreciative crowd and great room.
Aria: Sounds great! Now, I hear you’re promoting your new album, Devil In High Heels…CORRECTION…
Larry: HELL IN HIGH HEELS!
Aria: Chuckle…chuckle…ha..ha…I was thinking of the old album!
Larry: That’s quite all right!
Aria: HELL IN HIGH HEELS!
Larry: Got this Satan theme going through the music
Aria: Devil...Hell! Chuckle…chuckle…
Larry: Mmmwwoooah (sinister laugh)!
Aria: Ok, if you make new fans…or…WHEN you make new fans on the Dr. Feelgood tour, how will you be promoting the album? Will you be selling your CDs at the venues and any merchandise?
Larry: Absolutely! I was actually quite surprised when Paul, who is, again, the tour manager, but is also getting involved directly with The Howlers in a managerial situation…’cause I’m f**kin’ really bad at that stuff! You know, I’m good with the music…and Paul’s sort of going to bat for us. The Dr. Feelgood camp said they’re very happy for us to set up our stuff on their merchandising table next to them…which, I’m actually surprised! I thought they’d say “no way”…but we’ve got t-shirts and, obviously, a couple of albums to promote now…so they’ll be on sale there. You can buy this stuff over the Internet anyway, but people rarely do. They get excited at gigs and that’s where they’re going to buy them. So we’re chuffed that we can actually set up a little shop there and try to sell some stuff.
Aria: Great! Which songs off your albums seem to be the most popular at your gigs?
Larry: Oh, the rockin’ ones!
Aria: Can you name a few of the most popular?
Larry: Yeah, yeah…yeah…yeah…on all the albums they tend to be, well the two that we’re going to mainly draw from, The Devil In Me and Hell In High Heels (the new one), it is the blues based rock thing happening but on all the albums we do tend to sort of back off a bit…for a bit of light and shade and put on a few slower songs. Ah…we won’t be doing too many of those…especially at this support spot where you’ve only got forty-five minutes…we’ll probably drop all the slow ones because…at the end of the day…slow ones are great when you’re sitting at home having a glass of wine. You know, they’re probably actually better to listen to…in the comfort of your lounge room or car…BUT the reality is, when you’re in a venue and there’s a lot of people there and they’ve got some alcohol aboard and they’re pumped, they don’t want to be serenaded to. They want to ROCK! This is Australian pub audiences. They wanna rock so we’ll be going for it!
Aria: Fantastic…and a question…a more personal question… How do you balance your family life and other obligations with your music, such as touring?
Larry: Well, at the moment, that’s very easy for me because age has come into it, but in a good way. I have three kids but my three kids are all adults…very grown up…who have their…some of them have their own families, so I don’t have to look after children or the grandchildren. I have a very understanding wife, Dorothy, who really lets me go off and do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. So it’s nice to be in that position…where you don’t have a mortgage and you don’t have little babies waiting at home.
Aria: I actually hear a rumour that you’ve got one of your children playing with you.
Larry: Yes, we’ve done a few gigs recently and to fill a spot on bass I got my son Tyler, who is a professional bass player and he lives in Melbourne…and he was good enough to come up…because I bought him a ticket…and he just filled in on bass for us. I don’t know, he probably won’t be doing this tour with us. We’ll probably have Chris Vider on bass, who does a great job but it was great to have Tyler aboard because (a) he’s young and good looking, which helps with the band and image, ‘cause we’re all old and ugly! He is a very, very good bass player but also (b) on the latest album, he did probably at least fifty percent of the songs. He played bass on them and some of them he was actually instrumental in help working up the songs in the studio, so it was great to get him from the studio onto the stage. He did a great job.
Aria: So that’s HELL IN HIGH HEELS not The Devil In Me?
Larry: HELL IN HIGH HEELS...no not The Devil In Me. He has played on other songs before but he did half of HELL IN HIGH HEELS.
Larry: See, I haven’t sworn much.
Aria: You are doing such a terrific job…and thank you very much, Larry Millott, for speaking with me this morning.
Larry: Thank you, Aria.
Aria: And that’s the end of the interview!
Larry: Wow! Beautiful!